Saturday, 21 June 2014

Amelia's Day by Jo Oldani Osborne

Amelia still isn’t sure what it was she saw that day exactly, but whatever it was it called her by her first name.


She froze. It seemed the most prudent thing to do. She was standing on a ten-foot ladder close to a wall in the old farmhouse.  She couldn’t admit to herself that as she looked up at the plaster ceiling something was looking back. Amelia scuttled down the ladder and on her bottom scooted back against the parlor wall. Her hands were covered with the “Bayberry Blue” paint she had been rolling on the wall. They covered her face speckled with “Holiday Pink.”


She opened her eyes and looked again at the head and shoulders that appeared mysteriously through the loose plaster around where the gas lighting fixture should have been. Where was her husband, Jonathon when she needed him? He would never believe this. She lowered her hands and continued to stare at the shoulders, neck and head of a figure thrust upside down through the ceiling.

The figure was a dusty white. The hair was curly but wispy white and the face was barely discernible.

She did the only thing she could think of. She covered her eyes again and shouted, “OH, JONATHON, WHERE ARE YOU WHEN I NEED YOU?”

“Amelia” – the chalky apparition repeated and then coughed a few times.

The voice was scratchy, and constrained. But, it was oddly familiar. This must be some left over specter from her husband’s illustrious family. It had the same New England accent. Funny, you never think of ghosts as having accents. Amelia mustered a little courage, “WHAT DO YOU WANT?” she asked still leaning hard against the wall.


“STOP!” she yelled at the figure, “THIS is MY house! Now GO TO THE LIGHT! Or whatever it is that you tortured phantoms are supposed to do to leave this earthly plane.”

“FOR GOD’S SAKE, Amelia, I am in the light. I was wiring up here in the attic and I fell through the plaster!”

“Jonathon?” she looked a little closer.

“Yes, dear,” Jonathon coughed a few more times emitting small clouds of dry plaster, “Will you please come up here and help me out of this hole?”

Amelia stood up and then she could see that it WAS Jonathon sticking through a hole in the ceiling. She felt sheepish. Perhaps she should stop watching all the “Ghost Hunting” shows that seemed to be the rage in recent years. Of course she immediately assumed that she was having a paranormal experience.

“How do I get to where you are, Jonathon?” It didn’t appear that there was a second floor in this area of the house. How did he get there?

“I’ll show you,” said a little transparent boy, shimmering by the kitchen door.

“There’s a pull down ladder to this attic, right in this closet,” she heard and then watched the little apparition disappear through the closet door.

“Are you coming, Amelia?” echoed a disembodied voice.

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