Short Story Sunday: A Mysterious Stranger on a Hot Dry Day

Standing on the hill among the wind swept oaks blanked with mist from the lake she imagined herself in a billowing skirt, hair blowing in the wind, romance in the air. She was in a Gothic novel. She was transported to another time, another place, another life…

“Rex,” she called out to the old dog of unknown breed. The large black dog continued to sniff the dry grass. “God damn it Rex. You’re going to get fox tails up your nose.”

Leash in her hand she made her way down to the dog. The billowing skirts and romance was gone  as the middle aged woman in crop pants and a baggy tee shirt grabbed her dog by the collar and gently nudged him out of the weeds.

She pulled her should length hair back with an elastic tie to keep the sweat off of her neck. What a beautiful day for a walk despite the heat.

Woman and dog made their way up the hill. They stopped above the lake and watched down on the rowing teams below.

A sudden cold breeze felt so good. Cold turned to ice and she turned around to see him standing there.

“Kristen, dear lady.”

The man wore clothes of the 1850’s. His hat was in his hand, his hair ruffled by the breeze. A smile was on his handsome and distinguished face.

Rex perked up and wagged his tail.

“Uh, hi. Do I know you?” Kristen felt the chill again and thought of running, but knew she’d slip on the steep rocky trail.

The man smiled. “Not yet. Or at least not in flesh and blood.”

“Who are you? What are you doing here?”

“We will meet again soon. Until then…” and he kissed her.

“Wait. Are you a ghost?”

“Look at the boats,” he said.

She turned to look at the lake and the air turned hot again. He’d vanished.

Leaning against a tree she caught her breath. Glancing at her own hand on the rough bark she  noticed the chipped pink fingernail polish and blue veins. The sun caught her wedding ring making the gold sparkle and shine bright.

“If I lived back in his time I’d probably be dead by now,” she told Rex. “So would you.”

As she walked home her heart pounded, almost in a panic. Then excitement. Was he a ghost? Was he in a time warp of some kind? Was he real? Would he come back?

She didn’t know and maybe never would. Then again, maybe he would.


Tangled Tales




    1. Thank you so much. I keep feeling like I’m starting to write the same story over and over again. But yes, ghosts can kiss. They can do just about anything they want except pass over to the other side. OK some ghosts can.

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