Do you remember the story of the monk at the old church? We took the bus on an icy evening and waited for hours until the moon was warm on our faces and our feet were wet with melted frost, tromping through long grass. Don’t you remember?
That old church, where the chicken bones were trussed together into crosses, and that teenage lad fell from the tower and broke himself in half over the stone tomb of the priest who’d died in 1886. We’d gone up there with torches and we heard a noise above, and you shone yours up at him, and he covered his eyes…
….and he came down screaming like a daemon. And in the dark I thought he had sixteen arms and legs, and his mouth was wide open as though to consume me, and drag me to hell….
….but then he spun around midair as I dived out of the way. Crack! On his back, across the raised triangular stone. Ribs bursting out, blossoming like flower petals opening. You remember? The boy gasping, his eyes wide, as we realised he was both alive and dead, until his two parts gently disconnected with a pop and slithered either side to the flagstone floor.
Anyway, I digress. The old monk. We took that journey so many times. We read all the books about the monk who flitted around the grounds. Why do ghosts always flit? Why don’t they mince or swagger? That poor boy though. That poor boy.