My great grandfather was a Japanese Shinto priest. Shinto is a religion that believes bad things are caused by evil spirits –– so most of a Shinto priest’s job is spent keeping evil spirits away through rituals, healing and various practices. Most people don’t believe in ghosts. But, I do. I do because they’ve bothered myself and my brothers from time to time. My grandmother used to say it’s in our blood. I don’t know. Anyway, about seven years back I was having some nasty run-ins with the super natural and my momma got scared and bought me a sterling silver cross from Mexico with Jesus’s face engraved in it. She then had it blessed by a priest. Since, I don’t get harassed anymore. I still deal with demons though. The one’s I think up in my own head. The cross doesn’t help with that. Nor does the cross prevent me from forgetting about church on Sunday’s, nor does it prevent me from smoking cigarettes outside blaring bars, nor does it prevent me from drinking too much at those blaring bars, nor does it prevent me from going down on pretty girls. And, I laugh sometimes, because I’m going to die with it around my neck. My momma got it for me, after all, I can’t take it off. But, it’s going to be real awkward when I knock on those pearly white gates and the god the Christian’s tell me about says the cross won’t get me in. And then I’ll go to hell and the devil will say he doesn’t allow crosses down there. And, so, I won’t be accepted anywhere, just the gray space in between heaven and hell. And, I’ll be one of those ghosts my great grand father used to shoo away. I’ll be one of those ghosts my momma bought the cross around my neck to keep away. And, I’ll be alright, as long as there is a pen and paper and a few books within arms reach.
By Cole Schafer.
P.S. One day these one minute writings will be a big book called “One Minute, Please.” Can I let you know when that day comes? You can say yes, here.