Somehow. I have managed to pull it together enough to start a Saint Maggie Halloween short story. It will be posted as a daily serial and I promise that it will not be as ponderous as Charles Dickens’ serialized stories – although, mine probably won’t be as good. Ha.
As a side note, the supernatural and the paranormal have already shown up in the Saint Maggie series. The supernatural obviously in the form of prayer, spiritual promptings, and a really cheeky appearance to Eli by God disguised as Maggie. The paranormal shows up in that mysterious person (?) who knocked on the doors of all the people in the boarding house to alert them about the fire. And it can be found in Maggie’s dreams about her late husband John and, in the upcoming novel, her dream about old Mrs. Greybeal.
I have had brushes with the paranormal throughout my life. My response is an almost predictable, “Well, that was weird.” Then I may or may not get scared – or even a bit ticked off. It all depends.
Let me give you one example.
I attended graduate school and lived in a dormitory when I was in my 40s, and made friends with several other grad students, also in their 40s, and not a few who were much younger. During this time, my friends Paula, Cindy, and I made a habit of eating dinner together every Friday (gotta love it when you have donuts for Friday night dinner) and, since it was the 1990s, to follow up by watching The X Files.
One night, during the commercial break, I rushed out of the room to get a quick drink from the water fountain. When I looked up, I saw what appeared to be the tail end of a chenille bathrobe disappear around the corner at the end of the hall. Thinking it was Ann, another friend who also enjoyed The X Files, I trotted down the hall to share a “do you believe what just happened” moment from the latest episode.
I knocked on her door.
No one answered.
I knocked again. “Ann?” Nothing.
Thinking maybe the women across the hall from her were in, I knocked on their door.
What on earth did I just see?
I had no idea. I still don’t.
Upon returning to Paula’s room, I told my buds, “I think I might have just seen a ghost.” After hearing my story, we all ran out of the room, back down the hall, and using the latest in paranormal detecting devices (our hands), checked for cold spots. We thought we felt one. Or maybe we just wanted to, since the dorm was reputedly haunted.
To this day, I still wonder if what I saw was a reflection from a passing car (even though we were on the second floor) or some other sort of reflection. Also, we had been watching a spooky show, so perhaps my mind was primed for spooky stuff. But as my memory recorded it, that bathrobe really and truly appeared solid, and it looked as if someone was walking down the hall.
Back to the new story.
Starting tomorrow, the Prologue to “All Hallows’ Eve: A Saint Maggie Short Story” will be posted, followed over the next days by Chapter 1 (Getting Ready), Chapter 2 (The Ball), Chapter 3 (The Séance), and an Epilogue.
Also, be aware that these are being posted in nearly first-draft form. For an author, that’s kind of like showing up naked at a formal dinner party. So bear with the typos and grammar gaffs, and usage errors – not to mention possible redundancy and occasionally boring dialog (i.e., “Let’s go!”).
So boo to you and boo to me and boo to those we cannot see!
Janet Stafford, Squeaking Pips Founder