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A Ghost Story
A Ghost Story

Lying in bed I was drifting, just about ready to sleep.
I’d had a busy day so there was no need to count any sheep.
I was roused about one by a repetitive, rotating sound.
I listened carefully; could it be a clock being wound?
I’d not heard it before so I wasn’t certain what it might be.
Perhaps a rodent, the plumbing, or an intruder turning a key.
It stopped abruptly. I continued to listen barely breathing.
The silence was palpable, no movement save my chest heaving.
Only complete darkness and just a faint smell of smoke.
I was alone in the house, so I knew no one was playing a joke.

I rose to investigate cautiously. Room to room I slowly went.
Examining corners and cupboards, also checking for a scent.
Satisfied nothing was amiss I managed to settle in bed again.
But unable to sleep I was restless, until suddenly it came!
It appeared exactly at two. A woman’s face on a disfigured torso.
It was gone in a few seconds. I was shocked but terrified moreso.
‘Who’s that’, I called firmly, half hoping I wouldn’t get to find out.
No response was forthcoming, so I elevated my question to a shout.
Total silence was the only thing that was returned.
The face I didn’t recognise but I did see that the torso was burned.
Terrified, I rose quickly and turned on the light to show some daring.
I was breathless, shaking, haunted by those eyes that had been so glaring.
I put on the rest of the lights and the radio and the kettle too.
I was absolutely certain I’d seen her, but who she was, I had no clue.

A cup of tea works wonders. I calmed and returned to sleep once more.
That sound again at three-thirty and she appeared more vivid than before.
This time she spoke, and her story was being told.
The date she gave was 1724 when she’d been 33 years old.
She had been living alone in this house and her name was Mary Terr.
She died in a fire and despite cries to onlookers no one tried to save her.
No questions would she answer, just her story she had to tell.
It made complete sense and of course it explained that smell.
What of the rotating sound, the sound of the turning key, I hear you say.
Mary said her aim is to gradually turn the clock back day by day.

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