I woke to the sound of rumbling thunder; I love storms, don’t get me wrong, but living here, in the canyon, so isolated from people, storms seemed more sinister. Lightning raced across the sky; thunder cracked. I checked my phone which was on the nightstand, five am. No wonder why my husband wasn’t home; he had probably left for work at four am. He worked as a bus driver, and was up at unholy hours. Practice for what was on the horizon; babies.

He left the bedroom door open, and in the darkness, I saw a man standing there. “Al?” I called out. I knew that sometimes his old man came over, but my pale face was paper white. “Jeff?”

I got out of bed, thinking maybe it was our friend Sarah, where we lived, no one locked their doors. Before I stepped out of the bedroom, I decided to check the bathroom. Then I heard the whispers. The oldest shanty heard by Schizophrenics. Someone was in the kitchen, but I still checked the water heater closet and behind the shower curtain. The reason for this is I’m Schizophrenic. I often hear that same silly shanty.

So I hear voices. I stepped into the kitchen and turned the light on. No one was there.

I got out a can of coke and started to drink, feeling as though someone was watching me from the living room. With a crash of lightning, the lights went out, leaving me to fumble in the cupboard for my flashlight. Then I heard the voice, a voice that was no part of my Schizophrenia, my dad’s voice. My dad who has been dead for almost eleven years. I do realize I have a voice that mocks his voice, but usually it will say things I’ve heard him say when he was alive. Usually filled with spite. What he was saying now was almost impossible for him to say back when he was alive. I have a stuffed animal that helps me if I ever go psychotic. It’s a plush of the plague that I have named Yerci. The voice was talking to Yerci. Calling Yerci by name.

I tiptoed back to my bedroom and pushed the door open. “Dad?”

There was a pale man, skinny as all hell, naked, with eyes as big as milk saucers. He held Yerci in his hands and looked at me…