Nearly midnight last night, as I sat in the living room under a single light reading one of Douglas Clegg’s fantasy novels (I’m in the second of three), whilst everyone else (human and feline) slept, I heard a voice.Â A whisper.Â Barely at the edge of my ear.Â Distinct and indistinct simultaneously.Â She said, “John.”
Yep, she said my name.Â And yep, she was a she.Â There was no depth to the voice, no resonance.Â No surety that any voice actually spoke a word, except that it certainly sounded like my name.
I don’t spook easily.Â Seriously.Â I walked into an abandoned house one day, as part of my day job, worked from one end of a straight line to another, seeing piles of garbage in every room, and finally reached the very last room at the farthest corner of the house, when suddenly there was music.Â Not stereo music, or instruments, or a voice, but something that might easily have been someone’s mobile phone.Â Except it wasn’t.Â It was an overturned and seemingly broken music box.Â I took a picture.Â (Picture did not, by the way, come out.)Â I looked at it, as closely as I dared in this empty and unoccupied house, and I didn’t touch it.Â Because I knew better.Â Because I knew I’d somehow walked into one of my own stories.Â And I knew, if I touched the music box, bad things would’ve happened, and I wouldn’t be here today telling you about the mysterious music box that started playing, untouched, in the middle of an otherwise empty room in a house none of you would’ve walked into except perhaps on a dare.
What I’m saying is, I don’t spook easily.Â So I looked around, checked that everyone else (human and feline) slept, as I suspected, and realized someone was obviously trying to tell me something.
As I didn’t know what she meant to say, and she wasn’t any more forthcoming, I finished the chapter and turned out the light and went to bed.
Whoever she was, whispering my name so late at night whilst I was alone, she failed to make an appearance in my dreams in order to elaborate.Â So maybe tonight, she’ll whisper the next word.
If not, I’ll continue writing.Â (I’m in the fantasy section of a three-part project, oddly enough; the horror section is probably next.)