Long ago I wrote a story in which the heroine’s sister played a minor part. This sister, barely sixteen, had wide doe’s eyes and a sweet, pensive smile. In that story a handsome young gentleman noticed those wide doe’s eyes and sweet, pensive smile.
He noticed them and he could not forget them.
But that story was not theirs. It went along its way, leaving them stealing glances at one another, tongue-tying him when their gazes met yet offering him no opportunity to become un-tongue-tied.
After that the girl and young gentleman visited me occasionally. Like ghosts. Late at night when the wind howled and all lights were dimmed save the lamp of my laptop, one or the other would tap meaningfully on my computer screen. They had stolen enough glances to know the truth of it. They urged me to write their story.
Usually, he did the urging. He was impatient to enjoy this pretty girl upon his arm. Rather, in his arms. She urged more decorously, hinting that her heart would not be young forever. But she could not hide from me that she had already given it to him. Wouldn’t I allow her what she longed for?
They haunted me.
And so in the dark I wrote a scene here, a few lines of dialogue there. In the daylight I often thought of them—ghosts are difficult to ignore—but I could never find time.
But this hopeful pair would not be put off. Their haunting grew persistent. I assured them their time would come. I reminded him that at the very least he must wait a few years until she became a lady.
Then, on a chill, gray day not long ago I found myself in Wales, encompassed in fog upon a velvet hillside. In the mists towered a great ruin of a fortress, black and craggily, mysterious, downright ominous. And their story unfolded—a cursed castle, a tortured specter, and a love strong and constant enough to fight the darkest demons and inspire the most breathtaking miracles.
Now, dear readers, because every satisfying ghost story should be shared—not to mention every delicious love story—I am giving it to you. Also, they insisted upon it, he with dashing confidence, she with that sweet, pensive smile, all the sweeter now because… Well, I’ll let you discover that for yourselves.