It was Rihanna that had ruffled my hair. I felt it. The energy was familiar, safe. And I knew it was her. Rihanna was up there somewhere...floating around.
Cleo was self-involved with her fur, and Hank whined a couple more times, wagging his tail.
He was looking up in the far right corner of the room, and I assumed Rihanna was maybe there, peering down at me. A little weird, but OK.
Hank whoofed softly, took a deep breath, blew it out, circled around in the same spot three times, then threw himself on the floor and closed his eyes.
The thunder and lightening had moved on, leaving behind a steady pounding of rain. It was peaceful, with the noise of the rain hitting the back porch, and the dog and cat sleeping comfortably.
I didn't know what to think about Rihanna. In some way, it was as if she had an out-of-body experience, but her whole self had not left her body. And, what about the black, smoky spector at the top of the stairs. Was it all related?
The Rihanna that was physically present in her body was still Rihanna, but darker. She was being attacked by something, I had seen it myself in my own out-of-body experiences. I thought about the past few days, then back a few months.
For awhile, Rihanna had been depressed, bored, and just not very happy. She had talked some about needing excitement, and something new. Was it this negativity manifesting itself?
The Bible says that what you think becomes your reality. You are what you think, basically. And letting those thoughts become spoken words adds to their power, therefore bringing them to fruition.
The positive to this is that if you think, and then speak, good things, then you will be blessed. The flipside to that is the negative - from tiny, supposedly inconsequential thoughts to those large, "I can't do anything" thoughts - that, once spoken, can bring a life of misery and failure.
It was Satan, wheedling his way into your brain, slowly poisoning your thoughts until you lose hope.
This had been the path Rihanna had been following for months, and I just hadn't seen it, or maybe acknowledged it for what it was. And now, the poisonous thoughts were manifesting and morphing her into something different, and not so nice.
And why was I so certain that Ms. Ida held answers? Shadows surrounded her house. It seemed to me that she was also under a concentrated spiritual attack. How would that help our situation?
Too much to digest right now. My body ached from my hog adventure, and my mind felt drained and muddied from dealing with the realities of spiritual warfare.
I suddenly felt a little better having acknowledged the fact this was warfare. It was in my best interest, and Rihanna's, to watch what I thought and spoke.
I laid back down. The bed jiggled as Hank jumped up. He settled himself next to me. I closed my eyes, and said another good night prayer, and pointedly turned off the light.
Hissing and commotion on the bed woke me up, and I nearly fell onto the floor. The animals had managed to move me completely to the edge of the mattress.
Early morning light peeked through the slats in the shades. The sun had not yet cleared the trees, but light had already given my bedroom a pale, light-blue glow.
I had a horrible headache, and my mouth was dry. It felt like a girls night out hangover, excluding the fun. I rolled off the bed, and went to the door.
"Come on, guys, time to go outside." Hank jumped off the bed and trotted outside. I had to crawl under the bed and grab Cleo, who had quickly hidden herself.
"You too, fat cat." I said, as I grabbed her and pulled her out. Cleo meowed and gave me a warning hiss, but it was all an act. We danced this routine almost every morning.
"Oh, sissy!" Rihanna sang at my door.
Ugh. I rolled my eyes. Really?
She knocked loudly, "Sissy, it's time to get up. The birds are chirping, and I am restless!"
I rolled off the bed and walked to the door. Hand on door knob, I took a deep breath and pulled the door open.
Rihanna took a step back, a look of fake shock on her face, "Sissy, you look terrible. Did you get any sleep last night?" She smiled sweetly and flitted towards the kitchen.
"Ick," I said, slamming my door closed. I looked over in the corner where Hank stared the night before. "I hope you are still around, Rihanna, because that witch out there is highly irritating."
I went to take a shower.
The smell of fresh coffee greeted me as I left my room. I didn't see Rihanna, so assumed she was either in her room or on the front porch.
I made myself a cup, and blinked in surprise at the taste. It was really good. Rihanna usually made weak coffee, and drank it black. This coffee tasted like the perfect balance between water and coffee grounds. It was smooth, without a bitter aftertaste.
A smiled. I had found an upside to the dark Rihanna. She could make a kick-ass cup of coffee.
I found her on the front porch. Her eyes flicked towards me as I approached, and she smiled a close-lipped, secretive smile. My personal joke about her coffee-making abilities vanished.
"Sleep well last night, Sissy?"
I pulled out a chair from under the table. It's metal feet scraped across the concrete. I winced out of habit. Steve used to berate me for scraping the concrete. After all, who would want to see scratch marks all over the porch? The thought made my heart hurt.
I sighed as I sat down, "I slept OK. How about you? I'm surprised your "new self" didn't turn to ashes when the sun hit you this morning."
Rihanna chuckled, "I was careful not to stay in it too long."
"We need to be at Ida's by at 10:00 this morning." I said.
Rihanna perked up, "Good. I can't wait." Her eyes glittered. For a split second I was reminded of a lizard, or a snake. The hair on my neck stood up.
"I don't like what you have become, Rihanna. This "new you"," I waved my hand in her direction, "is not appealing. You are not whole anymore, and I'm afraid the longer this lasts, the harder it will be to put you back together."
She leaned back in her chair, and took a sip of coffee. "Well, Kiara, maybe I don't want to be whole. That part of me that you like was weak and scared. I am so much better now."
"We'll see about that." I said. We finished our coffee in silence.