I had never seen a ghost of a human. It figures that when I finally did, it wouldn’t be what I expected.
Nor did I expect that this would be the strangest day of my life.
The house the kids and I had been living in was too big for us, especially after my divorce a couple years back. Money was tight, and I knew I couldn’t afford to keep it any longer.
Fortunately, my mother, whom I’m close to, lived just down the street and had a loft apartment upstairs, which she said we were welcome to use. Since I was already accustomed to driving up and down the street to help her with errands and chores (she has bad knees and can’t walk well), it made a lot of sense to move in with her.
One day, toward the end of our move, I told Kiani to come with me to our old house and pick out the remaining toys she wanted to keep, leaving the rest in bags for charity. I told her that she could do that while I mowed the lawn.
When we got to the house, Kiani scampered upstairs with her plastic bags, and I headed out back with the lawnmower.
I was just finishing up the last stretch of grass when I saw a flash of a child in a red shirt run past the house to the left of me.
I slowed down and looked, expecting to see my daughter, but there was nothing there. Besides, I remembered her wearing a pink shirt.
I shrugged it off and finished up, then headed back into the house to check on Kiani. Her timing was perfect, as I walked up to see her hauling her two bags downstairs.
“All done!” she said. “I left the charity bags upstairs.”
“Okay. I’ll pick them up tomorrow,” I replied.
I had just about forgotten what I had seen in the backyard. I loaded the bags into the car, and Kiani walked around to the passenger side.
I was climbing into the driver’s seat when she stopped and stepped a few paces away from the car, peering in the direction of the backyard. Then she opened the passenger side door and climbed in.
“Mommy!” she whispered, “I just saw a boy in the backyard.”
“Oh? What did he look like?”
“He had a red shirt on.”
I stared at her in surprise for a few seconds.
“A red shirt?”
“That’s weird,” I said. “I thought I saw a kid in a red shirt run past me outside, but when I turned and looked, he wasn’t there.”
We put two and two together and figured that it must have been a spirit, which wasn’t surprising…but me seeing it was.
As I pulled out of the driveway and headed back down the street to my mother’s house, Kiani became increasingly alarmed.
“Mommy, he’s following us.”
“He is?” I asked, wondering why she sounded so freaked out.
“I can feel his personality…”
I waited for her to say more, slowing down a bit and looking at her in glances.
“He is not a nice kid,” she continued, “like, at all. He was obnoxious when he was alive, and he’s obnoxious now.”
“You feel like he’s following us? Are you sure?”
“Yes! We do not want him coming inside! We need to sage the house quickly, before Grandma gets back!”
My mother, whom I’d inherited my Native American genes from, was far from un-gifted. But unfortunately, with her being nearly eighty and mostly conservative Christian, we didn’t dare to share our experiences with her. To my mother, there are only angels or demons. Nothing in-between. She would be terrified if she knew, and it would serve no point anyway. My mother is a content and happy lady.
We pulled into my mom’s driveway and got out of the car.
As Kiani walked around the back, I heard the distinct and unmistakable sound of a child humming.
I didn’t have a chance to remark on it because Kiani immediately said, “Humming. You hear it?”
(Later, it dawned on Kiani that the boy had been humming the same tune my daughter had been in her bedroom, while packing her toys.)
“Quick!” Kiani called, running for the door. “Sage, Mommy!”
“I’m on it!” I called back.
I left the bags in the car, went into the house and upstairs, to the sage bundle.
I quickly and thoroughly smudged every room, door, and window in the house, speaking firmly as I walked, asking The Great Spirit to protect and seal the house from unwelcome spirits.
When I finished, I looked at my daughter, who nodded and smiled.
She said the boy had stood outside the front door for a bit, then turned and left.
We headed upstairs to rest and naturally assumed the drama was over, but something else unexpected happened.
See, the little ghost dog from the last story had gone missing for a couple weeks prior to this. Kiani was accustomed to seeing him a lot in our old house, but it had been long enough that she had occasionally voiced concern that Gino hadn’t followed us over to the new house.
“He’s afraid of going outside now,” Kiani had said a while back.
“I think it was because of how he died, being hit by a car. Every time someone opens the front or back door, he runs and gets up on the couch.”
Kiani had been worried that he couldn’t find his way to us.
Well, as we were resting upstairs, glad to be rid of the obnoxious ghost boy, Kiani suddenly sat up and gasped.
“Mommy! Gino’s here!”
“Oh, good,” I said. “I’m so glad. Maybe he followed us this time.”
“No, he only just got here. He wasn’t here when we got home – wait…”
Her eyes widened.
“There’s another dog here! He’s big and black, with brown tips on his mouth, ears, and legs. His ears are pointy.”
It sounded like a Doberman Pinscher to me. I showed her a picture of one on my phone.
She said, “That’s it!”
Kiani continued to explain what she saw. She felt that this dog had lead Gino over to our house and that they were obviously friends. She was further amazed that the dog didn’t leave right away.
Instead, he stuck around for a while, lounging lazily beside Gino, who was obviously excited to be here. The Doberman was panting and making casual, gentle swipes at the smaller dog with his much bigger paws.
Then Kiani further surprised me by announcing a third visitor.
“It’s your wolf!” she said happily. “I know it.”
(Later, it dawned on me that Feyla had shown up as a response to my prayers for protection. I’m guessing it did a quick patrol of the house before heading upstairs to check on us.)
I listened, fascinated, as she described the beautiful tones of the wolf’s coat. She described it as being quite large; the top of its back was about the height of my waist.
I was completely in awe at this point. This had been one of the strangest days of my life, and all I wanted to do was just watch and listen, as Kiani did her best to explain what she saw with her amazing eyes.
“The black dog’s name,” Kiani said, “starts with an R.”
For some reason – most likely because the wolf was there – the letters O, C, and K jumped into my head. I immediately said them out loud, pausing at K because I realized Kiani was saying the same letters simultaneously.
She kept going, “Y.”
“Rocky,” we both said, again in unison.
This is nuts, I thought to myself.
Then she described one of the sweetest things, and I’ll never forget it.
Feyla laid down next to Rocky, and both watched Gino for a while. The little dog was overly excited. He kept bounding back and forth between the two larger animals and crouching down, with his butt up and tail wagging, in the universal doggie language of “Let’s play!”
Rocky kept with the casual, gentle swipes at Gino, but Feyla did something quite unexpected. The wolf lowered its massive head, stretched it out, and nuzzled the little dog, much like a mother dog affectionately nuzzles her babies.
It seemed to calm Gino down, and soon after, Rocky and Feyla got up and left, leaving Gino with us. He stretched out on the bed we sat on, quite content to be back with his friend, a remarkable little girl with eyes that could see him.
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