She Came as a Ghost

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She came as a ghost in the depths of the night, her nightgown billowing like a windblown shroud of intangible white. Her feet glided over the hall carpet without ever touching the pile, her bare toes pointed down like a spectral ballerina.

I thought myself dreaming and rubbed hard at my eyes, too hard. As the water ran over my cheeks to plop onto the duvet, I imagined she thought me crying. Perhaps, she even thought me repentant?

She parted long, lank hair from her face like drawn curtains and tilted her head to one side. The angle was acute and uncomfortable, but she was beyond pain. There she appraised me as my non-tears fell. A bulbous tongue clacked against her small, impressive teeth. Her fingers twiddled as though restless. I watched on disbelieving.

She came closer then, ever closer like an onrushing tide. There was no time to even hide beneath the sheets, so swift was her passage. She didn’t stop. Like the net curtains she resembled blown by my open window, she disappeared out into the night. I sniffed.

I thought I’d got away with it then, imagining all I’d have to do was mop the carpet where the seawater had run off her transparent form. In death, she was powerless, or so I presumed.

When I patted the duvet and lay back down, my head turning towards what for months had been her empty pillow, she was waiting.

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