Wednesday Weirdness: A Love of Creatures

pathway between large, gnarled trees with wacords "on the path of Wednesday Weirdness" superimposed over imageHi, friends. I was thinking about creatures the other day. No big surprise there. My mind often wonders that way. I’m a wuss when it comes to haunted houses, ghosts, and most things supernatural (despite writing about them), but creatures are another story. Leave the demonic slant out and I’m a fan girl.

Looking back, it started with the old soap opera Dark Shadows. Yeah, I’m dating myself. Everyone knows Barnabas Collins, but I was thoroughly smitten with Quentin Collins. I was six years old and captivated by the idea of someone turning into a werewolf. The thought of the moon altering someone’s behavior held me enthralled. Small wonder, the first book I had published was a werewolf tale.

Early photo of author, Mae Clair standing beside a large wood carving of a bat with folded wings

A creature I discovered in Rhode Island, late 1990s

A few years later, I saw Night of the Gargoyles, a movie that introduced me to flying creatures haunting the southwest. Around the same time, I watched a sci-fi movie with my parents. I have no idea what the name was, or what it was about. I just remember a huge insect like creature being emblazoned against the sky (still vivid in my head). Let it be known I detest 95% of insects, but this was a creature. An alien, most likely.

In my tweens and teens I discovered dragons, unicorns, and all manner of beasties from myth. That led to a love of reading and writing epic fantasy. In my thirties, I drifted away from fantasy into magical realism. The creatures became more subtle, sometimes wrapped in human guise. After that I fell in love with the bizarre. Stories of curiosities, creatures from cryptozoology, tales of visitors from other worlds.

Author, Mae Clair, beside the Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, June 2013

With the Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, 2013

Do I believe this stuff? Well, that’s as much a mystery as the cryptids, isn’t it? Let’s just say I’m mostly a skeptic who loves the possibility of “what if.” Despite all the logic and rationality of the world, the detailed facts unearthed by science and technology, I never want to lose the wonder and magic of childhood when everything carried the gloss of “what if.”

Creatures aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But for all the hairy-winged-scaled-hunched over-misunderstood creatures out there, I’m a fan girl. What about you? Have you got a favorite.

Book Review Tuesday: Tattoos and Portents by Judi Lynn @judypost

Warm and cozy window seat with cushions and a opened book, light through vintage shutters, rustic style home decor. Small cat on window seat, along with coffee cup by pillow, Words Book Review Tuesday superimposed over image

Welcome to the last Tuesday of February. It’s amazing how quickly time passes—didn’t we just celebrate Christmas not that long ago?—although when it comes to winter, that speedy passage is appreciated. At least when it’s cold outside, I can snuggle up with a few good books indoors. You’ll find my latest review below, a well-deserved five stars!


Book cover for Tattoos and Portents by Judi Lynn shoes attractive blonde woman i with tattooed arm and mystical headdress holding an orbTattoos and Portents
by Judi Lynn

In the latest Muddy River novel, Hester—a powerful witch—and her sexy fire-demon mate, Raven, are up against an evil priest intent on killing mortals to create an army of zombies. In the process, he abducts three witches who use spelled tattoos to alert others of their captivity.

Muddy River is a series you can basically pick up and start reading anywhere because each book has a standalone plot, but if you’re a follower and fan like me, reconnecting with old friends is a plus. And this time, the supernatural citizens of Muddy River are the midst of Yule celebrations. All the characters I’ve come to love are back, plus several new ones are introduced. There are two fun flirtatious subplots, but the main battle of good magic vs. dark magic is at the core. Druids and voodoo practices also get a splash of attention, building to the ending confrontation. I love when Hester, Raven, and their friends engage in battle!

What makes this series so unique for me is the combination of supernaturals who inhabit Muddy River. Lynn populates her books with all manner of hybrids instead of the usual “stock” preternatural characters. There are pureblood vampires, shifters, etc., but there are also half-sirens/half vampires, half-shifters/half fae—the combinations she comes up with make for fascinating reading as Lynn deftly sucks us into the lives of each. Tattoos and Portents even introduces a Phoenix, who I hope becomes a regular of Muddy River. If you like cozy mysteries with plenty of paranormal and adventurous aspects, plus engaging characters who feel like friends, you’ll love this book and this series. I’m hoping there will be many more to come. A five star gem!

Amazon Link
Genre: Werewolf and Shifter Mysteries > Witch and Wizard Mysteries

 

New Release: Grinders by C.S. Boyack #cyberpunk #speculativefiction @Virgilante

Happy Monday! Welcome to the last week of February. Today my good friend C.S. Boyack has dropped by with his newest release, Grinders. I was fortunate to get a sneak peek of this highly imaginative novel and am enthralled by this one, folks. I asked Craig to share a bit about his AI creations (especially Cole) and holobarkers (a creation I’ve been in love with since he first introduced them in a short story by the same name). Here’s Craig to tell you more…


Thanks for inviting me over today, Mae. I won’t go into a lot of detail that will show up in the blurb, this is a cyberpunk novel. That means extensive world building on par with fantasy, and part of that is artificial intelligence and robots. Those are my topics for today.

Grinders is set in San Francisco, so it’s already got a leg up on being colorful. However, that isn’t enough to make a story like this work. I took the concept of Siri, Alexa, and others then attached the jumper cables and threw the switch. Those devices are long since gone, having been replaced by robots, smart home systems, and holographic companions.

Close up of cute black cat with big yellow eyes looking at camera, My main character, Jimi, has a robotic cat. I’m including him today, because Cole was one of Mae’s favorites. Cole is basically patched into her apartment and the internet. When she needs something from the store, Cole summons a drone to have it delivered. She carries on conversations with him, just like another person. The fun part is that Cole has cat personality programming. He doesn’t quite understand why the catnip mouse drives him crazy and says so as he bats it around the living room. He’s interested in birds and fish, and doesn’t understand quite why since he doesn’t eat. His kitty bed is a magnetic charging station to keep him at full capacity.

Jimi’s partner, Lou, isn’t quite as well off. He doesn’t have a bot, but relies on old holographic technology that provides him with a companion named Piper. She serves the same practical functions, but also has a bit of sexuality. This is more titillating than pervy. My stories tend to keep such things kind of mild. The company that produces her is similar to a gaming site, which gives her a unique spin.

Piper is capable of getting new skins. This means she can be a completely different girl on the exterior, for a price. There is also a points lottery where they can use daily login points to spin a wheel that might let them win something for her. She also gets outfits, but those are tied to external purchases. A case of Budweiser might net her a one-piece swimsuit with the logo emblazoned across it.

Advertising is everywhere in the world of Grinders. Piper constantly pushes Lou to buy products that would provide her with new things. Makeup, hairstyles, shoes, a tattoo bundle, etc. She picks up on his conversations and actions to suggest things, which isn’t dissimilar to the stream of advertising we get via social media today.

There are lesser bots in the environment, too. Piper signs Lou up for a shared service for something called Handi-bot. Several people in his building share one Handi-bot, who cleans, folds laundry, and even cooks to a degree. Since Piper is a holographic projection, Handi-bot can assemble recipes and put them in the oven before Lou gets off his shift.

Cole even bats vacuum-bot until he’s wedged behind the toilet while Jimi is at work. There are high-rise window washing bots, delivery drones, and many more. They kind of blend into the environment, and they would for people who live under those circumstances.

Some of them get misused by entitled people. One example might be having a bot hold a prime spot along a parade route while its owner dawdles doing something else. The owner only wants to show up at the opportune time to snap a picture to share on social media.

Advertising is pervasive in Grinders. It’s programmed into the skins of public vehicles like police cars. One day the cruiser might be promoting a firefighter’s charity, the next day reminding everyone to get a flu shot.

One of the things I did was a callback to an old short story I published. There are holobarkers in Grinders. These orbs float everywhere and accost people with advertising. As an example, since my main characters are police officers, most of the holobarkers that swarm their encounters are promoting the services of attorneys.

I tried to keep the environment busy with this kind of stuff but in an “oh cool” kind of way that enhances the story. You’ll see floating billboards, holographic movie promotions, traffic boards, and much more.

I hope this post intrigues you enough to check out Grinders. I also hope I did Cole justice on Mae’s site. He’s one of those rare characters that took on a unique voice in my mind as I wrote him. (Jeremy Irons) That’s usually a sign that I’ve come up with a pretty good character


Book cover for Grinders, a speculative fiction novel by C. S. BoyackBlurb:
Jimi Cabot made one mistake as a starving college student. When she went to work for the San Francisco Police Department, it nearly cost her the job. The union stepped in and they had to reinstate her. They did so by assigning her to the duty nobody wants, Grinder Squad.

Grinders are people who use back room surgeries to enhance their bodies with computer chips, and various kinds of hardware. Jimi is sure that if she can just bust one grind shop, it will be her ticket back.

Paired with veteran cop, she soon learns that Grinder Squad is a cash-cow for the department. They are nothing more than glorified patrol cops, and generally get the worst assignments.

Matchless is the most wanted grinder of all time. He disappeared years ago, leaving only the evidence of those he enhanced during his career. With these pieces, Jimi picks up the cold trail to try working her way back to more respectable duty.

Grinders is a cyberpunk story set in a world where global warming has eroded coastlines, and society has solved many of our current problems by replacing them with new ones. There are cyber shut-ins, cyber-currency skimming schemes, and more in this futuristic tale.

This book also takes the opportunity to poke a stick at current issues that seem to have lasted into the future. Entitled people, helicopter moms, overzealous homeowner associations, and lack of decent jobs are all present. Never preachy, these issues make up the day to day work of a patrol officer.

I hope you enjoy Grinders as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.


Cool, huh? Trust, me, you’re gonna love this one! There are so many intriguing aspects of this story. I would LOVE to see it on a TV screen. For now, I’ll settle for reading it on my Kindle. To pick up your copy, use the link below, and please help Craig out by using the sharing buttons!

PURCHASE LINK

You can contact Craig at the following haunts:
Blog | My Novels  | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook 

bio box for author, C.S. Boyack

Cusp of Night by Mae Clair #Free 2/20-2/25 #GhostFiction #Mystery

Book banner header for Cusp of Night by Mae Clair shows single streetlamp on a dark corner

FREE EBOOK 
2/20—2/25
Ghost Fiction • Mystery • Supernatural Suspense
UNIVERSAL LINK

Hi, everyone. Goose bump alert! If you haven’t already scooped up Cusp of Night, book one of my Hode’s Hill series of novels, now is the time! Cusp will be free today through February 25th.

book cover for Cusp of Night, a mystery/suspense novel by Mae ClairBLURB:
Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.

Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house—a woman whose ghost may still linger. Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .


And . . .
to sweeten the pot, books two and three—End of Day and Eventide—are just .99c from all booksellers. That means you can can get the entire ghostly series for $1.98.
Isn’t time to embrace a goose bump or two?

END OF DAY | EVENTIDE


I’m grateful to my many blogging and writing friends who have supported me with this series. It’s such a wonderful feeling to know my stories are appreciated. Hopefully, the freebie special and discounted prices will attract some new fans. Please help me out by clicking the sharing buttons to spread the words. Friends, you are the best! 🙂

Wednesday Weirdness: A Missing Photo and the Mandela Effect

pathway between large, gnarled trees with words "on the a path of Wednesday Weirdness" superimposed over image

Today’s Wednesday Weirdness piggybacks off last week’s post about Thunderbirds, and the disappearance of a Pennsylvania farmhand named Tom Eggleton. If you missed it, you can find it HERE. Many of the townspeople where Tom lived were convinced he’d been carried off by a Thunderbird. Why?

Perhaps they’d seen a photo supposedly circulated in 1890. I say supposedly, because no one—up to the present time—has been able to find the photograph despite thousands of people who remember seeing it, and numerous publications which insist they published it.

If you’re scratching your head, let me backtrack.

In April 1890, two Arizona cowboys (or prospectors, depending on who is doing the telling) shot and killed a pterodactyl-like creature. The enormous bird was featherless with smooth skin, a head like an alligator, and a wingspan of one-hundred, sixty feet. The two men loaded the creature into a wagon and hauled it into Tombstone, where it was nailed, wings outspread, across the entire length of a barn.

The Tombstone Gazette ran an article about the incident on April 26, 1890. No photo.

In 1963, a writer by the name of Jack Pearl—while recounting other large bird sightings in Saga magazine—stated the Gazette published a photo of the “Tombstone Thunderbird” in 1886. Notice the discrepancy in the dates.

Also in 1963, a correspondent for Fate magazine would claim the photo had been published by the Gazette—and countless newspapers across the country. Still others claimed to have seen the photo in Saga or Fate. Others in magazines devoted to the Old West.

Grit was one of the newspapers thought to have published the Thunderbird photo. This is the Grit office as it looked in the 1890s: Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons unknown; uploaded to the English language Wikipedia by Pepso in February 2006 (file log). [Public domain]

Biologist and writer, Ivan T. Sanderson said he loaned a photostat of the image to an associate who lost it. Mothman Prophecies author, John Keel, was certain he’d seen the photograph in a magazine; there was even talk of it having been shown on a Canadian television show devoted to the supernatural. With more and more individuals claiming to have seen the photo, staffers at the Gazette searched their archives. Other newspapers and magazines did as well, but the photo has never been found.

So how could so many people have such distinct memories of something that doesn’t exist?

The “lost” Thunderbird photo is an example of a shared false memory most commonly called the Mandela Effect. Named for former South African President and philanthropist, Nelson Mandela, the phenomenon occurs when a large group of people recall something that never happened. Nelson Mandela passed away in 2013, but many people distinctly remember him dying in prison in the 1980s.

Author and paranormal researcher, Fiona Broome, coined the phrase in 2019, and runs a website devoted to it. Here’s a list of some cool “Mandela Effect” items that may make you realize you’ve shared a false memory.

And, finally about that thunderbird photo…I can’t find one in free use, but you can check out an example of it HERE.

When you’re all done browsing around, come back and share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to know you think about the lost photograph and the Mandela Effect.

Book Review Tuesday: Crooked River by Preston and Child

Warm and cozy window seat with cushions and a opened book, light through vintage shutters, rustic style home decor. Small cat on window seat, along with coffee cup by pillow, Words Book Review Tuesday superimposed over image

Happy Tuesday! If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know I’m a huge Preston and Child fan. I become giddy whenever they release a book and have waited a year for the newest Pendergast novel, Crooked River. My PenderPal, Marcia Meara, even convinced me to order an autographed copy of the hardcover, and I am so glad I did! Thank you, Marcia!

Of course, I also ordered the Kindle version to read. The other is for admiring. 🙂

And although I’m already in mourning that I’m going to have to wait another year for the next in the series, at least I can share my review of this fabulous book.


Preston and Child deliver another outstanding Pendergast tale, this time involving detached feet that wash up on a beach in Sanibel Island. Based on actual occurrences of this strange phenomenon happening in the Pacific Northwest, P&C have spun their own twisted explanation and moved the location to southern Florida. Pendergast, a special agent with the FBI, is unlike any other fictional detective I’ve encountered, which is why, nineteen books in, this series continues to deliver. He’s unbelievably brilliant, obscenely wealthy, and cool as ice, even in the worst of circumstances. The fact that he consistently ignores established procedure and can verbally vivisect someone without batting an eye only adds to his appeal. Watching him piece together and solve a crime is entertainment of the nth degree. Preston and Child have also given him an excellent cast of supporting characters, who filter in and out of the series through various books. Pendergast’s “ward,” Constance Greene gets to shine in Crooked River. Most of the time, Constance is prim and proper, but when needed, she becomes a skilled and lethal assailant as she proves in this book. I also love Agent Coldmoon, a Native American FBI agent Pendergast worked with in the last book. The contrasts between these two and how they interact is always fun. The book keeps you flipping pages with several divergent plot threads that converge for an explosive ending. Over the top, yes, but for sheer entertainment value, you can’t beat Preston and Child, and especially not Pendergast. Loved it!Crooked River
by Preston and Child

Preston and Child deliver another outstanding Pendergast tale, this time involving detached feet that wash up on a beach in Sanibel Island. Based on actual occurrences of this strange phenomenon happening in the Pacific Northwest, P&C have spun their own twisted explanation and moved the location to southern Florida.

Pendergast, a special agent with the FBI, is unlike any other fictional detective I’ve encountered, which is why, nineteen books in, this series continues to deliver. He’s unbelievably brilliant, obscenely wealthy, and cool as ice, even in the worst of circumstances. The fact that he consistently ignores established procedure and can verbally vivisect someone without batting an eye only adds to his appeal. Watching him piece together and solve a crime is entertainment of the nth degree. Preston and Child have also given him an excellent cast of supporting characters, who filter in and out of the series through various books. Pendergast’s “ward,” Constance Greene gets to shine in Crooked River. Most of the time, Constance is prim and proper, but when needed, she becomes a skilled and lethal assailant as she proves in this book.

I also love Agent Coldmoon, a Native American FBI agent Pendergast worked with in the last book. The contrasts between these two and how they interact is always fun. The book keeps you flipping pages with several divergent plot threads that converge for an explosive ending. Over the top, yes, but for sheer entertainment value, you can’t beat Preston and Child, and especially not Pendergast. 5 big, glittery stars!

Amazon Link
Genre: Thriller > Suspense > Crime Fiction
(Once again Amazon has some bizarre tags listed that don’t apply, so I listed my own above)


 

Wednesday Weirdness: The Disappearance of Tom Eggleton

pathway between large, gnarled trees with words "on the path of Wednesday Weirdness" superimposed over imageHi, Friends. Welcome to another Wednesday Weirdness. Thanks for visiting today as I roll out a post about a mysterious disappearance—and thunderbirds.

These enormous winged creatures have long been an integral part of Native American folklore, but original Thunderbird legends date back thousands of years and can be traced to Egypt and Africa. With wingspans of twelve to fifteen feet or more, the Thunderbird has been known to carry off small animals, children, and even adults. It is a formidable avian spirit, able to shoot lightning from its beak and summon the roar of thunder with a clap of its powerful wings. A storm spirit, it is a harbinger of change.

Dramatic sky with clouds backlit by fiery colors, black on the opposite side, with lightning bolts severing sky

Surprisingly, there have been numerous sightings of Thunderbirds in the 20th and 21st centuries. My home state of Pennsylvania is abundant with them. The story I’d like to share, however, dates back to the late 1800s, a bizarre tale that beings on a hot summer evening in August 1897.

On that date, nineteen-year-old Thomas Eggleton decided to hike to nearby Hammersley Fork in order to mail his mother a letter. He told his employer, a farmer, where he was headed, then set out on his evening trek. It was a walk he’d undertaken numerous times in the past without incident.

But Tom never arrived in town, nor did he return to the farm the next day. Worried by his absence and fearing he could be injured, the farmer traced Tom’s footsteps in the dirt, following the path he’d taken toward Hammersley Fork. When he lost Tom’s tracks outside of town, he enlisted the help of others. Bloodhounds were added to the effort, and the dogs tracked Tom’s scent to the middle of a bridge where it vanished.

Old Wooden Bridge through Heavy Forested Path

Fearing the worst, the people of Hammersley Fork dragged the river, but Tom’s body was never found. Spooked by the odd circumstances, murmurs of thunderbirds erupted. Several locals insisted they’d seen a massive bird in the vicinity shortly before Tom’s disappearance and grew convinced it must have carried him away. With the flames of fear stoked, schools closed for two full weeks until the panic eventually passed.

Four years later, the farmer who’d been so worried about Tom received a letter from him. Tom stated he had recently awakened in a South African hospital with no memory of his past or how he’d come to be there. All he could recall was that he had worked for a famer outside of Hamersley Fork.

Had Tom been abducted by a Thunderbird? Could he have been snatched off the bridge as many locals speculated, or had he somehow slipped through a hole in time? The mystery of Tom Eggleton has no definitive answers, but whispers and rumors of Thunderbirds remain.

This story was relayed in the book, Monsters of Pennsylvania by Patty A. Wilson. Want more weirdness? There are “Monster” books available with the strange denizens of various states on Amazon. Check them out! After all…

Who knows what creatures and beasties lurk in your neck of the woods!

Book Review Tuesday: Dark Hollows @stevefrech

Warm and cozy window seat with cushions and a opened book, light through vintage shutters, rustic style home decor. Small cat on window seat, along with coffee cup by pillow, Words Book Review Tuesday superimposed over image

It’s Book Review Tuesday time! Thanks for joining me today with my latest reviews. I spent a good deal of time formatting In Search of McDoogal, (my upcoming short story) last week, so my reading was minimal.

I had hoped to release McDoogal in February but with my publisher doing a big splash for my Hode’s Hill Series (Cusp of Night FREE from 2/20 through 2/25 and End of Day and  Eventide at .99c all month), I felt it was better to devote time to promotion for the series.

That means McDoogal will be releasing in March.There may even be a cover reveal in store before the month is out 😉

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy today’s review!


Book cover for Dark Hollows by Steve Frech shows a cottage backed by trees on edge of lake at night, all windows in cottage lit with yellow glowDark Hollows
by Steve Frech

I’m not sure if I liked Jacob, the MC in this book. He made horrible decisions when he was younger, causing his past to catch up with him in an unexpected way. What I do know is that I disliked the person who turned on him a helluva lot more—and that made for interesting reading.

Jacob owns a quaint coffee shop called Groundworks in the small town of Dark Hollows. His workers, and the people who populate the town, are wonderful characters although their roles are relatively small (the Halloween costume contest is a fun extra).

In addition to Groundworks, Jacob also rents a cottage behind his home for weekend getaways. When a woman who bears an eerie resemblance to his dead girlfriend, Laura, books a stay, Jacob’s world is thrown into turmoil. It’s hard to say more without giving away spoilers.

What makes Jacob semi-likable and redeemable is his devotion to his dog, Murphy, a lovable golden retriever who likes to play fetch with a red tennis ball. Murphy is a scene stealer, and I adored Jacob’s loyalty to him. Despite the skeletons in his closet, you can’t help cheering for Jacob as he recklessly tracks down the person who upends his world. The extremes he goes to, and the ending confrontation, all make for entertaining reading. Although the ending is rather abrupt, I found it satisfying. 5 Stars.

Amazon Link
Genre: Horror/Suspense > Noir Crime
Note: Although this is tagged on Amazon as horror/suspense, I viewed it as  mystery/suspense without horror elements. I’m not sure why that tag is on there!


 

Out and About with Blog Visits

A beam of light shines out from an open bookHi, friends! It’s almost the end of the week—I can taste Friday and the weekend. So close! We have been fortunate to have 40ish weather in Central Pennsylvania. Earlier in the week we had high 50s and a record high in the low 60s. SCORE! That’s my kind of winter!

Beautiful weather makes me want to be outside. Much like those gorgeous temps that have me spending time outdoors, blog wanderlust can kick in any time. Today, I’m making the rounds as the guest of two fabulous bloggers.

James (Jay) Cudney is interviewing me at his site, THIS IS MY TRUTH NOW. I had a lot of fun answering his questions and hope you’ll pop over if you have a moment. Jay is also a talented author (I’m a fan of his Braxton Campus Mystery Series) and has an excellent blog, so be sure to give a looksee when you visit and consider following him. He’s an excellent blogger, writer friend, and supporter of others.

Also, my dear friend and PenderPal, Marcia Meara (she gets the PenderPal reference, LOL) is shining a spotlight on Eventide today and helping me spread news of my Hode’s Hill Mystery Series sale. I hope you’ll pop over to Marcia’s place, THE WRITE STUFF to check it out. And if by some unimaginable hiccup in the universe you are not following this talented and funny author, be sure to check out her blog. I guarantee she’ll make you smile.

I’m closing comments here but hope to see you out and about! Happy reading and happy Thursday!

Wednesday Weirdness: The Ghosts of Time, Part 2

pathway between large, gnarled trees with words "on the path of Wednesday Weirdness" superimposed over imageLast week, I wrote a Wednesday Weirdness post called the Ghosts of Time, in which I included a long-standing legend in my family. If you didn’t read that post it involved a grandfather’s clock which belonged to my father.

While my dad was living, he always said that when he died as a way to communicate, he would stop the clock if it was running and start it if it was stopped. And yes, it did stop the first time the family was gathered together several months after his death. See my Ghosts of Time post for the whole story.

Old fashioned clock face surrounded by field of snow, bare tree superimposed over clock faceBecause of my father’s promise, clocks have a profound place in my family.

There is another occurrence that took place sometime after his death. My mother and I went to the theater to see The Omen. Why, I have no clue. I certainly couldn’t/wouldn’t sit through it today *shudder*

Anyway, after my father died, my mother gave me the watch he was wearing when he passed away. As a way to keep him close, I wore it a lot in those days. My mom and I were headed into the theater when she asked me what time it was. I think we were running late and were worried we would miss the opening of the movie. I honestly don’t remember the exact time, but we usually went to a “twilight” feature, so I’ll say it was 5:30 PM.

When we came out of the theater and were headed for the car, chatting about the movie, my mom again asked for the time. I remember glancing down, dismayed to realize the watch had stopped. At precisely the moment we originally entered the theater—5:30 PM.

That’s not really a huge deal. Parts fail, batteries expire, watches stop. I remember saying, “Oh. Dad’s watch stopped.”

Now for the odd part…the part that is a huge deal. As I was watching, the second hand started moving again and the watch began working. To this day, I’m not certain what that signifies other than my father had moved on to a heavenly existence and perhaps didn’t like the taint of the movie. It’s one of those vivid memories that stand out when I look back over my life.

Several years ago, something similar occurred.

cuckoo clockI’ve told you how I love grandfathers’ clocks because of my dad. I also have a love of cuckoo clocks because of my mom. She grew up with one and pretty much instilled that love in me.

Many years ago, my husband and I purchased a cuckoo clock. It’s now over twenty years old and hasn’t worked in several years. I had it repaired once during that span, but when it stopped working for the second time, I didn’t bother. The repairs were too extensive. Despite that, I kept the clock on the wall in the kitchen, because I like the look of it.

When my mom was living, I used to host a party for her every May. She passed away in 2012. In 2013, I held a summer party for the whole family. As the last guests were leaving for the night, I glanced toward the kitchen and realized the cuckoo clock was ticking. The same cuckoo clock that hasn’t worked in years. I can’t begin to describe the feeling I had when I saw the pendulum swinging back and forth and heard the steady tick-tock, tick-tock.

The next day I checked with everyone who had been at the party and no one started the clock. I had been in and out of the kitchen multiple times during the party and the clock wasn’t working. And yet, when everything wound to a close, it was ticking along as though it had always worked.

We stopped it and it hasn’t started again. I don’t believe it ever will. Once was enough, a message from my mother to say she had been there with everyone in spirit.

At least I like to think so.