A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Others are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.
Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.
She had brought it on a whim at a garage sale. The woman who sold it had practically thrown it at her when she enquired, took only 50p. With bloodshot eyes, she spat the tale.
“She must have brought it for him! I have never seen before.”
She, it turned out, was some mysterious floozy who had apparently stolen her husband. He had disappeared one night leaving everything behind. His wife had found the picture hanging in his study. She assumed it was from her.
Now it hung in Suzanne’s hall. As she looked at it in greater detail it did not seem a likely love gift.
It was a simple landscape. A green field of swaying grass and in the distance a lonely figure. A man she thought but there was no telling why.
A simple image but compelling. The nuances of the colour were subtle and lifelike. She could almost feel the grass swaying. She wondered where the man was walking to. He seemed to be disappearing into the horizon.
A simple picture that had drawn her eye from the moment she saw it.
And so it continued to. As she went about her daily business she kept passing by and stopping to appreciate her new find.
In fact, she realised that she was finding the least excuse to pass that way more and more often. She laughed at herself. What a silly obsession!
But she did not stop.
Finally, she went to bed.
She could not sleep. The picture played on her mind. There was something about it. Something she was not seeing. There must be some subliminal symbol or hidden message that was trying to call out to her.
She tried to ignore it and get to sleep.
She could not.
There was something about the picture!
She got out of bed. Went back down to the hall and stared at it.
It was mesmerising. The brush strokes were so fantastically real. Had she stumbled on some forgotten or lost masterpiece? The grass almost seemed to be moving, rippling like water in the wind.
No! It was moving! And the figure, the man. He was closer! Holding out his hand in invitation….
He had not noticed the picture in the catalogue. But now, here in the auction room, it drew him. The fact that it was from the house clearance of a mysteriously missing woman somehow added to his desire for it. It seemed to have no worth. It was described simply as “Man and Woman in Grassy Meadow”. Artist unknown.