I hadn’t thought of ghosts and the paranormal since the days when we held flashlights under our chins to tell a late night story. I lived in the daylight; business in Midtown, fluorescent lights, swimming pools, beaches.
Then my business partner and her client, the great monster hunter and weird meister Nick Redfern, entered my life. The first Men in Black manuscript arrived and within a week, they began popping up in my world. All the cliched Men in Black characteristics were there; endless telephone interference; black-suited men with pale skin, fedoras and sunglasses, jerking in and out of view, and strange photographers arriving to snap pictures of the house. In the midst of a telephone call to Los Angeles, I was talking about a deal getting done and a rasping male voice said “you just think so” when I remarked it would go forward. My callee did not hear him; the deal fell apart in days.
Being me, I got mad. Things got quiet until one night, I was looking into a mirror and saw two pairs of those skinny, jerky, black-suited legs running down the hall behind me. I did what any red-blooded American woman would do: I told them off, loudly and with swear words. They didn’t come back. No, those particular ones did not come back.
After Men in Black was published, Nick sent in another manuscript, Women in Black. Great, I thought. Now a bunch of skinny women in dark suits will jerk through here. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The process was peaceful, uneventful, boring almost. The women weren’t interested in me, I thought. Phew! We published the book. I felt that great sense of accomplishment I get whenever another book launches out into the world. It wasn’t until Nick was doing his publicity that I saw her across the street on the stoop. She looked to be an octogenarian or older and was dressed like a 19th century Sicilian widow, all black lace and long black skirts. I jumped into the street and charged toward her, calling “ma’am! ma’am!” just as a Comcast van bore down on me. It passed and she was gone.
Did I make her up? Did I make all of them up? Am I that suggestible? I suspect I am. At the same time, I find it thrilling to think about parallel realties, one where everyone wears black and knows the future. But be forewarned; opening this book will open you up to something. Its origins? No one is sure.
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