Jack gazed on in wonder, completely mesmerized by the scene before him. The young woman was gathering up hidden objects from the ground and applying them to the aged Oak Tree branches. He had watched her do this same routine for days now, and he was still as curious as ever to see what she were endeavouring It had been while visiting his recently deceased Mothers grave that he had stumbled upon her.
He still felt the intense pain of losing his Mother, she was taken far to early and this certainly angered him. He often came and spent his days here, where he felt closer to her. He would prune the flowers and plants that he had bedded, keeping her head stone as vibrant and radiant as she had been in existence. Then he would sit for hours, telling her about his days, about what mischief Granddad had caused. This had always made her smile when she were alive.
Jack had taken on the responsibility of looking after his Granddad when his mother had died. It was a tremendous thing for a lad of eighteen, though he knew his Mother would be proud. Some days though; it got too much for Jack as the pain and reality of it all would tire him out. It was days like this that Jack would walk. For hours and hours on end, he would walk to where ever his feet led him, and it was on such a day that he stumbled across the peculiar young woman.
After saying his goodbyes to his Mother, he had decided to head towards the old grave yard. It was at the very back of the newer one, and it had sat for decades overgrown and unused. For some reason being here seemed to ease him; relaxing him, giving him a deep calm. He knew that most would feel uncomfortable, but for him he felt totally at home here.
As he walked about the grave stones, he noted that they dated as far back to the seventeenth century, some even as late as the sixteenth. As he read them, he would often wonder what life was like back then. He was curious to how they had passed some gave this information, some simply said; ‘here lies’ and the dates born and deceased.
He watched now curious as the young woman stood back to admire her efforts, then sigh in frustration as though she had not quite achieved what she had set out to do. Her clothes dated back to the Victorian times, and she was around the same age as himself.
It had been a bright autumn morning when he had first laid eyes on her about a week or so ago. Whilst reading some of the faded old stones, he had noticed something moving out the corner of his eye. It was by the aged Oak Tree near the back of the grave yard. He watched in amazement as she floated around and around the tree throwing her hands out as though in frustration while muttering away to her self.
At first he had thought her just some young woman probably heart-broken at the loss of a family member or lover. Then he noted how she just hovered flawlessly, turning almost transparent at times, then reappear. Then he noticed her attire and the realisation suddenly struck him that she was a ghost. It dawned on him that no girl or woman that he had ever known could float and fade in and out of vision like her, that was for sure.
Feeling shaken he had taken cover behind one of the old graves. The thought then occurred to him that he had never believed in ghosts before; he had always been a skeptic. Shaking his head as though to rid himself of double vision, he then slowly peered around the grave stone to have another look. Sure enough she was still there, as real as any person he had ever seen, but most defiantly a ghost.
He sat for hours watching her until evening came, then made his way home. Though he had returned the next day and every day since. Just silently watching making sure he stayed hidden out of view, but sneaking that bit closer with each day he visited. Today he was just a stones throw away from her as he listened to her singing a lullaby in an almost hypnotic voice while she danced around the old Oak.
He smiled to himself noting that the song was a lullaby his mother used to sing to him as a small child. Then he laughed to himself as she stopped mid lullaby, thrust her arms out in frustration and with a cross look on her face, she started to make sweeping motions into the fallen crisp leaves on the ground. He was by now fascinated by this girl and her daily rituals. He watched as she again, picked unseen objects up and applied them to the branches. Jack had begun to notice this as an almost comedy show. He suddenly burst out laughing as she sighed again in frustration, throwing her arms out wildly.
‘I’m glad you are finding this funny, because I’m not.’
Jack sat staring at her, frozen to the spot. Had she just said that? He looked around the grave yard, it seemed deserted as far as the eye could see, feeling slightly worried he turned back to the ghostly young woman. She was now stood with her hands on her hips and frown upon her face glaring at him. Jack suddenly felt the hairs stand up on the back of his neck, this couldn’t be happening, could it?
‘Well what have you to answer for your self? Why do you visit every day and watch me? Do you wish to tease me, and poke fun at me?’
Jack could feel his heart thumping in his chest, he couldn’t believe that a ghost was talking to him, or maybe after all she wasn’t a ghost? He felt terribly confused.
‘Well don’t just stand there looking stupid, I demand to know why you have spied on me?’
‘I-I-I don’t know?’ Jack stood up feeling rather perplexed. ‘I just came across you and; well; I erm, I was kind of fascinated.’
‘oh fascinated are you? And what may I ask do you find so fascinating?’
She gazed at him with a look of annoyance still upon her face. Jack noted that she was extremely well spoken, and was dressed in what must have been the best of finery in style back then.
‘I’m sorry for disturbing you as I said; I was just fascinated. Intrigued to know more, are you genuinely a real live ghost?’
‘Of course I’m a ghost, what ever else could I be? Are you as stupid as those pesky little street boys that come around here? Because ‘in case’ you hadn’t noticed, a ghost is unquestionably dead.’
‘Street boys? W-w-what street boys? I’m sorry if I’ve upset you, I meant no harm.’
‘Yes you have upset me, now could you please go away and let me get back to my sweeping, don’t you know it’s rude to spy, I could get you thrown in the dungeons for such things.’
Jack tried to stifle a laugh at her last remark, but it was too late she had heard him.
‘You are laughing at me again? How terribly rude indeed; I should call for the guards, now go away annoying boy.’
‘I am just curious to know which guards you could call? And what dungeons you could you possibly have me locked away in if you’re a ghost?’
‘Oh leave me alone won’t you, please go away.’
And with that she was gone, just simply vanishing into thin air. Jack called out for her looking behind the old Oak, shouting Miss as he went, but she was nowhere to be seen. He sat waiting for another half an hour, but she didn’t reappear. He noted it was getting dark now, and he was genuinely hungry, so he made off home with the promise to himself that he would return tomorrow…