Red-Coat Soldiers in my Bedroom, Ghosts in the Den
I'd like to share my story with you, but it's a long one and one post will not suffice to tell it all.
Are you willing to take the time to read it all? Some of what I am going to say may have you questioning the validity of it but it may also enlighten you. There are certain concepts in the ethereal world that I believe in and these stories help to explain why.
They're almost invisible, those memories of the unexplained. I fear I have been living far too long as a pragmatist in a practical and empirical world. Everything I know is what I can touch, taste, smell, see, and hear. The things that I used to believe in, when I was young, have been placed away in a drawer in the very back of my mind. Now I feel so much, I hear so much, and yet I see and believe nothing. I begin to wonder if I am one of those types of people that are highly imaginative, or someone whose eccentricity flares from the desire to believe in something more.
Objectively, I see a world that is divided in two, between spiritualists and scientists. Somehow, though, I feel as though I belong between the two. I strive to believe there is something more out there than the material and yet the material encompasses and thus imprisons me.
This fact alone has me conflicted. I don't know if the things I've seen and experienced in the past are true anymore or if they are simply a culmination of nostalgia and brain synapses firing off. Am I merely perceiving the world around me, taking it in, analyzing it, and reading something into it that isn't there? Am I taking it in and regurgitating a logical replica of the situation itself?
In other words, do my conclusions come from a logical analysis of the social spectrum in which I live or are my answers coming from a higher state of being, an enlightened fragment of consciousness, a ghost, or God?
If these answers are coming from myself, does that mean that my ability to imaginatively create is slowly driving me mad? Truly, I would like to think that there is something deeper here to be said than simply that I am crazy.
For a couple of years life as a child was just that, life as a child. When I was four years old I came down with (at the time) the worse case of pneumonia ever documented in Massachusetts. I was in and out of the Doctor's office for a number of weeks before I graduated to a long-term hospital stay.
I was raised as a Christian and so I never had the use for ghosts or fantasy. Visions were always and ever intentionally evil and dreams were only fiction.
The magic that I understood at the time was the prayer of my mother's Church-going friends who circled my hospital bed begging God to do what is right for me, either to spare me or take me home. I was spared and sent home after six months of agonizing medical treatment. Needles in the arm every day, and chunky white fluid sucked from my right lung. Even at home, for a short time, I had a visiting nurse who would take my vitals and give me shots every day.
My surviving only made my mother more of a strict believer and less of a dreamer. But that's another story.
When I got home from the hospital I was informed that my brother Ryan, who is two years older than I am, was no longer going to be sharing a room with me. I would have my own room and Ryan would have his own room so long as the two of us could handle our parents coming in every now and then to do their University work. My mother chose the downstairs room, Ryan's, in which to study and my father chose the one on the top floor, my bedroom. When bed time came around, though, I couldn't handle sleeping alone.
Without Ryan there, I was more susceptible to paying attention to the sounds and the voices. I slept with the blanket around my head, facing the wall. I ignored the whispers and the constant banging and most especially the large mirror that hung above my buero. I tried to slip into sleep but I couldn't do it without Ryan. I turned away from the wall, opened my eyes and removed the blanket from over my head.
My heart pounded. My eyes widened at the sight of a battle field emerging from the center of my bedroom. It seemed that everything was a faded mix of bedroom and burning field. Smoke rose high and I could smell it, like meat cooking - the smell of flesh cooked by the heat of the cannon's discharge. Bodies laid dead and broken and three men were still fighting, I could see them but they could not see me. Their uniforms would have reminded me of The Nutcracker if it weren't for the blood sweat and tears that adorned the usually brilliant red garments. They had muskets pointed to a soldier of America's army, who sat there on knees with arms raised.
When I closed my eyes again, I could hear or smell or sense what was happening, it was like I'd put a force field around myself. I kept my eyes closed and shoves the blankets away from me. Slowly, I scooted to the edge of the bed and though I was afraid to touch the floor with my feet after what I'd just seen, I landed quickly and darted out of my room. Down the stairs I creeped while everyone else was sound asleep. I made my way to the back den that had been made into Ryan's bedroom.
"Ryan, get up. Get up, get up, Ryan!" I tried not to shout as I shook him in his sleep.
"Ugghh..." He gurgled in his half awake state, blinking his eyes to make focus. "What, what...?"
"You have to come up stairs. Come with me, Ryan."
He sat up groggily and let his legs dangle off the edge of the bed. I pulled him by the arm and dragged him out of the den, through the kitchen, and up the stairs to my bedroom. I climbed into bed and pulled him in with me.
Finally he was starting to awaken. "I like sleeping in my own room. Why am I here?"
"Because, Ryan," I said softly, "There are ghosts downstairs."
"Yes, and if we're not in here together they'll get you." I didn't want to tell him that the ghosts I saw were actually in my room, where we were now.
"How do you know there are ghosts down there?"
"Because I saw them."
I kept him in there only as long as I could before he got angry and decided to leave. The moment I closed my eyes again, I saw the soldiers.
(TO BE CONTINUED)