My favorite part of Christmas wasn’t the presents or the food or even the free Sideshow that my family and friends provided that I in turn have shamelessy used in my writing years later
My family and friends are in ALL of my stories.
The best part was when we’d turn off most of the house lights, light some candles sit around the lit Christmas Tree and do the only thing you could do after a hard day of eating and drinking and making Merry.
We’d tell stories.
Everyone had a chance to tell a story- no matter how old or young – you got a chance to have the floor and tell stories like that one about that time when….
My Grandfather Saw The Ghost Lady
One of my Grandfathers was a dark haired Englishman and the other was a dark haired Filipino man and they both shared a similar experience.
They both saw the same woman at the same time- and they were living on opposite sides of the world.
So, in your minds eye picture my English Grandfather driving his 1940 Ford Coupe- his dark hair slicked back and wearing a snazzy suit- down the unlit rural streets of a town just outside of Seattle.
It’s a cold night because it’s Christmas Eve and it had started to snow a little that afternoon and the roads were icy and dangerous but that was fine with the dashing handsome man with my laugh that would one day become my Grandfather because he’s a good driver and he has no intention of not showing up at his family’s house in time for Christmas Dinner.
And somewhere in the Canefields on the big Island of Hawaii my other Grandfather- a dark handsome man with jet black hair and my eyes- is driving something called a Willy’s Jeep- through the dark fields towards his home along the bluff of the Waipio Valley where his family is waiting for him to bring home the treats for their Christmas Party.
And as they almost reach their homes they each see standing on the side of the road- a woman.
Her hair is white and her eyes are green .
She’s wearing a black dress and her hair is pulled back and she’s wearing rings on all of her fingers.
Each of them pulls up to the side of the road and asks the woman if she needs help.
” No” she tells them. ” I just need a ride.”
” To where ” they ask.
She leans in and whispers, ” Why, I want to go to wherever it is you’re going.”
Both of them don’t like her- they don’t like the way her hand rests on the hoods of their car, they don’t like the way she sounds, they don’t like the way she seems very sure she’s going to get what she wants.
” You can’t come with me. ” they tell her.
The Woman slams her palm down and the Car and the Jeep tilt a little to the left and she says, ” I go where I want- do you hear me? And what I want is for you to let me in!”
Both of my Grandfathers start to pull away and that’s when they look down and see that the hem of the woman’s dress is floating a little above the ground- where her feet should be.
When they looked backup into her face she was smiling.
” I travel these roads but I don’t walk them.”
Did she tell you how she traveled them? I asked over 30 years later.
Neither man answered me.
Their story always ended with them driving off and the Ghost Lady being pulled back into the trees at the side of the road or the canfields by the shadows.
I think she did answer and in the end when they died I think they won- whatever that Ghost Lady said, whatever curse or threat she made- got left on those roads years ago.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if they had let her in, would I be here to tell you this story?
I could answer it if you like…or you could leave it here on the side of the road.
The choice is yours.