My friends often describe me as paranoid, but I'm just cautious. I believe in lots of things that others don't. And I'm not talking about God or any other sort of religion. There are unexplainable, dangerous things out there that the world turns a blind eye to because humans don't want to believe that monsters exist. This is something I've studied since I was seven, from Grimm fairytales to religious myths. Anything that had connections to the supernatural, I looked into. It was actually thanks to Father Patrick that I dedicated so much of my time to this stuff.
Everyday after school I would stay at our local parish's day care and bible study. One night my parents were late picking me up, not that I could tell the difference then the usual time since I always stayed at St. Anthony's church long after then sun had set. The other kids had already left; it was just the pastor and I waiting in the chapel. We were sitting in one of the front pews and he was reading something in Latin to me, because he knew I liked the sound of the language even if I didn't understand it, until this woman in a suit walked in. I remember she had this strange smile on her face and her eyes were pure black. Father Patrick pushed me under the pew and told me to stay hidden no matter what. I guess the woman hadn't noticed me. They talked, Father tried to get her to leave. She said she was looking for something, something she thought he had. When she got close, I saw Father throw holy water at her from a small bottle he always kept in his pocket. She lunged at him and I closed my eyes. I heard things being thrown about and cries of pain from both of them.
Then I heard the Latin, followed by such an unearthly scream from the woman. I opened my eyes in time to see black smoke rise out of the woman's mouth and then her body collapsed on the ground. Father didn't explain to me what happened. After he was sure I was all right, he had me help straighten the church back up until my parents came. The next day the seven year old me confronted him about the incident until he told me everything. I still don't believe he actually told me everything about that night, but he told me enough to get me hooked. When he realized I was never going to live that night down he started to teach me. I learned about ghosts and vampires, shifters and fairies, witches and demons.
Father Patrick taught me how to protect myself. I wore a protection amulet from possession until I was eighteen and could get the symbol tattooed on my hip. When I moved into my own apartment last year I repainted the whole thing with paint that was mixed with holy water. I wear iron rings and keep a rosary laced through my belt at all times. Sometimes even when I meet new people I'll 'accidentally' spill some of my water bottle, which is always filled with holy water, on them. Sometimes I'll do it to people I know as well, especially when my friends don't wear the protection amulets I give them. In high school I took Latin and memorized an exorcism spell. I can read it fluently now. Oh, and lets not forget that the rug by my front door has a devil's trap sewn on the bottom. I'm not paranoid, just incredible prepared.
I had never encountered another supernatural being since that night when I was seven, so the only exposure to them besides what I looked up in the library was the fictional kind. Despite knowing it was real, books, movies, and TV shows that had the supernatural as a theme didn't bore me. In fact, I loved it. I laughed when they got something wrong about lore or drew a sigil wrong and I would contact Father Patrick about anything the stories depicted that I didn't know about. Just to see if it was real or not. One of the shows I watched was called Supernatural. Not a very original title, I know. It got canceled after the main characters averted the Apocalypse and threw Lucifer back into his cage. It got picked up as a book series, but only three books were ever published because apparently the author died not long after. The fans whisper on the online forums about the show becoming cursed after the angel characters were introduced. I immediately went to Father Patrick about the idea of angels existing. He said that of course they did, but they had never come down to Earth as far as he knew. I got the feeling he only believed that angels existed as an extension of his religious beliefs and had no proof. As for myself, I believed in God. Rarely attended mass and only prayed every once in a while, usually when I was feeling low. But I still believed enough to get conformed when I was sixteen and hide my supernatural studies from my parents, since from an outsiders view it looked kind of demonic at times. Angels I had yet to make my mind up about. The kind that guides and protects. Those were the ones that I wished were real.