Editor's Note: Each week this month, we're featuring a response to one of the BlogHer Writing Lab prompts.
Today's Prompt: Do you like ghost stories? Can you tell us a good one?
As a small department which had once again been moved to a new location, we had grown used to meeting new people. A campus building built at the turn of the century was our latest landing place.
This building had attic rooms and winding tunnels which led to dark places for storage. We had to light our way down these cold passageways with pull-down strings hanging from the black ceilings. But still these distant places smelled... clean, like a garden.
On the ground floor, modern technology and academia. Safe.
Above on the top floor and downstairs in the basement lived the stories of a ghost. A beloved cleaning lady who enjoyed her job so much she stayed. Staff who went to these areas witnessed floors that were free of dust and boxes that were consistently rearranged where real people seldom tread.
Sadly, shortly after our arrival one of our staff experienced the sudden, unexpected illness of her teenager. We were a group of mothers, and we stood together with our friend as her daughter's life unwound. Through it all, we started to notice little things. Our desks looked tidier in the morning than when we left the previous day; our trash cans moved to a more convenient spot. But still some of us dismissed the idea that a ghost was at work.
In spite of the business day, our lives became quiet as we waited for the final news about our friend's child. My office space sat slightly apart from the others, and then one morning I smelled a scent. Strong and pungent, filling my head with the scent of the outdoors. Something I could not ignore.
I walked to the main office area, but nothing physical seemed changed. The hushed drone of our computers and voices on the phones continued. Didn't anyone else notice? Was I the only one who smelled roses? I returned to my desk thinking, "Was I mistaken?" Within the hour though, we received news that our friend's daughter had died. Was the ghost giving a sweet warning?
Days later on the local news, the historical ghost-walk society did a segment and mentioned our school. They said that there had been several reports over the years of a ghost cleaning lady. A kind lady who had been a new mother at the time of her passing, a lady who was caring, a lady whose name was Rose.
Twice since that Rose day more than fifteen years ago, she has come to warn me about someone I was close to. Twice, I have smelled roses. Both times, she was correct.
BlogHer Writing Lab Syndicated Post - A Ghost of a Scent (Click to Tweet)