Burn the Ghost

Mum rushed my sister to the doctor. Not just because she tried to kill herself with the bread-knife but also because she said there was a ghost that came into her bedroom at night and could get inside her head if it wanted to.  And then there were those things that weren’t even alive that were waiting for her in the darkness. One was a color. Another was the water streaming perfectly from a tap. They were evil and wanted her to die.

That’s why the doctor said she should take up a hobby and gave her a prescription for Valium. She took up painting. And since we didn’t own a camera to take a photo, she painted a picture of the ghost that came into her room in the night.

And we all stood together in the kitchen when she brought the painting down from her bedroom to show us. But she should have warned us. Someone should have warned us.

Mum said the time had come. She had known for a while that we needed God’s help. It couldn’t wait a minute longer. So she visited the reverend and he said he was not empowered to make decisions about exorcisms. But he could start by having us all hold hands in the kitchen and recite the 23rd Psalm.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

And he told my Mum to burn the painting. For the love of God, burn it now. So I helped Mum build a fire and we watched the oils bubble and burst on the canvas. But secretly I knew that the ghost could not be burned.

And I was right. Here I am today. And that ghost lives right behind me, just out of sight.


  1. A powerful piece of writing there!!

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