Today we are pleased to present Darvin Carmichaels as our guest poster on the Paranormal/Supernatural topic. Darvin works as a handyman or jack of all trades (specializing in plumbing) in the Texas Panhandle area. A widower, Darvin has one 14-year-old daughter who is the light of his life. Like most Texans, Darvin is an avid hunter, fisherman, and lover of the great outdoors of Texas. He has a vocational Associates Degree in Plumbing and another in Carpentry. He enjoys church activities and spending time with his family. In his spare time, he also likes to tinker around with his Harley Sportster.
Editor's Note: Again, this is another long story. Much longer than even the last one, An Ominous Presence.
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My story begins when my wife's life had come to an end. Sarah had fought a 2 year battle with breast cancer. It was and is the most painful episode of my entire life. Sarah was greatly loved and no one loved her more than me and our daughter, Grace. Grace was only 8 years old when the diagnosis came back that her mom had cancer. She had no real concept of death and what it means. She understood that her mom was leaving us 18 months later when doctors told us she only had a 10% chance to survive another 6 months. Sarah lasted those 6 months, albeit, not without a painful, slow death. We were all devastated. Surprisingly, Grace did not seem as upset as I thought she would be. "Mom is only going to Heaven and I'll join her someday, Dad. She told me she would be waiting on me" said, my daughter. I could not respond to that. I just choked up and told her we would all join mom someday. Grace seemed puzzled by all the wailing and crying as I remember. But, that isn't what this story is about.
When we all came back from my wife's funeral, my mother came up to me to give me comfort over this ordeal. Little Grace seemed remarkably calm. Too calm, in fact. I was about to go to her when my mother motioned me over to a corner of the house, away from the crowd who were eating from the catered food trays and carrying on muted conversations. I should say my mother was a devoutly Christian woman. Her faith was unshakeable. She was that way until her own death a few years later. "Remember, Darvin, evil comes into your life when you are at your weakest and most vulnerable. The Devil never relents! He comes when you are at the weakest point in your life. Be prepared, son," my mother said to me. At the time, I thought it was strange my mother would say such a thing to me, considering what had just taken place. I just chalked it up to the stress that we were all under.
My most immediate concern was my daughter, Grace. She had me worried with her surprising calm demeanor throughout this entire lengthy ordeal. She was now all of 10 years old. I still thought she wasn't really aware of what had happened to her mother. It's easy to say "Mom is in Heaven now, the place you will see her someday." But, to a child, that has no bearing on the here and now or anything that they can comprehend. I talked to Grace, asking her if she was okay and could I do anything for her. "Dad, I'm fine. Why is everybody asking me if I'm okay? I'm fine. I love my mom and always will," Grace replied. I noticed her use of love in the present tense as if her mom was still alive. I didn't say anything about that at the time. I just found it a bit odd. and decided not to push her on this. I decided to start looking for a child psychologist. But, I knew I had to hide it from my mother. She had no use for psychologists of any kind.
Three months after my wife's funeral, things seemed to be returning to a somewhat normal routine. Of course, I had to have someone pick up Grace from school and stay with her until I came home at night. Sometimes, depending on the job, I might not get home until about 8 at night. But, those were rare in my line of work. I work for myself and set my own hours. But, one night, I did come home late, about 9 PM as I recall. I always tried to get home before Grace had her bath. But, my daughter was already in bed by the time I came in to let my parents go home. Mother told me to check in on Grace from time to time during the night. I asked her why, and she just shrugged her shoulders. "Grace said she was hearing noises from the closet in her bedroom. You know how kids are, Darvin," my mother remarked to me. But, it was the way she looked at me that made me apprehensive. After they left, I went in to check on Grace. She was fast asleep. As I turned to leave I did hear something move in the bedroom closet. Thinking one of the many toys of my daughter had fallen from its high perch, I opened the closet to check on things. It was dark, but the nightlight did shed some light to the closet. There was nothing unusual that I could see. But, for some reason, I felt just a little uneasy. So, I left the door to Grace's bedroom fully open, something she did not like.
I went to bed and almost immediately started having a nightmare. I dreamed something was after Grace, something dark and sinister wanted to possess her. I don't remember all the details. But, the fact it was about my daughter made me wake up suddenly and in a cold sweat. I got up to go to her room and noticed her door was shut closed. I don't remember Grace ever getting up during the night. I turned the knob to open, but the door seemed locked from the inside. I had removed all locks from the doors in my house because I didn't want it preventing me from getting inside to either my late wife or my daughter. I pushed against it, shoved it for about 30 seconds or so. I was about to call to Grace when the door just opened by itself. Puzzled by this, I went into the room to find Grace was still sleeping soundly. I was upset about the door. It should have opened immediately. I was confused about that and was thinking I needed to either shave the inner door jam or replace the door completely. It was during this moment of contemplating about the door that I heard a low, but audible "snicker" come from the closet. The snicker or muffled laugh was distinct but seemed evil to me. It made the hairs on the back of my neck rise up in alarm. I quickly opened the door....and found nothing ordinary again. I wasn't satisfied this time. I got my little pocket flashlight from my bedroom (all the while trying to be as quiet as possible due to my sleeping daughter) and examined the closet. Grace had so many stuffed animals, dolls until you could barely push the door shut. I saw something that caught my attention. Most of her dolls had needles sticking in their eyes.
I was upset at the finding of my daughter's dolls with needles sticking out of their eyes, to say the least. Now, I was officially concerned about the mental well-being of Grace. When I got up the next morning, I asked Grace about the dolls with the needles and where did she get so many needles in the first place? Grace looked dumbfounded. "Daddy, I don't know what you are talking about," Grace replied. "Oh, you don't know what I'm talking about, Grace? Well, let's go take a look in the closet" I said. I opened the closet for Grace and to my complete surprise, there was not one needle sticking in even one eye of any of her dolls. This was an awkward moment for me in front of my little girl. Grace looked up at me with a confused look on her face? "What needles, daddy?" she asked. "I...I guess daddy was just confused in the dark last night, sweetheart. I thought sure you had put needles in the eyes of all your dolls," I said to Grace. I quickly changed the subject and told her to go wash up for breakfast. I know what I saw. There is no way she could have gone back and pulled out the needles in each doll without me hearing her rambling around in her room.
A couple of days later, I was sitting at my kitchen table going over my accounts receivable in my books when I heard Grace talking in her room. This was nothing out of the ordinary since Grace frequently talked to her dolls. But, this seemed unusual. She seemed almost happy and she appeared to be engaged in a two-way conversation. I had to get up to find out about this. I opened her door and noticed her smiling at her bedroom window. She had not even noticed I was standing in the doorway. "Okay, I'll be sure to tell him what you said. Where will we go, mommy?" Grace said. When she said "mommy" I got a big lump in my throat. "Grace, who are you talking to," I asked. I must have surprised her because she seemed genuinely shocked. "I was talking to mommy, daddy. She told me we need to leave this house now," Grace said. There was an emphasis on "now." I was just a little perturbed by this. "Grace, we have gone over this before. Mommy is in heaven and she isn't here any longer. I know you are just a little girl. But, you need to accept this, sweetheart," I told her. "Daddy, I talk to her every day! And she is worried about us. There is something wrong in the house, daddy. Something bad is here," Grace said. Now, I stood up and looked at her. My initial reaction of concern had grown to full-blown worry of a parent. Outside of what I thought were needles sticking in the eyes of her dolls, I had not noticed anything out of the norm in our home. I decided to play along with Grace as best I could. "What did mommy say is wrong with the house, Grace," I asked. At first, she said nothing and just looked down at the floor. "Something evil, daddy. Something very evil," she said. I was taken aback. I didn't think Grace even understood the difference between good and evil.
But, before I left Grace's bedroom, I did smell a familiar scent...jasmine and rose. That was Sarah's favorite perfume and to smell it, made me miss her even more. I saw no point in asking Grace if she smelled it. I was afraid of what she might say. So, I chalked it up to maybe Grace getting in her mother's perfume. Again, I was not going to ask her. Unnerved, I called my mother and asked her if she used that perfume. She said no, she did not. Of course, she knew that was Sarah's perfume. Mother then made the unusual request that I bring Grace to stay with her for a while. I asked her why and she gave me no real reason to satisfy my curiosity. "Something is there, Darvin. I know Grace senses it. Please bring her to stay with us for a while. I could have Pastor Welch over to bless the house," my mother said. Of course, I felt she was overreacting. But, I did feel those sounds in the closet was a bit too much. So, I took everything out of the closet. Dolls, teddy bears, tea sets, old sweaters, just about everything one can imagine. I pulled them out and went into the walk-in closet. There was a faint odor...a faint odor of feces. I sprayed a deodorant in there that seemed to take away the smell. We did have a little Chihuahua named Tootsie. She had trouble controlling her bowels in the last few weeks of her life. But, Tootsie died about six months before Sarah. I just had the feeling something wasn't right in the house. Maybe my mother was right, there is something wrong here. But, I just didn't feel it was something supernatural at the time. I decided to ask Pastor Welch over for lunch on a Saturday with the express purpose of having him bless our home again. It proved to be the catalyst of which nightmares are made.
Not long after Pastor Welch left, I again went to the kitchen table to work on my books. I kept coming up short in Accounts Receivable and was trying to make sure a customer had not short-changed me. As I pored over my books, I heard a loud THUMP come from the hallway. Puzzled, I got up and went down the hallway. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary....except that faint smell again of feces. I was all alone since Grace was spending the day with my parents so I could spend time with the pastor and my aforementioned accounting books. I looked everywhere for the source of the odor. It seemed to be coming from Grace's bedroom. It was a bit chilly in her room, I noticed. I checked the thermostat to see it was still set at 72 degrees. I opened the closet door to discover, once again, needles sticking out of the eyes of every doll and teddy bear in that closet. I was horrified. There was no darkness playing tricks on me since it was just after 4 PM. How could this be happening? As if on cue, I heard the muffled "snicker" from the closet again. I started flinging dolls, toys, and clothes out of her closet like a mad man. I was furious now. "Who is this? What do you want?" I asked to the now empty closet. There was a very pregnant pause and then I heard the answer in a whisper, "omnia."
Omnia. What did it mean? What had taken over my daughter's bedroom? I heard nothing else from the closet, despite my continued questions of what do you want. Omnia. I put all the dolls, teddy bears (which, once again, the needles had disappeared) and toys in my daughter's closet. I decided to ask my mother to keep Grace overnight. Of course, my mother wanted to know if anything was wrong. Despite trying to convince her otherwise, she knew I was upset about something. I told her not to worry, I was just fine. After hanging up, I decided to eat something out of the fridge. I was thinking about what I had found from doing a Google search on omnia. I was not sure of the spelling at first. But, I found out it was Latin for "all" or "everything." What could that even mean? I had to assume this was some kind of evil spirit that had taken up residence in my home. My mother's warning the day of Sarah's funeral rang in my head. I had to think whatever it was, it wanted "all" and "everything." Maybe it means what it says....it wants our very souls. I remember my mother saying the devil wants "everything" from you, which means he wants your very soul. I was now officially spooked and that's not easy for me to come by. Very little has ever scared me. Well, except, being alone at night. And that is what was going to happen that particular night.
I remember I decided to turn in early. 9 PM is early for me since I usually stay up to around midnight most nights. I decided to sleep with the hallway light on that night. I had always hidden my fear of the dark to both Sarah and Grace. But, my mother knew my fear. After tossing and turning for 30 minutes, I sat up in bed. It was going to be a long night for me. I looked around my dark room and suddenly, I missed Sarah so very much. I missed her laugh, her smile and her ability to always put me in my place. As I was reminiscing about my late wife, the hallway light went out by itself. Puzzled, I got up to investigate. The bulb was not that old...maybe 2 months at most. Hehehehe....another snicker from Grace's bedroom. I was furious, I swung open the closet door in the bedroom to find, once again, the needles in eyes of every doll and teddy bear in there. "Who are you, you sonofabitch? You are good at scaring my little girl. Let's see how you act with a man," I screamed at the closet. The room was filled with my labored breathing from my white hot anger. No answer. Nothing. And then....Quid est, cultor crucis? Exterrita? hahaha, came the reply. "SPEAK ENGLISH YOU BASTARD," I screamed at the entity. Then this evil being complied with my request...."What is wrong, cross worshipper? Scared? Hahaha!" I have been very angry many times in my life. One time, a man whistled at Sarah coming out of a beauty salon and I went for him before Sarah stopped me. I was angry then. But, I was super hot with anger now.
I had never been really the religious type except for the last few months of Sarah's life. But, now, I was so beside myself with fury and anger, I forgot all that Sarah and my mother had tried to instill in me. I cussed this thing with words I will not type here in this story. And the more I cussed, the more it laughed. Finally, I said the one thing this evil entity did not want to hear...."JESUS CHRIST, IS MY LORD AND SAVOR!!! FORGIVE ME! FORGIVE THIS EVIL BEING IF POSSIBLE!!!" I screamed. Then, I was slapped down to the floor. I have been hit hard before. I had played Division I college football before a broken leg ended my career as a freshman. I took some vicious hits as a linebacker. But, nothing like that. I could see white stars in the dark room. I tried to get up, only to get knocked down again. I tried to grab whatever was holding me down but it was like trying to grab hold of an anaconda snake. This evil entity then grabbed me by the throat and was choking me. I'm a strong man, even if I do say so myself. But, I was like a child compared to this thing. It was choking the life out of me. I couldn't get it off of me. I hit it, but how do you hurt something you can't even see or hold? I felt myself starting to slip away, slip off to unconsciousness. I thought of my daughter, Grace, and her being alone without either of her parents. And, I thought of Sarah, Sarah, Sarah....
I awoke to sunlight in my face. The sun was rising and I immediately realized I survived to see another sunrise. I must have laid out on that floor, unconscious, for at least 6 hours? That doesn't seem possible. I have no earthly idea how I managed to stay out that long. But, as I struggled to get up, all the dolls and teddy bears were lined up in 3 rows in front of me. All the needles were gone, once again. But, they were lined up as if they were some kind of army protecting me. I was thinking my mind was playing tricks on me. But, then I realized, that the events of last night were not a trick or my imagination. I smelled jasmine and rose once again. I put my hands to my face and cried, I had a long, drawn-out cry. I don't know how long I cried. But, it was something I had been needing to do for a long time. Sarah was an angel. I used to tell her that all the time when she was alive. Last night, she must have proved me right. It was the only explanation as to why I was not dead that morning. I always said I would be there for Sarah, through thick and thin. She showed me that she would do the same for me. Even in death, Sarah came through for me when I needed her most. I never had another encounter with the evil entity. I suspect it moved on to more suitable hosts or, most likely, back to the depths of hell where it belonged.
I don't expect most, who read this story, to believe me. That is their right. But, I know it's true. And it happened when there was no danger to Grace being in her bedroom. That was definitely a plan. It had to be. Sarah would never allow anything happen to her daughter or the man she loved. It was a plan to rid our house of the evil that had taken hold in my daughter's closet. Sarah is with Grace and me even now in spirit. Sarah proved her love for us could overcome the great wall of death. That's how it happened. That's how my story ends.
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