blue ghost picture


The Music Lesson


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She had not been studying organ long, but already she loved it passionately and was contemplating a musical career when she finished school. There was only one thing that marred her enjoyment, and that was the lonely, nightime practice sessions in the echoing, empty chapel. Something about the place frightened her. She never felt safe until she was actually in the organ loft.

Packing up her organ books, the girl left her dorm room and huried down toward the arched cloisters that connected the school to the chapel. Already her skin was prickling, and goosebumps were rising on her arms as she thought of the empty church. "Don't be ridiculous", she told herself, lifting her chin and straightening her shoulders.

The girl marched bravely into the lonely, echoing church. Its huge stained-glass windows loomed dark and bleak in the twilight, and she could hear every footstep ringing through the sanctuary as she walked. It was so very large and so very empty. Anything might be hidden in the dark shadows that lurked in each corner. She quickened her pace.

The girl began to relax when she reached the spiral staircase leading up to the organ, and she gave a sigh of relief when she parted the velvet curtain at the top of the staircase and stepped into the loft. She put her books down and arranged herself on the bench, shivering a little in the sudden cold that swept around her. It was strange to feel such a chilly breeze on a warm night in early summer, she thought, feeling spooked.

The girl was about to put her feet on the pedals when suddenly a single pure note came from the organ. She froze in place and stared wide-eyed at the keyboard, which had just played all by itself. The chill around her increased perceptibly. Shudders of cold and fear shook her from head to toe. In that moment, she was convinced that she was not alone in the echoing darkness of the empty church.

A sudden movement by the velvet curtain caught her eye, and the girl turned her head. Standing in front of the curtain was a portly, middle-aged woman in a long, light-blue dress. The woman was flickering slightly in and out of existance like a bad filmstrip, and she was translucent. The girl could see the velvet curtain right through the phantom's body. The woman seemed to be staring at something ... or someone ... sitting on the bench with the girl.

Chills went up the girl's spine as she remembered the strange note that had come unaided from the organ. Convinced that she was occupying the same space as a ghostly organ student about to have a music lesson, the girl leapt to her feet and fled for the spiral staircase, even though that meant heading straight tword the other phantom. Head down, eyes on the floor, the girl ran right through the flickering woman blocking the velvet curtain. For a moment she was eclipsed by a terrible cold that made her limbs shake and her stomach do flip-flops of sheer terror.

The she was racing down the staircase, across the echoing aisles of the chapel and out the cloistered archways toward safety and the school. She told the whold story to her housemistress, even drawing her a picture of the flickering phantom, who was quicly identified as one of the founders of the school. The girl absolutely refused to go back to fetch her organ music, which was left in the loft until the next morning. And she never played the organ again.