An Old Ghost Story

I was sitting back by the fireplace, twirling the ring in my finger thoughtfully, when suddenly a thought struck me.

A ring?

Why am I wearing a ring?

Uh oh. A WEDDING ring?

I was on the verge of panic for a moment, recalling the last times I had woken up after a particularly eventful adventure with a roaring hangover bad headache for no good reason. With shaking hands, I pried the ring off my finger for just long enough to read the inscription, hoping it would at least provide some hint on who I might suddenly wake up next to.

The inscription read, ominously enough: *ETERNAL*.

Then it all came back to me in a rush.

Some time ago already, I visited Dhonna, at the Tantallon Lost and Found office. She gave me back some items I’d misplaced, but as I turned to leave, she said, “Oh, and one more thing…”

…and slipped a wedding ring into my finger while I gaped at her in horror.

Once it got settled that she wasn’t proposing, but that she just had a note in her list that Otter is missing the item, I slipped the ring off to take a look at the inscription. And felt the cold fingers of dread grope at me under my shirt…

When I turned to look behind me, it was actually just my necromancer unfriend, Madame Pine of Chaos. Her hands were perpetually cold, and apparently handling dead people all day makes one seek out some human warmth every now and then. I just wish she would warn me before she did that.

In any case, I decided to consult her on my issue. Was my wedding ring perhaps haunted?

She took one look at it. “Nah, it’s just some other person named Otter who’s lost their ring. You’re married to a ghost, though.”

I stared at her blankly. “How did you know that?”

Madame Pine fixed me with her creepy ivory glance of contempt at utter stupidity, then swirled back into motion. “Look here, the ring’s ancient, so either you inherited it from generations past or it’s that long since it’s been used to propose to anyone. Also, because the inside that’s next to your finger is looking as unpolished as the outside, it’s obvious that it’s been ages since this ring was last worn. So anyone who it might have belonged to is bound to be dead by now.

I blinked three times. “…really?”

She shrugged. “Well, that and a grave robber I know actually pried the ring off a corpse and delivered it here. It wasn’t worn on a finger, but in the immediate belongings within the coffin, while the stiff was wearing a ring of its own.” She rolled her eyes at Dhonna behind the poor clerk’s back. “I told him people don’t haul around other people’s rings unless the owner was dead, but he’s an incurable romantic. You know how soft people sometimes get. In the head.” She tapped her temple meaningfully.

o.o

And that was the story, dear friends, of how I got married off to a ghost. I do not know what their name is, as I have not been able to reach the grave robber to ask if they remember which grave they found it in. Nor am I really looking forward to going to the site to check their name from a grave stone – it is quite creepy enough that a ring with this kind of inscription happens to defeat death and become worn again.

I figure if my ghastly eternal spouse gets reborn or something, he can come seek me out. You never know. Or maybe I run into their relatives and they recognize my name, and I can deliver the ring to them. In either case, it would be just wrong to get rid of the ring now. So I will wait.

And in the meanwhile, I try not to panic when I suddenly notice I am married.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ditzy on November 21, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Hi!

    I have heard via a friend of mine who’d had this happen to a cousin’s neighbour’s aunt’s sister-in-law that you can sometimes talk to the ghost. Very spine-chilling, but did you perhaps try to ‘dear $’ ?

    Da Ditz

    Reply

    • Posted by byakushin on November 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      Your mentally gifted cousin’s neighbour’s aunt’s sister-in-law’s experiences are creepily interesting indeed!

      Following your advice, I organized a seance with four people, one rather unhealthy goat (I was assured that its process of eventually probably dying in a few years was sufficient animal sacrifice for this purpose, which was nice) and enough incense to incense neighbours within several percha, and together we summoned the mystical powers of ‘dear $’.

      After we shooed off the aging Mrs. Laggy, who had misheard we were trying to summon her, I was able to interpret the results in their entirety:

      You have received no dear messages yet.

      Apparently not even all of eternity was enough to get this particular couple to talk to each other. I suspect this to be a case of arranged marriage, where the eternality more refers to the contractual end of a blood feud between the two families than a wildly prolonged infatuation.

      Either that or during the years of my spectracular marriage, someone else has realized that Dhonna may have made a mistake back there. 😉

      Reply

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