Baring Mia

By: Kallista Dane

“Okay, okay,” she muttered aloud. “You don’t have to yell. And what’s with the spelling? This isn’t Twitter.” Lexi could tell something was seriously wrong before she even opened it. Normally her friend wouldn’t dream of sending out an email without going back over it and correcting any errors. She scrolled down.

Lexi, you have to come to Dallas. You’re the only one who can help me. I’m sending this email instead of calling because I don’t want the kids to hear what I’m about to tell you. They cling to me every waking hour as it is. I try to pretend everything is all right for their sake, but I don’t know how much longer I can keep up the act. They’re afraid to be alone in our home…and so am I.

The beautiful old house we spent every dime of our savings on is possessed by evil spirits. I know I teased you a lot about your psychic gifts when we were kids. Frankly, that was my way of dealing with something that scared me. But I’ve seen your abilities, and now I’m glad I’m one of the few people who know what you can do when it comes to woo-woo stuff.

David is away on business nearly all the time, and the kids and I are alone in this big old place. We have four bedrooms, but Amy and Adam sleep in my room every night. If they spend any time in their own beds, they come out screaming or sobbing. Adam says there’s an enormous dark shadow with big wings hovering in the corner of his room, and Amy complains about a lady who keeps her up at night because she’s crying so loud.

The spirits don’t come out when David is home. It’s as though they know he’d scoff and, for some reason, his disbelief keeps them at bay. But the minute we’re alone, they’re back. I know he’s becoming weary of my hysterical phone calls when he’s on the road. Not only that, I’m afraid he’s doubting my sanity. He’s made a few remarks about how I need to pull myself together because my “irrational outbursts” are affecting the kids. If he only knew!

You need to come here and perform some ritual to drive away the demons or whatever it is you do. Dave has lots of air miles stacked up from all the traveling he does. I got him to agree to let me cash some in to get you a ticket, so it won’t cost you a dime. He’s willing to do just about anything if it means I’ll quit freaking out all the time.

Please – come as soon as you can, Lexi. I really need you.

Lexi sat back in her chair and took a deep breath. Then she read the email again, looking for details that might give her a clue as to the type of spirits she’d be dealing with. Huge winged dark shadow that hovered – that could be a fallen angel stalking Adam, following him into the present from a past life. Or, given the fact that Melanie lived out West, it could be a Native American spirit lingering on what was once sacred ground.

As for the crying woman, Lexi knew the options were far more numerous for her. War widow, grieving mother in what was once the bedroom of her long-dead child, or even a lonely woman who had never been able to conceive and was now confronted with the presence night after night of healthy young children who would never be hers.

Adam was six, and Amy nearly three, both still at the age when the wall between this life and the world where spirits dwelt was easy to breach. Lexi knew they could be capable of seeing and hearing entities invisible to adults…at least to most other adults.

Lexi was born with a gift – the ability to connect with the spirit realm. As a child, she’d calmly accepted the wide array of strange beings inhabiting the world with her, not realizing for years that everyone else couldn’t see angels or play dollhouse with children from the past like she did. Her parents were indulgent at first, humoring her when she insisted on setting a place for her imaginary friends at the dinner table. But as time went on and she showed no sign of giving up what they saw as her delusional behavior, they became worried.

They dragged her to a variety of specialists, from neurosurgeons to psychologists. Brain scans and blood tests showed no anomalies. The psychologists said she seemed to be a normal, well-adjusted child – except for those lengthy conversations she carried on with nonexistent playmates. They predicted she’d outgrow her fantasy world and recommended the child spend more time with her peer group.

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