Afraid of Ghosts

I once spent the night alone in a cabin
Sweet solitude
No reason to be afraid
The wind softly scraped the branches against the decaying shingles
The rafters and the floor boards crackled in concert
The bunk bed springs creaked even as I lay perfectly still

In the pitch black I could hear scurrying and perhaps heavier footsteps
I forced myself up and turned on the light
It did not help
To be able to see what I knew was not there
And yet was coming for me all the same
My eyes fixed on the doorknob
Certain it was starting to turn
A sound to my right
I shifted and watched the empty doorway into the second room
Prepared to spy a knifed hand
Or the momentary wisp of girl’s tattered dress

A story clung to this cabin
The story of a logging family
And their young daughter who went out to play
With her red rubber bouncing ball
And was never seen again
But sometimes, at night, you can hear the ball bouncing, bouncing
The girl is finally coming home

“You don’t believe in ghosts, do you?,” I asked myself.
“No, of course not.”
“Then stop shivering and go to sleep.”
“What if I close my eyes and then feel the sudden breath of a too-close face?”
“You don’t believe in ghosts.”
“I know, but I’m still afraid of them.”

3 responses to “Afraid of Ghosts”

  1. Me to…sometimes…nice visual


  2. I’m glad I was blissfully unaware of that story the week I stayed in that cabin. Wouldn’t have slept a wink! I remember the mice, though.


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