a 39-year-old male from Springfield, MO/Phoenix, AZ, United States

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"“Am I afraid of ghosts? My life experience has taught me to be much more afraid of what a human is capable of in broad daylight than what a ghost is capable of at night.” ― Steve Maraboli"

My name is Terry L. Hutton. But you may call me TL. Only my mother and the ghost (Yes, you read correctly - I employed use of the noun ghost, as defined by Oxford as 'An apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image') of my fiancee, Charity Anne, address me by my adoptive Christian Name. What can I say? Just like my crooked country boy smile, I feel my name is just too damned Caucasian for my Mexica-Cherokee lineage.

For as long as I can remember I have coveted the "common" lives of others; that Apple Pie life that most civilized, cultured, and educated red-blooded Americans live. A wife, 2.5 children, a dog running 'round after the children, working some dead-end nine-to-five job, and a white picket fence. Hell, maybe even a minivan for good measure? Well, perhaps not a minivan, per se. But you get the idea: My own li'l Slice 'O the American Dream. Well, that and for it to be said once I am gone that "His stories and books were read and enjoyed by many." That's not too much to demand out of one's life, is it?

But let's face reality, yes? That Apple Pie life is a life that I will never truly know.

Because - Well, because not one damned thing about my life has ever been "common." Well, not in the sense of normalcy that most civilized, cultured, and educated red-blooded Americans would employ the adjective, that is.

No. Not when the world, the flesh, and the Old Gods conspire equally against my blood.

I may very well be a great many things - a man, a husband, an ex-soldier, a business owner, even a pendajo to many - but a writer, well, that I have always been. And just like any self-respecting Obsessive-Compulsive artist, by no means do I consider myself a great artist. It is a hobby, a talent that has always come naturally to me. I have always seen the world through eyes different than most - shadows writhing within the shadows, phantasms looming in the darkness, all those good 'ol creepy-crawly things that go BUMP! in the night. Things you never see nor hear if you have yourself an Apple Pie life, I can assure you that.

I have always felt compelled to write. And in such, have I always felt compelled to write about those phantasms looming in the darkness.

Such is the gift I was given. The benediction bequethed to me by blood from whatever Power(s) That Be who chose me for the task.

And in my experiences - Well, in my experiences, no blessing ever comes without a far greater curse.

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