I’ve played strange games since I met Lucy. Today, her feet left the ground and she was floating in the air. The light surrounding her seemed to go right through.

“Ye can do it too. Jump!” she laughed and I did. That’s why I have woken up on the beach, lightheaded and not quite right.

I run like a demented chicken towards home, where the door is open. My parents and Mr McAvoy are standing there. Mom is crying, Dad looks suddenly so old. There are drapes on the furniture, closed suitcases around them.

‘The poor wee girlie! I wish I could have prevented this!’ Mr McAvoy tells my parents.

‘What could you have done? It was an accident. She fell and we have to live with this for the rest of our lives. If we had never come here, if we had left her with my parents back in Edinburgh… I didn’t like the idea of her playing alone, pushing that empty swing and even inventing an imaginary friend. She felt lonely, this is all my fault…’ Dad sobs.

I am really puzzled when I say hello and they don’t reply. I shout but they still ignore me. It’s like they have gone deaf or I’m just invisible. Maybe, they are just punishing me for being late. I’ll ignore them too, see how long they can go on with this joke.

Mr McAvoy says goodbye to my parents and leaves. I follow him all the way to the other side of the lighthouse. He still ignores me as he stops by the stone. The daylight is almost gone but I can still read what’s carved on its flat surface.

“Lucy McAvoy, 21st June 1967 – 21st June 1979, beloved daughter and sister, taken away too early.”

‘You didn’t need her, Lucy? I told ye that it wouldn’t be long now, that I’d be with ye again soon…’ Mr McAvoy murmurs.

‘Ye got too old, Robbie! Ye can’t play anymore with me, brother…’ a voice replies, as I turn and spot Lucy, standing there, grinning at us.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
10 months ago

Ghost stories are always full of mystery, and ghostly little girls that cause accidents so they can keep a friend are just plain evil. Nicely done.

Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
10 months ago

This is a great story, Greene! This puts a whole new light on “imaginary” playmates! I didn’t see the ending coming, with Mr McAvoy’s involvement. Don’t want to say too much in case someone reads the comments before the story! You kept my attention the entire time. I especially enjoyed the Scottish setting.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
10 months ago

I did wonder about Mr. McAvoys comment to the parents but, like Fuji, I had no idea of the relevance until the end. You certainly kept us guessing Greene. A sad and spooky story all wrapped up in one. Brilliant!

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Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister(@alan-kemister)
10 months ago

Hello, ghost stories are fodder for a mystery prompt and this was a good little story about an imaginary friend until the last two lines wrapped up all the loose ends and turned it into a great one. Robbie may have gotten too old to be Lucy’s playmate, but Lucy will have to learn to play less dangerous games with her new younger playmates or no one will come to an island where too many accidents happen to little girls.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
10 months ago

Your comment to Linda about your brother having an imaginary friend puts an extra dimension on your story, Greene. It’s a very well written and fascinating piece and as Fuji also mentioned, the Scottish accent gave it an extra dimension.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
10 months ago

PS. Greene. I also meant to ask you about the fact that Lucy had passed on her 12th birthday. Is there anything you would like to add about that circumstance?

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
10 months ago

That’s a great story, Greene. It’s a perfect fit for the “mystery” prompt. I can’t quite imagine having a family member with an imaginary friend. Such a frightening situation really made my hair stand on end. Nicely done. Good job.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
10 months ago
Reply to  Greene M Wills

You’re welcome, Greene.

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