The Porch Ghost

The Porch Ghost


Someone was supposed to maintain the whitewashing of these steps. Things took a turn and the brush fell from his lifeless hand.Now only these old steps remain to crack and creek should you set a weary foot upon them. That foot being mine at this moment, I now hear the creaking and realize...

Something has found me.

Anytime I happen upon the countryside, passing by an old house with a Porch, a shiver slowly crawls up my back. Ever the weary, I find it both inviting and foreboding, the rustic Porch leading me into the oldish or newish house. The weathered outdoor furnature retains some kind of course film, corpse-like almost- unlike the warm and clean furniture inside. Even a bare Porch, either littered with leaves or swept clean-rings unbearably eerie for me. I've felt this way since I was a small boy. I lived in the country until I turned four and twenty. Then it was the spired-city life for me {A life bundled with its own haunters-Ah but that is an entry for another time}.

Every so often... I return to the woods. It's as though I never left. It's still there waiting for me. Maybe I am the only one who feels this. On the other hand, I see this played out in the movies too:

Protagonist approaches a house and feels... vulnerable. There is a shot of the side window, linen curtains breathily stir as though someone was just there. But none of this is more superbly frightening than when one is standing On the Porch.

And The Porch creeks, 'who goes there'.

I have done this often, awaited Him, Her, or It. But most of the time- none of them come for me. I saw Him once when I was was very small. He was watching me intently from within a cypress hedge and then like a flash bounded quickly back up the front steps and vanished behind the Porch railing- all except his pointed red hat which still stuck out over the railing. Since then, there has been unshakable loneliness...

I saw Her when I was a younging man aged Seventeen or so and she was arresting, The memory of her pushing to and fro on her old white porch swing with just a toenail pivoting gingerly on the floorboards, filling my head with brutal poems and impressing upon me with a staggered wanderlust which still pervades me and all my endeavors. It was a very good year. You see each of these ghosts bring with them... a Curse.

But the last one- the Other one. The It- has not been seen. Ever. Until it possessed me To seek it. Along with it's curse.

I was walking along an old road in Nieuw England one fall morning. It was that most charming time after the Indian Summer. The trees had begun their ritual color. I was just starting to feel a sense of brisk madness that can only be felt in the Autumnal Stillness. The light was failing, the Porches sat in wait as usual. And  I could swear I felt someone's eyes on me.

And Then I saw it... A rocking chair barely moving but moving nonetheless. There was no wind and not a bird to be seen or heard and almost as soon as I saw it, the chair quickly slowed to a stop. At this time I took in the setting... A real estate firm's sign in front like so many sad houses these days. The enormous lake collecting leaves atop it's surface. And the pathetic structure of this rocking chair's home. You see the house had been burned black. It was as though someone had made a home entirely out of charcoal. There was no way to know what color it had been painted... Save the old white-washed Porch, miraculously still there {mostly}. As though it were protected somehow.

And one could feel there was something there...

With careful deliberation I stepped onto the first stair. The pine wood seemed to bend and complain for an eternity until it found it's strength to catch and support my foot. Inside I thanked the Amish for their craftsman ship. My other foot flew over the next step, found the porch and there I was, looking into a dark yawn where a door was. This also brought me right up to my friend the rocking chair and as I worried over the close quarters of my surroundings, I could feel something in the corner of my eye. It couldn't have been taller than my knee. It drew itself up to about my mid-section. I desperately tried to buy time pretending I had not seen the thing and instead looked beyond the old chair to the charred wall but I thought I heard the specter giggle and then make its pathetic incorporeal attempt at tapping me on the elbow.

Moments later, I was down the street running as fast as my loafers would carry me...