Thursday, 5 January 2012

A story for 12th Night

It may or may not be Twelfth Night tonight. It seems there is some confusion. The Wikipedia entry is HERE if you want to read more.

I have been enjoying the sensory journey inspired and led by my friend over at Grethic's Grethicia and the deal was that those of us who felt inclined should submit a ghost story to end the party. This is mine

I fell in love with that apartment the moment I saw it. A huge open plan space on the top floor of what had been a flour mill. There were big windows with panoramic views across the river to the city and the previous owners had left several framed photographs of what it had looked like before the development.
I felt safe, being high above the street outside. I didn't want to leave. It was still warm enough some evenings to leave a window open in the bedroom and I could hear the faint sounds of cars and people passing by. Sometimes there would be a river boat with a crowd of revellers, noisier when they came back up river than when they had gone down. But they were far enough away to be a happy sound, not a disturbance.
It was only when the weather had turned colder that I realised that there were sounds inside as well. And smells. Things I had assumed were coming in from outside were still there. The first thing was a smell of coffee, early in the morning. It would wake me and for a moment I would forget that I was alone now. Once I even called out his name and when I realised he was not in the kitchen anymore I felt desolate. Then the lighting started to play up. I didn't really understand how it worked, it was almost as if you just had to think the lights on and off, although I'm sure there must have been a timer that I had set and forgotten about, or some sort of sensor. I seem to have forgotten so much about the details now. I liked to sit in the dark earlier in the evening and watch the lights coming on in the windows of offices and other buildings in the distance and see the headlamps and brake lights on the cars as the traffic built up on the main road. It was fascinating and I promised myself that one day I would get myself a pair of binoculars and see what I could see in some of those windows. Then as the nights drew in, the lights in the hall and dining room would come on before I wanted them too. I would turn them off again and then a few minutes later they would be back on.
I started to feel that I wasn't alone after all. Faint sounds began to encroach, a child laughing and the clinking of glasses, and I was sure that they were not coming from outside. The first real fright came when I went into the bedroom one night and I could hear breathing. It seemed to be coming from the direction of the bed but I couldn't put the light on. I stood very still, trying to filter out the increasingly loud beating of my own heart, my own breathing starting to keep time with what I could hear. Suddenly a bedside lamp glowed and I could see a child, her faced contorted with terror. We screamed together.
After that I began to see her more and more. In the bedroom at night, in the kitchen sometimes, especially when the smell of that coffee was strong. I found that if I could turn away before she looked at me then she disappeared, but if she noticed me then her face would change - although after a few days we stopped screaming at each other.
It all gets a bit vague after that but the thing that I will never forget is the day the priest came. I wasn't feeling very well and I suppose someone must have called him because they were worried about me, although I can't think now who that was. I was standing in the middle of the bedroom, the priest was by the door and the child was standing between me and the bed. The priest said some sort of prayer and then smiled. "Don't worry, my dear, I don't think she will bother you any more" My head started to spin and when I turned round the child was still there. She was smiling at the priest as though I was invisible. I looked at him again and realised that it was her he was smiling at, not me. Then I started to feel faint......

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful and I am delighted that the sensory journey has found an author - I hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I enjoyed your story.