This Halloween I’ve decided to relate a little ditty-dog of a story. All true, it’s a paranormal tale that evolved from the writing of my occult thriller, The Horns of September. The story set 1961, the main protagonist is Chuck Beckett, a young guitarist who aspires to be signed by Motown Records. His ever-lovin’ lady, Kitt Davis, is a song stylist that is a paean to that time and place.
The plot, events, and characters in The Horns of September are all products of my overactive imagination. However, given the setting, I couldn’t help but give a wink and a nod to a few giants who paved the way for others to succeed. One such personality was the ‘sinsational’ singing superstar of that era, Eartha Kitt. Paying tribute to this dancing, singing, smoldering superstar, I christened Miss Davis with her name. Also infusing her with the red-hot sexuality of the real-life diva, she provokes this reaction from Chuck upon their first meeting:
” I released her hand reluctantly and with some resistance given from certain parts of my body. Alright, hell! She had to downright pull it back, arm wrestling me to the ground for control of it. I had managed to hang for as long as I could and was trying to remember exactly how it felt to hold Kitt’s hand. It felt good. Sort of like having money.
In a purely descriptive sense, Kitt had a small, narrow hand that had a square palm and long, perfectly shaped fingers with painted nails. Don’t know the paint color, but they matched the pink in the dawn of a new day. It was most definitely the type of hand you’d find on a pianist or painter — Kitt had the hand of an artist. Course her skin was sticky soft. It felt like the taffy my mom had me knead when I was younger. I had to keep at it till the dough got this supple texture to it. Then it went in the refrigerator. Kitt felt like that batter just before it went in the fridge. I suddenly made a decision. On the spot. Kitt Davis was in the goddamned band. I didn’t care if she sang on key or even whether she knew A from C, she was going to be a member and I’d fight Jesse, Micah and whoever else tried to stop it.”
The introduction of this pairing immortalized by these words, they seemed to very much represent what I took to be Eartha Kitt’s real-life effect on the male species.
I began writing Horns in September of 2008. Finishing the story in a little over three weeks, I diligently began the first-round of editing. The characters of this book crawling under my skin, I never have felt any closer to any of my fictional progeny. This especially true of Kitt, there was something about her spirit that I connected with. Its purity ringing true and clear, she wasn’t solely a product of her generation. Possessing a timeless quality, class usually is.
For the next couple of months, I worked on the project. December arriving before I knew it, I went to sleep on the night before Christmas, anticipating waking up to my most favorite holiday in the world. Nothing more to it than that, I went to bed with thoughts of sugar plums and reindeer in my head. Never anticipating something supernatural was about to occur, my subconscious had other plans. Before the night was through, I was to be immersed in the nature of life and death as a newborn being given her first bath.
I don’t remember all the dreams I had that night, but I’ve found that psychic ones are remembered. Experiencing one Christmas morning, the details still rattle around my mind. I dreamt I was sleeping. The ringing of my phone waking me, I ran and answered it. A man on the line, he told me that Ms. Eartha Kitt was calling. He said she had something to tell me and asked if I were available to speak with her. In the dream, I looked at the clock to ascertain the time. Seeing that it was only 8 AM in the morning, even in my dream I didn’t want to be up that early. Putting off taking the call. I answered that I was busy, and asked that she call me back. He asked what time, and I answered with a time in the afternoon. At this point, I don’t remember the exact time given. I do know it was after 3:00 PM. Something like 3:42 or 3:35. Why I chose that time, I don’t know. Perhaps the number is significant, but have never found out why.
The dream ending, I immediately woke up. Looking at the clock I keep at my bedside, I discovered it actually was 8:00 AM, the time I saw in my dream. Not planning on getting up so early, I did so anyway. I puttered around for a bit, having coffee, and working on my book. I spoke with someone on the phone and told them about my strange dream. I wondered out loud what on earth Eartha Kitt had called me about.
Later that day, I turned on the TV, startled to learn that Eartha Kitt had died. According to the news, she had been hospitalized that morning and had entered into in a coma. I thought back to my dream and wondered if our spirits met when she’d slipped under?
It got me wondering about sympathetic energies. Are our thoughts creating a bond with those that we are thinking about? And do they reciprocate on a subliminal, unconscious level that we can never truly appreciate or understand in this existence? Was her phone call to me her way of saying thanks for including her in my book and for giving her my personal tribute for being a trailblazer? Or was there something else she wanted to tell me.
I suppose, these are questions that I’ll never know, but it does give me pause about where to direct my energies and how horribly destructive it must be to ruminate on negative thoughts. So I stoically stick to positive ones, thinking that we should add to the adage, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.” Perhaps the addendum should be, “If you can’t think anything nice about someone, don’t think it.”
As for Ms. Eartha Kitt, I’m wondering whether this blog will also connect with her essence, and whether our spirits will connect once again. It would be nice to finally learn what she wanted to say, and this time Ms. Kitt, I promise that I will definitely accept your call.