I worked for a development company that had purchased an entire neighborhood of Victorian homes to renovate and resell. Every home for a two block radius was empty except for the one that I lived in; which was near completion and was going to be used as the model home.
One afternoon, I was almost out of cigarettes and decided to walk to a corner store a few blocks away. Keep in mind that this was an out of the way neighborhood, there were no workmen around, all of the homes were vacant, and the entire area was deserted. I had only walked about one block, and was walking looking down at the side walk lost in thought when a few feet ahead of me I heard a voice say “excuse me, but may I have a cigarette?”
Before I even looked up, I was astonished that anybody was even around but what I saw astonished me even more. Standing there was an elderly black lady. She was small and frail and dressed head to toe in black, her dress was high necked and went down to the ground. She had on a small pillbox hat with a veil hanging from it covering her face.
I was absolutely speechless but managed to say “certainly” as I offered a cigarette to her outstretched hand. I lit my lighter and she lifted the veil to reveal an oval face extensively wrinkled and old. Her eyes focused only on the flame as she bent forward to light the cigarette and as she inhaled it she said “Oh thank you this is so good”. I turned away to continue my walk when it occurred to me that I still had a few cigarettes left in my pack; being that I was going to buy more, I turned back to her in order to give her the few I had left. There was nobody there. Did I run into the ghost of a lady who once lived in those old houses?
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