The priest awoke shivering, the nightmare fading fast into a smokey haze. He folded his arms to ward off the icy chill filling the rectory bedroom.
It was Christmas Eve, but he felt none of the usual joy. He was filled with a quiet terror instead, as if he expected someone, or something, to jump out of the closet. He tried to brush it off as foolish paranoia, but couldn’t. To counter it, he pulled himself out of bed and made his way to the dresser in the dark, the only light the glow of the full moon streaming in the windows, and the red “eyes” of the digital clock reminding him it was only 10:30.
As much as he wanted to retreat under the warmth of the bedcovers, he couldn’t. Just as he couldn’t shake his apprehension. So he decided instead to dress for Midnight Mass. Maybe that would help.
But it didn’t.
Instead, as he flipped on the dresser lamp, his heart leapt with fear and the room seemed to darken. He gasped at the reflection in the mirror of the crucifix above his bed—hanging inverted!