That wooden door, the great entrance that my heart has clung to for so many years remains shut to me. It stands as a tall solid and immobile barrier to my freedom, and I may never learn of the reasons for it being so.
My entrapment is not a subjective countenance to the strong and unpliable wood. Nor is my spirit captured and enslaved by the sturdy and secure locks that bar the passage of so many a passersby wishing to enter this humble place of worship.
Nay, my present dark circumstances finds my meager soul locked behind this entrance. Looking for a way to escape this church forever. The irony is not lost on me. Even in the days of my life the church always tried every gimmick both fun and fearful in trying to get worshipers though those terrible doors. Little did I understand that once I got here I would never leave!
Truly, as a ghost, I know that there are far worse circumstances a soul could find itself in. Yet, a gilded prison is, at least to the prisoner’s point of view, remains nothing but a prison. Yes, that word best describes it. Prisoner. It conjures the right imagery to the mind. I am the lost and forgotten prisoner doomed to anguish behind these doors for all eternity. The thought breaks my heart and fills my being with such sadness.
When I was alive, I did not concern myself with the possibilities of souls in torment, or those religious pursuits of binding your soul to glorious heaven or suffering punishments in fiery hells. I had a life to live. The thoughts of dying before I was old and gray simply did not exist in any form for my intellect. People died around me, for sure, but the odds of it happening to me were remote at best. I thought I would always have time later on to worry about my death. These thoughts were best left for the priests and the elder people trying to undo years of unsanctimonious behavior.
Oh, don’t misunderstand my life choices. I did everything required of me. I attended church, gave alms, and even sang in the choir for a bit of time. Even my dying breath was in service to my fellow-man and the church. Yet, here I am. I’m stuck between worlds and unable to grasp what I need to do to move on.
How did I die? I spent my last mortal moments bringing water to some carpenters and painters working on the ceiling behind the altar. Even though I was 18 years old, I was still a petite sized girl and could only bring the water to the scaffolding, tie a rope around it, and let the workers hoist it into the air on a pulley. Once they finished refreshing themselves, they would lower the bucket and I’d place fruit or nuts for them to snack on and to repeat the process as needed.
It was a hot day and I was quite happy to help these men as they repaired the ceiling to the church. On one such trip with the water pail I must not have tied the rope as securely as I believed. As the fates would have it, the rope became untied awhile it was in the air at the very top of the pulley. I saw a worker grab for it, but the bucket fell straight down like a missile completely crushing my skull with a crimson mist spraying the work-tarps on the floor.
I awoke standing to one side watching my body lying in a puddle of my blood. My neck bent at an odd angle and my poor head had a ghastly concave wound. The village priest was performing last rites and the workers were either sullen or standing with shocked looks on their faces.
I attempted to get their attention and tell them that I was fine. But, they seemed to be unable to either hear me or see me and provided no interaction. I kept trying to speak, long after my they removed my body and the work was finally completed. I screamed and yelled at my funeral, but again no interactions occurred to bring a sense of peace to myself. Finally, I resigned myself to explore the boundaries of this strange fate.
It was during this period that I attempted to leave the church and found myself unable to do so. I can go to the door, but as I’m ethereal, I cannot seem to be able to grasp it or push it.
Lately, I’ve overheard various people complaining to the priest of cold spots in the sanctuary. There are also several rumors about a sobbing that is sometimes heard. People hear the sound of a young women sob and sometimes can smell the pleasant fragrance of roses, my favorite perfume. But they are unable to determine where it comes from. I must admit, these strange occurrences happen at the same time that the idea of staying here for eternity is more than I can bear and I become despondent and sad. I’m sure I’m the cause of these events. Yet, I really don’t understand how.
Decades have past now, the priest who tended to my body died years ago. No one who remembers my death is still alive. I have watched endless baptisms, weddings, and funerals performed behind that sorrowful entrance.
So, if you’re in the church and you feel a sudden chill, think you hear the mournful sobs of a girl, or smell the sweet aromatics of roses in springtime. It’s me. Waiting… waiting for a chance to leave through that very entrance you walked in through.
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