Let me start this whole stupid story by telling you I do not believe in ghosts. I really, really wish I did sometimes. I'll watch those shows on the Discovery channel or TLC about ghosts and psychics and stuff and I think, "That is so cool!" But I am still also thinking, "What a bunch of flakes!"
I think, maybe, if I lost someone close to me (KNOCK ON WOOD!) (see I am superstitious, though!) I would really want so badly to believe in those psychics like John Edward and Sylvia Browne, that I would believe anything they told me.
But I am getting off the subject.
I do not believe in ghosts.
But last night when I was putting Blue to bed, she seriously scared the crap out of me.
She was putting her bunny, Nicholas, down on the bed between her and the wall. "Nicholas goes right here," she told me, "so the Mad One can't get him."
Just like that. The Mad One. All succinct, like the Mad One deserves to be capitalized. Like something out of a science fiction book, like He Who Must Not Be Named or Those We Do Not Speak Of.
I tried to keep it light. "Madeleine? You are keeping Madeleine from getting Nicholas?" (Madeleine is one of her favorite books and she keeps it in her nightstand, so it was worth a shot.
She looked at me, a little frustrated. "No, not Madeleine. The Mad One."
I told myself, What a great imagination my daughter has! "Who is the Mad One, Blue? Is he a man?"
"Yes, The Mad One is a man. He's a mad man. He is very mad. Do you see him?"
I told myself this was silly. That the hairs on the back of my neck were silly. "No, honey, I don't see him. Do you see him?"
She nodded slowly, with dramatic effect. I thought, God, this kid is good! She could give that kid from "The Sixth Sense" a run for his money!
"Where is he?" I asked her.
She pointed to her window. "Right there."
Heartbeat. Heartbeat. Heartbeat.
"Do you see him, Mommy?"
I looked at the window, trying to look nonchalant and also to look as quickly as humanly possible. Thankfully, nothing.
"No. He's not there, honey. No one is there. It's okay. Let's read a story!"
So I tried to change the subject. I read her a story. I put the book away. As I walked back over to her bed, I casually closed her curtains a little tighter.
"So the Mad One can't come in," Blue told me, obviously still thinking about that. Then she added, "With his hammer."
What the ...? So Jonathan came in a moment later to say goodnight, and I pounced. "Blue, have you ever told Daddy about the Mad One?"
He smirked at me. "Oh, yeah. She talks about him all the time. Where have you been?"
"No," I told him, feeling ridiculous, "I'm being serious. The Mad One. Have you ever heard of him? He's this mad guy and he comes in her window and he's really mad and he has a hammer and--"
"Blue," Jonathan cut me off with a serious frown that said Chill Out, "tell me about the Mad One. Is he a man?"
"Yes," Blue said again, "he's a man. He's a king!"
"A king?!" I echoed stupidly. "The Mad One is a king?!"
"Mm-hm," Jonathan shot me a look. "A king. I see. Where does he live?"
"In my castle," Blue said, pointing towards her window. She calls her swingset a castle. "And he is mad. And bad. And the princess is sad. She ... she sits at her table and cries. And she cries... And then the pirate comes..."
I am such an idiot.
I do not believe in ghosts. I don't, Jonathan. I swear.