Mercy Lake
a ghost story

as it was

From Emma Swift's Journal
October 15, 1963

I just never knew when something that’s been waiting years; I mean, hiding from me, hiding in the far reaches of my consciousness, and without much trouble because I don't want to believe; I mean, believe it could be true, I mean, sorry journal, for my repeats that is; what I mean is, just hiding at the edges of my life or maybe in the dim edges of starlight; and that thing, is the very thing getting ready to threaten me. Boy my editor would have a field day with that run on sentence. Really, that's why I keep you around you damn journal, so I can get a measure of peace. Shit, no one will ever read these words anyway so I’m free to ramble as I please. Right? So, back to topic; I absolutely mean and feel this; that something that I never imagined could be, I don't know, maybe carrying its own agenda and it's one that doesn’t care what's on my calendar or to do list. I think we all like to, no, maybe we have to, blind ourselves to things in the world we don’t understand. I mean hey, things that maybe just don’t fit into our version of reality. Certainly not mine. I seem to use a lot of energy not thinking about some things and hoping that it never really matters. It's crazy silly, like I just don’t want to understand more than what I can actually see in my comfortably shitty little life. I know there are certain things that just can't be true but shit, how else can I pretend to hold on to what little beliefs I have. Those things I keep deep inside. Things that money can’t buy. Shit, money comes and money goes but life yea, life rambles on. I’m not thinking about money or the things it buys but my real life itself. Take today; I decided to stop and wondered how often I avoid shadows? I mean shadows! Boy, I just had to think about that. Some days I don’t even notice them. On hot summer days I seek them out. But as the real darkness gathers around me the shadows come alive and they're as powerful as the light that makes them. Wow. Now I want to get away.

In my braver moments, I’ve wondered what hides in those shadows? Things from my earliest childhood I'm sure. Those things I feared. I think my childhood populates the shadows with monsters. Monsters built from the reality that surrounded me. Maybe from stuff left over from my time in the womb. Over the last few months I’ve become obsessed with this notion of shadows. Obsessed to the point that starting my next damn book has become a complete stalled out mess. Seems like once I decided to move to Norwood, I started to feel like the shadows were really alive. Even more alive than me. There was power there and it seemed to pulse with its own heartbeat. I just knew that there must be creatures hidden in there. Creatures of fear. Of death. Wow. You’d think I was eight years old or something but alas; I’m forty five. Unmarried. Childless. I’m way old enough to be over a fear of the dark. Maybe I was noticing something I'd never seen before. A fear of a deeper dark. A dark that lived within the dark. This really sounds crazy. I think I'll keep these feelings to myself. Just me and my good old journal. I'm just not going to run that psychiatric route.

To tell the truth; before all this, I mean Norwood, I seemed to never fear much of anything. That was probably stupid I know. I mean, not to carry around a heathy dose of fear left one open to attack. Right? Fuck, this darkness if that's what I'm going to call it, really started calling out to me when I was in my teens. So when it’d call I’d be out the door and plunging into the black unknown. Everything just ended with me becoming the loner I am today. Now that I think of it, a loner to the world of light. That's something else I never realized, until Norwood. I'd never really seen the dark for what it is. I could only see the edges. Glimpses of movement, nothing more. The dark others would avoid, I craved; running away to its warmth gave me a place to ponder my life, maybe in a forest lit by a silver waning moon. A sickle moon on a warm summers night, invisible Cicadas covering the trees and filling the air with their blast of see saw scraping, blended with humid air that worked overtime to steal my breath so it could use it for fuel for some future thunder storm it was getting ready to spawn. Tornadoes and death.

There were times when I would dive so deep into the forest I really didn’t feel at all like I belonged to the normal world. My world was my family and all that did for me was make me feel the shame that was growing inside of me. All this just while listening to the sounds of night. Me really feeling the threat of death in heat left from the summer's day. Today, something somewhere in the reaches of my memory, I think the real true darkness, would start to send tentacles unseen by me but felt as they wrapped fear all around me and pushed deeper into the edges of my memory, trying to steal those very memories away. Shit, it was my past, I mean, my childhood. I'm sure it stood apart from me. Maybe unknowingly, I’d built a wonderful mythology complete with false memories to boot. A true and complete mythological existence; a barrier around my life, so as to protect myself from some greater horror I just knew was waiting out there for me. Maybe for all of us. Fuck, really I just can’t dwell on it even here dear journal. I need to push it back into the deeper shadows where it belongs. Just let it wait. Shit, what's freaking me out is I think it’s through waiting. Moving day is close and soon I'll be back at Norwood House. As a child I use to like that place but I mean really; A house with a damn name? I had thought I'd never see it again. It would live in some part of my memories I’d carefully tucked away. Who names a fucking house anyway? I know moving to Norwood House will be confusing. Now as I ready for the move I have days that feel desperate. Sort of like how I imagine panic attacks must feel. Except my feeling is deep and desperate; like my life itself's on the cusp of extinction. It seemed like everything I'd lived was in preparation for my return to Norwood House. There was something waiting for me there; something needing dealing with and I was being groomed for the task. God damn it, I had memories too deep inside me. Memories that I’d pushed so far away, now finding them seemed near impossible. Most of the time I’d pushed them back and deeply away from my heart and soul. What sealed the deal was a strong feeling, no a reason that somehow my cousin Macy of Norwood House, knew that I was the only one for this task. How she figured it, I’ll never know. Maybe Macy could see things. I mean things I just couldn’t see at the time. For sure my fate rested ahead of me. Ahead at Mercy Lake and soon, I'd be at my new home, Norwood House.
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