Friday, April 13, 2018

Day 13: Friday the Thirteenth or Old Archie

My second great grandfather's ghost was said to haunt
Our town's old elementary school. All the first graders knew
About Old Archie. He was a tall, bleak figure who would
Appear early in the morning while the children were still
Sleepy from bed, and stand, ominously at the end of the
Hall, by the stairs, where he would be just glimpsed out
Of the corner of seven-year-old eyes.  It was only the
First graders who ever saw him, but all the other graders
Particularly the second graders always told first graders
About him.

Their tales of Old Archie were embellished with as much
Gore as they could think of and how the tall and lanky
Figure would capture children and, quite literally, scare
Them to death.   Old Archie was angry and evil, you see
A man tormented by children, it seems, a man who must
Have done something vile in his life, something horribly

You can imagine, then, when my sister started school
That hearing her second great grandfather was a fiend
Was a bit disturbing. She, apparently, came home crying
The first day, and my mother couldn't get anything out
Of her. And being that my mother was a woman of her
Time and would hardly be one to initiate contact with
The school, my sister's turmoil over our fiendish ancestor
Lay quiet within her until she told me about it years later.
They had torn the school down by then, and I had never
Attended it, and my sister and I laughed about grusome
Old Archie, the fiendish miller who had built the town
And built the school, and had lived an enjoyable life
With his eleven wives and dozens of children. We had
Thought those unusual facts of his life would have been
Interesting enough, but no, no, no, a ghost is always more

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