Lenny Burkhart is my next-door neighbor and best friend.
He’s handsome, with dreamy dark brown eyes and hair. He stands around 5’ 7” tall and says he weighs 130 pounds. He is 15, born July 5. He believes in the supernatural and has shelves of books about it. He has never seen a ghost, but I don’t tease him. Seeing the spirits of dead people isn’t glamorous. Mostly, it’s creepy and often frightening.
He owns a book written by Trevor Bettencourt about the history of Ridgewood. In it is a story about Mara Dekownik, the woman who once lived in my house. Bettencourt claims in his book that she committed suicide after my great-grandfather accidentally killed her father while hunting small game. Ghosts tell me otherwise.
My maternal great-grandfather, Benjamin Myers, and Mara’s father, Ludwick Dekownik, were neighbors on Myers Ridge and best friends. They hunted together until Benjamin accidentally shot and killed Ludwick while hunting in the woods behind Ludwick’s house. Ludwick’s only daughter Mara Dekownik was a witch who swore vengeance for her father’s death.
She conjured magic that killed Benjamin and his wife Verawenda. I have met both ghosts.
According to them, a witch’s agency called The Fifth Council House of Magic sentenced Mara to a 1,000-year incarceration called Yalendora, but she escaped custody, stole a valuable spell book from the Council, and used a powerful spell to fight them. The Council called on other councils and obtained enough magic to capture her. They added another thousand years to her incarceration for 2,000 years.
Yalendora isn’t a place, but a thing in which Mara is imprisoned by magic inside her portrait painted by another witch. Trevor Bettencourt owns the portrait and keeps it in the mansion that once belonged to Benjamin and Verawenda. My grandma sold it to Bettencourt and moved to Alice Lake when she married my grandpa.
Trevor Bettencourt lives at the old Myers Mansion with his wife, Ademia, and his son and daughter-in-law, Quinn and Laila Bettencourt. Both Trevor and Ademia are reclusive writers and book authors. Quinn is our town’s leading doctor and surgeon, and Laila is a dentist and orthodontist (which I thought were the same profession, but the latter requires additional schooling and comes with a saying: “All orthodontists are dentists, but most dentists are not orthodontists”).
The ghosts of my ancestors, Benjamin and Kate Myers, led me to the stolen spell book, which Mara hid beneath the floorboards of her father’s bedroom. I found the book after my release from the hospital and can read some of the spells, which ae written in a strange language. One of the spells can release Mara from her imprisonment. That spell scares me.
The dusty black spell book is called a grimoire, but it has no title on its hard leather cover or on the title page inside. Its pages are askew and filled with numbers and strange figures, like secret code, which are bits of history written as poems, spells written as songs, and some strange recipes that I’m sure no one would want to eat. I’m the only one who can read the book, when it reveals itself to me. When it doesn’t, the pages are riddled with numbers and strange figures. Having the book has been a blessing and a curse.
Some of My Psychic Powers:
Lightning struck me and, IMHO, unlocked strong psychic abilities in me. I believe everyone has degrees of psychic powers in them, but some people are more “gifted” (or cursed) than others, the same way some of us are naturally inclined towards music or mathematics, for example. The lightning changed me and made me aware of these abilities in me.
Psychic abilities are also known as extrasensory perception (ESP) and sixth sense. There are many kinds and I am slowly discovering and developing new ones.
For now, I can see past events when I touch people (or they touch me). It isn’t something I do purposely … it just happens. Doctors of ESP science call this Retro-cognition or Post-Cognition.
I can also sometimes see events in flashes of detailed insight before they happen. The moments are short and they “announce” themselves with buzzing sounds that only I can hear. Doctors call this Precognition or Premonition.
I See Ghosts and Spirits!
Mediumship or Channeling is the ability to see and talk to ghosts and spirits. The difference between ghosts and spirits is who is stuck on Earth and who has crossed the astral plane. Ghosts are stuck here for whatever reason, and spirits have left our earthly plane and travel the spirit world. Some spirits return to Earth from time to time, but not often because it’s a difficult process.
Having ghosts and spirits pop in and out is something I cannot control. And I cannot beckon them to appear. I always thought psychics channeled on purpose to earn money from customers who wished to speak to their dearly departed. This isn’t so … in my case anyway. It’s unnerving when they appear unannounced. And it creeps me out every time.