Wednesday, February 22, 2012

After Midnight


A shaky Leo sat down by the fire yesterday afternoon and told me about something that happened while I was away. As instructed, he took Ansa for a walk three times a day, the last walk being around midnight.

Last Friday at midnight, he walks her down the shore to the Delaney House, an old house that's been there for well over a couple hundred years. Small, tight, and freshly enhanced with a family of three, including a baby, in the last couple of years. Ansa was doing her business by the rocks when she suddenly barked. Leo, who had been watching her, looked up just in time to see Billy Delaney running along the shore just about to crash into the two of them.

“Wearing his waders," said Leo, his eyes round and frightened in the memory of it, his mouth trembling, “and that awful old cap of his, a dirty old tweedy thing, should have been lumped out years ago.”

“Ansa started to howl, just a bit, and then Billy...” he tried to go on.

“What, Billy did what?” I said.

“Well Billy ran through me. And it hurt.”

“Billy ran through you? What?”

“I could hear the crunch of old waders on the stones and he ran through me and I fell down because my chest hurt so much and my legs went all rubber on me and wouldn't hold me up and Ansa was making an awful crying sound.”

“And what about Billy?”

“Oh he was gone, right gone, right quick. But I could still smell him, he never gave himself a good washing.”

“So Ansa licked my face, and I managed to stand up, but I couldn't walk properly at all. So I managed to make it over to Annie's by the crossroads and told her what had happened. It was going on for nearly one o'clock in the morning then, and I was drinking the cup of tea she made me with lots of sugar for the shock and then she goes ahead and calls Father Korea. I tried to stop her but she wouldn't listen. So next thing Father Korea comes on down with his prayerbook and his holy water saying he thought I'd have to be dying for him to be taken out of his warm bed on a freezing night like this.”

“You can't be serious,” I say, laughing in spite of myself, petting my brave Ansa.

“Oh, but I am,” and Leo has never looked more serious and is slightly offended at my laughing, “and he says all these mumbly-jumbly prayers over my head and sprinkles holy water all over me, and tells whatever is inside me to leave forever.”

“Did it work?” I ask.

“On I'm still fair haunted with it all. I don't know about it working.”

“You're sure it was Billy?” I say.

“Oh no doubt at all, not a doubt it was Billy, drunk as always, gallivanting like a mad man around the place.”

Billy has been dead for eight years.

22 comments:

  1. It works! :) Now for my real comment.

    I thought stories like that only happened in Ireland! Great story.

    ReplyDelete
  2. GM:
    Thanks for the test, that capcha thing was crazy, glad my change worked!!
    What makes the story all the more strange is that Leo does not have any imagination. None.
    There are more stranger things on earth....etc.
    Well the Irish did move to Newfoundland, right? :)
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  3. How extraordinary! Hard to believe as I've never experienced anything like that, but the world is mighty strange....

    ReplyDelete
  4. I read you at Grannymar's. I didn't know you had your own blog. Interesting & exciting to know you.

    bikehikebabe

    ReplyDelete
  5. Perchance, I ask myself, have those native Newfoundlanders taken to brewing the potcheen?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yikes! I was reading this in my darkened cottage (it's only 4:30 a.m here) and I had to turn on a light, I got so rattled!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nick:
    I found it more than disturbing to say the least.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  8. BHB:
    Welcome to my world! Thanks for stopping by.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  9. RJA:
    They've long been brewin' the moonshine but I did ask Leo if he'd had a few beers and he stood on all his dignity and said "not when I have a job of dog-carin' to do."
    so there!
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  10. Pauline:
    I've been uneasy myself with the whole story of it. Especially when Leo warned me never to walk down the shore with the dog late at night.
    I really don't want Billy running through me.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow !! WWW I have just blogged about reading Ambrose Bierce's stories and I come across that story.

    ReplyDelete
  12. GFB:
    Synchronicity or ghostly influences?
    H'm
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  13. That's an incredible experience Leo had. I'm sure he is quite rattled. It would have upset me quite a bit. I hope I never experience anything like it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Poor Leo! I hate to be prosaic, but as he mentioned that his chest hurt during the incident - do you think he might have suffered a very mild attack of some kind, TIA or heart wobble or some such -which resulted in an hallucinatory moment?

    I want to believe the ghostliness of it all though.

    Glad you're back on homeground with Ansa. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've had a few oddball things happen over the years Nora but nothing involving physical injury or pain.
    Leo said he's never going near there again, no matter what the time.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  16. T:
    He was very specific in that Billy hurt him by running through him. Leo is extraordinarily fit, I doubt very much a health episode.
    Though perhaps an hallucination, who knows.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  17. Being dead for 8 years doesn't necessarily mean that he no longer roams the old haunts.

    I like ghosts and ghost stories.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Friko:
    It sounds like you have run into a few yourself!
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  19. Some mighty fine people you know WWW. If Leo sees Billy again, please ask him to inform the latter that there is a fair sized target to run down here in Pune.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ramana:
    He will be so instructed, I'm booking a seat on the sidelines in Pune.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete

Some of you are having trouble, I've removed captcha and verification so we'll see how that goes. My apologies. Blogger is putting up far too many roadblocks. Thanks for the emails alerting me.
wisewebwomanatgmail.com