2 december 2004
It had taken Dad years to convert the basement of his house into a study. The process began almost as soon as he bought the place, had been dragged to a standstill when Mom expressed displeasure with it, and only resumed in earnest after she left us. As I sat in an armchair that I hadn't seen before, I was reminded that he probably wouldn't ever be done to his satisfaction.
About a third of the books lining the walls were from my great-grandma Joanna, collected during her lifetime and travels, with her notes scribbled in the margins. Maybe a half dozen or so were added by my grandpa, Jeremiah, who was apparently much less of a reader than the rest of us. I really knew very little about him, aside from the fear both dad and the ghost of Joanna seemed to have at the need to say his name. I had added probably twice as much as him already, left here so I could use them when I had easy access to the rest of the library. That left the bulk of the books, added by my dad, and covering a much more broad range of paranormal topics and folklore from around the world.
"The question," I said, "is whether or not she's become something other than a ghost." I could hear Jackie sigh on the other end of the call. "What do we do if she's like, a poltergeist or something?"
"I guess we'll just have to prepare for whatever," she said. I heard her turn the pages of a book. "But I'm concerned that if we spend too much time with that we won't ever get around to finding her."
"You mean you won't. Remember, I can't just up and fly over to Chicago on the drop of a hat."
"Aww, are you worried your beloved Omega won't make it all the way out here? The way you talked about it on the L--"
"Her name is Alpha, thank you, and she'd be fine. It's the time off work and my rent I'm concerned about." I set the book on the little table next to my chair and leaned back into the cushion.
"Alpha the Omega?"
"You're the worst." I laughed, and I thought for sure I heard her chuckle just a little. "Look, just, promise you'll try? This involves you as much as me, you know."
"Yeah, yeah, of course. I'll see what I can do. It's just, if you find her, and then call me, it's still gonna be seven hours at best before I show up. I want to know you'll be okay during that time."
"I'll be fine, John. Just...set some money aside, or something, if you can. I really don't know what we'll be walking into."
"I will. Stay safe."
The blog of John Matteson.