the burning of Pelham House 

I haven’t always drank

So please don’t judge me

I come here to forget ….Her.

A widow

Her husband died in the war

She never came out

She never came to town

Or to church

You could see her movement through the windows from time to time

a shadow

I was just starting in journalism

I wanted to be a success

And my first real chance came

When a story regarding a widow

And the loss of her husband landed on my desk

It required staying with Her

For three weeks

Documenting her life

What she did

What she liked

Find out who she was

And if she was grieving

Her house

Was intimidating

more like a manor or hotel


as if it held every

Demon haunted story

Branded by this city.
Inside wasn’t much better

Cold and consuming any light

Rather than being illuminated by my lamp.
I stayed 

On edge by her ghostly movements

She never made a sound

Rather just floated from room to room

Dressed in black

Her red hair framing her face
The days passed

Without her sleeping

she sat in her window

Often going away into her room

For hours

In her chair

Once I asked about her husband

all she said was

“I’m too young and old for this I don’t know what to do”
And then rose and left the room in her soft way of moving

I don’t know what it was

But on a particular rainy Sunday

Exploring the house and library

I noticed her bedroom door open

I couldn’t help looking around

It was dark

And cold 

Dust in the floor 

My skin felt like ice

Old photographs

And paintings

covered the walls

“this is my life do you know what you’ve been sent for?”
the voice was cold

I was startled turning around

I hadn’t noticed her in the room

But there she was

in the corner

tall and dark 

Filling the blackness

Her red hair almost like a fire

Framing her green eyes

“I’m sorry I didn’t realize this was …I just..couldn’t help myself”
“you will find..there are darker rooms in the world then what you’ve seen here and darker evils than all mystery”
She said,raising her hand towards me

Later I woke around 3am

There was faint singing

moving through the house

I cracked open my door 

she was

Standing still in the hallway 

Staring at the floor 
But the singing continued 

Echoing through the rooms 

Her voice


it wasn’t coming from her 

I left Monday…

They burned her house Friday…

The banks couldn’t wait anymore

And the paper published my story 

Like she was a witch 
She just stood there in the window

The flames rising higher and higher  
I woke up…

I heard singing in my house…
“Over the hills and through the wood

Down by the water 

the fire will make you clean 

Over the hills 

And through the wood 

Down by the water…”

I felt someone staring at me 

I looked hard 

And then I saw the shadow of hair 

Her tall figure 

Beside my bed 

Just staring at me…
It’s been like this for 6 nights 

So I come here to drink 

Last night 

There was screaming too 

A mans voice 

I woke up 

To the singing 

And fire 

My house was on fire 

And a man 

Was screaming at her 

It was her husband 

Her dead husband 

The singing continued 

“Over the hills and through the wood

Down by the water

The fire will make you clean”

She was standing by my bed again 

I ran out the door 

I came here 

Don’t judge me

I come here to drink

And forget 

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