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Checking In

by Walter Lacey

"Just put your hand out and touch them. Then they'll go away." This was some sage advice given to a six-year-old boy by his ten-year-old sister.

Our home was in an apartment building in Madrid, Spain. We lived on the 3rd floor and our apartment had three bedrooms, a living room, a dining room and a kitchen with a "maid's room” in back. Since we didn't have a live-in maid, that room went to the only son of four children. I was kept at the other end of the apartment, well away from the rest of the family. It did have its advantages for mischief-making; however, there were also disadvantages to being so far away from the others.

The trouble started one night while I was asleep in my bed, in that room. I was lying on my back when I opened my eyes and saw the face of a man staring down at me from the ceiling. "Hello," he said in a very matter-of-fact, friendly sort of way.

I was six. I had never seen a stranger staring down at me from my bedroom ceiling in the middle of the night or any other time of day for that matter. So naturally, I shut my eyes and started screaming bloody murder. I didn't stop screaming until my mother rushed into my room. I'm sure I woke the whole family including the neighbors one floor above and below us. "You just had a dream," my mother kept trying to reassure me. “But my eyes were opened,” I told her. "You just dreamed your eyes were opened."

The next day was full of "Why were you screaming, Walter?", "Oh, you just had a dream. There was nobody in your room." No “body” was right. It was more like some thing. The only person who gave me any practical advice was my sister, Karin: "The next time that happens, just put your hand out and touch them. Then they'll go away. They'll just disappear."

I don't know how much time went by before another “dream” like that occurred. But one night it did. I woke up, opened my eyes and then sat up. From my right, very slowly, there appeared a woman floating by me, face up, as if she were lying on an invisible bed.

Her eyes were closed and she said nothing. She was very beautiful, maybe in her early twenties. She looked older than my eldest sister who was probably sixteen at the time. The woman's skin looked white and pale. Her hair was long and dark, her arms lie next to her and she was wearing a white dress. With a tiara, rings and necklaces adorned in green, red and blue jewels, she almost seemed to be glowing in the darkness. I thought she was a princess or a storybook fairy.

After she passed by, she seemed to float around behind me. As I waited, I did not panic. In fact, I wasn't even scared. And then she reappeared, slowly floating by again from my right to my left. Eyes still closed, not a whisper from her mouth. I remembered what Karin had told me, so I extended my arm to touch her with my hand. It went right through her and she did not disappear.

She continued her slow journey around me and I lost sight of her. I waited for her to come back again, but instead, I just heard a light-hearted laugh coming from behind and above me. I thought the princess had floated up and out of my room through the ceiling. I also thought she was probably very amused by my attempt to make her disappear as if she were just a dream.

The following day, I began thinking again about the man who stared down at me from my bedroom ceiling and the huge amount of fear and panic he caused. But I came to the conclusion that he really hadn't shown any bad intentions and that he and the princess seemed to be connected somehow. Whether they were ghosts or spirits, I sensed that the woman appeared to me as a calming affect. Maybe they were also checking to see if I was all right with their being there. Whatever they did must have worked, because from that night on, I always felt comfortable sleeping in that room.

Copyright © 2013 by Walter Lacey

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