These Things I Can't Explain

Spiritual awareness runs in my family. My grandmother has it, my mother has it. Both my sister and I have it. I'm sure I could track it back farther, but that would require research and work and, well, I am really very lazy.

When we were little, around 6 or 7 by my recollection, my sister, Jennifer, had it the best. Sometimes she would wake up from her daily naps and walk out of our shared bedroom, clutching her beloved baby blanket for dear life. She would go straight to my mother and inform her that something bad was going to happen. The angels had told her so. Afterwards, my mother would start watching the news, and within the next few headlines the reporter would come on and tell the world that a train had derailed or a plane had gone down. If the angels were happy when they spoke to Jennifer then everything was fine. The reporter would tell us that nobody was seriously hurt. But if the angels had been crying, the reporter would always bow his head and say those awful words. "Nobody survived.."

Then came the day Jennifer broke her leg. She couldn't walk well, so we pulled out the couch bed in the living room for her. One morning when I woke up, Jennifer was hiding under the sheets. I asked her what was wrong and she told me that she had seen a woman in the night. The woman had been a shadow on the wall, she said. But it was no trick of the light. The woman sat in a rocking chair and simply moved back and fourth. I went and woke up my mother and told her what Jennifer had told me. When my mother asked Jennifer, she confirmed everything and added that the woman was wearing a blue dress. She couldn't see the colour, but she knew what kind of dress it was anyway. My mother broke down into tears. She told us that our great-grandmother, Nanny Warren, had died in her rocking chair, a heart attack got her,and that she had been buried in her favourite blue dress.

My sister has never spoken of angels or women in blue dresses since then. I like to believe she still does see them, and that she only won't talk about them anymore for fear of making mom cry again.

For a long time nothing happened. Then Jennifer started getting into trouble. We were all sitting in the living room of my mother's new house, my sister about 14 and I 13. There was no wind outside and it was starting to get dark. My sister announced that she was going to be leaving soon for a friend's house. Suddenly the channel switched by itself. The remote sat on the table untouched. My mother switched it back to what we were watching, but it turned right back. Then the gates outside started slamming. We looked out the window, but the gates were securely fastened. There were footsteps on the front porch. We looked. Nobody was there. It worried my mother, but somehow I wasn't afraid. My sister's toy, one of those old Bop-It things, went off on its own. My sister screamed that something had grabbed her leg and she and broke down and admitted she was going to go out for a party to get high. Everything stopped. The channel switched back to our original channel and the gates didn't move.

A year later my father moved into a new house and I went with him. My room is on the second floor. I always felt something amiss about the room, but I will openly admit that in recent years I've become somewhat paranoid. I always blamed the feeling of someone watching me on that. That is, until a nightmare woke me up in the middle of the night. I stared out into my room and saw standing in the corner the figure of a man. I could make out his shoulders and a head. There were two holes where eyes should've been. As I stared at it, the thing raised a hand and waved. I saw the thing off and on for a few weeks until I couldn't bear it and got a nightlight. I put the little light in the corner where it stood and didn't see him again. I eventually convinced myself that it was gone and I threw the light away. A few nights later it was back, waving at me. I swear I saw it smile, a grotesque little grin that might've been good or bad.

I saved up some money and I bought myself a puppy, an adorable white shepard I named Sakura. I put her kennel in my room, in the corner where the thing stood. The thing, like before, went away. I, like before, eventually removed the kennel and put it downstairs. I have not seen the figure since then, but it is still there. This I know for a fact. One night when I was home alone, a big storm arose and knocked out our power. I let Sakura out to keep me company, but her attention was elsewhere. She kept staring up the stairs toward my room. Then she ran up and started pawing at my door. I watched her for a bit until I heard the voice. It was a man's voice, I know, whispering beside my ear. I screamed and ran outside into the rain and waited there until my father came home.

It has been fairly quiet. I am 17 now and I still hear thumps and footsteps upstairs. Sometimes I go into my room to find my figure of a shinto priestess, the only religious figure in my room, thrown to the foot of my bed. Once I found my display of Teddy Scares strewn about. And sometimes I fancy feeling eyes watching me while I sleep. But I've not seen the Shadow Man, as I've come to call him, and he no longer whispers in my ear. My mother has suggested I add a crucifix to my room to ward him off. If I were particularly religious, I might. But I can't help but think he's trying to tell me something. What it is I might never know.

I'm still trying to decipher whether he's good or bad.

Submitted by Leviathan Marie, MD, USA