Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ghost Kiss

This is a story I used to hear as a kid by the campfire. Hope you like it!!!

Lightning cracked open the sky and clouds stormed like an army across the valley, gray as death and darker still. Townspeople huddled together in the meeting hall, stifling the cries of babies as the Chief of Arms took the stand. He set his crossbow against the pedestal, not far from his fingers' reach. Lines creased his face, not from age because he was newly appointed, but from worry.

“Who here has seen a ghost?” His voice rumbled as an accusation, echoing off the dusty rafters where bats and mice made their nests.

Ten hands went up like feeble sprigs. Men and women turned to see the guilty townspeople. Shivering in the wind wracked air, their faces shone pale as moonlight with quivering lips and watery eyes. Thunder rolled atop the congregation and rain pelted the glass windows as if condemning their admonition.

“Very well.” The Chief of Arms settled rising whispers with the palm of his hand. He cleared his throat to gain strength for his next question.

“Who here has touched a ghost?”

Five hands rose, all scraggly with warts and veins popping out. These townspeople huddled over like they carried the plague, their bodies bent and broken. Underneath their hoods foul breath misted in the storm fizzled air. As if punishing them, lightning split the sky in two and shattered a window, spewing broken glass over the wood floor. A man cried out and the Chief of Arms silenced him.

“Enough! We'll get to the bottom of this. Have faith.” The Chief of Arms wiped his hand over his face. A servant offered him a goblet of ale, but he waved the boy back and put both hands on the pedestal in front of him. The situation was worse than he thought. Now he had to brave one last question.

“Who here has kissed a ghost?”

One hand rose from the back pew of the congregation, the skin gray as ash with twisted fingernails and gnarly joints like tree nobs.

“Me, sir.”

Everyone gasped and whipped their heads back. A man, older than the building they sat in rose and stumbled toward them, his cane dragging behind him, getting caught in the ruts in the wood. Cataract covered one eye in a milky film, and the other roved wildly around, leering at the women until they cried out and covered their babies' faces.

The Chief of Arms straightened up, “You, sir, have kissed a ghost?”

The man shook his head, wispy gray hair falling around his face. He brushed it back, revealing mottled skin and teeth green as mold.


“Aye, old man, ghost.” Everything is the room stood still. The rain ceased to fall and the wind ceased to blow. The eye of the storm hovered upon them and the congregation held their breath.

“Oh, I thought you said goat.”


Cherie Reich said...

*laughs* Great story, Aubrie! I absolutely love the last line. Too funny!

Cats! said...

Lol, nice! Fun campfire story!

Stephanie Faris said...

Hilarious! I may have to share that one!