It was a dark and windy night at the old farmhouse as we all found bedrooms and went off to get warm and go to sleep. I had been to my friend Carina’s eighteenth century amalgam of charming rooms spilling onto other rooms, creaking staircases and a big country kitchen all sitting in a remote field in rural New Jersey many times, but I had never taken the little bedroom right off the top of the stairs.
And thus it was that in the middle of the night, with the wind howling through the trees and scratching at the cracks of the window frames, I awakened to feel that a presence was in the room. I’m not really sure what happened next, but the best way I could describe it was that I found myself in a state that was neither sleep nor wakefulness, and in this netherworld I reached out and grabbed the presence that stood by the bed in the pitch blackness. In this half-dream, or maybe it was only in my mind’s eye, I turned on the little amber reading light to find myself holding the wrist of a boy. He was about ten years old with an open smile, a mischievous twinkle in his eyes and a wild tuft of bright blonde hair.