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Apparition Sighting, Thursday, January 19, 7:30 PM


Paranormal Maven
At work my buddies had to pull a double to test and inspect fire suppression equipment in the hoods in the hospital kitchen. In an hour and a half, my wife would be ready to be picked up from her shift as an RN at the same hospital. Sometimes, she is off an hour early or so, depending on how many cases they have had, how close they are to finishing, how many of them are needed. I am going in early to sit at my desk and wait for her and to provide computer support to the coworkers still in the field and to show them a wood sculpture I have been carving.

It is a winding road through a forest to the hospital. There are hiking trails throughout it and occasionally a one acre or so lot just off the road with a mansion on it. Seeing those, I always wonder: do doctors live there? Administrators? Good location, prime real estate. Who else could afford it?

There is still snow piled along the roadsides where the plows pushed it up, but it's melted everywhere else. We just had 10 inches in a single night, unusual but not unheard of in this town. We get snow every year but not this much over so short a time.

In my ears, new bluetooth headphones playing an episode of "The Last Podcast on the Left," a new discovery of mine to which I've been binge-listening. They are telling about Jack the Ripper, who he may have been, what he is alleged to have done, cracking jokes along the way. They are a trio of professional comedians who spatter their podcast with improv comedy. They are very good at it.

The speed limit on this road is 25 MPH. As I said, it is a winding road, shooting up a mountain over a long series of switchbacks and sudden turns. There is a faster way to the hospital, from the other side of town, or if you know the secret route down the highway and turning up a few residential streets where you then join the last part of this winding road, bypassing the forest. On this day I'm taking the forest, you see. It is raining heavily. Did I mention that? It's been so typical here for the last few months I hardly noticed it.

About halfway down this part of the drive, I see what from a distance appears to be a bicyclist riding in the shadows. I slow down and flash my lights to let him know I'm there, a habit picked up by motorcycle riding, one of my favorite pastimes. I have not been riding in a week and a half because of the snow, however. It is just now riding weather again.

Approaching it closer, it begins to show a density unlike what you'd typically see in a bicycle; I can see through it. What the?! I slow down, expecting it to dissolve in the headlight's play of light and shadow, but it maintains just this apparent density, like it is made of some actual matter that is just barely touching our world. It is a bicyclist, no doubt, but it is also an apparition. I stare as it passes in front of me perpendicular to the car about ten feet in front now. It crosses all of the way across the road. I see it clearly and unmistakably, an apparition.

My phone dings, my wife is ready early. Will I come get her now? Already on the way, sweetheart, was going in early anyway to hang out and wait for you. You'll never guess what happened...

I call one of my coworkers. Hey I will not make it in but guess what I just saw. What did you see?

The true story you just read.