The Mage had left Joseph wandering the haunted mansion’s grounds. As memories returned, Joseph needed time away within the Shadowlands to grieve his losses. Given time, Joseph’s moans would quiet as he began to return to himself.
The Scottish mage also needed time away. He thought of The Twins and their mother, Bethany: just like that, he was there.
First to Bethany, in an unfamiliar, dark attic room. A vintage dress, ivory-colored with a lace veil, hung in the dusky light. She knelt beneath it, burying her face in its skirts. “Good-bye, Joseph.”
The Mage’s heart cracked, “Poor girl.”
The twin girls slammed the attic’s trap door, excelsior and cobwebs tangled in their curls. “Mama, lookit what we found!”
The Scottish mage looked from the girls gripping the vintage dress they’d found, and to Bethany’s distraught face.
“It’s just an old dress. Here, I’ll take it. It’s probably moldy,” Bathany said.
“It’s ours to keep!” mewled Duckie.
“Let go, girls,” the mage murmured. “It’s her most special dress.”
Chuckie gazed at her mother’s face, nudged her twin. “Here, Mama.”
Bethany took the dress, running trembling hands over the embroidered bodice.
“You’re right, Shadowman,” whispered Ducks.
“Who’s Shadowman, girls?”
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2022)
Carrot Ranch Prompt (o8/08/2022): In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about “the one who left the dress.” A 1940s-era dress still hangs in an abandoned house. Who left it and why? You can take any perspective and write in any genre. It can be a ghost story. Or not. Go where the prompt leads!