The Raven, The Witch, and the Cathedral

My daughter’s words come back to haunt me as I sat on Raven’s lap for warmth, his abandoned tarot cards splayed haphazardly on the table waiting for his next customer, I all the while waiting for a woman I had never met who would answer questions I didn’t know I had about a spirit I came to love but knew nothing about.

 “How will you know her Mom, how will you find the person who will tell you about our ghost?” she honestly asks when I tell her we need to go back, back to the place I believed I picked up a hitchhiker, a mischievous little ghost that became famous this past year for turning my car on when I was in the house or in the office at work, or some days the computer when I passed by, or for the light shows it gave me, turning my lights on and off in varying sequences like a child playing tag, or one chasing daffodils in the wind.

 The spirit that saved my life one night when my body failed me in September, I had called out to every living creature I knew and none could help, in desperation I whispered “ghosty ghosty, help me if you can, I will die if I sleep this night”, my symptoms easing up just enough, just enough for me to see another day that wasn’t mine to have, this ghost that in turn sent me into uncontrollable raging panic attacks whenever Hurricane Katrina was mentioned; Katrina was never my horror, not until I got lost and found in Jackson Square a year ago today, never my horror, but now forever mine.

“She will be someone who does not advertise what she does, babe” and I pause, “no shop, no booth, no peddler begging for money, she doesn’t do it for money, she simply does it because she can, and I will know her when I see her, I’ll just know, I”ll just know” I whisper to her over and over again like a mantra, “I’ll just know, I just know” I whisper to myself long after she has gone to sleep.

My reply comes back to haunt me as the tall woman with the long black hair passes our way, I yell out a “We’re open for business, we’re just up close and personal for warmth” so as not to lose Raven any possible fare, yet the exotic woman continues on with a wave and a laugh, I envy her height, she is well over five nine, and she makes it to the end of St. Louis Cathedral before turning around.

“She died young” the long cool woman says to me with tears in her eyes.


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