Aphelion Issue 246, Volume 23
December 2019 / January 2020
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A Woman's Story

Adapted from a story by Algernon Blackwood

by Ron Larson

She was very much into psychical research,
And this so-called haunted house would be her first.
It was now owned by her great uncle, Henry,
But because of its bad repute, it stood empty.

He told her that a murder had once occurred there.
And most people who’d gone there came away scared.
These folks swore they saw the ghost of the victim.
It was that of a woman killed by her husband.

Her uncle didn't believe a single bit of it.
He said: "Their minds and eyes must have played tricks."
She said: "I want to explore the house for myself.
This strong urge now grips me more than anything else."

So with the keys in hand, on a dark summer night,
She approached the house prepared for a scary sight.
She had a flashlight, so that was some comfort.
When she entered the house, something grabbed her skirt.

She breathed easy when she saw it was a door latch.
She laughed, thinking: "I'm glad I escaped a ghost's wrath."
But it stopped when she saw a young man's ghost.
It said: "Don't be afraid; I'm just your harmless host."

Panicked, she thought: "It's the ghost of the murderer!
Now I'm gonna die because I'm an intruder!"
She fled upstairs, entered a room, and locked the door.
Then it appeared there, floating a foot above the floor.

It said: "I mean no harm. I just wanna be loved.
In my short pitiful, awful life I never was."
It appeared some tears were on its handsome face,
And after a moment, the two of them embraced.

Afterward, her uncle said he had lied to her.
In that house of his, no murder had ever occurred.
But an unhappy young man did kill himself there.
His suicide note said that life was quite unfair.

2017 Ron Larson

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