Yesterday on my drive home from work, a young girl stepped out into the middle of the road and held her arms out at both sides like kids do when they’re playing toll collector on the stairs or in bathroom doorways to torture siblings. This road is not a highway by any stretch but is busy enough that you don’t cross the street to get your mail at night without telling your family you love them first.
The girl looked about 6 years old, but she might have been 5 or 7. She was wearing a hot pink snowsuit and knit hat. Her eyes lit with power when I stopped my car several feet in front of her. I thought about honking the horn, but it felt rude even though I honk at deer when they do the same thing.
The girl finally stepped back into what I assume was her yard and I rolled down my window and said “You know, you can’t stand in the road like that. Someone might hit you.”
Her eyes got big but not in a particularly scared way. She did not look at me but turned and walked back towards what I assume was her house, which is next to the one with the orange fish mailbox that someone inexplicably painted half black.
Later when I told my husband about the girl in the road, he said “Maybe she was a ghost.”
This hadn’t occurred to me or my daughters, probably because ghosts usually don’t wear hot pink snowsuits. He then said in his spooky voice, “It was five years ago today that a horrible accident happened just up the road…”
This is one of the reasons we’re still married. It’s a real asset to be able to spin your spouse’s mundane stories into ghostly tales or anything halfway interesting.
He also had my back years ago when I took a photo of the front of our house and noticed a ghost hovering in the corner. We were living in the Poconos at the time and I got so excited about snow in October that I scurried out in my pajamas to snap a picture. It turned out to be a very long winter and I’ve never gotten that excited over a little snow on the roof since, but anyway, I showed Joe the picture of the ghost and he squinted for awhile and said “Oh yeah, you mean the reflection of Saddam Hussein in the window?”
I looked at the picture again. “No. I mean the gaunt looking figure holding a sickle in the lower right corner.”
He squinted again and said “Hmm.”
Years later the people behind Ghosthunters had a magazine and I emailed the photo to them. They featured it on a page called Evidence Bag.
One of the Ghosthunters – I believe it was Steve – wrote that it might be a ghost but was probably not and next time I should try taking it with a digital camera to be sure it wasn’t a glitch in the development process. 1) I had taken it with a digital camera and 2) How was I supposed to know when and where a gaunt figure with a sickle might be hanging around waiting to be photographed? The more I thought about it, the easier it seemed to just move.
On the drive in this morning, I will look for footprints in the snow by where I saw the little girl. Even if I see footprints, how can I be sure they don’t belong to deer or raccoons or tiny elven men.