Sunday, June 22, 2008
We just returned home from a wonderful trip to the Outer Banks, but the journey wasn't without its unusual occurences. Perhaps an omen was the brushfire we had to pass through along State Route 158 when we entered Currituck County. It blurred the landscape in a ghostly haze for miles and left an unsettling feeling in the pit of our stomachs.
However, by the time we arrived in Corolla, NC, we were excited. Our vacation house in the resort community of Corolla Light was one of the neatest homes we ever rented. It had four large bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a large hot tub on the upper deck covered by a pagoda-style shelter.
As we rejoiced in the excitement of staying in such a nice home for the next week, the doorbell rang. I went down to answer, but no one was there. I thought that was odd. Throughout the week this happened again and again--a ringing doorbell with no one there.
The next unusual thing we noticed was what looked like a gravestone or "memory" stone (pictured above) placed at the bottom of the steps leading up to the upper deck. The words on the stone stated:
No farewell words were spoken,
No time to say goodbye,
You were gone before we knew it,
And only God knows why.
Just reading it left a melancholy aching within.
One night while the family played Uno, I took a glass of wine to the upper deck to enjoy the hot tub. While simmering in the bubbling warmth, I heard steps mounting the deck stairs. I turned and gazed in the direction of the footfalls. From the darkness a pale figure appeared--a young girl, six or seven years old with long, blonde hair. She walked toward me across the deck and stood at the steps leading to hot tub.
"Honey, are you from across the street," I asked.
She looked through me as if I wasn't there and said, "Daddy, will you take me to the beach?"
"What?" was all I could think to say.
"Please, Daddy, please. Take me to the beach. I won't go out too far."
A chill iced through me. I turned to reach for my towel. Footsteps pounded away and down the steps. Her voiced trailed off: "If you won't take me, I'm going myself."
I blinked my eyes and all was quiet. Was it my imagination?
Talk to you later,
Joe C. Ellis