Ominous | East Wenatchee, WA | 2015

Every so often I can sense the day teetering on the cusp of change. You know that feeling, right? Dogs are restless, people are edgy, clouds scud low. Something is about to happen, but I don’t know what. Usually it’s just a sudden shift in weather — downpour, blizzard, lightning storm — but sometimes it has more bite. One day in fifth grade, the Catholic nuns who taught us were tense with anticipation. The parish priest was coming to give us a lecture on evil. Hall passes were suspended. Silence imposed. We sat like statues in our desks. Father arrived 10 minutes late. The side of his head was wrapped in bandages. His left arm was in a sling. He limped with the help of a cane. Mugging? Car wreck? Father cleared his throat and spoke in barely a whisper, “Yesterday I did an exorcism. Yesterday I met the Devil.” For the first time, I felt myself teeter in the face of change.