looking out the window wasn't enough. She walked among the falling leaves with a new found appreciation
of Mother nature and the sun. There had been far to many cold days. The warmth and light were more
than a welcome relief. She noticed something odd, a man stood at the old well. He well dressed in some
old fashioned garb. Lois smiled at his clothes but she wondered who he was and what was he doing?
Hello he said... She nodded and replied in kind.....Im just looking at the old well, lots of memories here
He continued,....many years ago. Even then this old well was ancient and not in use. I had a baby boy, he
was deformed and very sick. He needed constant care. My wife had a nervous breakdown and I had to
send her away. My life was never the same after that. One day I brought Jerrold here and threw him in
the well. It was as if a madness had taken hold of me...I just wanted him to go away. Three days later,
after drinking a gallon of whiskey, I blew my brains out. Then he simply vanished in front of Lois's eyes.
She had a difficult time sleeping that night. She lived alone with only her dogs and a cat. Her husband
had left her almost a year before. Winter had brought all the old pain back and now she felt she must
be mad. Ghosts were not real. The next day it was a little cooler but still very sunny. She walked
again but avoided the old well. She strolled down by the creek. She paused for a moment to look at
her still youthful reflection in the clear water of the stream. I'm beautiful she thought...it was ironic
her husband had turned out to be gay and was whisked away by his best friend. She thought about
sex and how wonderful it might be to do it right here beside the stream...in warmer weather of course,
and without to many mosquitos around. She smiled again but it was a sad lonely smile.
She glanced across the stream and there he stood, the handsome man that had called himself a ghost.
You're not real...im mad, aren't I? Yes, he replied.
She put her head in her hands and sobbed, Lois had never felt so desperate. Don't cry...the voice
said. He was still there. I'm musn't talk with you, I don't like being mad...
Oh,its alright, Im a bit lonely too...Ive been here for decades and you are the first person that ever
noticed me...you must be special.
Why don't you come back tomorrow when you're feeling better. I will be right here, we can chat to each
other from opposite sides of the stream, that way you won't feel lonely and still have no reason to be
afraid because surely I can't hurt you from way over here...ghosts can't cross running water you know.
NO, its just a silly lie I made up but I certainly shall not hurt you.
Lois turned and ran back to the house. It snowed the very next day and she stayed n all day. She
barely got out of bed and same thing the next day. She was miserable. On the third day she went
back out to the stream. It was bitter cold and he was not there. She went back inside and cried.
The sun returned and melted most of the snow, Lois spread bread crumbs for the little starving winter
birds. She let her dogs out and fed the cow. She thought about driving into town but the roads would
surely be a mess. Thomas had always driven during bad weather, and she'd never learned. There
was so much she had never learned. She had never been so lonely. Surely she had committed some
great sin to be so lonely and filled with pain. She wished that they'd had a child...somehow they had
never quite gotten around to it. Now she knew why.
Then she saw him again. He was standing in her back yard, looking towards the house. She felt chilled
to the bone but something compelled her to talk to him. What are you looking for, she asked?
Ah,there you are...I'm not a monster you know, just a lonely spirit. I can even feel the cold. Lois
stopped herself just in time from inviting him in. He seemed so real. She decided someone was
playing a cruel joke on her. Who are you really, there are no such things as ghosts. She blinked
and he was gone. Then a voice beside her said...I'm here now.
She whirled about and he was just beside her. You are a ghost! What do you want?
I think I should ask what do you want? There must be a reason that you can see me....?
My mind created you...I must have a fever...I am sick.
No, I don't believe you are sick. Shall we shake hands. He extended his, and his smile was very
warm and genuine. She took his hand and felt nothing but a queer warm breeze passing up her
arm. Its the best I can do Lois.
How do you know my name? The ghost looked puzzled for a moment before replying...I suppose I have
always known your name...my name is Kurt by the way, Kurt Strong.
They had a fairly long conversation. She decided they were kindred souls...both mad and lonely. Of
course he was a child killer. But he seemed anything but. That night she sipped her coffee and
wondered if she would ever see him again. She decided she wanted to...what else did she have...nothing.
Talking to a ghost in a lonely house in the forest did seem half as weird as it had the day before. Strange
how things could change like that. She was not afraid but he seemed so sad. Perhaps his conscience
was stopping him from passing on to his next stop on the never ending journey. She didn't have the
answers but she drank coffee and petted her kitten and wondered about a great many things.
The next morning Lois ate her eggs and bacon. She finally decided to head into town. The roads were
not to terrible, she drove slow and listened to her favorite David Bowie CD. The ghost reminded her of
Bowie....he was so thin and pale and his eyes were so piercing. Of course the ghost had eyes that matched
in color unlike Bowie. Like a leper messiah...the cd blared. She loved that one.
Wal Mart was very crowed but no one took especial notice of her beside one or two horny guys. That made
her smile. She wished she had the courage to go up- to one and offer him some pussy. She giggled, that
would be something, especially in THIS town! Instead she bought some groceries and a couple of movies
and headed over to Taco Bell. After cramming four tacos into her face she got gas, a paper, and with a
sigh, started for home. Her dogs were glad to see her and the cat purred. She curled up on the couch,
had a little wine and watched the movies until she fell asleep. She dreamed about the ghost, he was in
a speedo on the beach. His chest was wide and hairy and she noticed he had a chipped tooth in front.
It made his look sexy. He also wore an earring in his right ear. It was a tiny miniature of a naked mermaid.
It made her giggle so hard she woke herself. Lois went to the bathroom, took another long sip of wine
and slept well through the long winter night. There were no more dreams however.
Two weeks passed before she saw the ghost again. He was sitting on her back porch smoking a cigarette.
I would offer you one if I could he said. She sat down fairly close. You don't have an earring she said.
Of course not...Ive been dead fifty years you know...we didn't do much of that back then, and mostly sailors
got tattoos. Lois giggled, his smile was gorgeous. I can't believe I am talking to a ghost...where have you
been for so long? Oh, a bit depressed, visiting you takes a lot out of me you know...I must rest afterwards...
don't ask me why.
Maybe you should stop smoking, Lois offered. Yes, these things will kill me someday.
Lois giggled, this was al so insane it made her giddy. However, she didn't feel lonely in the least. It was
refreshing. She sat with her legs crossed and studied him. It was her first chance to look him over at
close range. He was handsome but not pretty. That was good. His hands were large and powerful. She
wondered what kind of lover he had been when alive. I bet you kept you wife happy n the sack Kurt.
Kurt's blue eyes widened...she seemed to enjoy our nights together. Shes dead now, and buried in a little
country graveyard a mile or so from here. I go there a lot...I doubt I shall ever get to join her though.
My sins keep me here...Hell if only for the sane I suppose.
I wish you'd had a better life...
Yes, a better life....at least a better after life...yet now Im here with you and its all quite pleasant...Lois.
Lois smiled. Yes it is rather...