We've all heard that the pope is stepping down. But what we all may not have heard is that the next pope is probably the last one before the end of days, before the tribulation period and a fiery, violent end to all humankind at the hands of the anti-Christ. At least according to some saint who lived a really long time ago and wrote some prophecies which may or may not technically be medieval forgeries. But, you know. It makes for some good light apocalyptic reading if you're into that kind of thing. Just be sure to put your tinfoil hat on first.
While I was reading about these prophecies for the first time (and I have no idea why I haven't heard of these before; I do so love a good conspiracy theory, thanks to the history teacher in high school who spent an entire quarter convincing us that there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll), I got sincerely and thoroughly spooked. Religious mysteries have that effect on me. I blame it on the time I checked out a Mysteries of the Unknown book from the library and was reading about the Shroud of Turin during down time in chorus. I was a lowly freshman and not yet vocally sound enough to make our chamber choir, and they were rehearsing at the time. Just when I was completely sucked in to reading about carbon dating and ancient pollen and photographic negatives and rapid release of energy as it relates to the Shroud, the 12 singers quietly broke out into this song. Every hair on my head stood up and I dropped my book. The holy spirit became the holy ghost, and I was sore afraid. For the rest of my life, "O Magnum Mysterium" will be the soundtrack that plays inside my head in all instances of religious creepiness.
Which is why lunch time yesterday was not the ideal time for one of my computer lab aides to knock loudly on my office door. There I was reading about the papal prophecies, hearing a little Victoria in my head, when my student needed to get my attention. He got it, all right.
"Did I scare you? I just wanted to ask you something. Are you okay?"
Sure, kid. I'm fine. That stripe of white hair has always been there. Now go get that portable defibrillator outside the nurse's office, would you?
I was mostly over that little scare by bedtime last night. Until Jason and I opened Ainsley's door to tuck her in and found her being guarded by Brownie.
Brownie is her giant teddy bear, and sometimes she snuggles with him at night. Last night, we found him not cradled lovingly in her arms, but sitting bolt upright next to her, lifting up her covers, taking a protective stance.
"Don't worry, Brownie, that's not creepy at all," Jason whispered as we backed slowly out of the room. We knew it was where Ains had twisted and turned in her sleep and raised him up, but still. Shiver.
I am a logical, rational person who realizes the bumps in the night are probably where our house is settling or creaking in the wind and not indications that the house is haunted. Probably.
But the end of the world and possessed, overprotective teddy bears? I can explain that away as shenanigans, too. Eventually. Someday. Maybe not today.