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Bedtime Stories: “Emilia, Who Was Not Like Other Ghosts”


Emilia was not like other ghosts. Too scared of the living to be scary, she haunted her quiet attic in a house full of frozen clocks, hiding whenever the man of the house would venture up to be alone with his dripping miseries, the calico atop his shoulder spotting her crushed between a rack of old dresses but never betraying her secret. Because his favorite spot to sit and read was the antique rocking chair in front of the window, sunlight rarely touched the trunk of suits which the man for some reason no longer wore. It was a foggy Sunday morning that the calico visited Emilia to ask why it was she hid in this particular attic, of all attics. I don't know, Emilia considered, except that it feels like home to me. Why does the man of the house grieve in darkness, always dressed in black? she posed the calico, who pawed the rack of old dresses before slipping back downstairs without explanation. Inside the lining of the dress Emilia found her name had been sewn, and so she understood why it was the clocks never moved and knew what must be done. Gliding down from the attic, she bade the calico farewell, leaving the trunk open so that the sun might find the suits once more, then stepping through the front door to an exquisite song of clocks stirring.





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