Only one cloud loomed when I married David. His late wife, Carmel.

After a quiet wedding and a relaxing honeymoon we returned to the house David once shared with Carmel. I didn’t mind, it was more practical than my small flat. I looked forward to adding my own touches and creating a garden.

David said I could change anything… except the urn on the mantelpiece. Carmel’s urn, filled with her ashes.

As David carried me over the threshold, I spied it through the open door. It glowed angry red.

“Excited, darling?” David misinterpreted my shiver but I assured him I was and kissed him lovingly, closing my eyes to the glowing urn.

Over the ensuing weeks I redecorated. Beautiful new bedspread. Colourful throws on the sofa and armchairs. I replaced the rose china with my own willow set, bought houseplants and positioned photos of David and me on the other end of the mantelpiece.

The urn glowed red and my arm burned as I passed it. An hour later, the frames lay shattered on the stone hearth; my head torn from each photo.

I replaced the photos with another plant. It shrivelled and died overnight.

A vase of thornless roses. Next morning, they were covered with thorns.

I feared David would think I was crazy. Everything happened when I was home alone.

David was thrilled when I told him I was pregnant. Carmel never wanted children.

We celebrated. David lifted his glass of wine, I responded with lemonade. An eerie vapour seeped from the urn.

I hardly slept that night.

After kissing a still grinning David at the door, I turned towards the urn. Again it glowed red and vapour swirled.

I snatched it up, raced outside and tipped the contents into the bin on the kerb. Later, the garbage truck rumbled past and I watched as one last wisp of vapour rose from the back.

I re-filled the urn with vacuum dust.

Our beautiful baby girl was born seven months later. We’re both besotted.

But sometimes I look into her eyes and they seem to glow an eerie red…

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1 year ago

A suspenseful tale with a surprising (and terrifying!) ending. A new twist on a classic. 

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 year ago

An extremely scary story, Sandra. Brilliant use of the ‘personal symbol’ (here it is the urn). The unexpected ending is completely fitting to the central theme.

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
Reply to  Sandra James
1 year ago

You’re welcome, Sandra.

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
1 year ago

She thought she had got away with it, but I guess the unsettling ending shows us otherwise.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Ooh, Sandra, I do love this. Major creep factor going on here. A jealous ghost of a previous wife is something that the new bride definitely doesn’t need. Great stuff.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

A great build-up, step by step, until the inevitable revenge from the other side. I like it the way she tried everything until she just couldn’t do it anymore. A great story and very well written.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

That kind of situation is very scary. I won’t stay long in such a way that you are living with an urn of the ghost ex-wife. And you feel that the ghost is mad at you. It is a bad environment for me to stay. Great build up of the story. Well done.

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