My 19-year-old daughter, my younger son and I are sitting in my office, which is a loft at the top of the stairs. She’s working on her book (which she would never be doing in my office, but let that go), he’s sitting on the floor drawing, and I’m sitting on the floor right at the top of the stairs critting her romance novel manuscript. One of those rotating fans on tall poles is blowing. (We don’t have one of those upstairs, but let that go, too.)
My son starts to sing something — a typical little kid song — and my daughter turns around and says, “That’s really creepy. I was just writing that song into the story.”
I laugh. “Must be the upstairs ghost talking to him.”
The fan starts to blow harder — hard enough that a few of the pages that I’ve been working on for my daughter go fluttering down the stairs. She jumps up to retrieve them.
The fan blows even harder — now it’s beginning to scoot me across carpeted floor, toward the stairs, though my son, sitting right in the path of the fan, is untouched by this wind. At the last instant when I can still reach him, I shout my son’s name, reach out and grab the hand he holds out, and then yank him free of something that has him anchored to the floor where he’s sitting. I hurry both of us downstairs.
Upstairs, the wind turns into a gale, and above it a disembodied voice shouts, “Hey, bring him back here!”
I woke up at this point, fifteen minutes before my alarm went off. Am sitting in the office now, with the tiny floor fan blowing behind me, and I have to tell you I thought twice before I turned the damned thing on.