I’ve always known how deeply religious my mother-in-law is. Until now, however, I’d never realized how superstitious she also can be. Had it not been for the marathon of horror movies she watched last week, I might’ve remained blissfully ignorant. Instead, I can’t show my face at the in-laws’ house once more, and I’m afraid to open my own front door as well.
I hold Maria’s superstitious nature ultimately responsible, although her failure to pay closer attention to last week’s scarefest definitely compounded the issues. While joining my brother-in-law for a nightly viewing of horror flicks, she overlooked key plot elements in individual films and somehow mismatched the lore concerning various monsters too.
I witnessed the impact of Maria’s film sessions when Prometheus and I paid our first visit to the Gambino residence since Christmas. We’d kept our distance intentionally, owing to my mother-in-law’s discovery of the outrage perpetrated by the dog on her baby Jesus figurine Christmas day. With the benefit of time, I’d hoped she’d let bygones be bygones. She hadn’t.
The moment the puppy and I strode through the front door, Maria accused me of being a warlock and Prometheus my familiar. In the wake of this indictment, all I could think was: what self-respecting sorcerer uses a yapping rat for a familiar?
On the plus side, Maria didn’t demand the traditional stake burning for witches. But that’s only because she mixed up her anti-monster remedies. As I stood slack-jawed attempting to process her bizarre charges, she suddenly whipped out a Cross and held it before me. I did not scream in agony at the sight; nor did I so much as flinch, undoubtedly because I’m no more vampire than sorcerer. When the Cross failed to do to the trick, the confused monster hunter switched to Plan B … and dumped a flask of what I took to be holy water on my head. Then, before I could say more than “What the hell?!,” she pulled a clove of garlic from her pocket and smacked me in the head with it!
Fearing she’d next attempt a mallet and wooden stake, I thought it best to beat a hasty retreat. Prometheus and I ran out the door and didn’t stop running until we reached home. Once there, I told Sophia I wouldn’t return to her parents’ house “until the lunatic comes to her senses.”
I figured the dog and I’d be safe from the old lady’s clutches as long as we stayed home. But according to the heads up call from my brother-in-law this morning, I may’ve underestimated Maria’s reach. Giuseppe said he’d overheard his mom talking on the phone minutes earlier. As he informed me: “I’m almost positive she was speaking to a priest. And just so you know, right before I walked out the door, I heard her ask if he has time to do an exorcism this week.”