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An Excerpt from A Diary’s House:
I Revisit the Lands of a Haunting Ghost
I knew this way. It was to be the residence of Old Man Montague’s windmill. This time I was sure that I would not be alone. This man, who had abandoned us at the stark time of our most need, and we facing the grand and heathen belly of the Randola River, had simply left us; abandoning out trio just when our needs were of the most importance. I stopped for the moment, considered the avenues, and thought not to continue. In the instant, Shanta came most close to me; barking and howling as he drooled out the doggish words of determination.
Soon our travels brought us to the footstool of this great and wide windmill home. A light flickered aboard, like an aged ship awakened for that moment. It was our time to intercede on. There was a measure of destiny here. A thought of discovery that would make his place in my life exposed to some sense.
He had helped us; why?
He had abandoned us; why?
I could swirl about those curious questions like the clouds and mist which enveloped me. There was a pocket of smoke that was spewing from some makeshift fireplace within; billowing and streaming from its top with fervor and with ceremony.
The landscape fraught with dire cold; a widow to the former day, showed gloom in all the sights I could view and see upon. The old, tired mansion came alive for one final time and it appeased my presence with some measure of activity. The courts and fences somehow, miraculously, were back in their places and standing tall. That wagon and its assisting mule back in its barn and Shanta, standing on the shores of this windmill’s front residence.
He looked to me one last time, paused, and then pushed the door through with his paws; falling from my sight and into the windmill’s front lodge.
“Shanta,” I whispered out with one last, cold-drenched breath.
I ran to that opening and I found a droll wisping light illuminating in every general direction. I stopped at the foot of the door, peeped inside, cautiously, weighed out the situation, stared into the room my body dared not to penetrate on. I fumbled with the handle and I pressed forward. I sensed the presence of more than Shanta within, though still I entered.
No one was about.
Not a stir to the bottom floors, though the place appeared more kept than when I had entered before. The cobwebs gone; chairs and tables in their right order; papers carefully displayed where they would show if someone made it a home.
I had been seasoned by the presence of a ghost before, though I could not make recollection of the exact chill it brought to me, yet he was there; spying, waiting for me to approach. The bottom floor was creaking as I took step-to-step, moaning and lamenting as I went.
I saw the shadows of those wheezing, enormous hands of the windmill cast shadow and motion throughout the inner parts there; the echoes of her hands and her workings crackled out the sounds; as if they would pull the entire windmill to its side.
My heart felt a simmering pulse when I reached the stairs. The origin of this light was coming from above. My eyes peeled upward, glanced at the ceiling and at that staircase above me. A shadow formed and moved about; pacing the walkways in the main hall on this second floor. His ghost form had arrived. My hands took to a tremor. My senses were alerted in their highest form; the sounds of a heaving fellow just above me.