"It was sitting on the glider?" "No, silly", she said, a laugh in her voice, "it was out there, on the front lawn; that's the only time I ever saw it."
Miss Rose was a retired teacher, having spent thirty-four years teaching First Grade at Alsase Elementary. I'd been one of her students, back in those long-ago days when a man named John told all of us that we could be anything we wished to be, a message she'd echoed in her class. When I was free, I sometimes dropped by to see how she was, and drink her lemonade, which I first tasted in her class. Now, twenty years after retiring, she spent her hours with her cat, her memories, and it seemed....a ghost.
"I first noticed it about three weeks after I moved in here", she said, "when the house was left to me, about thirty years ago- a strange feeling of being watched, if I sat out here around dusk. It got stronger as it got darker, until I cauld almost tell exactly where "it" was.
"Did it ever show up in the house?" I asked.
"Never....just out here. Not indoors, or in the back, just around the front yard.
"Sometimes, I hear the sound of footsteps coming up the walk, mixed with a tapping sound, like a cane or walking-stick.If Zander (her tomcat) is outside, he'll walk alongside "it", looking up periodically, as if wanting to be picked up."
Tell me about when you saw it".
"It was about a month ago, the first really warm night we'd had this year. As I was looking toward the street, I caught something to my right....as I turned, I could see a shadow, darker than the lawn, right where I showed you. It was as tall as a man, standing very still, just gazing at me, neither moving or speaking.
"I wasn't afraid, although there was a strange sense of....longing, as if it wanted to come up, and join me on the glider, but was prevented somehow. After a few moments, it faded away."
"Have you seen it since", I enquired. "No," said Miss Rose, no sound or presence, either. "Thing is," she said, "I've got the feeling it's not gone, nor is this over-just a feeling", said she as she reached for the pitcher, "that it's waiting for something."
The next time I saw Miss Rose was in the Viewing Room at Garbold and Sons, made up, her hair neatly done, lying very still in a satin-lined box.
Make of it what you will. j