This is the story that inaugurated Druin, first a town in its own right, then later a borough of the fictitious town of Southall, Maine. While many of the characters in Witches’ Wager came into being sometime later, this was my first attempt at melding Christian reality with real-world fantasy. It has stayed with me ever since.
I believe that the impetus for the story came from some discussions I had with my family after watching one of those ghost-hunter shows when I was a teenager. This was a chance to process some of the ideas that arose from that, as well as my initial experiences with the American denominationalism I encountered for the first time during those same years, as my family had recently moved back to the United States from the Middle East.
With the refresh of my website, I had the opportunity to make some minor revisions to this story, so that it is more in line with the 2016 reworking of Witches’ Wager and “Reunion” prior to the novel’s official publication. I corrected Erin’s last name in most places and brought a passing reference to her sister Vicki into the story back then, but this time I noticed some continuity issues, which have been dealt with. The flexibility of digital publishing is certainly one of its greatest benefits.
As I have written in the foreword to Witches’ Wager, this is a fantasy. I am playing with ideas, thoughts, explanations that are speculative and may or may not have bearing on the real world. As such, I beg your indulgence for any liberties I take with the way things “really are”. Whether or not what people perceive as ghosts or hauntings are demonic manifestations is debatable, though I personally tend to that view. I do not want my readers to think that I am trying to make Bible-based or systematic theological doctrinal statements with this. If you want to use this as an excuse to research or discuss the topic, feel free to do so, but my primary intention is that you just sit back and enjoy the ride in this short story. For sometimes escapist entertainment based on realities can be beneficial.
Blessings, J.M. Diener