In retrospect, I should have spent more than $12.95 on my protective garment. Buying it was sort of a joke, which turned out to be not funny at all. And I should have added a breathing apparatus like some of you suggested. Best of all would have been if I had stayed out of the crawl space, learned to ignore the constant weeping in my head and left the dead alone.
Months ago Rafe told me that Ada was the queen of her small underground, or under-house, kingdom. That the creatures there, the bugs, the fleas the other insects and the insects that live on the other insects and the viruses and the bacteria that live in the dirt and everywhere else are as much part of her domain and under her rule as the squirrels. And while he didn’t say so directly, I believe the purpose of these creatures was to guard Ada. And if unable to guard, to avenge. And so they did.
The morning after my adventure with the bones in the graveyard, I noticed small red patches on my hands. They looked like bites: flea, chigger, ant, mosquito, maybe even a spider or two. I expected some of that and ignored it. By evening the bites had been joined, literally, by smooth red patches that I took to be fungal. Everything itched. By morning of the next day I looked like something on a bizarre medical YouTube video. It got worse, so I went to my doctor who was amazed and called in several other docs who muttered to themselves and took pictures. (No, I don’t have any of these or any other pictures so don’t even ask.) They had no idea what was afflicting me, but they had never seen anything like it; I could hardly suggest that I had been cursed, that I was the victim of the ghost of a little girl who lived, and died, a hundred and seventy years ago. They prescribed a round of prednisone that did indeed chase the skin problems into a retreat. At the end of the round prednisone, with my immune system in tatters, I developed a chest-tearing, barking cold, or flu, or something, that slammed me hard. This is why I haven’t been blogging. After weeks fighting off this illness, I am a bit better, and I believe the attack is over, even though I now I still have to recover.
Ada is, was, indeed the master of her domain. When we think of ghosts and demons we think of creatures like ourselves, (only dead) forgetting about the kingdom of viruses, bacteria, fungus and other microscopic creatures that can be far more deadly than a pack of deranged squirrels. I haven’t looked up the incubation period of Bubonic Plague because I really don’t want to know. An Internet search of the dangers of handling old, or indeed, any, bones turns up nothing notable. If you’ve got a grocery bag full of old bones you can play with them, maybe even chew on them without getting into any trouble. Maybe. Just don’t collect them from underneath my house.
The thing to remember, that I need to remember, is that all actions have consequences, especially when you are dealing with circumstances, events you don’t really understand, or are not, in the end, understandable. I intruded on Ada’s kingdom, and I paid a price. Maybe that price isn’t even over. I can only hope that her bones are now at peace, in the cemetery with her family, if she had any, her friends, if she had any, or at least those others who died around the time she did and were properly buried. My concern is, my friends, there’s a skull in my freezer that I don’t know what to do with, and more bones, I am sure, beneath my house. Man-sized bones that go with the man-sized skull. Do I dig them up and rebury them in the graveyard with Ada? It seems insane to go back under there. I’ve been warned that if I continue there will be hell to pay. And it has come to pass, but there is more, I know it.
Maybe I got off easy this time, though it sure doesn’t feel like it.