Friday, April 18, 2008

Ghost Stories: The Girl in White

Danny was sulking, standing along the wall and watching his friends dance with their pretty partners. His girlfriend, Anita, had stayed home that night to take care of her sick mother.

His friend, Nathan, came up to him between dances and said, "Anita is not the only girl in the world. There are many pretty girls here: dance with one of them."

Danny started looking around the room. His gaze fell upon a beautiful young girl standing at the edge of the dance floor. She was dressed in an old-fashioned white gown and her skin was as pale as the moon. Her dark eyes watched the dance wistfully from her position behind a tall fern, and Danny felt his heart beat faster. Such a lovely young woman should be dancing!

He made his way through the crowd and introduced himself to the girl in white. She looked startled by his attention, as if she had not expected anyone to notice her, but she readily agreed to dance with him. Danny happily led her out onto the floor to dance, all thoughts of Anita gone from his mind.

Nathan and some of his other friends gave him odd looks as he danced with the girl in white. When the dance was over, he left to get his beautiful partner a drink. Nathan found him at the refreshment table. Danny grinned and thanked Nathan for his advice. "I'm dancing with the most beautiful girl in the room!"

"You've had too much to drink, buddy," Nathan replied.

Danny glared at his friend, annoyed, and left. Making his way back to the girl in white, he handed her a glass and asked her to walk outside with him along the terrace. The night was beautiful, the sky twinkling with stars, and Danny stared at the girl with love in his eyes.

The girl in white turned to him with a sigh and said, "Thank you for the dance. It has been a very long time since I had such pleasure."

"Let us dance again, then," he said quickly. But she shook her head.

"I must leave now," she said, drifting toward the stairs at the end of the terrace.

"Please don't go," he pleaded, following her.

"I must," she said, turning to look at him. Her eyes softened when she saw the hurt look on his face. "Come with me?" she invited, holding out a pale hand.

Danny's heart pounded rapidly at the thought. More than anything in the world, he wanted to go with this lovely girl. And then he noticed that he could see the stone wall of the terrace through the girl's hand. Shocked, he looked into her face, and realized that she was fading away before his eyes.

At the look of horror on his face, the girl gave a sad laugh and dropped her hand, which was nearly transparent now.

"Goodbye," she said, her body becoming thin and misty. "Goodbye."

Then she was gone.

He stood silently in terror as he realized he had been dancing with a ghost. Then he ran all the way home.

When Nathan came the next day to check on him, Danny told his friend the whole story. Nathan whistled in amazement. "You saw the spirit of Genevieve," he said. "She lived on a plantation around here more than two hundred years ago. She died of consumption the night before her debutante ball and they say her spirit sometimes attends the local dances, hoping to have one of the dances that she missed."

Danny shuddered at the thought of his dance with the ghost. "I will not be visiting that dance hall again," he told Nathan. "From now on, all my dances will be with Anita!"

And he kept his word.

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