Ghost Story

October 12, 2010

Admittedly similar to the current trends in the genre, I saw my ghost in broad daylight. My living room was flooded with morning sunlight as I sat having coffee and reading the online news. I heard nothing, but felt compelled to turn and look toward my hallway. There in the doorway to the hall a man dressed in jogger’s gear stood, or should I say hunched, stretching out his calves. He wore sneakers, blue shorts, and a white tank top. Astonished, I rose from my seat, took a few steps toward him and said, “How did you get in here? Who are you?”

It was then that I became aware that he could not hear me. I stared at the back of this stretching man, noticing that he was slick with sweat. I was extremely frightened, and began to take steps backward. I turned my head to look for where I had placed my cell phone.  When I turned to look at the man again he was gone. I had heard no footsteps to my front door. It was impossible that he could vanish that quickly. My heart began to beat very fast. I felt certain that he was still in the apartment. Moving from room to room I found no trace of him. A terror and bafflement gripped me, why, how was this man in here? A dawning sense that this had been some kind of apparition or hallucination began to hold me. I walked to where the man had been stretching. There on the rug were small dark spots. Bending over, slowly I touched one spot and realized the dampness was from his sweat. I cannot say if the chill I felt was from revulsion or a sense of violation. But He had been here. I had no idea what I should do. Would anyone believe me?

I stood there for what seemed an eternity, the very place where only moments before the man had been. As I stepped away the floor creaked beneath my feet in a way I had never heard before.
Much as I had felt compelled to look up from my morning computer, I knew I must look under the carpet. This new sound could not be a coincidence. It had to be connected to the stretching figure.
Getting on my hands and knees I began to roll the carpet up to the area from which I heard the sound. My eyes scanned the dusty floor till I spotted the source of the sound. A part of the floorboard had been cut into a six-inch section. It was loose to the touch of my hand. With uncertain excitement I used my fingernails to pry the floorboard up.

The board was removed easily. There before me was a dark oblong opening resembling a miniature grave. Crawling over the opening I stared down into the dark cavity. Something square and white glowed from within. With nervous dread I reached into the hole. I felt relieved momentarily when my fingers felt that it was a piece of paper. Picking the paper out, I was surprised to see that it was neatly folded, bright and white, as if it had only just been placed there. I sat back and leaned against the wall. I knew it was a message. I unfolded the paper slowly. There was something written on the paper in blue ink. The handwriting looked very familiar.
In the middle of the sheet of paper was a simple statement:

“You did not write this”

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