Ghost River – 9

October 16, 2006 at 4:48 pm (Ghost River)


In my father’s house there are many rooms.

Late at night I got a call from Dr. Oostenburg. “You should come over to the Court.”  

When I said my late wife was buried, I’m afraid I was talking somewhat euphemistically. Actually, since 1941, no one who has passed on in Stranger has been buried.  We ‘preserve’ them so to speak, and since the Courthouse has been vacant, it has worked well for this purpose. We kept this rather quiet as you can imagine, as we would rather not draw attention to our somewhat unique local customs.

Arriving at the Courthouse, I found Dr. Oostenburg in an anxious state of mind. “Something’s not right. You better take a look.”  I went down with him into what we call the catacombs where the more silent residents of the town are kept.  I do not want to give the appearance of anything macabre – due to Dr. Ooostenburg’s good care, the residents look quite fresh, and he has done a good job of arranging them in lifelike positions. Women are always dressed in white and the men are given fashionable suits to wear.  

As soon as I reached the alcove where my good wife was resting, I could see what had caused Dr. Oostenburg’s concern.  We had dressed my wife in her bridal gown and given her a bouquet of flowers. We did not give her a groom – but somehow she had found one.

“I thought you would want to see this,” Dr. Oostenburg said, his voice still visibly shaken.

“My God,” I said, falling back against the wall, “That’s my grandfather!”

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