the haunting of my house

I’ve been thinking a lot more about Madelyn being psychic.

On the one hand I can’t imagine her not telling me something like that, but on the other… I don’t know. I mean I would have told Madelyn about my having dreams about her dying. Without doubt, I would have told her.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean she would tell me. She protects me from stuff. She’s always protected me from stuff. She knows how my brain can be, she knows how I get panic attacks and how I sometimes can’t get out of bed. She’s always tried to protect me. Maybe she didn’t know how to tell me that her brain was attacking her. Maybe she didn’t want to scare me. Maybe I depended too much on her to be strong.

Maybe — this is ugly of me — but maybe she knew how jealous I would be. I can feel it lurking around in my gut like a fat hungry eel; I’m so jealous of the idea that Mad might have a psychic ability. Maybe she didn’t tell me because she didn’t want to upset the natural balance of our friendship: she, the strong, bright, sensible one; me, the delicate, sulky, sensitive one, always in need of coddling.

This sucks.

Tilly’s on her way over, we’re gonna try to get rid of the spooks in this place. If there are spooks in this place. I don’t know. I feel like an idiot but what else is there to do, you know?

OH really quick before she gets here — I went back out to the woods yesterday. I was frustrated because we keep getting these leads and they keep not leading anywhere. So I went back out to the woods.

It was just how I remember. I stood under the arch peering into that dark, brambly, cave situation, but there was nothing strange about it. At one point there was some rustling in the bushes and I freaked the fuck out but it turned out to just be a lamb. A lamb, alone out in the woods.

So that was surreal. I tried to catch it, but it scampered off and I lost it.

Weird right? Idk it must have gotten lost or something. Like I guess a lamb in the woods isn’t that bizarre in the scheme of things, but at the time it just appeared suddenly out of the thicket and it was so delicate and small and alone — I don’t know how to explain it. It just freaked me out.

Oh Tilly’s here, gotta go — time to de-ghost my apartment. I’ll update later.


Alright I’m back. It’s sorta late, but I just had to write this down real quick.

So Tilly showed up with supplies, which turned out to be bundles of herbs, a pair of bells, and like ten zillion candles. She was totally cheerful and excited, and I realized right then that she wasn’t entirely prepared for whatever is going on in this apartment.

I asked, “have you ever done one of these?”

“Sure,” she said. “A bunch of times. My mom taught me.”

I gave her a tour of the apartment. In all the like stress and anxiety about the — you know — ghosts or whatever I’d forgotten that this was the first time Tilly was going to see where I live, so that was suddenly stressful.

My mom and I do alright but we’re pretty modest, you know? And Tilly’s sorta like Madelyn — everyone knows she lives in a big beautiful house, like her dad’s the sheriff. But like idk she appreciated all my posters so

It took a long time to set up. Tilly must have brought like a hundred tea lights, and we spread them all over the house. Then we settled down in the living room. Tilly lit five candles and set them in a circle around us. We sat between them, facing each other.

“Okay, close your eyes,” Tilly said. “We have to relax a little at first and center ourselves.”

I felt like an idiot and wanted to laugh at us, but Tilly was so casual and natural, so I restrained myself.

We sat there breathing deeply for a couple of minutes. I opened my eyes before she did to watch her face while her eyes were closed. Lmao I’m the creepiest thing in that apartment but what’s a girl to do man, her knees were like touching mine and it was all dark —


She opened her eyes and smiled at me. “Ready?”

I nodded.

She handed me a bell.

So basically we each lit a bundle of herbs — Tilly called them wands — until they smoked and then we walked around the house ringing our bells and waving the smoke around.

On the one hand I felt like an idiot. On the other I had total butterflies while we walked around the house, weirdly sober, with the fragrant smoke and the bells and candle light — it was m o o d. At one point my wand was starting to burn out, so Tilly leaned in to blow on it to get it smoking again, and we were so close to each other, with the smoke and the candle light flickering on her skin and her hair smelled so good and like ????? I don’t even know what to do with myself ???????

So anyways, that’s what I was thinking about while I was supposed to be focusing on cleaning out the apartment, but luckily Tilly seemed pretty focussed. We went through each of the rooms until the house was all smoky. We lit all hundred of those candles until the whole apartment glowed.


It felt like a whole other world. Nothing can hurt you when theres that much gold light around, you know? I can’t even describe the sense of relief. And then Tilly turned and grinned at me.

I wanted to run out of the house hahahahaha like BRO she’s so pretty????? And it was so quiet????? And her skin looked so soft??????

And then my mom came home. I heard the front door open and realized in some distant way that she was home, but I was too busy counting the freckles on Tilly’s nose to realize what my mom was seeing and what she must have thought about it.

She called, “hello? Shi?” and then she must have seen all the candles because suddenly she sounded super frantic. “Shiloh?”

I think I said, “oh shit,” because Tilly seemed to realize that we were in trouble because she stopped grinning and the magic went out.


“I’m okay!” I shouted, bursting out of my bedroom.

My poor mom. She was white. “Shil — oh.” Tilly had come out of my bedroom behind me. She stammered, “everything okay?”

And then she realized that I was alone in a house full of candles with a girl and we all got super embarrassed at the same time. Tilly left pretty quick after that.

But here’s the thing. The apartment feels a lot better? I might actually sleep tonight? And like I’d much rather my mom thought there was some romantic encounter going on rather than you know — full blown magic spells. Like she already thinks I’m losing my mind. So… maybe worth it?

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