On All Hallows’ Eve, Duncan arrived home with tiny chocolate bars for trick-or-treating ghosts and goblins. He stared at the extensive array of spooky garden decorations and the old couple rocking back and forth on his porch. They were dressed in clothes from a century ago, enjoying the late afternoon sun. Like the decorations and rocking chairs—he’d never seen them before.

“Welcome home Duncan,” the old lady said. “We’re so pleased to meet the man who’s so lovingly taken over our little cottage. We’re here to help you through your first Halloween.”

“Don’t think we’re being altruistic,” her husband added. “Halloween was our favourite day. And we have a favour to ask before you relax. Mildred planned to distribute little packets of individual candies, but as I told her a few minutes ago, they aren’t acceptable now. Will you buy some of the modern prepackaged treats?”

Duncan handed Mildred the box of candy bars he bought a few minutes earlier. She checked it out before turning to her husband. “Yes, Edward, I see what you mean, but eighty isn’t enough.”

“Could you?” Edward said, offering Duncan several banknotes that seemed to be one- and two-dollar bills.

“Two more boxes,” Mildred added as Duncan waved off Edward’s offer of bills that were no longer legal tender. “While you’re gone, I’ll prepare your dinner.”

As Duncan strode to the nearby market, hoping their dwindling supply of Halloween treats wasn’t exhausted, he wondered about Edward and Mildred. They lived in his cottage for seventy years. After they died, it laid vacant for a decade. Their heirs had grandiose plans to redevelop the property. Their plans turned to dust, and they sold to a developer with equally elaborate ideas. His schemes also failed, and Duncan snapped up the derelict property. He’d spent ten months making it livable.

No one explained why the development plans fell apart. Now, Duncan had the answer. The old couple stymied the developments from beyond the grave. He smiled, imagining the chaos if ghosts everywhere wielded such power. Suddenly, his smile vanished. What if they already did?

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
4 months ago

Alan, I enjoyed reading “Ghostly Powers” and especially the conversations between the ghosts and the new owner. Your last two sentences questioning whether ghosts have power over the living, made me think deeply. I believe that my sister is watching over me as a guardian spirit.

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

Even though I knew that Edward and Mildred were ghosts, I felt nothing but warmth and affection for them. Then you turned the story on its head with the revelation that they conspired from beyond the grave to save their cottage and I gained a new-found respect for them! But just like Duncan, all those feeling disappeared after reading that last sentence! A gentle buildup to a thought provoking ending, Alan! Very… Read more »

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

I also enjoyed the idea of ​​Ghostly power. What if there is such a thing? I hope so. So that our deceased father can also watch over us. Well done, Allan.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Alan Kemister
4 months ago

That’s a brilliant idea, Allan.

Susan Giles
Susan Giles(@susan-giles)
4 months ago

Well done. With the last sentence, this story goes from friendly to impending doom. Nice twist.

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