The Stenham house was an ancient locked thing and nothing returned there except for crows. Their angst driven ‘caw, caw’ echoed against the stone walls. A reverberation in blue melody.
She dared to peer out from behind the heavily draped windows. She couldn’t be sure, but she thought she’d seen them again. Darting around the periphery of her property. Watching the fence line closely, she finally saw them. Fleeting, but most certainly there.
She was scared. What did they want? Why wouldn’t they leave her alone? Leave her family alone? Lucille became more and more agitated, as she considered her fears. She watched from the window for what seemed like hours. It wasn’t the first time they’d tried to get in. To destroy her happy home. A home she had built from the ground up with her husband Walter. A home she had raised three children in. A home she had kept as pristine and proud as the first day she’d opened its doors.
Suddenly from behind her, she heard a voice, “Lucille? It’s me.”
She turned, furious. How had they gotten in? How DARE they?
She launched herself at the intruder, prepared to fight. Arms flailing and abuse spewing forth from her mouth, she was stunned to discover there was nobody there.
Confused and shaken, she retreated to the lounge room. Pouring herself a scotch, she perched herself in the arm chair opposite her husband.
“I don’t know Walter,” she began, “between the strangers in the yard and ghosts in the house, I just don’t know if I can stay here anymore.”
Walter smiled and winked reassuringly. “My daring wife, I am quite sure it’s all in your head. Don’t be scared. I will always be here to protect you.”
Somewhat comforted, she returned his smiled and listened instead for the sounds of her children. Straining, her brow furrowed, she heard nothing at first. But soon, a symphony of animated high pitched chatter, laughter, the squeaking and squealing of toy cars and thumping footsteps up and down the hallway, lulled her anxious heart.
This time, the voice was more urgent.
She whipped her head around, again seeing no one.
“What do you want?” she demanded. “Why won’t you leave me alone?”
Distressed, she began rocking. It was all too much. The voices, the strangers, the ghosts. What was happening to her?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“I’m afraid your grandmother’s dementia has become quite advanced,” the doctor explained kindly. “It’s likely she doesn’t recognise you or your family any longer. In fact, she may have retreated to the past, to a time when she was happy”.
“I don’t understand,” I protested. “She knew me yesterday.”
“That’s the strange thing about the mind”, the doctor continued, “we just have to keep sailing with it, wherever the person takes us. Even if it takes us out of that picture.”
By Sarah ©2017