The Day I Saw the Ghost
by Mary Alice Foster
(Groesbeck, TX, USA)
I don't usually see things...well, the only time I did was when I saw the ghost. See, I was walking home from Mrs. O'Malley's yard where I'd mowed, trimmed, and watered her grass for the third time this summer. She was mighty particular about what she expected in a gardener.
"Now, young man, if you can't do a good job, then don't come and ask me for work!"
"Yes, ma'am," I'd dutifully replied. "I don't expect to get something for nothing."
Well, I had spent my whole afternoon over there making sure there weren't any bald spots, dry places, or anything else that would cause her to fuss at me. I had my $25 in my pocket, and I wanted to go home and see if my mom would take me to the local comic book store to get the latest graphic novel.
You see, I'm a pretty normal boy; Joe Jones, age 13, likes to read graphic novels and play zombie killing video games. Just a pretty normal person really. But, my life changed the day I cut through the local cemetery.
It was a dark afternoon; the sky had a lot of puffy clouds that were starting to darken, making me think that I would be getting wet pretty soon if I didn't hurry on home. I think that's why I cut through there to get home quicker.
I pride myself on not being superstitious, but it was just plain creepy in there. There were big mausoleums in there, with moss hanging off of them, and smaller untended grave sites that looked as though no one had done anything to them in a while. I felt kind of bad that people didn't care enough to at least come and put some flowers out on the grave or pull the weeds. I even stopped for a second and pulled some out in one particularly heavily weeded spot.
I was just about to turn around and leave when I felt something cold right behind me. I knew it was summer, and this was a most unexpected surprise. When I did get turned around, it was such a shock. There was a white, wispy cloud of something...a ghost? Could it be that such things really existed? I usually don't believe in such things, but there was no explanation I could think of.
Well, you know, I was scared, so I stopped and stared for a second and then I yelled, "Hey, what do you want from me?" "Are you real?" Like it was going to answer me. I'm not sure what I would have done had it answered me. Probably had a heart attack on the spot!
I finally got my self moving and turning back, I saw the wispy figure moving slowly to a dilapidated grave site. I decided to investigate as my curiosity got the better of me. I walked up to it slowly and read the caption on the old mossy headstone. Here lies Angelica O'Malley, beloved mother and wife.
What? That was the name of Mrs. O'Malley whom I'd been working for all summer. No one ever came to visit the old woman that I could tell; her house was very disheveled looking if you know what I mean. Kind of shabby and unkempt looking even though she always wore long, old fashioned looking dresses and aprons.
I ran out of the cemetery and ran back toward Mrs. O'Malley's house down the street from my own. I went up and knocked on the door and it slowly creaked open. I went in calling her name, "Mrs. O'Malley, are you home?"
"It's Joe;I just wanted to check on you."
I walked around the small room and looked at a newspaper article lying on the desk in the small office. It was yellowed with age, and contained among other things, the local obituaries. Imagine my shock when I saw the obituary with Mrs. O'Malley's name and picture staring out at me! What could this mean?
So what did I do? The only thing I could do; I went home and ate some chocolate chip cookies that Mom had made while I was at work. I asked her if she could take me to the comic book store later. And I thought long and hard about how much I was going to miss working for Mrs. O'Malley.