The Tower Ghost
By Darryl Foster
A faceless boy stood in the shadow of the town’s abandoned water tower dressed in old fashioned clothes. Lisa peered at the apparition from the sidewalk. A grave whisper—help me—blew through her mind. Lisa’s throat constricted, adrenaline coursed like wildfire through her body. She ran home.
“The boy scared me.” Lisa hugged her dad.
“Did you hear him in your head?”
“I don’t want you going that way to school anymore. Okay?”
“Okay. But who’s the boy? Do you know the Tower Ghost story?”
“I do. But it’s not for children.”
“Dad. I’m thirteen.”
“Okay. I’ll tell you, but be warned.” Lisa’s eyes widened. “The story of the Tower Ghost goes back decades”—Lisa’s dad made ghostly hands and his voice was spooky—“and they say the bones of a drowned boy lie—”
“Dad.” Lisa crossed her arms. “Chill the drama.” The animation was dropped and her father’s face clouded over with seriousness.
“Okay. Here’s the story. There were two brothers: Peter ten, and Danny eight. Peter had tormented his younger brother all his life. One day Peter lured Danny up the rickety steel staircase that curled around the tower’s red-brick wall. On top, in the middle of the tower’s planked roof, was a metal lid. Peter opened it, unveiling a black abyss of deep water. Peter dared Danny to dive in. Danny backed away, but Peter threatened to toss Danny off the tower if he didn’t jump in. Danny stood silent. Annoyed, Peter grabbed his brother hauled him to the roof edge and tilted him over. Danny screamed his submission, so Peter schlepped his brother back to the hole and said ‘get in’. Frightened and surging with hate Danny broke free and pushed Peter into the water. Despite Peter’s cries for help, Danny closed the lid and bawled until the splashing and pleas stopped—”
“Dad, that’s horrible.”
Lisa’s father smirked. Somewhere in the back of his mind a spider skittered through a memory tangled in cobwebs. “I told you this wasn’t a story for children.”—and I don’t miss my brother.