Possibly Covid. More Likely Possessed.
The city lights brighten up the flat. I’m looking at the phone again. 2:36 a.m. I peep through the bedroom transparent door. Good. Still no wandering souls in my living room. I breathe; it sounds shallow. “I don’t see dead people. I don’t see dead people. I don’t see… Wait, one more check. Yup. All good. No dead people”. Bigger breath. Relax, Aurelie. All. Is. Well.
I’m still stuck sharing my body with an unwanted and invisible squatter but at least, no dead man — or woman! — hanging in the living room. That’s a relief. First time I’m thrilled to be alone. Well, almost alone. Anyway, as long as I don’t see the ghost who is possessing me, I’m fine. I still have to pee though, and there’s no guarantee a wandering spirit isn’t waiting for me in the bathroom. That’s where I have my biggest mirror, I too would go there first, before making my big entrance. Crap!
Wait, do ghosts even have reflections? I know vampires don’t. I like vampires, they’re usually cute — at least in the movies. Added perk, they’re easy to keep at bay: garlic and holy water do the trick. Me being French, no Dracula would hang here; I put garlic in every meal. Plus, my flat is far too bright, I’m exposed full south and always leave the blinds up. Whatever, that doesn’t help with my poltergeist. I should have checked out more ghosts movies. Too bad they scare the wee out of me!
I’m a grown-up woman who lived in six different countries, restarted her life from scratch at least as many times, slept several nights in the rough, skydove from 9,000 feet,… and who’s terrified to go to the bathroom. Nonsensical.
How come I find dealing with hypothetical flat ghosts scarier than sharing my body with one? And I swear, pretending to be possessed isn’t a dodgy excuse to justify the few pounds I gained over the holiday season. The dude trying to take over me is the heavy-built type. I felt my belly’s aura jumping several sizes when he moved in withIN me.
I didn’t catch his name but baptized him ‘The Butcher’. Not in reference to his legal profession, I just had this vision of him wearing a leather apron stained with blood and holding an ax the moment he came over. The funky synapses in my head made the stretch to grant him a passion for decapitation. Maybe he was just a very sad butcher, living in a lonely world. God — Satan? — only knows.
Dieticians warn us that an unbalanced diet leads to weight gain. Stress can be an aggravating factor too. But nobody ever told me that being possessed could be another reason. I can’t even blame the poor bugger who hadn’t eaten in years to want to catch up. I bet he’d love a beer inflow to fill his prominent belly too. Too bad for him, I don’t drink. I’m praying that’ll make him leave early.
I hate being ‘intruded’, it’s giving me a headache, and, blurry vision. Unfortunately, it has happened a couple of times before. Because of the Butcher, I’ve been awfully lethargic and cranky for almost a week, despite doing daily meditation exercises. Maybe I should have gone for a doctor’s appointment, but I chose to honor instead the specialist already scheduled on my agenda, a psychic.
Originally, I wanted to get some insights for 2022. However, even before I opened my mouth, the wide lady with a gravelly voice and short breath assessed me, “You’re out of your shoes, darlin’. I bet you look in the mirror but it doesn’t feel like yourself.” My eyebrows rose in astonishment. I haven’t checked mirrors in some time, as I’m still unsure whether I’m at risk to see a ghost’s reflection in it, or not, but, hell yeah, something’s off.
How did it happen though? I didn’t hang around cemeteries or play with an ouija board lately — or ever! Esther Hicks, my favorite spiritual leader, teaches that the more you reject something, the more you activate its vibrations, thus increasing the chances to get it. Usually, I don’t ponder about spirits and shady stuff much. 80% of my free-time thoughts involve men. Entities aren’t really a day-to-day concern; fully fleshed souls — especially cute ones — are my thing.
Except maybe for the previous week. A week during which I started a fascinating book loaded with ghost stories. It’s called The Test: Incredible Proof of the Afterlife, by Stephen Allix. A book evoking — not invoking…but same-same, in the end! — communication with loved ones who have transitioned to higher realms. Totally worth the read. Just make sure you bring it to a priest to get it blessed before you dive into the first pages.
I didn’t speed-dial a clergy member before I started. It’s kinda late for me as Butch is already here, but I recite a prayer anyway. I don’t want another worrisome night. “God, grant me the serenity to accept…” Shit, that’s the OA one. I don’t remember the lyrics of the regular one… sorry God, words! Damn it. No chance Butch is gonna take me seriously; I can’t even remember past the first chorus. Verse, I meant verse!
After the third failed trial I finally remember the complete prayer I learned as a kid. I recite it three times in a row.
Check check. Butch, still here? I don’t feel different. I need to pee, as usual. I grab the Buddhist mala necklace a friend brought me from India. It’s the most religious item I have. I put all my faith in it. I speak the prayer a couple more times before I get up.
As expected, there’s absolutely nothing hanging in my bathroom, apart from my towels. I’d laugh at myself if I weren’t so scared still. My bladder empty, I run back to my hiding spot, in bed, under three blankets, and start a youtube meditative track to get rid of negative vibrations in the house. Thank God for the web, there’s everything in there — even my previous articles! (Like and subscribe to my Medium Channel for more snippets of my life — *wink wink*).
Eventually, I drift to sleep…
The next morning, I’m still drowsy. I feel the dark circles around my eyes. Not only possessed by a ghost, I also look like one. Terrific! I set myself to work but, this morning my brain is so foggy I can barely remember my password. After an hour of mobilizing all my strength — and vision — to focus on the most trivial tasks, I’m exhausted. I excuse myself, beg for a sick day, log off, and nap.
Three hours’ sleep and I’m in the same lethargic state as before. It’s time to follow the psychic’s advice: “buffalo sage and plain white candle”. I go for the oddest shopping run ever — said by someone who once went shopping for XXL condoms and batteries. For the record, it was for two totally unrelated activities but I doubt the cashier saw it that way.
A couple of hours later, a bunch of clear chrystals are on my bed, several candles are lightening up the room and a delicate provincial herbs aroma floats in the air. The ambiance is more prone to a romantic dinner than an exorcism. The ghost ain’t gonna leave! For all he knows, he’s in for a treat. I slap my forehead. Repeatedly. Maybe if I do it enough it will clear my third eye from this shit.
In previous instances when I needed a mystical rescue, I called a clairvoyant friend to the rescue. Unfortunately, she’s pregnant at the moment. I mean I’m thrilled for her, but it’s just bad timing for me. No way I’d disturb her with my disturbing story. This time, it’s one on one.
So I’m in for another night with my paranoia, ears all out, focussing on the squeaky noises in the flat. In the book, it says sometimes ghosts aren’t aware they’re dead. They don’t know they aren’t supposed to hang around anymore so you have to break it down gently. Ironic! I try, starting off with an ice-breaker:
“Where do fancy ghosts go shopping? High-end boo-tiques!
…Liking the joke, Butch? Okay, so…I know you’re all snuggly in here. I’m aware my body has lots of ‘cushioning’, but this isn’t your hood anymore. You should be floating way high up, like in space, or beyond. Not sure about the technicalities here. Anyway, just follow the light, the big one, not the neighbors’ Christmas decorations. You’ll meet up with long-lost friends and family, you’re gonna have a ball. Much more fun than being stuck in Canada in the middle of winter with sub-zero temperatures. Even I, wonder what I’m doing here at this point…”
The bugger doesn’t budge.
“Listen, I understand you may have done some not-so-nice things but trust me, old grudges have been buried since long — just like you! Total amnesty if you go and float in peace right now.”
I growl, fists banging the pillow. “Can’t you just leave me alone?! This is MY body. MINE!”
I storm off the bed. I yell at a chair with my sweater on it, ‘you think I’m scared of you, cheap Blairwitch’s prop?’. I torpedo it with a sidekick on my way to the bathroom. Can’t believe that freaking out is affecting my bladder so badly. And forever, no ghosts playing hide and seek — or Psycho — in the bathroom. Almost disappointing.
I’m well aware it’s 1:00 AM and I should be sleeping but as I’m up, I’m doing another clearing ceremony. My fingers get burnt while I light up the last remaining wax. I get the prayer mixed up again. The sage smudging gives my hair and pajama a BBQ smell. This is ridiculous. I’m ridiculous. I rush back to bed, frowning. I hear the toilet growling, “Oh you, go fluff yourself”, I yell, before hiding under the covers.
The next day, I’m still off work. Officially, my headache is a side effect of the covid booster vaccine. My manager is awesome, but I’m not gonna share my spiritual beliefs. I’m on a temporary contract and my very-down-to-Earth self needs to pay the rent.
Butch is giving me a hard time but I’m counting the hours before my revenge. Tonight, I have a bikini laser appointment. I’m usually dreading these regular sessions, it burns like hell. For once I can’t wait to start; I arrive half an hour early at the beauty parlor. Through it all, I’m in pain but I keep smiling. Still enjoying my body, Butch? I bet far less right now.
Maybe it’s because there are two masochists in me at the moment, instead of just me, but as soon as I return home I grab the book and read over a hundred pages more. And I’m glad I did because I understand then a key point: We’re never alone!
Not in the scary sense in which spirits always float around, checking what we’re doing… Actually, that too, but let’s not freak out. It simply means that help from our guides and guardian angels is always available. Your favorite gran isn’t hovering over you to check if you’re massacring her cookies recipes, she’s actually there to protect you from being murdered… or more likely help you avoid burning the cookies. Isn’t it sweet? I’d say, even sweeter than the dry biscuits she gave you while alive! Raisin, gran? That’s what you call sweet, how ‘bout some chocolate next time?
I drop the book and call upon Barb*. Barb is my spiritual guide. Unlike Esther Hicks, she’s in the ethereal form and solely dedicated to me. She’s my twin sister who chose not to carnate in this life to help me out instead… or, as life on Earth is no walk on Heaven’s garden, she decided to stay put on this one while watching me struggle. Yup, definitely a sisterhood bond here.
I’ve been told that I have other guides, but Barb is one I ‘met personally’. She popped up in one of my deepest meditations. I asked her several questions then. She ‘telepathied’ her answers in my head. I knew it wasn’t my imagination as the thoughts sounded in a different voice and seemed much smarter than my usual dribble. I didn’t test her wisdom jeopardy-style but our interaction gave me transcendent peace and it was enough for me to validate the whole experience.
As soon as I called upon Barb, I felt her enthusiasm. She must have thought ‘finally you remember me?’. I could almost see her dusting off her toga. Truth told I have no clue what she’s wearing, for all I know she may be wearing Forever 21, but a toga seems more suited for someone so wise. Asking her about the Dress Code in Heaven would have been such a good question! Shame I didn’t think about it then. Really, that? Instead of say, ‘how to end Word’s hunger’?… or the next lottery numbers?
Arf, I’ll make a list for next time we’re in proper communication. Now I just feel her soothing presence. Great but nothing impressive enough to get me on the stage of Canada’s got talent!
Regardless, realizing I didn’t have to face this hardship on my own, gave me the power I needed to burst through the fear cycle… and the easy fix to my pestilent Casper.
“My dear Barb, can you kindly lead Butch to a better place for me? Thaaaanks!”
Knowing my invisible guide is onto this mission, I finally relax. Time to watch my favorite show of the moment. Funny coincidence, it’s a Halloween special episode. I laugh. Soon enough this scary story will be just as much, another episode of my life. Maybe even entitled ‘The one where the Covid Vaxx got me delusional!’
* Their name has been modified to protect their privacy.
Many thanks to the Annette Street Writer’s Group