Oozing Ghosts

Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts. Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

This what happens I click “Inspire Me.” I get to look at a rundown house that could be brought Peter Venkman et all’s attention. But, in here is a timid little spirit, waiting for her father to come home after his day at the factory. Probably not serious enough to justify the expense of calling exterminators. The girl has not bothered anyone, not in a long time. Most people go by without looking twice at the house. Those who do get right back to their journey.

She has been waiting there since she finished here chores in the field. The laundry has been taken in, the eggs have been collected, and the horses have been groomed. A few of the barn cats wander by, silently snooping around for the mice that hide in the walls. The girl looks over at them, trying to figure out how to tell them there is no milk for them to day. She picked up a knife and scratched into the wall one more line, counting the days since the last time the cows gave up some milk.

Those cows will have to give us something soon, she thought to herself, they won’t be around much longer if they don’t give us anything.

Etch marks covered the wall. The markings were clumped together in groups of five. Above them, in white paint were the words “milk.” The girl looked out into the field scanning for the small herd of cows she and her father took care of. It was her job to take of them daily while her father worked in the factory. She had not seen any cows since she woke up that day. Normally they would be grazing in the field visible through the kitchen window, but not today. They are probably behind the barn, I’ll get them later this evening, she said to herself.

On the kitchen table was the sweater she had been knitting. Fall was on its way, and winter would be here quickly after that. She had finished hers a few days ago, now she was knitting one for her father. It was a simple grey wool sweater. The girl looked at it and thought to herself the grey was dull, almost dusty. It felt like she had been working in this sweater for quite a long time. Her knitting needles were still wrapped with the loops making up the arm of the unfinished sweater. They were scratched and starting to rust. She made a mental note to get new ones soon.

She picked up her knitting needles, and continued to work on her father’s sweater. A breeze came in through the front door, bringing the days dust with it. The young girl looked at where the dust settled and decided to sweep that up later.


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