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The Good Stuff
by B. A. Llewellyn
Length: 582 words

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An Irish friend tells a fascinating story of his past, when he left the adopted shores of Australia to visit the country of his birth.

Jim came to Oz as a teenager, adapting quickly and well to his new country.  His days were full and his nights were restful, except for a reoccurring dream that plagued him.

Jim regularly dreamt of an old stone and thatched roof house, set in a beautiful, green valley.  In his dream, Jim would open the front door and walk into his dream house, searching through every room and always ending in the study, never finding what he was looking for.  He always awoke feeling lost and lonely, and wondering about the meaning of his dream.

Then, as a man in his forties, Jim visited the home of his birth and went travelling with friends around the country.  They were driving along an isolated country road, similar to many other isolated country roads they had already seen, when Jim was hit by a strange, and strong, feeling.  He demanded that the car be stopped and everyone get out immediately.  Jim just knew that over that hill, and a small hike away, was the house haunting his dreams.

Sure enough, an old stone and thatched roof house appeared in the distance, and Jim broke into an excited run, closely followed by his enthralled friends.  A short time later, they all arrived at the front door.  It was the same front door that Jim knew so well from his dreams.  There was a “For Sale” sign on the lawn, giving Jim the perfect excuse to knock and ask questions about the dream house.

An old man, bent low with age and arthritis, opened the door.  He looked up at the visitors, eyes wide and jaw dropped.  Jim immediately understood how the arrival of unexpected strangers could frighten someone, and assured the man that they were interested in the house and heard it was for sale and wondered if they could have a little walk through it.

The owner said a quiet “Yes”, and stood back to let the strangers in.  Jim immediately began walking the path through the house that he had walked so many times in his dreams.  He was able to tell his friends everything they would find behind each door and around each corner.  Jim ended up, as he always did in his dreams, in the study.  The owner was waiting in there and hobbled up to the jubilant stranger.  The old man touched Jim’s arm and looked directly up into his eyes.

Jim was struck by the incredible depth of blue in the old eyes, as the man said, “Ye should know something before you think of buying this home”.

Jim felt those summer-sky eyes were asking permission, and he slowly nodded his head. 

The old man came even closer as he whispered, “This house is haunted.”

Jim looked around him, and wondered if the ghost had been trying to talk to him, in his dreams, half a world away. 

He took a deep breath and asked, “Do you know the history of this ghost?”

The blue eyes stayed fixed on Jim as the old man said, “I can do better than that.  I know who the ghost is.”

Jim felt himself firmly tugged down until he could taste the other man’s breath on his face.

The owner seemed almost angry as he said, “It is you who haunts this house, Jim.  It is you.”


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 Ireland - County Wicklow
Ireland - County Wicklow
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