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Of Ghosts and Demons: A Confessional
Now that's really annoying, stealing your work pants. Boundaries should be respected, even by little ghosties. Pity you can't give them 'demerit' points for naughty behaviour.

Dust and cobwebs, eh? You have an attic? How cool. Have you since gone into the attic to see if there are any unexplained 'cleaned' patches? Or spied a few spiders cranky about their torn webs? What about a crawl space under the house?

Little ghostie girls playing dress-up in pants too long for them - that made me smile. Sooo cute!
There's life...and then there's the afterlife.
You think little spirit children playing dress up is cute?  Imagine the two spirit girls holding a fluffy little Totoro and spilling out the (at this point, going on 300) bright shiny dimes it contains.  A true princess’s treasure purse…

8 D

Me, I’m not quite sure I believe in ghosts as apparitions, but that’s a topic for another thread.  All I know, at this point in the story, is… They are shy, never coming out unless the place is near empty; they like me and occasionally interact with other peeps who like children or are near children themselves; and… they like Totoro.  But then, who doesn’t like Totoro? 

Well, Satan.  He prolly doesn't like Totoro.  And Pol Pot.  I can't imagine ISIL would approve of the predominant role of the two young girls in the movie and Mike Pence would likely consider the dust bunnies some kind of shadow demons...

Anyhoo, if you’ve ever known a young child… and I’m assuming you have… ‘boundaries’ are not something they inherently get.  At least, not at the age at which I’m estimating Andrea.  Susan, it’s more difficult to tell, but Andrea… I have a pretty good idea that she is (was) about six years of age.

This is skipping over some things… like the time my little spirit friends decided to pester a server who was rude to me one night… but I’m trying to keep a narrative going here. 

8 )
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The forces of Evil will probably come up with their own subversive version to replace Totoro. They'll call it Orotot (Totoro spelt backwards). Available in flashy blood-red and ichor-black. They'll run a slick marketing campaign to make poor Totoro seem dull and insipid in contrast. But we shall not be deceived.

I have this urge to get myself a Totoro coin purse now. Do you know it also comes in grey? If the girls were very young when they passed, that could explain the playfulness and the pranks. I can imagine them stacking the dimes into mini towers, knocking them over and starting again. Weeeeee!!!

I wonder about the amount of energy spirits need to move objects. I suspect it takes a fair bit. Maybe that's why the girls haven't showed themselves yet. They have to build up so much energy and then recharge their 'batteries' after each dime episode. The stunts were 'showing-off' moments - look how clever we are, see what we can do. Then it goes all quiet for a while as they have to gather up energy again.

Do you suppose that's another reason why they liked Daja? Highly-charged, teenage energy levels, just perfect to give them a special boost to pull a stunt for you. Wink
There's life...and then there's the afterlife.
Now, at this point in the story, I’ve come to believe that my little spirit friends are the spirits of a small group of children.  Part of that belief is the laughter I heard in the woods, part of it is the playful nature in which they interact with me, and part of it is the history to the area.  A centuries old waterpark is bound to have a few untimely deaths associated with it.  It’s not a stretch to imagine that the spirits of some small children might become… let’s say ‘fond’… of me, personally.  I love children of all ages, I used to sub for elementary schools, I write kids books… 

You get the idea.

Anyway, it might be foolishness… in fact, prolly was… but I’d come to enjoy the idea that a small groups of spirit children had ‘adopted’ me as their friend and were showing their affection through dimes and good-natured pranks.
Chapter Eleven:  Susan Introduces Herself

I don’t knows about you all, but I gots a routine when I get home from work.  1 – Check my email.  2 – Check my Facebook.  3 – Crawl into my Elsa PJs… or, if I haven’t done laundry lately, my Spongebob PJs… and randomly surf the web for awhile, before I start writing.  It’s just my way of relaxing my mind a bit.

Of course, that was then.  Now, I’ve added these forums to the Facebook step.

One of my guilty pleasures are those data mining sites that promise to tell you who is yr secret crush, or what five of yr Facebook friends compose yr mafia family.  I know it’s all nonsense… likely, there’s some algorithm that chooses friends at random, or… at most, ones you’ve recently or most often interacted with.  There is some kind of logic to it, however, because every time I do one of these, the answer is always the same… equal parts members of my family and equal parts random friends of mine… always different ones, but I have far more Facebook friends than I have family members, so it’s not totally random.

This particular night, one of my friends posted a link on Facebook relating to who would be in yr apocalypse survival group.  And, per usual, there were a few members of my family, a few random friends of mine… and Susan.

Now, let’s be clear here.  I do not know anyone named Susan.  I am not friends on Facebook with anyone named Susan.  In fact, I’m not entirely sure I have ever known anyone who went by the name Susan or Sue… except, perhaps, a character in my novels, who if often referred to as ‘Sue’ but is, in fact, Korean and named Soo-Mi.  Also, the avatar for this ‘Susan’ is a picture of a house on a lake near a woods or forest, in Autumn.  Not an actual person.

This kinda confuses me.  I mean, why go off formula?  Why tell me that some chick in… I don’t know, Maine… who I have never heard of is a member of my apocalypse survival group?  So I click another link… I forget, maybe ‘Who makes up yr Game of Thrones cast?’  and, again, there are a couple of my siblings, a few different Facebook friends… only, there was one addition.  Susan.  

I close my browser, re-open it and click on several other such surveys… time and time again, the results are the same.  A couple members of my family, a couple friends… and Susan.  I think I did a total of 6 surveys on two different websites and every time, Susan was there.

Quite befuzzled, I move on… after double checking my Facebook to make sure I didn’t drunk-friend some random Susan… which, incidentally, I did not.  But it occurs to me the next day that, a couple weeks back, my little ghosts had messed with my cell phone.  So that night at work, I wait until the place has cleared out and we’re about to close and I ask… are one of you named Susan?

Not out loud.  I’m not bonkers.  But I take a moment and think the question and, not 2 minutes later, I find a bright, shiny dime on the floor.

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Ooo, the plot thickens. [*happy chills*] I'm making a nice cup of tea and sitting down to read everything from the beginning again. Clever little ghosties!
There's life...and then there's the afterlife.
You believe in god so you believe in demons existence
Not entirely sure how this is relevant to my thread, but yes… I identify as a Christian, I believe in God and so believe in the existence of demons.

Did you have a point?
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I’ve never had any real interest in the paranormal.  I mean, sure, my friends and I messed around with a Ouija board once when we were teens, and I do like proper ghost stories… you know, the old skool authors, like Arthur Machen, Edgar Allen Poe, Algernon Blackwood… but I also like dragons and zombies. It would never occur to me to run around, trying to prove they exist, or to visit famous places where they might reside.  Maybe I lack in imagination, but my opinion of all things paranormal has always bin ‘eh, whatever.’
I feel this is an important factor in understanding my relationship with Andrea and Susan.  Looking back, they had bin trying to get my attention for a couple months and I chalked it all up to nothing more than statistical anomalies and quirks of fate.  My little spirit friends had to (figuratively) throw handfuls of dimes at me every night for two weeks for me to accept that something weird was going on.

Mind you, they were small handfuls, 7-17 dimes per night, to match Andrea and Susan’s tiny hands  ; )

I never seem to get around to telling the whole story of Andrea and Susan.  Prolly because it’s so extensive.  This activity took place over the course of a year and barely a fortnight went by without some clever little prank, like the time they filched my work slacks off my dresser and returned them two days later, all mussed up and dirty.

So yeah, every other week or so they would pull off some goofy stunt like that, but more routine were the dimes.

I made a habit of keeping a few dimes in my right pocket.  I know, it sounds silly, but after all the effort Andrea and Susan put into getting my attention, I wanted to let them know that I knew they were there.  As a sort of sign, I took four of the dimes I had collected and put them in my right front pocket each night.  I’m right handed, so I keep my pen and chap stick in my left pocket, for easy access.  Likewise, I kept my cash in my back pocket, as it has a button and I can rest easy that I won’t be dropping money between tables.  My right front pocket, however, I don’t generally use at work, so it came to belong to my little spirit friends.

Yes, I am exactly that kind of nerd.  I develop a plan of what to keep in which pocket.  Remember the time Andrea and Susan stole my Totoro change purse from my knapsack?  And how I had a certain pocket for my car keys and cell phone?  I like to refer to myself as a functioning airhead.  I hide it well and most peeps I know would never guess, but I’m totally addicted to flightiness.

Anyways, I chose four dimes to keep in my pocket.  It seemed like a good number.  Occasionally I would find a dime in some strange place… like under a floor mat or on a table, underneath a beer glass, after the guests had left… and I’d add these curiously placed dimes to the ones in my pocket.  When they started building up, I’d drop them into Totoro, but keep four out for my pocket the next time I worked.  Some nights I would find two or three dimes, some nights none… sometimes I would go several days without finding any.  After a month or two, however, I noticed a pattern.

Andrea and Susan seemed to like the idea of my having 12 dimes in my pocket.  If I had less, I would find at least one pretty much every night… under a doormat or on in my shoe… until I had twelve dimes in my pocket.  Then I wouldn’t find any for days even, until I threw some dimes in my Totoro purse.  Then I started finding them again, until I built up to 12 again.

This is important for a couple of reasons.  One is that there are still skeptical of the idea that ghosts were playing pranks on me and giving me dimes.  They think someone (living) was joking we me or that somehow it was all coincidence.  Never mind the implausibility of either option.  Sure, someone could have planted a dime under the door mat, but the one on my pillow?  I live alone.  How could someone reprogram my new, locked phone?  And how could they know when I had 12 dimes in my pocket and when I had less?

Anyhoo, spoiler alert, I’m about to tell the end of the story.  Maybe I’ll come back and tell some of the games they played… like the time they took all the ‘chip clips’ out of my kitchen cupboards and spread them around my bedroom and office… but, for now, this is how the story ends.  It’s nothing dramatic.  No ‘cleansing’ or ‘exorcism’ or anything like that.  Basically, I became ill and had to quit my job.  I tend towards the frail.  So, without the opportunity to play with me at work or follow me home… well, Andrea and Susan had to say goodbye.

And they did, about two weeks later.  Late one night I found several dimes in places they had no business being.  One on my dining room table, one in my bathroom… one went clattering to the floor off my desk while I was typing and I had no coins on my desk or my person.  It was a nice little end to a fun time in my life, playing with my 2 little spirit friends.

That was last December, before I had even so much as thought of joining a paranormal forum.  Fast forward to September of this year.  I’m no longer sickly, or at least less so, and I’ve found a new job, not quite so strenuous as being a server in a sports bar.  Instead, I’m managing a family friendly restaurant.  And after a few months training in one of the training sites, they send me to a new location.  Much to my surprise, it’s about a mile away from my old sports bar.  In fact, the water park where I believe Andrea and Susan ‘lived’ is about halfway between the two establishments.

Now, I don’t reeeeeally expect Andrea and Susan to come pay me a visit, but after a couple of weeks, I go drive past my old haunt (pun intended) to see if they’ll follow me home.  No luck.  No dimes, either.  Then, one night, when we’re short staffed and I’m covering my cashier/hostess for her break, I open the drawer to make change for a take-out customer and find a dime in with the quarters.  No big thing.  Only, the next time I open the drawer, I find a dime in with the nickels.  Right on top, not buried under other coins.  I s’pose I could have missed that one too, but I’m too neurotic to drop coins in the wrong bin and not notice.  Then a third customer pays cash, in maybe 5 minutes, and… right atop the pennies is a bright shiny dime.  There is no way I could have missed a dime on top of a bunch of pennies.

Okies, I guess maybe it’s possible.  But it was also the night after I had driven past my old sports bar.  And… I mentioned earlier that the number 12 was interesting for a couple of reasons?  Well, I put those three dimes into my right pocket, and for the past 3 weeks, I’ve bin finding the occasional dime, here and there… no nickels, no quarters, few pennies… mostly dimes, until I build up to the number 12.

Weird, eh?

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Appendix One:  Stories Yet to Tell
The time Andrea introduced herself with a coloring book.
The time I asked if it was just the two of them and they answered, through my home computer.
The time they filched a credit card from that server they didn’t like.
The time they filched the menu caddie off his table.
The time they raided my kitchen cupboards and hid chip-clips about my house.
The time they gave me a bottle cap with a cartoon character on it.
The time they dipped into their allowances and gave me dollars instead of dimes.

The list goes on…

Angel WIngs
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I wonder about the significance of the 12 dimes. 12 is quite a special number, representing cosmic order and perfection. Like 12 months of the year, 12 signs in the Zodiac, 12 tribes of the Israel nation, 12 apostles of Christ, 12 days of Christmas, 12 hours on a clock face, 12 inches to a foot etc.

As a matter of interest, I've been reading a book on spiritualism and parapsychology, and it says that when spirit children play tricks on you and things go missing, it's called "asport" (their idea of sport). Gift from spirits are known as "apport".

Glad to hear that your health is better these days. Interesting about the dimes happening again. It is weird. If things happen like that more than once or twice, then it's probably not a coincidence. Your little ghostie friends were saying hello to you.

Keep the stories coming. I want to read them all! Big Grin
There's life...and then there's the afterlife.

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