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The gift of a banshee

By which I do not mean that a banshee gave me a gift; rather that I was given the tale of a banshee sign once, and it has stayed with me since.

This is a story I have recounted before. At the top of a hill, at the top of a house, lurked a pretty blue room, where a boot once lived. One night a friend came to stay, and the talk lasted into the night, when suddenly a knock was heard at my door. My friend froze and asked me if I had heard the knock. I was sleepy and non-committal, thinking it was the pipes. I went over to open the door of my room, when my friend brought me down with all the zeal of a wild dog pack.

She told me an Anglo-Irish nugget of folklore, that when you hear a knock at your front door, and you know there is no-one out there, you must never ever answer it. For it is the soul of someone soon to die, requesting to be released - providence only knows why they would choose/ask you but never mind. If you open the door, they will take that as permission, and soon thereafter leave this world. You must never open the door. Keeping it shut tells the soul to fight on and stay. Them's the rules. Daft story. She was deadly serious, all those years ago.

I wish she had never told me, because I have heard that knocking now and then. And then...well, let's be honest, people are dying all the time. But still, it terrifies me. It could be anything at all, pipes, a cat using a litter tray, leaves outside... It was heard by me and our tom cat tonight, very distinctly. He stared at the door. I crept next to the door and asked who was there. No answer. I have bolted it and put the latch across.

Time for a warm bath and some cheery wine.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
sixtine
Apr. 25th, 2012 11:28 am (UTC)
and now you have gifted it to us! We will never answer doors in the night now.
smokingboot
Apr. 26th, 2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
You'll be fine! Just ask if anyone's there before opening the door. It's only a problem if you hear someone whisper 'No....'.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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