Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What Ghosts Wear

As autumn arrives, the fog walks down the mountains at night. I watch it out my window with the cats. Cats and fog walk alike. You won’t hear either coming in the door. In the morning, the fog lifts. But never quickly enough.

In the mountains of southern Appalachia, there is the ghost of an old woman who wears a patch of fog for clothes. A rising wisp of fog is all we ever see of her. She walks the roads in the morning this time of year. And she waits. For you.

The old woman wants to borrow your car. She wants to borrow your body, too.

When you pass through this patch of fog that is a ghost, the old lady comes inside your car and, as quickly, she enters you. She gets into your bones and makes you old in minutes. You won’t know what is happening. Your hands suddenly ache with age. Your eyesight isn’t as clear.

Your back bends forward and stays that way. You can barely see over the steering wheel.

It won’t matter whether you see well or not. You aren’t driving the car any longer. She is. You find that you are turning the car around in the road. It takes forever. Then, slowly, back up the mountain ridge you go.

The fog in the mountains is like that. It goes where it wants to go, not where you want it to. She’s driving you both to her house. It’s a place you’ve never been before, but when you get there you’ll know just what to do. The cats are watching for your arrival.

* * *
The story above is titled A Patch of Fog in Ghost Cats of the South. My reading from the published (a tad more eloquent) version of the ghost story will be featured on SE Public Radio (Montgomery Alabama) throughout the month of October.

From 5 to 7 pm, Thursday, October 16, I'll be at Milestone Books in Westavia Hills, Alabama telling ghost stories and listening to those who drop by with a ghost expereince of their own to share. If you live in the Montgomery metro area, you can call Milestone Books at 205-824-2223 and reserve a signed copy of Ghost Cats of the South. Or plan to drop by and keep me company with a good ghost question or two.


artgirly said...

I love that story!

GhostFolk.com said...

Hey, Nicole, thanks for the kind word. A Patch of Fog is my favoritye story in the book, but it's really rather a quiet one. The old lady ghost in the fog has a sole quest. To have the cats she left behind fed and taken care of.

Don'tthinktwice said...

Wow. Great story. Thanks for the encouraging comment on my poem. I have not been published, but maybe someday.

Keep up the ghost stories!