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The right angle of the Sun

Updated on October 12, 2011


This is the edge of the little grassy knoll between the main building and the vegetable garden. For decades, peoples children have played here. At first, before the war, it was the family - the Hampton family. They would, the old gardener used to tell me, get into trouble climbing the trees or, sometimes, simply playing pranks. Later on, during the war - the first one - they used to bring the wounded here, treat them. Some of them shook like leaves.

After the war, of course, the House reverted, and for a time the gardeners kids used to run and play under the old oak tree, which looks the same now as it ever did.

But, then the second war came. It was taken over by the state, and when the old mans son died, and no one was left to inherit it, it remained in the hands of the government. So that the house became a school, and I - the son of the Gardener - am the only person who still remains of the old families that used to live here. That is the reason, on this cold October morning where the drizzle is coating my back with sweat, I am still here, still digging.

Of course, that is not the only reason.

Some old places, well, they remember things. If you go to the right field, on the right day in November, and strain your ears you can hear the sound of an ancient battle, one where they fought with flint arrows. Or at least, you can hear these things if you just open your ears. This house is a similar one, where there is so much history that you can actually hear the children playing. And you can hear the sound of the young men, taken back during the war, crying as they hear of their friends dying.

That is why I am here, you see, I am a ghost whisperer. Not a medium. Not a fool who goes onto TV, pretending that they know that Uncle Albert is actually very happy. Instead, I am a real ghost whisperer who comforts the departed. Lets them know that there are people out there in the world who still remember, still care. Sometimes, that is all it takes.

This old building is full of ghosts. Chock full. But the one I care about most is the old gardener. My father. Maybe if you look closely, you will be able to see him, through the october drizzle. He is besides me, right now, calling for his son. Calling for his mother. I can't bring her here, bring her back, but sometimes when the sun is just in the right place I can see him with his fork, trying to dig the beds one last time.

I whisper in his ear that I am fine, that I love him, and tell him the messages from my Mother.

And he tells me what to say to her.

Then I dig one more clod of earth, on this cold October day.

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    jenubouka 5 years ago

    Just beautiful and wonderfully written. Perfection when it comes to a short story swift and a great feat of brittle memories and connections with the deceased.

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