Saturday, March 01, 2008

Spooky Ghosts - A figment of imagination

When we first moved up to the farm, we stayed on one of the other farms whilst we waited for our house to be emptied. It was a lot of fun and we made a few casual friends over there with some of the other kids.

There was a lovely little pond in the back garden which is where we spent a lot of our time, monitoring the tadpoles and other little wrigglies. It kept us occupied for many a long afternoon and time always seemed to stand still for us there.

My younger sister and I would make a mad dash through our schoolwork so that we could go outside and play. I’ve never done algebra that quickly before ~chuckle~ I daresay I have never done it more incorrectly either! Being outside was so much more important to me that learning why x+y would equal z. To be frank, since graduating I have never used it again anyway, so I figure it was all a waste of time. Spelling, basic mathematics and home economics…now THAT has been useful to me all the time.

I digress, once again. Its becoming a habit, I am sure of it. Maybe I have digressional disease! Now that would be something. However, before I go into the wonderful impracticalities of such a disease, I shall carry on with the story. Now, where was I? Oh yes…play time.

My sister and I would do our schoolwork, finish our chores and then haul our bicycles out the shed, take identical running leaps onto them and pedal madly down the road. Halfway down the road we’d meet up with two of the neighbours’ children and from there we would go cycling around the whole farm. It was lovely to be hopping rocks, trying to wheelie down a straight stretch or just going as fast as was possible for our legs to go. Often times we would split up and see how long it would take us to relay around the farm. We’d spend about three hours cycling around and then out of mutual consensus we would stop at the creepy looking house down the road.

This house was really old and the gate creaked as you opened it. The latch was broken and so it was tied shut with a piece of rusty old wire. This was creepy and scary all on its own to a bunch of little kids, never mind that as you progressed down the pathway it became quieter and even the birds stopped singing.

On this particular day we had decided to play truth, dare or command. Unfailingly, we all chose dare and the big dare was that we were to go into the house and prove that we were brave and that there were no ghosts there. Popular rumour had it that the house was haunted by a girl and her grandfather who were supposed to have died there.

So, the four of us plucked up our courage, sucked in our breath and very bravely, knees knocking and hearts beating wildly, we walked through the little squeaky gate and crept up the pathway to the house. When we got to the front door it was touch and go but we decided we’d come this far already so we went inside.

It was extremely dark until our eyes got used to the murky darkness. In the first room we walked into (and the only room we walked into) there was a huge hole in the floor where someone had made a fire on the floorboards. Dumb or what?! The windows were mostly broken and boarded up with planks, which was why it was so dark inside. I was examining the fireplace and the strange white powder that was all around it, when a loud shriek was heard, followed by a grunt and in no time at all we were all outside trying to calm our rattled nerves and vowing never to go in there again.

We got on our bicycles and sped off, leaving a trail of dust and pine cones behind us.

Turns out that one of the guys thought it would be hilarious to let drape a reed over one of the girls and then let out a moan. It was enough to send her into shrieking hysterics which gave the rest of us a huge fright. Hilarious! Well, it wasn’t then but it is now. It’s amazing what sort of silly stories one believes when you’re young. The house never was haunted, obviously, it was just old. Also, we could have been seriously injured had we ventured into the next room because all the floor boards were rotten and if we had stood on them they would have collapsed and we would have fallen through into the basement, which had a lot of broken glass in it. So, just as well we got scared off!