Day 3 – A Life Lived Through Stories: Ghost

I stood at the back door of the house, trembling, looking into the blackness which almost oozed out of the windows like a giant leech. I was here again after so many years. What brought me back, I had asked myself, but the question remained unanswered. I had broken free of its grip a long time ago and had no need to return here. Yet I wanted to see…something; perhaps to see if a presence was still tangible.

I stepped closer to the windows and looked in. The back room was barely visible in the gloom. The windows were dirty with thirty years of disuse. No one had wanted this house after what happened here. The memory lived on and locals shunned it. Even squatters, who had occasionally taken shelter here, swiftly left, tainted by the place forever. Yet here I was; one who had better reason than anyone to want to keep away.

Looking to my right, I saw that the back door, which led into the kitchen, was actually unlocked and slightly open. The last squatters had, presumably, left in such a hurry that they hadn’t bothered to close it and neighbours hadn’t dared to look. I hesitated, not knowing if the thought in my head was a sick aberration or not. I was just a boy when I last came to this place. I had left terrified, destroyed inside. So why did I want to return now? Was it a sick fascination, wondering what I would encounter inside now that I was a man?

A sickness or not, I pushed open the door, giving a shove as papers, strewn on the floor jammed it and resisted my attempts. Stepping into the kitchen I looked around at the damp walls and breathed in the musty smell, the reek of abandonment. If evil has an odour, I thought, then this would be it.


To continue reading this story please buy the book ‘The Old Man on the Beach and other stories’ available January 2015.


Copyright © 2014 D K Powell


22 thoughts on “Day 3 – A Life Lived Through Stories: Ghost

    1. Oh dear – and it was such a short story as well. I’m afraid it was a story which needed reading carefully and then, probably, read again. Spoiler alert – never flick to the end of my stories or you’ll often spoil the whole point of reading them! 😉


  1. […] Ghost was a very difficult story to write. Though it is not my story as such, it does draw on experiences personal to me and I had very clear images in my head as I wrote it. At the same time I was very aware of others reading this story who might have had similar experiences and I didn’t want to downplay the feelings – often mixed – which arise from the kind of childhood the protagonist endured. The inspiration for the setting, by the way, was a single scene from the film Forrest Gump. […]


  2. I’m glad I had decided that I would start reading your NaNoWriMo posts only in the last week of November so that I could read them one after the other. I’m temporarily stopping with this one – it is emotionally overwhelming – but with whatever I read today, I’ve become a much bigger fan of your writing! I’m sure your book will be un-put-down-able!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m touched by your words and very grateful for your support. From such a prolific writer and academic such as yourself I’m very pleased that this story affected you so deeply. Nothing is so satisfying for a writer so thank you again for your highly encouraging comment. 🙂


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