Submitted into Contest #221 in response to: Write a story where ghosts and the living coexist.... view prompt


Fiction Funny

Mum and Dad were a happy couple, always chatting, giggling, and enjoying each other's company. They had married in their twenties and had lived together for thirty years until death pulled them apart. Dad had a heart condition, and he used to joke about dying of a heart attack while playing his favorite sport.

 “One last round before I go,” he used to tease Mum.

“Paul,” Mum would say rolling her eyes.

He died while teeing off on the 18th hole at the Country Club we belonged to. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon, we were playing together with Dad’s best friend when Dad put his hand on his chest and collapsed. Mum screamed “Help, help!” and threw herself on top of him. She punched him in the chest and yelled “Wake up Paul, wake up!” I, on the other hand, panicked and froze. Dad’s friend called the ambulance. We stood by him until the paramedics came to confirm that he had already passed.

The funeral took place a few days later. Mum, my sister Laura, some business acquaintances, and their golf mates were present. Dad had had a brilliant career in an insurance company and had provided very well for us. He paid for our education and was proud of both his daughters. Mum did not have to work. She focused on her family's well-being. Dad would do anything to protect her and keep her happy. She lived a blissful life. Mum, however, behaved strangely during Dad’s funeral. She did not shed one tear. After the funeral, we had a small reception at the Clubhouse.

“Look at Mum,” I said to Laura. “She’s smiling and talking to her friends calmly as if nothing had happened.”

“It must be the tranquilizers,” she guessed.

Several weeks later, Laura and I went to Mum’s for dinner. Her house was near the golf course. She had set the table for four people and had made Dad’s favorite dish, roast beef with potatoes and vegetables.

“Mum, is anyone else coming tonight?” asked Laura.

“No, it’s just the four of us,” Mum replied. She put some food on the plate at the head of the table where Dad used to sit.

“Is this enough for you, Paul?” she asked as if Dad was there.

“What are you doing Mum?” asked Laura. “Is this some sort of joke?”

“Yes Mum, Dad died of a heart attack,” I clarified.

“He didn’t die. He’s right here. Don’t you see him?”

Laura covered her mouth, elbows on the table, and looked at me frowning. We both ate silently while Mum kept talking to Dad.

“You like the food, darling?” Mum asked, gazing at Dad’s usual seat.

Later that night, Laura and I drove back to our apartment in Palm Beach, which was only half an hour away from Mum’s home. In the car, before driving back home, we shared our worries.

“Oh my God,” said Laura. “Mum’s going mad.”

“Mum is in denial, a normal stage of grief. I studied about this last semester. It will pass,” I said.

“But a very odd form of denial,” said Laura.

“For sure. I’ve never heard or read about a similar case.”

“Our parents had a very special connection. We were lucky to grow up surrounded by so much love and joy,” said Laura.

“Yes, they were inseparable.”

We hugged and settled back into the journey.

In the golf club, a rumor spread about Mum’s rare case of denial. Her best friends had decided to go with the flow and not confront her. Mum was a happy widow and was not causing anybody any harm after all.

“Good morning Dolly. How are you today?” asked Lucy, one of her golf mates.

“I’m great. I’m lucky to have friends like you, and both Paul and Denise at my side,” said Mum looking at Dad.

"Would you like to play nine holes?" asked Lucy.

“Sure, but is it okay if Paul comes along?”

"Of course, he can come along. He's always welcome," said Lucy and we made our way to the first hole. It was a picture-perfect day. The well-groomed fairways, the lush vegetation, and the beautiful golf course lined with palm trees were my parent’s idea of paradise.

After six months Mum continued seeing and talking to Dad’s ghost. Laura and I decided then to intervene. Although we had never done that before, we hired a psychic that a friend recommended. We requested a meeting with her to talk to our father. We did not tell Mum about this. The psychic came to our apartment. She was wearing a white gown. She had wavy ash-blonde hair and pale blue eyes.

After a brief chat about the weather, we prepared for the session. The psychic put some crystals and candles on top of our small round table. She lit the candles, drank a glass of water, and held hands with us forming a circle. We looked at her with great curiosity and the session began.

“We are calling the spirit of Paul Taylor who passed six months ago. Laura and Denise would like to talk to you," said the medium.

 The spirit manifested right away. 

"I can see him now. Did he have grey hair, a long face, and a crooked nose?"

“Yes, he did. But I can’t see him,” said Laura.

“Can you please give your daughters a sign?”

A sharp citrus scent with a musky undertone drifted across the table.

“Oh WOW,” I breathed in and out loudly, “I can smell his cologne,” I said.

“Oops, I just felt his touch on my shoulder,” added Laura, jumping off her chair.”

“Well girls, he’s here.”

“Hi Dad,” we said in unison.

“What would you like to ask him?” asked the psychic.

“Why are you still around, Dad?” I asked bluntly.

"Because I want to protect your mother,” said Dad speaking with his own voice through the medium. This was so creepy. Laura and I had goosebumps all over.

“Tell him…” I said to the medium. “He did so during his lifetime.”

“Yes, yes,” said Laura with a shaky voice. “Tell him we’ll look after her.”

A gust of wind came through the window, blowing the candles out, and Dad’s spirit left. Laura and I were stunned. Laura’s face was white like a sheet and my heart was racing.

“This was amazing. Thank you so much for helping us talk to him,” I said.

“Have some water,” said the medium, noticing that we were shaking.

“It’s good to know that Mum is not mad, but shouldn’t he be somewhere else?” asked Laura.

“He will go away in his own time when he feels that your mother can stand on her own two feet,” explained the psychic.

A week later, we went back to Mum’s for dinner. This time, she only put three peas and a chicken wing on Dad’s plate.

“Are you going to starve Dad to death?” I asked with a cheeky smile.

Mum chuckled. She paused and then said, “Paul, we need to do some serious talking.”

“About what?” asked Dad. This time, both Laura and I could follow the conversation telepathically.

“About us and you still being around,” replied Mum.

“Would you like me to go?”

“I love having you around, but I don’t want to delay you on your way to heaven. You were a wonderful father and husband, and a hard-working man. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be all right. Besides, we will meet again soon.”

“I’ll go under one condition then.”

“Which one?”

“That we play one more round of golf,” he said before he vanished.

October 23, 2023 03:36

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Vimala Rengasamy
10:20 Dec 20, 2023

I absolutely avoid ghost stories, Maria, but this one is a sweetie from the start. The creepy bit in the middle worked well for the prompt. Your story engaged me from start to finish.


Maria Sardi
22:32 Dec 20, 2023

Thanks Vimala. I'm glad you liked it. As per my discussion, it is based on a true story. Dolly was a golfer friend of my Mum, who lost the husband to cancer and went really mad. The rest I made up, but who knows... it could be possible.


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Maria Sardi
23:21 Dec 18, 2023

There's a bit of truth to this story, Dolly and her husband were golfers, friends of my Mum. When he died of cancer, she went crazy and kept talking to his ghost. The rest was imagined.


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Barbara Arbogast
18:34 Nov 03, 2023

This was such a sweet ghost story. Ghost stories tend to be scary, so it's nice to see the love ghost story that you wrote. It's a gentle change. Thank you.


Maria Sardi
04:01 Nov 05, 2023

I'm glad you liked it. Thank you.


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Shirley Medhurst
08:02 Nov 03, 2023

A beautiful ghost-love story & a great first submission. Welcome to REEDSY, Maria.


Maria Sardi
04:00 Nov 05, 2023

Thank you, Shirley.


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Soleil Tron
17:20 Oct 24, 2023

This is a lovely, haunting story of two people who simply can't let go. Well done!!


Maria Sardi
20:09 Oct 24, 2023

Thank you very much for your feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed it :)


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Georgia Blair
13:03 Oct 24, 2023

I really like this charming story, which strikes a nice balance between love story and ghost story. It develops at a steady pace and leaves the reader smiling!


Maria Sardi
20:11 Oct 24, 2023

Great choice of words. Thank you very much for your feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I had fun writing it too :)


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