The Supernatural on 9/11

Coming Events Cast Their Shadow
Before Them

This is a true story

I was pulling into my mother’s house on the south shore of Boston, Mass., when my cousin called my cell phone. She was highly agitated, almost frantic.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

I don’t know,” she said. “I’m scared.”

“Scared of what? What’s going on?”

“I don’t know. Something bad is going to happen. Something really bad.”

I told her she was freaking me out. (I don’t like to be freaked out. I get zits.) I looked in the backseat where my two-year old son was sitting and got a bad feeling.

“Is this about someone in the family?” I asked worriedly.

“No! I don’t know what’s wrong, but something bad is going to happen and—” She paused. “I have to go!” she cried and abruptly hung up on me.

Well that was weird, I thought. I got to my mom’s and promptly told her about my cousin’s call. A gloomy expression spread across her face. “Your father could do things like that,” she said.

“Like what? Scare the crap out of me?”

My dad, who’d passed away from cancer six years prior, was “gifted” according to my family. Growing up, I’d seen him do strange things like move a penny without touching it.

My mom said, “Just before the phone would ring, your dad would say, ‘the phone is gonna ring and it’s Lou.’ Then minutes later, the phone would ring and it’d be Lou. That was your dad.”

“Good. You just gave me the heebie jeebies,” I said, thinking I could feel a pimple already forming on my cheek.

We put the TV on for my son while my mom, an editor, helped me review galleys for my book, The Witch and the Devil’s Son.

I remember re-reading the same sentence in a part of the book where the antagonist, Van Masterson, writes in his journal:  It’s like we’re both waiting for something to happen. And something will. I read that sentence over and over wondering what was wrong with that phrase.

It was about 8:15 a.m. when my cousin called me on September 11th, 2001 (9/11). Shortly after her mysterious call, the first of two planes was flown into the World Trade Center. It hit the North tower at approximately 8:46 a.m.

My mother and I stared at the TV and cried, watching the events unfold. Finally she said, “Coming events cast their shadow before them.”

“What does that mean?” I asked, alarmed.

“Your cousin’s call is like that old adage. Before a significant event occurs, often there are warning signs. Sometimes it’s just a feeling.”

My book came to a halt after that morning. The whole world came to a halt. In time, the cog of life began again, and we all exhaled like we’d been holding our collective breaths for a very long time.

I remember everything about that day, the menacing look of the bright blue sky and the utter absence of planes. And my cousin’s ominous call.

It’s been ten years and The Witch and the Devil’s Son is getting a facelift with a beautiful new cover. It’s only coincidence that this all came together now and that the photo shoot for the cover is a day before the 9/11 anniversary. Still, coincidence never felt so eerie.

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