Do You Believe in Ghosts

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
An evening walk provides more than a little exercise.

Submitted: April 16, 2017

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Submitted: April 16, 2017



Do you believe in ghosts?  I can't say I did until recently, but now I'm not so sure.  The thing is, I've had a bit of an "experience" that's left me wondering.

I live on the outskirts of an English town.  One that's outgrown its quaint medieval beginnings, but is small enough so that you can walk from one end of it to end in an afternoon.  The sort of place where, if somebody drives into a factory wall, it makes the front page of the local paper.  A place that's boring but safe.  If you want to get pissed out of your skull, you can,  but don't even think of taking a jimmy riddle in the street afterwards.  That sort of thing is frowned on.  Try it and a couple of big, burly, coppers are likely to kick the shit out of you, and then bang you up in the local nick.  Yes, a quiet sort of place, most of the time.

Anyway, as I said, I live on the edge of town.  If the weather's good, and I'm in the mood, I'm in the habit of taking a walk.  Mostly I'll walk the streets, but sometimes, for a change, I'll walk to where I can see fields rolling away to the horizon.  I'm not one for the countryside myself so I don't venture further afield.  The sight of all that nature makes me nervous, it really does.  It's alien, and it has sharp white teeth. So I'm content to stay on the path that circles the town, with buildings on one side, and a nice thick hedge on the other.

Well, I was taking a walk along this path a little while ago when I had a singular experience.  It was spring, so it was getting dark around eight.  The sun was about to set, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and the shadows were long.  There was nobody about either; nobody walking their dog, no kids playing, just me.  Oh, and I was thinking that maybe I should find a secluded spot to take a pee.  Exactly the right conditions to make me feel uncomfortable.And that's when I noticed it.

I must have walked that path at least fifty times in the three years I've been living here, but I'd never noticed it before.  Quite strange really, for the bloody thing is unmissable.  Two hefty wooden pylons supporting a grey, slab sided, metal box.  High tension electricity cables feeding into one side, and an unruly tangle of wires coming out the other side and running on down into the ground.  A step-down transformer that feeds the neighbourhood with its power.  Brrrrr, anything like that gives me the creeps.  I'm always afraid I might get zapped with a bolt of electricity if I get too close.  But this time it was exactly what I was looking for.  A place to take a crafty leak.

The structure was set back from the path, with a veritable thicket of shrubbery growing round its base.  Quite conveniently, though, a path had been beaten through the bushes, between the pylons and into the adjacent field.  That, I thought, would shield me from prying eyes.  So I made my way cautiously along this little track, weaving between stripling branches that seemed intent on snagging my clothes, until I reached one of the wooden posts.  It had become fairly dark, the sun was finally setting, so I felt safe undoing my flies and letting rip.  That's when I felt it.  It was like something was trying to throttle me.  I couldn't breathe, and the pain was awful.

My only thought was to get away.  With my still cock hanging out, I turned and beat my way through the foliage.  Twice I nearly tripped, and once I nearly lost my glasses, but I made it to the path.  The air had grown cold, and I was bathed in sweat, but that wasn't the reason I was shivering.  I was shit scared.  After gulping some air, yes I could breathe again, I felt something cold against my leg.  Bugger!  In an instant I knew what it was.  I'd pissed my trousers.

Well, I tell no lie, I wanted to get away from that place as quickly as possible.  I also felt in need of a stiff drink.  So I stuffed my todger where it belonged, in my pants, and made my way to the nearest pub.  It was a fifteen minutes walk.  Luckily, by the time I got there, my trousers had dried enough that I no longer felt embarrassed.  The Jolly Roger, that’s the pub’s name, is a rambling, brick built, edifice that was run up between the wars.  It’s not what you’d call pretty, but it’s welcoming enough, and not too pricey.  I’d been in a couple of times before, more out of curiosity than anything else, and had found it OK.

I entered and headed straight to the bar.  It wasn’t overly crowed.  There was a guy on a stool talking to the barman, a few couples sat round tables, and a bloke playing a one armed bandit.  I caught the barman’s eye and he sidled on down.  In his thirties, he was of average height and a bit on the thin side.  “What can I get you?” he asked, flashing me a fake smile.

“What sort of cider have you got?” I replied, cider being my preferred tipple.  He named a half dozen brands, including Weston’s, my favourite.  “I’ll have the Weston’s,” I told him, “but don’t bother with a glass.”

He nodded, turned, opened the glass door of a cabinet, pulled out a brown glass bottle, took the cap off, and handed me my drink.  “That’ll be three pound fifty,” he said, nodding as I handed him the money.  A look of concern crossed his face.  “You all right?” he asked, “you look a little rough.”

I took a sip of cider before replying.  “I just had a funny turn,” I told him, “up by the electricity pylon along Green Lane.”  

He stared at me blankly for a moment, then his face lit up.  “Yeah, I know it,” he said, “the transformer thingy.”

I nodded.  “Yes, that’s the thing.  Have you ever heard anything funny said about it?”

He pursed his lips and shook his head.  “Can’t say I have.”  He was silent for a moment.  “Isn’t it where that girl killed herself?”

I shook my head.  “That’s news to me,” I told him, “when was that?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” he replied, “some time back.  It was in the paper.”  Just then a scruffy bloke ambled up to the bar and tapped on it with his glass.  “Looks like I’m needed,” the barman said, jerking his head.  I nodded and watched him go and serve.

I haven't been back to the Jolly Roger since, but the barman’s words stayed with me.  A few days later I went to the library and searched through the archives of the local paper.  It took some time, but I found what I was looking for.  About five years back a fifteen year old schoolgirl had hanged herself at the very spot where I’d taken my leak.  She’d come home from school, had her tea, then gone straight up to her room.  It was only in the morning, when she didn’t come down to breakfast, that her family realised she was missing.  It seems she’d sneaked out of the house, gone to the transformer, and hanged herself from a bracket.  Some old codger, walking his dog, had found her the next morning, still dressed in her school uniform.  Why she’d done it nobody could say.

Well, that’s about it, really.  Maybe it was all just my imagination playing tricks with me.  It felt real enough at the time, though, so who knows?  All I know for certain is that I’m never walking past that transformer ever again.

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