Lady In White

Snow drifted across the road, swirling in the air like tiny diamonds. Through the haze, hues of orange, pink, and yellow filled with sky as the sun set over the trees on the horizon. Streaks of dark purple, like bolts of lightning, arched through the clouds. Ice icicles clung to rooftops, crackling with caught light.

“Are you sure you wanted to go on a winter stroll?” Simon asked. His voice was muffled as he came up beside me. An oversized scarf Nanna had crocheted for him wrapped around his face not once, not twice, but three times! His slouchy hat covered his ears and forehead so that only the tiniest sliver of his face was visible. His oceanic eyes stared at her. “It’s too c-c-cold for this.”

I shake my head and laugh at him. “When was the last time we ever just took it all in?” I asked, throwing my head back and staring up into the twilight sky. “Look how beautiful the world is. And to think we could have missed all of this,” I wave my hand across the space in front of us, “just because it’s cold.”

Even without being able to see his lips, I know he’s glowering at me. Sighing, I place a gloved hand on his shoulder. “Fine,” I say. “Come on. We can go home.”

I turn to head back when a silhouette of a woman standing in the window of the house next to us catches my eye. She stares back at me as I gaze at her.

“What are you staring at?” Simon asks. He punches me in the arm. “Come on. I want to go home.”

I stand, transfixed as the woman remains motionless.

“Do you see her?” I raise my hand to point, but think better of the gesture. What if she hasn’t noticed me yet?

Simon glanced towards the house. “There’s no one there,” he said. “Remember what mom said. No one has lived there for years.”

“But there’s someone in there,” I say again.

He leans forward to scan the front of the house and squints. “Yeah. I still don’t see anything,” he says.

I chew on my bottom lip. He sounds so convinced that there’s no one there, but my eyes and mind refuse to accept that. There is someone there. I know it.

I charge forward, ignoring his shouts to come back. When I reach the door, I turn back and stick my tongue out at him. If he wants to be a sissy, then let him.

Without hesitation, I rap on the door. Wind whistles through the tree in the front yard, sending a shiver down my spine.

But no one answers.

I knock again.

“Sam, please!” Simon grumbles. “I really don’t think you should be bothering—“

I twist the handle and shove the unlocked door open. Smirking, I turn back to him and shrug.

“Hello?” I hello. “Hello?” I elongate the word, hoping someone will heed my call.

I step into the room where the silhouette had been, but there is only darkness and the faint musty smell of a place that’s sat vacant for too long.

Footsteps crunch behind me. I whirl around, certain I’ve finally found her. But it’s only my brother, Simon. He holds out his hand to, a golden brooch clutched in his palm.

“She told me to give this to you,” he said, letting the small token drop into my hand.

I inspect the brooch carefully. There, engraved into the metal are a set of initials and a date: E. B. L. 1876.

“Who gave this to you?” I ask, turning to Simon.

“The lady in white.”

Comments 0