Ghost Story

Heartlight

(originally published on Xanga April 05, 2012)

“Weren’t you just over there?” SHE asked.

“No,” HE said.

“But I just saw you.”

“That must have been my doppelganger.”

“Your doppelganger was playing pool?”

“Yes, he likes to play pool”

“I would have thought him more into darts. They say darts is Apollyon’s game.”

“But why do you suppose it’s yellow or white instead of green? Or sometimes even pink?”

“What?”

“The moon.”

“The moon?”

“Yes.”

“I thought we were talking about your doppelganger.”

“No, we were talking about how the scientists are saying the moon is made of green cheese.”

“I don’t recall that. Are you sure?”

“That’s what he said.”

“Who? Your doppelganger?”

“No, the bartender.”

“How does he know?”

“Because I told him.”

“I see,” SHE said, adjusting her sitting posture and noticing his gaze towards her lower extremities.

“May I kiss you legs?” HE asked, “They are very pretty.”

“I suppose,” SHE said. “But do you really think so?”

“I do,” HE said. And HE did.  “I have to use the lavatory now,” HE explained and headed for the restroom.

SHE turned to the bartender. “What did that man tell you?”

“What’s it to you doll?”

“I’d like to know.”

“Oh would you now?”

“I would.”

“Then tell me,” he said leaning towards her, “what’s in it for me?”

“What do you want?”

“I want to kiss your legs. They are very pretty.”

“So I have been told. All right then, you may kiss my legs.”.

And he did.

“So what did he tell you?” SHE asked

“Nothing. He told me nothing.”

“You lied to me.”

“I didn’t lie. He didn’t tell me anything. You asked me what he told me which was nothing and that’s what I told you.”

“Okay, perhaps you didn’t lie. But you deceived me. He didn’t tell you anything yet you kissed my legs knowing I was expecting to hear something.”

“Sorry doll. Your legs, they’re just too pretty.”

“I don’t like being deceived. I won’t tolerate it. Understood?”

“Understood.”

“In the village where my mother grew up there’s a story about a girl they call La Llorna.”

“Is there now?”

“She had a virgin birth.”

“Like the Virgin Mary.”

“No, nothing like that at all,” SHE said. “Upon finding out she was pregnant, her parents demanded she marry the father. They demanded to know who he was but she couldn’t give them a name no matter how much they pressed because there was no father. They beat that girl day and night, mercilessly, all through her pregnancy. It’s a wonder she didn’t lose the baby.”

“Yes, a wonder.”

“They kept her hidden while she was pregnant and when she finally gave birth they hid the child, lest the rest of the village know them as the parents of a whore.”

“A very puritanical village I guess.”

“Yes, in the worst sense. Years later she met a man and fell in love. He was everything she ever wanted.

“Good for her.”

“She thought she was everything he ever wanted as well. And she was right, at least at first. But then she told him her secret.”

“About the kid.”

“Yes.”

“I’m guessing it didn’t go over too well.”

“He was shocked initially but, for a time, he seemed okay with it. But then he began to grow cold, distant. He became more and more withdrawn, incapable of expressing even mild affection. One day he just told her that he didn’t love her any more.”

“Poor girl.”

“Poor boy.”

“Boy?”

“Her son. He was the barrier between her and the love of her life.”

“Hope she didn’t do anything irrational.”

“She drowned him in the lake.”

“I see.”

“Afterwards she ran to tell him the joyous news, that they could be together now forever. But he was horrified. He told her to stay away from him, that he never wanted to see her again, that he’d kill her if she ever came near him again.”

“He didn’t go to the police.”

“No. There was no point. She could quite easily deny it and with no proof there ever was a child, there wouldn’t be much of a case.”

“Lucky for her.”

“She didn’t think so. Distraught over her lost love, she drowned herself in the lake.”

“The same lake where she drowned the boy?”

“Yes. To this day, there are reports of her ghost wandering the shores of that very lake, often carrying her weeping child, trying to comfort him, but to no avail. It’s said that he is inconsolable.”

“It’s a rough thing for a kid to go through.”

“Legend has it when children play close to the lake, she rises from the depth to pull them in, drowning them, hoping that in death they might be a playmate to her child, perhaps help him overcome his sorrow.”

“Interesting story.”

“My mother was very cruel woman, abusive. Not so much physical, but very much emotional. She would constantly tell my siblings and me that La Llorna was coming for us. From the time of infancy she would fill our our heads with these abominable stories of La Llorna drowning neighborhood children, graphically describing the fear they felt as their lungs filled with water, their bodies bloated, the blood vessels bursting in their eyes, the panic, the terrible panic as they fought so hard to escape her grip. But it was all in vain. In the end they always died, every one of them.”

“How awful.”

“I developed hydrophobia.”

“Fear of water?”

“Yes. I would wet my bed every night because I was afraid to go anywhere near the bathroom. I had to be bound before they could bathe me. I wouldn’t even go near the kitchen sink, much less a swimming pool or, God forbid, the lake.”

“Must have been a rough childhood.”

“My baby brother suffered even more. He was a sweet but sensitive boy. I remember him gathering wood and scrap metal and plastic. He talked about building a rocket ship that would takes us far, far away. He wanted to run away to the moon.”

“Ain’t no water up there.”

“No, just green cheese. Lots and lots of green cheese.”

“That’s what the scientists say anyway.”

“It was just a silly thought by a naive little boy. We never did manage to get away. We continued to endure her abuse until the day she spontaneously combusted. That was years later though. The damage was already done.”

“I guess we all have our cross to bear.”

Suddenly all eyes turned toward the voice of a limbless girl perched upon a stool at the other end of the bar. “Don’t let it get you down,” she said then lowered her head to the straw in her wine glass to take a sip of chardonnay.  She continued, “I used to say, ‘I’m just a little girl with no arms and no legs. What can I possibly do in this world?’”

“I don’t know,” said the bartender, “What can you do?”

“I can love, that’s what I can do. I can still love. I don’t need arms for hugging or legs for kissing. All I need is a heart,” she said and her chest began to glow a luminous red like that of a well-known extra terrestrial from a Neil Diamond song.

SHE turned away from the girl with no arms and no legs to recognize a familiar face. “You’re back,” SHE said.

“No, I’m his doppelganger.”

“What do you want Doppelganger?”

“I’d like to kiss your legs. They are very pretty you know.”

“Yes, please kiss them.”

And he did.


1 Comments

Lakes make for such a lovely scene.

Posted 4/7/2012 at 3:2 PM by nov_way
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