Behind the Scenes

How to Exorcise Your Demons and Get Back to Writing

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–Sondi Warner, Writer/Blogger for Wrought Iron Reads

I’m back. Well, obviously. You see me here, so I must be. If you’ve been following my blog, you’re aware I was moving, a task that should have taken a few days, but one which took double the time because of a series of unfortunate events.

When I left you last, I indicated I’d be keeping in touch and have more entertaining content. Sadly, that never happened. Life got in the way. Or, should I say “un-life.” You see, I got the fun apartment. Yes, the one with the things that go bump in the night and the wonky internet service. I haven’t touched Facebook in a week, and I’m suffering from serious withdrawals, but that’s beside the point.

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You simply don’t mess with a woman’s SUV.

The point is, last Sunday I officially vacated the unit above the neighbors from hell after nearly two years of dealing with their incessant pounding on the walls every time we so much as walked down the hallway. They were putting in noise complaints left and right, and they had escalated to vandalizing my beautiful pearl white Tahoe. I figured if I didn’t move to another unit, someone would suffer a tragic accident. You simply don’t mess with a woman’s SUV.

Thus, I contacted the super and had the transfer arrangements made, had my lights and electricity turned on in the new apartment and scheduled for my internet to be reconnected here by that Tuesday. I was in a happy place, but we hadn’t made it through a full night at the new apartment before strange occurrences interrupted our celebration of escaping the neighbors from down under.

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Ghost of Christmas Past? Nah, probably just gas…

Sunday night, the wife woke and swore she saw a shadowy figure pass our doorway. She got up to investigate and discovered all four of our children were in bed and no one else was up and about. I thought nothing of it. I’m the logical one in the family, you see.

Inwardly, I thought about the strange scarring of our dining table the day we moved it over. It had been leaning against the wall and looked as blemish-free as usual until we set it up and discovered at some point between touching it and tilting it, it had somehow gotten a jagged scrape from one side to the other. Bear in mind, the scrape was not there before and simply appeared out of nowhere for no reason.

Regardless, I paid the occurrences no mind.

I turned over and went back to sleep. Unfortunately, the weird events started to mount. While we were unpacking, one of our guitars had tumbled and made a racket. No one was in the room when it happened. The following day, Monday, this occurred again while several people were in the room who witnessed the guitar and several other items thrown across the room.

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My ghosts rock harder than yours!

I wasn’t present amongst the witnesses, but I briefly humored the kids before explaining, “We’re on the ground floor now, you guys. There’s bound to be a vibration or two.”  I would’ve stuck to that explanation if we hadn’t left for a quick store run, only to return to find our kids sitting outside, terrified.

“The table started to shake really hard! No one was touching it!” our twelve year old exclaimed.

So, as I tallied the shadow figure, the flying guitars and this random act of ghostly vandalism, my skepticism wasn’t at its most zealous. Nevertheless, the children had to be calmed. This was all a silly bit of fully explainable nonsense.

Tuesday, the internet people came out to connect everything and, although they left wires dangling from the ceiling and snaking along the floor, we were no more “connected” to the digital universe than before they came. This was more upsetting than the myriad bumps in the night. I couldn’t call my service provider because they also handle my phone service, which was similarly not in working order.

Days passed and the events got spookier. My three-year-old kept having nightmares and wetting the bed (which isn’t all that unusual, but given the circumstances…) The apartment unit periodically filled with the smell of rotting eggs, and I remembered this was a characteristic presentation of a demonic haunting. Then, I cursed my damned writer’s imagination. It was the beans the wife cooked. With two adults, our four kids and our two teens niece and nephew over, that was a LOT of gas being dispelled—silent but deadly.

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Told you it was just gas.

As I reached for any logical explanation that might suffice, I puzzled over how I would get in touch with my client without the internet. I needed to deliver a story I had written for him, and I came up with the brilliant idea to siphon free internet from McDonald’s. So, off we went—the wife and I and the kids this time (since they were too terrified to stay home)—to sit under the glare of fluorescent bulbs in the stench of fry grease and get some work done.

A quick check of my email revealed I hadn’t yet been paid for my last project. That was heck. Major heck. The bill collectors were calling like banshees in the night, and if I didn’t get that payment, we’d be vagabonds.

“It’s very simply, my dear,” I explained to the wife. “We’ve been hexed.”

I had an idea of the culprit. Those pesky ex-neighbors from hell had to be sticking voodoo dolls and chanting arcane phrases over our effigies. They were trying to ruin us. All this simply because we had four children, one of whom was only three years old, who weren’t quiet as church mice when we lived in the apartment over them.

The wife turned the key in the ignition, but nothing happened. The battery was dead. At that point, we were so upset that we laughed as we walked a handful of miles to get jumper cables and find help. In the end, the trials and tribulations were just too much to take seriously and I said, “To hell with the blog.” We had principalities to battle. That was way more pressing than writing about writer life.

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It’s dead.

Thus, we got home and I decided to take proactive measures. I lit a cigarette, in lieu of sage, and walked through the unit smoking out any bad mojo. I said, “Say, ghostie, we got sh*t to do around here. Now, you can stay if you want to, but you best let me get my sh*t done and don’t be messin’ with my kids, ya dig?” I said it with a cool seventies swagger, figuring this was a hip ghost who didn’t speak my jive turkey language. Lo and behold, it worked!

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Alright, alright–back to reality!

After all was said and done, by Saturday the events died down to barely a shadowy stroll through the halls every now and then. I finally got back in touch with my internet provider and talked to six different people before someone got out here and fixed their mess. So, here I am.

I hope you haven’t missed me too much. I’ve got plenty of interesting things to tell you and teach you, but bear in mind I’m fighting my demons over here, too. Thanks for caring. Happy writing!

Sondi Blog

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