When I was growing up, I lived in a rural valley. My home was built about a quarter mile from the farm my father and his sisters were born on. Across from my house was what we referred to as the “upper farm” it was a collection of sheds, silos, and barns that belonged to the family farm. My cousins grew up on the farm and we were very close. One of my cousins is only a couple of months younger than I am so when she would have to go up to do her nightly chores I would go down and keep her company. The old barn was dark and creepy. I swear the spiders were bigger than a cat! One afternoon, when we were fifteen, the chatting lasted until dusk. There were only two ways to the creek that ran below the upper farm and we could see both roads clearly. My uncle was trying to repopulate trout so we knew there was no fishing allowed and that was why the man caught our attention. The strange thing was everything around him was colorful, but he seemed like a shadow. He didn’t have fishing gear, but held traps. My cousin was upset because he wasn’t supposed to be there, and we both had a terrible feeling. The creek was deep where he walked in, and then he just disappeared. It wasn’t deep enough that we shouldn’t have been able to see him, but he was gone. Both of us screamed and I ran up the hill and she jumped on the four-wheeler and rushed home to report on the strange stranger. He’d come out of nowhere and there was no car or truck to be seen.
I mentioned it to my dad later that night and the strangest look came over his face. He asked me where the man was exactly and asked for a description. Other than tall and lean he was too shadowy for me to have much to say. When I pointed out the spot, my dad looked ill. I’d never known my grandfather. All I knew is that he’d died a few years before I was born and that he was a hard man. My dad looked at me and said something I’ll never forget. “Your grandfather died trapping. He had a heart attack. That’s the spot where I pulled him from the water.”
The next day I told my cousin what my dad had said. She hadn’t known any more about our grandfather than I did. Her dad had insisted that no one had driven down the valley and that he was sure no one would’ve been trapping. He’d gone to look and had found no footprints, which would’ve been almost impossible given how muddy the area he’d gone in was. He said he found absolutely no sign of anyone. We were both quiet the rest of the bus ride to school. I don’t think we’ve ever spoken of it since, but I’ll always wonder if that was my grandfather introducing himself to two young girls he’d never lived to meet, or if it was just someone who liked trapping and didn’t want my uncle calling the DNR. I don’t know if I believe in spirits. I think some people are more sensitive to them if they exist, and some of those people are able to rationalize away what they see. I’m the type to do that.
This Halloween I hope you’ll curl up with one of my paranormal romances. You can check me out at www.http://ashlynnmonroe.com. I’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re looking for a great Halloween treat I’d suggest trying out Saving Sawyer from Evernight Publishing or Don’t Take Candy from Werewolves from Silver Publishing.