Lara stopped suddenly and said, “They’re in there.”
“Who’s in there? What are you talking about?” I responded.
“Spirits,” she said, putting down her boxes and feeling the door frame.
“What? What spirits? What are you talking about?” I asked.
“There are spirits in that room,” she calmly explained.
“How do you know?” I asked skeptically.
“Didn’t Luke tell you?” she asked.
“Tell me what?” I said, my voice rising.
“That I’m an intuitive?”
“An intuitive? What the heck is an intuitive?”
“An intuitive uses their psychic abilities to sense, feel, hear, and see the energy fields of a person,” she explained.
“Uh, no,” I maintained, “this is the first I’ve heard about this.”
“I’m able to see pictures and images around people that help me tell their stories,” she continued.
“Luke never said a thing. I had no idea you had this ability.”
“Well, they’re in there,” she repeated, putting her hands in front of her like a mime.
“Okay, so what do we do now?”
“Let me see if I can see them.”
“SEE them? You mean they’re in there right now? Like in the room?” I asked in disbelief.
“Maybe. Let’s see,” she said and we entered the cluttered room. Lara looked at the foot of the stairs and said, “She’s right there,” pointing to a corner of the room.
“She is?” I whispered. “Who is she?”
“Give me a few minutes alone in here,” Lara said.
I left the room and waited in the kitchen, leaning on the counter. I wasn’t scared, or upset – excited best described it. This spirit idea had never crossed my mind. Yet, I admitted to myself that I really didn’t know Lara very well. Was she a crackpot? She was a little flaky, but then, most people I was attracted to were free-thinkers and open-minded. I wasn’t religious, but did believe everything is made up of energy and energy cannot be destroyed. Why couldn’t the energy of some dead person be in our home? Right from the start, Jim and I said we didn’t feel like the owners of the house, more like the stewards, and I often thought about the women who came before me in this old home. As I was leaning on the counter digesting all of this, Jim came home from work. Noting her red Audi sports car in the driveway he asked, “Where’s Lara?”
“Well, you’re not going to believe this, but she thinks we have a spirit in the back room. Apparently, she has some kind of psychic powers. She calls herself an intuitive,” I explained matter-of-factly. “Oh my god,” I mused aloud. “I wonder if that’s why she said the stuff about the grandfather clock!”
Jim, in his usual calm way, took all of this in stride and a few seconds later we heard Lara’s footsteps in the hallway. She came into the kitchen, greeted Jim and said, “Pamina, I want to do a reading of you in that room once you have all the boxes cleaned out.”
“What’s a reading?” I asked.
“In a reading, I’m able to contact and channel the spirits of deceased people, and it’s an opportunity to help you connect with your own higher self. There’s a woman in a rocking chair in that back room, holding her dead baby. She stays there all the time. She has a very close bond to you,” Lara said, nodding at me.
“To me?” I breathed, not really registering the dead baby part.
“Yes, her connection to you is incredibly strong,” Lara explained, “but we’ll learn a lot more when I come back. I walked through all the other rooms, but that’s the only one that has a spirit.”
As Lara prepared to leave, she advised, “Get a runner for the hallway outside that room.”
“A runner? What’s a runner?” I asked.
“You know,” Lara explained, “one of those long narrow carpets people use in hallways.”
“Oh, yeah, yeah. I know what you’re talking about,” I said. “But why do we need one?”
“So she can leave the room if she wants to. Put one end of the runner right in the room and extend it out into the hallway. It will serve as a bridge for her.”
“Okay,” I said skeptically. Oddly, the thought of this spirit lady roaming around the house didn’t faze me.
“I’ll come back when you guys are more settled in here. Pamina, you and I will do a reading in that room.”
In a fog, I walked Lara to her car, came back to the kitchen, and found Jim looking through the mail as he leisurely ate a handful of almonds.
“Can you believe this?” I asked.
“Of course,” Jim said in his unflustered way. “It’s a house built at least two hundred years ago. Of course there are spirits here. I’d be surprised if there weren’t. I have no doubt there’s a woman in there.”
“But in that room,” I said. “Don’t you think it’s weird she’s in that particular room?” For the room – the room that now held a mysterious spirit woman – had been intended for my mother, and had also been home to the multiverse bats.
Velya Jancz-Urban is the author of Acquiescence.
Visit her at: http://acquiescencethebook.com
Velya Jancz-Urban, and her protagonist Pamina Campbell, have a lot in common. Both are teachers and hoodwinked Brazilian dairy farm owners, and both share a 1770 Connecticut farmhouse with a spirit woman. Velya has been married for 32 years, and is the mother of two grown children. She has a few too many rescue dogs and cats, is happiest with a fresh stack of library books, loves thrift shops, and is passionate about alternative medicine. Velya is the creator/owner of “How Cool Is That?!” (Hands-On Science) (www.howcoolisthat.name), as well as the east coast instructor for the “Earth Balloon.” Her entertainingly informative presentation, The Not-So-Good Life of the Colonial Goodwife is a result of the research completed for this novel.