Saturday, 9 June 2007

Just Visiting


A door closes, by itself. It is impossible for this particular door to close tight without the handle being turned. Someone knocks on the bathroom window. Without ladders, it is impossible for anyone to knock on this window from the outside. Someone is standing outside my office door. Someone wants to come in, see me work, offer advice. There is no one standing outside this door, waiting for my invitation.

My bed shudders. I lie in it, alone, watching the shadows dance as tiny white lights flash through the darkness. I hear someone walking up the stairs to my room. There is no one there. When I am in the bathroom, I ask Amy what could be so urgent that she has to run up stairs with such haste. Amy, however, is in the garden, playing with the dog.

I smell freesia’s and perfume, a delicious aroma of cooking and the harsh scent of tobacco smoke. I hear my name being called, the cry of a child and a woman’s soothing voice. I turn, my eyes see movement, flitting from one wall to another.

I am not scared. This is my home as it was once theirs. Three people now live in this house, yet I do not know how many spirits. Some come in visitation, some are grounded. The smiling eyes of my father look closely at me, they see my pain and my anguish. They see my joy and contentment. I speak to my father now, more in spirit than I did when his body was part of his soul. He talks to me, laughs with me, cries with me. To others, these sounds may not be heard but to me they are physical. I feel his presence. This makes him visit me more.

*****

This big old house, on the top of a wind-swept hill, was built @1750. It is a beautiful building, erected of stone, chimneys standing proud at each end and one in the middle. It has an original staircase which separates one end of the house from the other as the landing half way up allows you to choose which way to go. There are three flights of stairs, one in which every step is a different width and at the top, the landing slants as though tiredness has set in. But the staircase holds a secret. The walls have voices, while the floor creaks from silent footsteps. A lost soul stands, once at the foot of the stairs then in a split second has advanced to the landing. As I stand, looking over the banister I hear shuffling; someone with long skirts perhaps, treading the staircase to an upstairs room. The reflection in the landing mirror fades, a mist sweeps by it, retreating towards the East wing. It beckons me to follow. It takes me to a room which has been recently renovated, stripped to reveal far away memories of a centuries old house. My red chair awaits and I sit down. My mind gathers thoughts from a forgotten time. I see children sat on the floor, laughing, dolls and picture books scattered about their feet; I see a brown dog, large and friendly, happy to be part of the family; then I see the woman. A tall elegant beauty, her flowing skirt sitting neatly up on the wooden floor. She watches the children, her mouth moving with dignity as she laughs. Then she turns to me. She puts thoughts in to my head as I begin to understand her status. She is a previous occupant, the wife of the gentleman who built the house. She wants me to know that she walks up and down the staircase. Her memories are forever sublime and she has at last found me, someone to share them with.

Perhaps she is grounded in this big old house. Perhaps she enjoyed living here so much that she can find peace nowhere else. This is her home, as much as it is mine.

26 comments:

  1. Wow! You should enter this into a competition or something, such is the power of your writing.

    I felt I was in your house, meeting those spirits and I even imagine I saw your Dad smiling down on you. I hope that doesn't sound cliched or trite.

    It's wonderful, stirring stuff - probably the best writing of yours that I have read - and you know I'm a huge fan!!

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  2. You are so kind FM. And don't forget to check your stairs before you go to bed..

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  3. That is indeed very strange and wonderful as long as you a comfortable with it. I don't think I could cope. Toady

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  4. It sounds like 'The Others' at your house!

    I have lived in haunted houses and have been comfortable with them. After all, I wasn't there first ...

    However, it's surprising how many people don't understand how you can co-exist.

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  5. Here's the brown dog, Crystal Jigsaw.

    Gosh, I'm here reading this in my 18th century cottage at nearly midnight and the hairs on the back of my neck are starting to stand up. Very powerful writing.

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  6. I grew up with ghosts and always thought everyhouse had htem until I was quite big. Most of ehm are quite beign and good comapnay. I alqays think it is quite arrogant when people say htey don't believe in ghosts, as if their not beleiving makes a difference .

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  7. All hair well and truly on end ....new style perhaps? Where's a mirror....? Oh heck who is that behind me.......?
    Brilliant writing Crystal.

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  8. Your comments are received gratefully. It is a wonderful home, I couldn't imagine living anywhere else - ever. Crystal x

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  9. Agree with funkymunky - if you're not putting this out somewhere you should be imo.

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  10. Thank you ChrisH. If anyone has any idea's where I'd be happy to know. Crystal x

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  11. Since the events of last weekend, I've certainly been more aware of things. By things I mean, not dismissing as my imagination things that I see and hear in my house. I now get (and not before Saturday) the intense fragrances of flowers (but could not say what they were) and things I see out of the corner of my eyes are no longer dismissed.

    I was in the kitchen, just this morning and "felt" someone enter the room. Thinking it was one of the dogs I said "and what have you been up to" and looked out of the window to see all three dogs basking in the sun on the lawn. David and Mac were at the swimming pool but due back any moment. I continued chatting to my visitor and felt wonderfully warm. Then the front door banged as my boys returned and my visitor left.

    Wonderfully stirring stuff CJ x

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  12. I want ghosts,too....Why do we just get headlice?

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  13. PS Very atmospheric writing, btw

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  14. Wow - I 'see' things but not all the time - how do you cope, or is is just normal for you. I have a playful poltergeist . . . although not be around so much recently. Thank you so much for joing us and for sharing your unusual gifts and your wonderful writing.

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  15. I know exactly what you mean CJ, great writing !!

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  16. l'm with you on the passing spirit thing, my house is about the only place that l've been to that has nothing extra.

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  17. Omega mum - I only wash Amy's hair twice a week at the most. Been doing that for 2 years now and haven't had lice since!

    Headmistress - My fascination and respect for spirit has helped me understand their reason for being around us. They just want us to acknowledge their presence but I have learnt that should a loved one visit and we are frightened they will turn away, only to try once more when they feel we are more able to accept.

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  18. Absolutely wonderful descriptive writing, have you ever thought of having your work published?
    Camilla.x

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  19. Hi Camilla, thank you for your kind words. I've been sending short stories for publication for a while now but to no avail. It's so downheartening when you get that letter of rejection but I brush myself off and try again. I've never sent a piece like this before. Perhaps I'm trying to wrong circles and/or just going about it the wrong way. It's my ambition to be published and I hope one day it'll happen. Crystal x

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  20. Excellent post CJ. The hairs on the back of my neck were certainly angling in the horizontal direction.

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  21. Thank you, Gwen. I can see I may need to share some more of my paranormal experiences with you all. I'll be posting one later so long as I don't get hauled outside to help on the farm.
    Love Crystal x

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  22. Excellent writing, crystal jigsaw. I am pleased you can share your house with others, happily.
    All houses carry the atmosphere of previous lives, if we just take to trouble to feel.

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  23. This was fantastic writing and a hair-raising blog - bud oddly comforting too - I am realising that i share my cottage too, and it isn't remotely scary, just fascinating.

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  24. Debio & Suffolk mum - thank you for your kind comments. We are never alone, people often think I'm mad when I drive along talking to an invisible passenger!

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  25. I have never before found a blog that I have become so addicted to, in such a short time. Your stories and your writing blow me away.

    I am glad that you figured out how to put pictures in your posts. I have clicked on all of them so far and the one with the lamb and ewe, against the backdrop of the stone was just beautiful. I wanted to be there!

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