Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Houses are not haunted. We are haunted, and regardless of the architecture with which we surround ourselves, our ghosts stay with us until we ourselves are ghosts.- DEAN KOONTZ
The mere act of being unprepared for the unexpected can leave us lingering in an alternate reality so disturbing we fail to recognize its significance. The material world weighs people down with problems and worries, but when something out of the ordinary happens, a person is left mystified by the inner workings of the mind.
Leo, a musician, drove on a poorly lit road in the dark hours before sunrise. Although pleased with the evening’s work, he worried about future finances. The popular trombone player listened to his own concerto, pleased with his musical talent. As the road straightened before him, the coastal outline stood to his right, a veil of blackness served to lull him into a hypnotic stupor.
Leo enjoyed his moments of solitude even though he did too much thinking for his own good. Sudden movement caught his attention. He peered to the passenger side seat and saw a young girl, sitting with her feet under her legs. Her white nightgown clung to her frail body. She tilted her head, making an awkward, unnatural movement.
Leo prayed under his breath. He hoped she did not notice his glance. Grabbing the steering wheel tighter, he slid his body closer to the door, wondering why he accepted that shot of tequila.
The girl leaned close to his face. Cold splashes of air lifted the hairs on the back of his neck. His right cheek felt as if an ice cube rubbed against it. He fought hard to maintain his cool, to keep his focus on the road. Alas, curiosity or perhaps survival instincts took over and he met her eyes.
The ghost girl scowled, and then giggled. She pressed her nose against his neck and sniffed.
Electrical impulses threatened to damage his exploding heart. He leaned against his door as far as he could. Lumps of wet hair brushed against his soaked skin. His sweaty palms made handling the steering wheel a challenge. Thoughts of stopping quickly evaporated for the dangers of running on a stretch of highway could lead him to his doom. He had no choice, but to continue his journey home.
Leo estimated she couldn’t be more than ten-years-old. He’d heard about people communicating with spirits, but he didn’t believe any of it. He kept reminding himself. Ghosts don’t exist.
The girl settled back into the chair. Her wide grin coupled by her pupil-less eyes sent more chills through Leo’s body. He drove onward; his mind on the brink of madness till he reached his home. When he locked the doors to his vehicle, the ghost was gone.
Sleep eluded him for much of the morning until exhaustion got the best of him. He didn’t recall falling asleep, but when he woke his heart almost stopped. The child ghost floated above him. Her white-eyed face hovering above his. Her soaked hair draped around them. He felt her loneliness. Something inside his head pleaded with him for help.
I wonder how many variations of Leo’s ghostly adventure have actually been experienced around the globe. Ghosts remain a fascination for many, including this writer.
If any of my readers have an anecdote you’d like to share, feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you on the dark side.