- Vol. 04
- Chapter 04
Image by National Museum of Denmark
This is a Ghost StoryThis is a ghost story.
There is silence in the room as they all breathe in the smell of brewed tea that is set in the middle of the circle.
There is no sound beyond that of the creaking wind trying to enter the cracks of the wooden house.
This is a ghost story-- they all quietly huddle closer as one of them begin to speak in a low hush voice.
“There was once a beautiful girl. Too beautiful for her own good.”
This is accepted as fat and half the circle nods in agreement.
The storyteller nods sagely back before continuing.
“When she was of age, her parents gave her hand in marriage to a man who promised to give her all happiness.”
And of course, some already guessed what the outcome was for there were slight murmurs rippling through the warm group even as the wind hisses softly in their ears.
This is a ghost story and one of them shudders. The wind has whispered something but he didn’t quite catch it and settles down further in his seat.
“But happiness is a gift that the man could not give. What he gave instead were empty corridors, large drafty rooms, and a lonely bed. Is this what happiness to a man?”
A few in the circle shake their heads as the wind curl up to cool their feet.
“The beautiful girl cried. She wept to her absent husband, distant parents, and unforgiving gods. She got no answer. So she took matters into her own hands.”
This is a Ghost StoryThis is a ghost story; two in the circle notice the flickering of candlelight but don’t say anything as the storyteller leans forward, pressing his palms against the floor in a sort of bow as the wind blows his sleeves out.
“And even now, they say that you can see a woman, broken at the neck, wandering around the streets. They say the wind comes first, calling out her name for those who pay attention. They say that the darkness comes second. They say that light comes last.”
At that moment, everyone in the circle hears something on the wind. A call. A plea. Then darkness comes as the candles die out. Then a light shines across the backroom and there stands a woman.
tThis is a ghost story. She smiles even as her head is at an unnatural angle, legs in the air like she had taken a plunge but reached unsuspected ground instead of water.
This is a ghost story… and everyone is living in it as the woman walks closer and closer and the last thing they see is the shining light.