The first time I know I saw something was July 20th. It was a Saturday, and it was hot, and I was mowing the lawn. I saw someone – well, I thought it was someone – walk across the driveway. But as I looked again, I just saw the thing walking right through the hedge. It was just a shadow, like a five foot tall shadow, that walked across the driveway in broad daylight. I went in the house and lay down and put a cool cloth over my forehead; I told myself it was probably some kind of heat stroke, but I knew that it wasn’t. I just knew that I had seen something… weird. I don’t say ‘supernatural’ because what does that mean, really? But it was weird, and unsettling, and I think it was just the beginning.
I think that it really started on Wednesday, July 10th, 2013, three weeks to the day since my grandfather Joseph passed away. He was over eighty, and had been ill for over a year, and finally passed away in his sleep. I felt sad, obviously; I had been as close as you can be to your octogenarian patriarch, I suppose, but I didn’t feel any deep sorrow over his death. My parents weren’t overly distraught, either – he had been ill for over a year, as I said, and it was more or less expected, so everyone had time to make peace with it, once he passed.
I helped my parents with arrangements where needed, and my wife and I attended the funeral and associated family socialization, and then I put it behind me. I have a job and a family that keeps me busy, and life kept going on, as simple as that. I really didn’t give it another thought until July 10th, when I got a call from my father, saying that there were a few things that my grandfather had left me, and asked if I wanted him to bring them over, and of course I said yes. In hindsight…
My father arrived with two large items – a steamer trunk full of memorabilia from my grandfathers life, and an odd sort of portrait of my great-grandparents in a bizarre, hand-carved frame. My father said that they were family heirlooms, and that I should take good care of them, that they were connected to a ‘rich family history’. After recent events I’m wondering more and more what the details of that history are.
It was soon after I took possession of the painting and the steamer trunk that I saw the shadow figure, and I’ve seen a number of things since. If it had just been one or two things, I could pass it off as the light playing tricks, something like that. It’s not, though – I’m sure of it more and more lately.