It’s like a boogeyman tale from when we were kids. I’ve been in this town for thirty years, and do quite a bit of walking. I suppose I could say I have been by her door more than five hundred times.
Reputedly, the spinster (or widow, depending on which story you believe) either inherited, or was born, in this house. Back in its day, it may have been reasonably fashionable, but from my picture you can see it has fallen into decay. There have never been any men, at least none that anyone knows of or will talk about. I personally do not even know how she survives or gets her supplies, and it’s a subject that few want to talk about.
Some of the vile things I have heard I will credit to the overactive imaginations of adolescents. Freezers in the basement, full of who knows what, or who. An overabundance of felines, whose population reputedly has dwindled with the last few years. Pungent cooking smells coming from the place. Ashes and tiny bone fragments in the back garden. All my eyes have seen, and can confirm, are the broken windows, mossy carpets on the outside of the place, weeks and weeks of newspapers which accumulate until some good Samaritan collects them, and, yes, on a handful of occasions, the specter herself (or so I suppose).
My own imagination is overactive at times, and I am something of a romantic bookworm, and so I will say that the pale, grassy-haired figure with sunken eyes vies for comparison between two literary figures of old: The ghost of Catherine Earnshaw scrabbling at the dark window in Wuthering Heights, and the cobwebbed Miss Havisham
from Great Expectations. She appears at odd times peeking through moth eaten drapes of lace, never in full view, and quickly withdrawing once she has seen what she has needed to see. Uncomfortably, it has been me on a few occasions.
I have not met a single soul who has ever spoken to her, or seen her out of doors. As for me, I am divided between a sense of dread and one of exciting mystery, and have more than once considered plucking up the courage to rap on her door.
Do wish me luck, reader, for, if this gets the best of me, I may come to know more about Miss Earnshaw-Havisham than is good for me.
Perhaps the newspapers will begin to pile up in front of MY door.
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.