For the last several months, lights have been left on in our upstairs hallway at night, after everyone is in bed. Yellow brightness gleams at midnight when my world is supposed to be dark and calm. As a mother of teenaged daughters, I wonder. Don’t they know we pay for electricity? But the seventeen-year-old goes to bed fairly early; the fifteen-year-old is the night owl—it’s probably her. She’s being inconsiderate, so in-her-own head that even when I remind her to shut them off, I still find them on in the morning. Ugh.
A few days ago, I came to find out, she is not being self-centered and thoughtless—she’s killing demons.
When I was a teenager, I checked under my bed. Every. Single. Night. My mom probably would have thought I had OCD if she’d known how consistently I did this. I seen Poltergeist with some friends, and it ripped the not-afraid-of-the-dark part of my brain to shreds and fed it to ravenous ghosts. It wasn’t until I got to college and I had a roommate to protect me that I stopped.
Last week, I was invited into the TV room lair with my daughters to watch a show they like called Supernatural. It’s a modern, gender-switched version of Charmed. The good guys drive around in a cool car saving innocents by finding and vanquishing demons. There are lots of shots of two good-looking twenty-something guys with some ghoulish gore peppered in. I get why they like it. We watched three episodes.
During which the fifteen-year-old, Bridget, kept pestering me to shut the TV room door. But the dog wants to come and go, and there’s a breeze in the hall. Can’t we just leave it open?
“Then it’s too bright from the lights in the hall,” she said.
“Then I’ll shut off the lights.”
Big sister Rebecca explained that Bridget needs the door closed and the hall lights on.
“So we have to sit in a hot room to watch TV so we can leave the hall lights on and the door closed.”
“Um…what am I missing?”
With the ubiquitous agonized teenaged sigh, Bridget said, “Because from where I’m sitting, I can see the demon staircase.”
“You mean our staircase? That we go up and down all day long? That staircase?”
“It has demons on it?”
“Yes. Most likely.”
“And the lights…”
“The lights kill the demons. So they need to stay on. But I don’t want to be able to see it. I just wanna watch the show.”
I shut the door, sat back down on the couch, and said, “Okay.”
After the predictable shared surprise between the two girls, I said, “Gramma’s house? Ghosts, and not the friendly kind.”
The hallway lights were on again last night, but hey, at least we don’t have to worry about demons lurking in the bathroom.