Fantz in Your Pants: The masked marauder

Everything was just fine and dandy until the folk mask arrived

I’m carving out 20 minutes here so you can hear my voice. My hoarse, raspy, smoker’s voice hacking sweet nothings into your waxy, hairy ears from 6 feet away (per the CDC).

I’ve been so busy. This paper isn’t going to phone itself in.

I’ve been recently getting the heebie-jeebies before bed each night. When my feet stick out of my blanket, I swiftly pull them in before the cold, bloody hand grabs my legs and pulls me into its underworld. Lately my spine’s been a-tingling, the chills steep and the thrills cheap.

I’ve often had odd encounters with the paranormal in the past. Friends dub me a medium and say ghosts follow me wherever I move. They don’t follow me, I just find new ones by moving into poltergeists and flea shanties.

But eight years now in this over-inflated half-a-million dollar shack and I hadn’t made time with any ghosts. Phantom sounds, yes, as my tinnitus comes in a form that plays music, talk radio and dead presidents. But ghostly encounters, no.

But then.

I bought this mask. I have a bunch of old-timey circus poster prints that this folk mask would hang great with, I told myself in the antique store in Minnesota. I snapped her up for $40 and my house turned into a demonic dwelling ever since I put her on my wall. My child would wake up shaking and shrieking with nightmares. I always have nightmares, but mine got overly vibrant.

Then that weird bloody hand took up residence under my bed.

I put a Lakota dream catcher in my kid’s room and we kindly asked it to help sift her chilling dreams. Then I saged my house. (Catholic Fam is shipping a dozen exorcisms to my house via Jeff Bezos. They should be here by Saturday.) A proper move, the sage seemed to help.

But the eyes of the wooden tigre on my wall still lurked deep, dark and angry.

After pondering orphaning the vintage mask, I found that these hand-carved and painted Mexican folk pieces are worn for ceremonies and rituals during dances and celebrations. They represent many things, depending upon which animal one wears.

I was hesitant to give her away because of her beauty and history. So, as one does, I got wasted one night and had a fireside chat with her.

“Do you not like where I hung you? What’s the problem?”

“Any chance you can shake that bad energy? My kid is keeping me up all night. I don’t have time for this shit.”

“I think you’re very beautiful and I’d love to keep you. If you want a different wall space, we can arrange that.”

Her hollowed eyes and menacing fangs grew sweeter. Her cheeks shined rosier, her eyelashes became wispy and whimsical and her eyes started to smile.

Now she now looks all cute and snuggly next to that ballerina on a tightrope, monkey riding the camel and the protruding cardboard rhinoceros.

Big bonus: The child’s dreams have dissipated.

But then.

I had my aura photographed on a whim this month with a visiting friend.

(Sidebar: It was rad. I was glowing yellow with a lovely green heart and purple orbs on my crown. Plus I drew the strength card with the lion on it. I’m a shining Leo, just as we’ve all known all along. I’ll take my champagne in my room, please.)

The aura reader told me that I’m a welcoming presence to the spirit world. (Jeff Bezos, tack on some novenas and prayer candles from the Fam, with love.)

But now I’m afraid I’ve unlocked the portal where all the ghosts are going to come flocking out from under my bed like a convoy of moths out of a musty shed door.

Breathe and block it, I told myself.

But then.

The hot water came rushing out of the bathroom tap. The mirror fogged up. A message was being crafted…

My 20 minutes are up. Catch you later, fools.