A Haunting Memory

February 3, 2010
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Christmas Eve is the most anxious time of the year for me, especially this one because we had just finished moving into our new house. The good part of this move was that I had somehow moved closer to my friends and further away from my grandmother. She was some crazy schizophrenic who used to live in her own world believing that everything in the world was out to harm her. It’s pitiful what happened to her. Her late husband was a strong abuser and used to beat her everyday. One day they went too far and she was forced to fight back; she stabbed him directly in the heart with a knife and left it there. She had no guilt as she watched him slowly fall to the ground and die. In fact she felt pretty relieved since it was finally the end, but it wasn’t. She didn’t want to get into trouble with the police so she had to bury his body under the house. “Finally.” She said when he was given the burial that he deserved. “I hope you rot, inside this corpse’s shell.” From that day forward she has been seeing things; horrible things. She says that it is his spirit coming back to haunt her, my mom, her daughter told me.

I never did believe in ghosts. There were probably some haunting my house and I never thought about them. It just didn’t bother me. They were already dead and I was alive so why would I be afraid of some supernatural spirit? It was my job this Christmas to pick her up and take her to our new place so that she could have it with us.

I had a serious case of the chills when I arrived at her abandoned looking house. It had weeds grown all over it and some fungi made its home under the front porch. If you looked under the porch, you could see my grandfather’s body slowly rottening away. I walked up slowly to the door and knocked, while ignoring the staring corpse. “Grandma, are you here?” There was no answer. I put my ear up to the door to see if she was even there. All I heard was moaning. Silent painful moaning that made my skin crawl. I then remembered that she had a spare key hidden in the plant pot and I opened the door.

I walked into the middle hallway and saw her lying on the ground shivering. She had a wild look in her gray eyes as she cuddled herself with an old gray blanket. “Gr-Grandma are you okay?” I asked.

“I miss my love. Why did things have to go wrong? I wonder what he got me for Christmas. I’ve been waiting here forever for him to return.” She said staring aimlessly.

“Grandma, grandpa is dead. He’s been dead for years now.” I was scared.

“No! He can’t be! He’s always been here.” She then got up and wondered around looking lost. “Oh no this place is a mess! Better keep it clean. Keep him happy! He’ll be here any second.”

“Grandma, everyone is waiting on us.” I reached out for her. She took my hand.

“Will he be there?” she looked at me with trust in her eyes.

“Yes.” I lied. We were about halfway out the door when suddenly she stopped.

“Do you hear that?” she said.

“No?” I said.

“It’s his car pulling into the drive way. He’s home! I have to hide. No, more torture. No more…” she fretted.

“It’s okay grandma. Grandfather is dead. Dead. He will never be able to harm you any longer. Let’s go.” I started pulling her towards the car again.

“I miss him.”

“But I thought you said that you didn’t want him in your life anymore because of all the torture he put you through?”

“He would be sweet to me sometimes. When he was sober he used to apologize by taking me out to dinner or buying me flowers.”

“Grandma! He abused you! That’s the main thing. You were nothing to him.” I felt the harshness of those words.

“He wanted to protect me. Keep me safe from the world. We were going to grow old together.”

“How could he protect you if he was the one causing you harm?”

“He never let me leave the house unless I was with him. He told me it wasn’t safe and that I should stay at home and so I did.”

“Those years of brainwashing.” I said.

“He hit me because I needed discipline. I spent half of my life finding ways to please him. Seems I lost myself. Oh well, as long as he is happy.”

“Would you say that you had a loving marriage?”

“No. I saw through all of his lies but I just ignored the truth. I found myself isolated.”

“But you stayed. I don’t understand.”

“The world was a dangerous place. The only person I could trust was him, if I left him then I would be sinning and would be punished.”

“Why did you kill him?”


“You heard me. You stabbed him and buried him under the house. Why?”

“Well, you see a part of me that was numb to reality had awakened me and before I knew it I saw him lying there. Still dead. I buried him because I always wanted him to be near me.”

“You couldn’t take the abuse any longer. That’s why. Even you knew he was wrong for you.”

“Only the inside! I was blinded by love and I wanted him to feel the same way as I did for thirty years!” she fought back the tears.

“You didn’t love him. You hated him so much that your resentment ate you alive and that is how you lost yourself. You were also afraid of him and that was you wasn’t able to leave him!” I walked to my car she ran back to the doorway.

“I can’t leave. He wants me to stay here.”

“Grandma, he’s dead. He can’t hold you hostage any longer.”

“No!” She ran back into the house. I followed. She ran into the kitchen and picked up a rusty knife covered in blood. His blood.

“Now my love I will join you in the place where you rot for all eternity!”

“Grandma don’t!” I said as she pierced the blade through her chest. She fell to the floor in a grimace. They were together forever.

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