And now a tiger salamander:

salamander in hand

I’ve been on a change-everything-in-my-life kick lately.

It’s been good. I went in for a long over-due check-up and got a clean bill of health. I took a look at my priorities and goals and made some real changes. I’m writing more and taking better care of myself. Pages are piling up. I’ve lost 12 pounds in 6 weeks.

I quit my job at the Paranormal Hotel. Okay, I sorta-kinda quit. I tried to make a clean break of it, but ended up agreeing to fill in for vacations and sick days and stuff … when I can. I suffer from some sort of twisted addiction to the place, I think. (I’m already scheduled for a long weekend in early May.)

I also started volunteering at our local nature center.

That chubby little guy up there is my new friend, Right-Side Salamander, aka The Fat One. (These are my names for him. The rest of the feeder-people don’t seem to make much of a distinction between the two.) Please forgive my filthy fingers … the salamanders need to have their soil loosened and moistened thoroughly, and the trowel is just unnecessarily awkward. I promise I wash very well after tending to my new buddies. (There are others critters I take care of as well. You’ll probably get pictures of them at some point in the future.)

I have been working on the blog too … you just can’t see any of that yet. I’ll give you a sneak peek of one upcoming feature though:

paranormal hotel block

Yep. It’s going to get its own section. (That link doesn’t lead to a public page yet, btw.)

… And that’s the end of tonight’s out-of-the-blue post. I just wanted to let you all know I haven’t died or anything, and that I’ll be back soon.

Paranormal lesson of the day: stalking pays off.

A long time ago, I wrote about stalking the author Hunter Shea. Regular readers of this blog will already know that I’ve gotten nothing but positive reinforcement for that behavior. I mean, he actually included me in a list of acknowledgements in at least one of his books. (I’m not sure what I did to earn that.) Then the man sat down and had a (virtual) beer with me … and let me record it!

Now he’s gone and given me a cameo in his new book, Island of the Forbidden!

book cover hunter shea island of the forbidden

Click the cover to visit its Amazon listing.

Here’s a screenshot of a little snippet from the first chapter. Apparently I play a real estate agent:

my cameo in Island of the Forbidden by Hunter Shea

Pretty cool, huh?

When my namesake character is first mentioned in the book, we learn her full name is “Renae Rudd.” I can only assume that Hunter thought an agent with the last name “Rude” would be too on the nose. (Though this character Renae seems quite polite.)

I’ve known this was coming for a while. During one of Hunter’s early book launches, he made a limited time offer on his Facebook page, in which he offered to name a character after anyone who bought a book within a brief time window. Of course I saw it and jumped on the opportunity.

I’m particularly pleased that this is the book he decided to put me in because it’s part of a series I love. Island of the Forbidden is the the third book featuring Jessica Backman.

Here’s the description for Island of the Forbidden:

Jessica Backman has been called to help a strange family living on a haunted island in Charleston Harbor. Ormsby Island was the site of a brutal massacre two decades ago, and now the mysterious Harper family needs someone to exorcise the ghosts that still call it home. The phantoms of over one hundred children cannot rest.

But something far more insidious is living on the island. When the living and the dead guard their true intentions, how can Jessica discover just what sort of evil lurks on Ormsby Island? And why is Jessica the only one who can plumb its dark depths?

For more information, including some glowing reviews, pop over to Hunter’s page to see his publication announcement.


Proof of life: a quick Paranormal Hotel update (holidays edition)

Well, I meant to post something-anything on New Year’s Day, but I just glanced down at the clock in the corner of my screen and I see it’s after midnight. Let’s just pretend it’s still the 1st, okay?

I’ll be honest: I’m having a rough winter. I’ve been striving to get back on track for a while. Of course I’m trying to do at least some of the right things today, in honor of the new year. Checking in with you guys is one of them, even if I don’t have a lot to say right now.

I’ve been working at the hotel more than usual (which in itself isn’t actually all that unusual, now that I think about it) so I can give you some random highlights of the holiday season at the Paranormal Hotel.

This is NOT my Paranormal Hotel.

This is NOT my Paranormal Hotel.

Photo by Prayitno via Flickr CC


My men-folk and I made fudge in four different flavors for the holidays. Aside from just craving fudge, we also wanted to put together a few prize-packages for some of the residents at the hotel. One long-term guest, Willard, was too appreciative. When I gave him his fudge on Christmas night, he enveloped me in a huge hug and said he hadn’t been given a Christmas gift in years. (Willard is a big guy … well over six foot and probably 250 pounds or so. When I pass his room on my rounds, I often hear him singing Motown songs in a gorgeous baritone. I don’t know how old he is. To be truthful, I’m not good at gauging the age of black folks.) A couple of days later, when I worked again, I found out Willard had been taken away by ambulance on the night of the 26th. I was just getting the news from my manager when Willard and his son returned from the hospital. Willard  came to the desk to say he’d “just had a little heart event thing.” His son stood back from us, but volunteered that his dad’s blood sugar had been way too high as well <…pause, to establish eye contact with me…> which wasn’t surprising, considering how much fudge he’d been eating.

Yes, I do feel like I tried to kill one of my favorites.


The hotel is messing with my spidey-senses, I think. I had the strangest experience on Christmas Eve. I was in the laundry room and it was coming up on midnight. I was folding some towels and glancing up at the video monitor that shows the lobby every few seconds. I caught a flash of motion, and the impression of a man, just as he strode out of the camera’s line of sight. He had disappeared into the hallway that leads past the snack, soda and ice machines, then the laundry room, on the way to the elevator. Only two details registered. He was wearing faded jeans and work boots. (Not exactly an uncommon look around here.) Still, that glimpse of scuffed leather boots made my heartbeat stutter. A cold urge to slam the laundry room door shut sluiced through me. Instead of lunging for the door, though, I froze. Of course he didn’t come in. In fact I didn’t see so much as a shadow from his passing.

Considering the fact that I hadn’t batted an eye earlier in the evening, when seven rough-looking giants (at least a couple of whom were sporting teardrop tattoos) had invaded my lobby, I find my reaction to this guy’s boots odd. (Is this a Stephen King thing? As I write it up, I am reminded of the walking dude.)


Last night, on New Year’s Eve, I discovered a party of young folks smoking A LOT of pot in one of our non-smoking rooms. (Another guest complained about the scent in the hallway.) When I got up there, I sniffed my way to the offending room and knocked. A well-dressed guy with bloodshot eyes opened the door just a crack. I told him I had to come in to find out if there was smoking going on. He reluctantly allowed me to enter. The air in the room was visibly swirling in the eddies created by the breathing of the ten or twelve people in there. There wasn’t a joint or bong in sight and everyone in the room had perfect posture and folded hands. They were the guiltiest-looking bunch of 20-somethings I’ve ever seen. At the time, I was just stunned that they had requested a non-smoking room when they checked in. I made them pay for a-whole-nother room, on one of the smoking floors, but I didn’t kick them out. I left a note for my boss, telling him what I’d done. I was nervous he’d be mad that I hadn’t thrown them out, but I did not want to be responsible for any of them driving.

Today I got a text from my boss, telling me I’d done good.

My life is weird.

Macabre & Mysterious Media: Wintersong, The Dark Servant, NOS4A2, and movies on Netflix.


If an item is posted in the “NOW” section, I have seen (or in some way experienced) it, and am actively recommending it. NOW items are immediately available to you if you have access to the same basic services I do.


For my dad.



I’ve been waiting and watching for a number of movies that have technically been released, but that are not coming to a theater anywhere near me. I think the problem lies in all the damn film festivals we have these days. And maybe I have to take some responsibility, because I’m not as interested in the popular blockbusters as I am in cool, creepy, quirky stuff. Sigh. FYI: I’ve decided to start taking advantage of some of the features available at IMDb, including the watch list. Apparently I have the option to make that public so here’s my address over there:

I am annoyed with theaters right now, so, for this installment of M&M Media, I’ve concentrated on other things.



book cover matt manochio the-dark-servant

Last week I mentioned the debut novel, The Dark Servant, by Matt Manochio. I didn’t give you much detail, so I thought I’d share the blurb today:

It has tormented European children for centuries. Now America faces its wrath. Unsuspecting kids vanish as a blizzard crushes New Jersey. All that remains are signs of destruction-and bloody hoof prints stomped in the snow. Seventeen-year-old Billy Schweitzer awakes on December 5 feeling depressed. Already feuding with his police chief father and golden boy older brother, Billy’s devastated when his dream girl rejects him. When an unrelenting creature infiltrates his town, endangering his family and friends, Billy must overcome his own demons to understand why supposedly innocent high school students have been snatched, and how to rescue them from a famous saint’s ruthless companion-that cannot be stopped.

Since then, I’ve been trying to find more intriguing horror books set in or around Christmastime. There are not many.  In fact, it wasn’t until I read a well-timed review of NOS4A2 that I remembered that Joe Hill has given us a great Christmas book. Read the review from Emily Einolander of Craft Fear that saved me: Hop in the Wraith and Let’s Go to Christmasland.


I have been in love with Joe Hill’s work since I read Heart Shaped Box (without knowing ahead of time that he was Stephen King’s son.) I can’t resist a guy who can write this:

“The problem with that plan was she liked guys better than girls, and she liked Lou better than most guys; he smelled good and he moved slow and he was roughly as difficult to anger as a character from the Hundred Acre Wood. ” –Joe Hill, NOS4A2

King himself touched on Christmas in Different Seasons, in the novella The Breathing Method. Then, of course, there’s all the wintry goodness of The Shining.




I had completely forgotten about seeing this until I ran across it today while browsing Netflix. This belongs on two of my existing best-13 lists, and on one I’m still compiling. If I’m remembering right, it’s also a beautiful movie. Heads-up: it’s far more of a psychological thriller than a ghost story.

Stars:  Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts
Available on Netflix streaming.


You’ve probably seen it, of course, but if you haven’t this is a really gorgeous film. It has it’s flaws, but its dark opulence and sensuality is refreshing in this season of unrelenting chipperness.

Rated: R
Stars: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins
Available now on Netflix streaming.


EDIT: I watched this Monday night, after posting it to & LATER in this post. Thus, I moved it up to the NOW section.

I’m wondering if this a gem we missed.  Yes, it is a bit of a gem, though a small one, and not very shiny. I was distracted during the first half and I think it was slow and a bit disjointed. It does pick up. Cage’s performance is really quite understated, and his character feels real. The story itself — which is based on the crimes of Alaskan serial killer, Robert Hansen — is compelling. The approach is unusual in that the Alaska Trooper Jack Holcombe knows early on who the killer is but can’t get enough evidence together to get a warrant. It’s frustrating, but I suspect it’s truer to life than most procedurals.

An Alaska State Trooper partners with a young woman who escaped the clutches of serial killer Robert Hansen to bring the murderer to justice. Based on actual events.

Rated: R
Stars: Nicholas Cage, John Cusack, Dean Norris, & Vanessa Hudgens
Available now on Netflix streaming.


If an item is posted in the “& LATER” section, it may mean that it has not yet been released, but it may also mean that it’s been around for a while, but is new to me. In any case, I haven’t seen the following yet, but my interest has been piqued. 


Has anyone seen this? I want to be clear that is a fictional story, done in the found-footage style, about documentary filmmakers taking on a New World Order type conspiracy. I am interested.

Rated: R
Available now on Netflix streaming.

IDA (2013)

This is an outlier but I am intrigued. There’s nothing remotely supernatural about it, but there’s just something about the atmosphere that is compelling to me.

Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation.

Language: Polish with subtitles.
Rated: PG13
Available now on Netflix streaming.


In the spirit of American Horror Story: Freakshow

Documentary; 95 minutes.
Available now on Netflix streaming.


I kept meaning to catch an episode of this series but never got around to it. Now the six episodes of the first season are available on Netflix streaming. Reviewers seem to love it or hate it … in particular the overwrought narration. I’m still going to give it a go, because I think abandoned places are beautiful and oh so creepy.

Documentary series; 48 minutes per episode.
Available now on Netflix streaming.


May of us are going to have extra time off this month so an installment or two of MST3000 might be just the ticket.

Here are some titles available right now on Netflix streaming:

Click the episode title to go to its Netflix listing.



BTW, did you know that you can use Redbox in much the same way you used to use a brick and mortar video store? If you create an account online, you can view the current contents of all nearby kiosks, reserve titles, then go pick up your movie(s) at you convenience. Start here:

Redbox Reservations

Macabre & Mysterious Media: The Hanging Tree, horror books on sale, & lots of movies incl. The Babadook.


YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE: The Hanging Tree by Jennifer Lawrence Static Waves EDIT: Both versions: Static Waves AND Jennifer Lawrence

NOTE: At first, I had a video here that featured Jennifer Lawrence singing the song (apparently from the soundtrack). Then there was a sweep of YouTube, in which all of those were taken down. I found a cover that I liked and swapped it in. NOW, a kind reader has let me know that the OFFICIAL Jennifer Lawrence video has been posted. Here it is:

And here’s the cover:

And here are the lyrics: MetroLyrics: The Hanging Tree


I got an interesting comment / question from Dave H. over on 13+ haunting movies for ghost story lovers:

I am trying to remember the title of a movie that I wanted to watch the other evening, after watching “The Others”. It’s plot is very similar to “The Others”, in that at the end of the movie, the family realizes that they are dead.

The movie starts with a family (father, mother and just one son, if I remember correctly) heading up to a house that they bought, driving a Jeep Cherokee (again, if I remember correctly) and they show the road as treacherous, then they are living in the house, something happens, the end of the movie is a crash scene where their car is pulled from a ditch or something.

It sounds so familiar, but I’m coming up blank. ‘Can’t even think of search terms that would help me track it down. Who out there remembers this movie?



book cover mccammon boys life

Robert McCammon’s ebooks are on sale today, including Boy’s Life for $2.99. This is probably my favorite McCammon:

Small town boys see weird sights, and Zephyr has provided Cory Jay Mackenson with his fair share of oddities. He knows the bootleggers who lurk in the dark places outside of town. On moonless nights, he’s heard spirits congregate in the churchyard to reminisce about the good old days. He’s seen rain that flooded Main Street and left it crawling with snakes. Cory knows magic, and relishes it as only a young boy can.
One frosty winter morning, he and his father watch a car jump the curb and sail into the fathomless town lake. His father dives into the icy water to rescue the driver, and finds a naked corpse handcuffed to the wheel. This chilling sight is only the start of the strangest period of Cory’s life, when the magic of his town will transform him into a man.
Samhain Publishing is having a 30%-off sale until the end of today, Monday Dec. 1st. Check out great horror books by:
**** Hunter Shea **** Jonathan Janz **** Brian Moreland ****
**** Sean Munger **** Ramsey Campbell **** Matt Manochio ****

P.S. That last one, by Manochio, is a Christmas tale — do you know who Krampus is?



I gotta say, I was a little disappointed with The Theory of Everything. Not a bad movie … just not as good as I’d hoped. Stephen Hawking’s story, of course, is compelling. Eddie Redmayne does a convincing portrayal of Hawking. The film is based on a book written by Jane Hawking and it departs from reality a fair bit. If you want to know the facts, check out this article from Slate Magazine. (Warning: if you read the article, you will find lots of spoilers.)

Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior
FINALLY playing at most theaters (in general release)



The campiest season of AHS. And a great deal of fun. Beware … they do not have any idea where the line is.

Available December 6th on Netflix streaming. (No link yet, check after the 6th.)




Still looking forward to this one:

Rated: R
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Playing at most theaters (in general release)



The reviews are saying that this is a cut above most horror. Apparently there’s a twist / something special about the second half / ending. (I’m not looking into it too deeply, because I don’t want to have my experience spoiled.)

Rated: R
Available now on Netflix streaming.


ScoobyClue brought TWO prizes to the comment thread of last week’s M&M Media post. (Apparently she’s caught on to my fondness for quirky 20th century period pieces, horror or not.) I’ll be watching for these.

BIG EYES (2014)

Rated: PG13
Stars: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Krysten Ritter
Opening in theaters: December 25th

Coming in January on ABC.


I am really excited about this one:

EDIT: I just found a review of the movie by someone who has seen it! Here’s what Megan, of Halloween Girl, has to say: The Babadook Review

Mrs. Horror Boom brought this film to my attention in her thoroughly informative post:

See the Spooky-Ass Short Film That Inspired Jennifer Kent’s Upcoming “The Babadook” – “Monster” (2005)

For more in-depth info about the film, go have a read.

If nothing else, though, you’ve got to watch the actual short film that led to the full movie:

No, really. It’s VERY good. It’s only 10 minutes. Click the play button.



BTW, did you know that you can use Redbox in much the same way you used to use a brick and mortar video store? If you create an account online, you can view the current contents of all nearby kiosks, reserve titles, then go pick up your movie(s) at you convenience. Start here:

Redbox Reservations

Here’s how M&M Media listings work:
If an item is posted in the “NOW” section, I have seen (or in some way experienced) it, and am actively recommending it. NOW items are immediately available to you if you have access to the same basic services I do.
If an item is posted in the “& LATER” section, it may mean that it has not yet been released, but it may also mean I have become aware that something of potential interest is currently available, but have not yet sat down with it.

Macabre & Mysterious Media: Movies for the long holiday weekend.


YOUR MUSICAL / HISTORICAL INTERLUDE: Parish Apartment Unlocked After 70 Years

For a little more on the story, read the Wikipedia entry: Marthe de Florian




This movie clocks in at more than two hours and forty-five minutes, but you won’t feel it. (As long as you don’t drink too much soda.)

Rated: PG13
Stars:  Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain
Playing at most theaters (in general release)

If you’ve seen it, and your head is still spinning, here’s Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining the science behind the ending of Interstellar:

GONE GIRL (2014)
I don’t remember if I mentioned this movie here at the blog. I suppose it will heading out of the theaters soon, so if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. It’s a great date movie if “normal” romances and rom/coms leave you cold.

Rated: R
Stars:  Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris
Playing in theaters now – might be on the way out.


Ogre and I saw this at the theater, when it was just called Edge of Tomorrow. It’s a fun, action-packed movie. If you haven’t seen it, it would be a good choice for group viewing during the upcoming long holiday weekend.

Rated: PG13
Stars: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
Available this week at Redbox

I LOVED this film, but not everyone will. One word captures its essence nicely: languorous. Other words that describe it include sensual, jaded, passionate, pretentious … let’s just say it might be irritating for anyone looking for a fast, fun movie. Be aware it’s not horror, despite most of the characters being vampires. In fact, I guess it’s a romance. Well, what do you know? A romance I actually liked, (besides Silver Linings Playbook … but I REALLY digress.)

Rated: R
Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton
Available this week at Redbox (also on Netflix DVD)

This is either brilliant or the cheesiest dystopian you’ve ever seen, depending on who you talk to. For me, it’s another one of those films I kind of hated while watching, but am now glad I’ve seen. (Some of the images and story elements have real sticking power.) It’s a risk, but hey, it’s streaming on Netflix, so see how the trailer strikes you.

Rated: R
Stars: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton
Available on Netflix streaming


And here’s the stuff I can get ahold of this weekend — that I haven’t seen — that looks good:



Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior
FINALLY playing at most theaters (in general release)


Rated: R
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Playing at most theaters (in general release)

PS: Nice to see Tilda Swinton and Bill Paxton getting so much work :)


I didn’t see the first movie, and I don’t have any interest. I thought the intriguing concept of a society that allows such a purge was totally wasted in a home invasion movie. I haven’t see Anarchy yet, but I plan to.  A review I read, by one of YOU, made me think, “This is the movie I wanted to see the first place.” (Who wrote that review? I’ll happily link to it.)

Rated: R
Directed and written by: James DeMonaco
Available from Redbox (and Netflix DVD)

I just watched an episode of MonsterMen about found footage films. I’m picky about these, but I am intrigued by The Taking of Deborah Logan.

…And now that I’ve watched the trailer, I am deeply creeped out. This one is the one most likely to seriously scare me.
Rated: R
Available streaming on Netflix



BTW, did you know that you can use Redbox in much the same way you used to use a brick and mortar video store? If you create an account online, you can view the current contents of all nearby kiosks, reserve titles, then go pick up your movie(s) at you convenience. Start here:

Redbox Reservations

Here’s how M&M Media listings work:
If an item is posted in the “NOW” section, I have seen (or in some way experienced) it, and am actively recommending it. NOW items are immediately available to you if you have access to the same basic services I do.
If an item is posted in the “& LATER” section, it may mean that it has not yet been released, but it may also mean I have become aware that something of potential interest is currently available, but have not yet sat down with it.

Horror in the night.

I dragged my husband to hell last night.

temp bedLately, I’ve been running on too little sleep, so last night I decided to take a hot bath and turn in early (for me.)

At about about 1:30 am, I finished ripping off my skin with my new, incredibly effective, exfoliation cloth. It’s a chore, but it makes you all silky-smooth. It also restores a kind of tactile sensitivity that you didn’t even know you’d lost. You “feel” more — a warm breeze which would have been pleasant before the flaying, is even more noticeable and more pleasant afterwards. (The reason this matters will become clear in a bit.)

After applying restorative unguents and potions all over, I crept into our bedroom where Ogre had been asleep for an hour or two. The TV was turned on and a PBS show was filling the room with  a dim light and a soporific drone. The cat — who is normally curled up wherever Ogre’s hands are (because he knows The Man pets soft things, even in his sleep) — was NOT on Ogre, but, instead, on my nightstand. Every line of his body told me that he thought he was hunting something.

He does that.

I gleefully put myself next to Ogre’s hands (because I, too, know The Man pets soft things, even in his sleep) and told the cat he was a fool. He ignored me and continued to stare into the corner.

I was turning on my sleep tracker when a peripheral motion, a couple of feet to my left, caught my eye. I looked directly at the wall just in time to see something big and insectile scurry behind the drawn blinds.

Now, I don’t really fear spiders, but I don’t believe they belong in my home, and certainly not in my bedroom. I turned on the bedside lamp and carefully opened the blinds so I could see just how creepy this particular trespasser was. (Ogre is used to me moving around all night, so this didn’t disturb him.) I couldn’t find a spider. I kept looking, because I knew I hadn’t imagined the movement. After a long examination of the windowsill, I finally found the crawler, but it was no spider. It was a huge, hideous, billion-legged centipede (about two inches long) and it was trying desperately to blend into the woodwork.

We were both frozen for a minute, then it moved. No, that’s not right; It undulated. As each of its legs rose and fell, I could FEEL a corresponding footfall somewhere on my skin.

I threw on a robe and ran to get the little vacuum, which is my preferred bug-catching tool. By the time I got back to the room, the cat was on the floor under the window, peering into the heating register.

Well, damn.

I plugged in the vacuum which immediately roared to life. I quickly unplugged it and soothed Ogre, who was becoming just barely aware something abnormal was going on. I told him that I had to vacuum up a big bug, but that he could go back to sleep. He did.

I changed from my robe into a heavy flannel nightgown while keeping an eye on the cat and the area around him. I made sure the vacuum’s switch was off, plugged it back in, and took it into the bed with me. From there I could watch the cat, as he watched the register. We waited.

Nothing happened. I turned off the bedside lamp and kept vigil by the light of the TV. Sure enough, The Thing eventually came out of the register and headed toward the bed. The cat did not notice as it skittered past his haunch.

I turned on the light, switched on the vacuum, and dived for it. It escaped …into the shadows under the bed. Ogre rolled over.

I got up, went into the living room, tucked my legs up under myself in the desk chair, and googled centipedes. I found this:


Ayup. That’s it.

I read the article entitled, ‘The House Centipede: Get Rid of Them or Let Them Be?” I learned that centipedes are GOOD bugs. That they hardly every bite people, and that they eat other bugs (including spiders.) That they are scared of people. And that an individual centipede can live for TEN-FUCKING-YEARS.

Then I read the comment thread. (My son has warned me repeatedly to never read the comment thread, but do I listen?) I learned that centipedes do bite people (and that the bite isn’t much worse than a bee sting.) That they often skitter right toward, and over, people. And that they seem particularly fond of getting right into the bedding, then …wriggling. (With all their billion legs.)

Every few minutes I “felt” something crawl onto my exquisitely sensitized skin.

After an hour of that, I pulled on a pair of sweatpants under my nightgown and put on some socks. I went back into the bedroom, exhausted and determined to get some sleep.

As I sat  in the spot closest to center of the bed, in a posture that would make a second grade teacher proud, with my head  spinning 360 degrees every minute or so — you know, like you do when you’re tucking in for the night — I saw The Thing again. It was on the wall, up near the ceiling, above Ogre’s nightstand.

I took a few deep breaths. I slid out of bed and grabbed the vacuum. I crept around the foot of the bed to Ogre’s side. I got into a good position and stretched the hose out so that its opening was hovering just over the creature. I switched on the vacuum and and saw part of The Thing’s body lift away from the wall … then The Thing came to life again. With some magnificent, twisting motion, it managed to escape the hose. Instead of being sucked up, it dropped behind Ogre’s dresser and out of sight.

I lost my freaking mind.

Perhaps that doesn’t convey what happened clearly enough: I shouted bad words at the top of my lungs, then burst into tears, then fled the room. (Remember, I was very, very tired even before this saga began.)

Ogre woke up.

After some explaining on my part and some consoling on Ogre’s part, Ogre asked me to sit with him while he waited for it appear again so that he could kill it. Of course, The Thing refused to come out where we could see it. (It was probably under the bed … or somewhere in the covers. Or behind the picture that hangs over the bed …)

Finally, I decided I would have to sleep on the sofa. I told Ogre I’d be fine and that it was important that he get some sleep, and yada ya. I know he would have been fine just going back to sleep in there, but he opted to join me in the living room instead. I am a lucky woman.

Well, I’m a lucky woman who will not be able to sleep soundly any time in the next ten years.

(Yes, I am aware that The Thing could be anywhere in the apartment now. So very, very aware.)



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