A Ghost of Myself

An interesting and thoughtful story to share with you. It certainly had me thinking.


Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

I pull to the side of the road. The screech of sirens and the flashing blue lights of an ambulance head towards my village. For a moment I am simply grateful that my younger son sold his motorbike, even though I know he misses it dreadfully. There were too many ditches when he was younger…

Then I wonder who needs the ambulance. Will it get there in time? Do I know them? Will they be okay?  What if I was me who had died and the ambulance was going for my body while my ghost, all unaware, still went to work…?

Now there’s a thought that comes right out of nowhere and is guaranteed to stop you in your tracks on the way to work…

How would I know? Living with the dog wouldn’t have helped, as I am convinced they can see far more than we can. Ani might…

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Jon Doe

The pain leaches into the soil with his blood as he lies silently studying the pines.  The long straight trees pierce the clouds with geometric precision.  The cold calms him; he no longer feels a need to call for help.  Studying the perfection of the moment, he dozes into a mindless peace.

Without warning, he jerks into consciousness with a brilliant electrifying pain.  Strangers loudly push and pull trying to move his body.  Terrifying sounds, he can’t comprehend.  “Stop, stop, why won’t you stop?”  He doesn’t want them to disturb the beauty of the welcoming moment.  Young men yell and slap him to stay awake.  In the confusion, he only wants to go back to the trees.  Trying to stop the rude invasion, he fights, but he doesn’t have the strength to lift his arms. As a witness to this assault on his own body, he slips back into the comfort of oblivion.

Abruptly more strangers intrude on his serenity, wrapping him in blankets and jabbing him with metal, he is amazed as they turn anguish into torture.  The people seem to be trying to help, but he wants to be alone.  His misses the perfect loving embrace of the forest.  They won’t listen. He tries to demand his wishes be respected but drifts back into silence; all dreams stripped away.

Awakening again, he hears beeping and sees the tubes and machines as an angel in light blue quietly offers ice chips.  Her touch is painful, but welcome as she moves about the bed.  He tries to speak and she comes close, putting her ear near his mouth.  She is the first to try to understand him, encouraging and tender in her intrusions. He calmly drifts back home.

The room is dark when he re-enters consciousness. The pain is his constant companion and he still can’t move.  He watches two women in the room, their motions choreographed with a shared purpose.  They attend to the body attached to his thoughts.  He asks about the angel but he can’t form the right words.  As he speaks, they accelerate into a cacophony of activity and he becomes agitated when they don’t understand.  Fade to black.

A soft yellow light enters the room and he feels the sun warm his face.  He opens his eyes to a new day as the angel appears in his room.  She brings food and disconnects some of the tubes.  His grief slips away and eagerly eats a few bites.  The pain is tolerable and he can move ever so slightly.  Peace is gone, but he is happy to be alive.  He looks directly into her caramel colored eyes and asks, “Do you have my banjo?”   Her laugh fills the room as she responds “Welcome back, nice to meet you.”

36875898_10216988361405021_360047005344464896_n Toni Kief
Author and Occasional liar


A Strange Good Bye

June 16, 2010- 9 p.m.

I sit in the back of the room, silently watching a tableau of insecurity and the desperation of everyday life.  I’m numb to the empty-headed chatter that is meant to be clever or funny but is neither.  The noise of my solitude drums out the redundancy of their forced hilarity.

Then he appears.  It is as if he just materialized, a true original, filling my isolation with outrageous possibilities.  I’ve heard his name before, but he certainly isn’t who I expect.  Not classically handsome, he looks directly into my eyes and then his intelligence and wit draws me into his world.  Within moments I am his captive as I throw away my watch and calendar.  The demands of the mundane become irrelevant as we travel to unscheduled ports.  It all happens so quickly and without fanfare, I feel I am pre-destined to follow him.  With no want to resist, I know that if asked I’ll pledge allegiance to this outsider.

He exposes the universality of human frailty as I hear his voice tell me to hold tight and pretend it’s a plan!  He allows me to travel beside him not expecting anything other than to bear witness and honor a true spirit.  I don’t know how long we were together, on a path of limitless possibilities.  The boundaries of linear time are destroyed as we journey sharing adventures enough to fill lifetimes.

And then it’s over.  I understand that everything has a beginning and end, but our time together seems so brief and then he is just gone.  I search for his name in the listings and I don’t know if it will be a week, a month or a year.  I am confident he will be back when it is least expected.  So this weekend I patiently wait secure in the knowledge that he will return, and step from the blue police box to challenge my isolation.

36875898_10216988361405021_360047005344464896_nToni Kief
Author and Late Bloomer





A Menai Strait Walk

On the 21st June we met up with some friends and parked up in Menai Bridge in Wales where I live, and walked down to the Strait, the water surrounding the island. Despite living on Anglesey for two years, we hadn’t been down this way. It was so picturesque and the houses had beautiful balconies with views over the water.

One of the biggest thrills was walking under the bridge. I had been over it many times, but never underneath.

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When the tide is in, all of this is underwater. The bridge is one of two connecting the island to North Wales. The other bridge is called The Britannia, and I’ve yet to walk under that one.

We continued down the path and came across a small garden area with standing stones. There are many standing stones on Anglesey. It seemed appropriate to be the sacrificial lamb as it was Summer Soltice after all. At least it gave everyone a laugh!

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We soon found ourselves on the Belgian Promanade, built by refugees during the war as a thank you for the town for their hospitality. If you want to read more, just follow the link.

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This led to a walk way over to an island. I could imagine it splashing up at the walls, and on a windy day if you wanted to pass through, you could easily find yourself wet.

The first thing we saw was a magnificent Yew tree. I don’t think I’ve seen one as large. It was a shame about the gardener’s van spoiling the photograph. He was strimming away at the bushes and folliage, so what should have been a peaceful area was anything but.

The island consisted of a tiny church and a graveyard. It is known as The Island Church and part of the parish of Llandysilio.

As we approached the entrance, we were again taken by the tree and its many branches. They told of all the years it had been Photo 21-06-2018, 11 10 31standing there. As we read the gravestones , it was easy to imagine how people of old would have known the tree well, and maybe they called it the tree of sorrow.

There were many graves, too many to read all of them. It made us wonder about the people who had gathered round, standing where we stood and listened to the burial ceromony. We found ourselves looking for the oldest ones and reading them out loud. Many were dated between 1700 and 1800.

Finally we went into the ancient church of St Tysilo. It was dark and cool inside making us feel inclinded to whisper. The pews were set facing the alter and a wooden organ was set to the side. I couldn’t reisit lifting the lid to press a key to hear their sound, but it wasn’t working.

As I sat in the pew at the front, I felt as if I’d gone back in time. If the walls could have talked I would have loved to relive the services of old. Beautiful wood and a tiled floor all added to the atmosphere of reverence.  Sitting in quiet contemplation (apart from the high pitch whining sound), I could almost imagine the people who filled the pews with their heads bent in prayer.

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This was the oldest gravestone was part of the floor inside the church. There were three lying next to each other. The oldest being 1696, belong to a two and half year old child.



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We made our way slowly back admiring everything and wondering about the lucky people who owned the houses overlooking the Strait. It’s likely that many of them were holiday homes where a premium rental would be involved. A three storied appartment block was in construction and that had also had great views. I’m sure they’ll sell very quickly.

Hungry, we made our way to a pub called The Liverpool Arms. It was in a back street NS off the beaten track. As I stood looking at it, I wonderED whether to go in. It would be a little gem, or a right dive. Luckily it turned out to be a gem. We enjoyed a lovely lunch. Inside was pleasent and comfortable and the service and staff were all that you would want after a long walk – apart from a large glass of white wine, which went down very well!