As a boy, I wondered what could drive a soul to let itself be taken up, and swallowed whole.
But I was in the perfect position
To flower in the realm of superstition;
The spider on my wall, a drifting shadow, became my point of contact with the horde off apparition.
I became the mantle for my friends.
Who, like headless worms, began dividing, end-from-end.
And I came to know their name,
And being a child, I hardly knew any better,
I conjured them up so we could play together, and soon, we lost ourselves in the mystery of adventure.
They gave me courage at school, to stand up for myself.
And young as I was, I’d found friendship in the center of these shadows.
So, one night, as I was in my bed attempting a dream,
I felt my stomach sink, my fingers freeze down to the bone.
A man-shaped shadow clumsily climbed up out of my fish’s bowl. He was thin as paper, but incredibly tall.
I watched in shock as he sidestepped his way across my walls, coming to rest as a guard before the front door.
And now that I’m older, I realize what he was doing… But at the time, I was scared out of my mind, I pulled up my blanket to keep me safe.
I peeked out to see if he’d left… And he was hovering, stiff as a plank, above my face.
My eyes met the spot where his should be, my brain struggling to make sense of the shape before me.
And I realized he wasn’t blocking the door anymore.
I lost it. I summoned the courage I had left inside to run across the room, and switch on the light.
I cried “I banish you in the name of Christ.”
And imagined he’d evaporate, into the night. Of course, the light was now on, and I had no idea where he’d gone.
But I know his name,
And I lost no friends that night.