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a ghost story

By JD Pernoste and Anneliese DahlPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 4 min read

JADIS - by Pernoste and Dahl

The mirror showed a reflection that wasn't my own,

and in reflex, in cowardice, I turned away.

Midnight had crept in, stealing my evening,

so maybe I had dreamed, perhaps I had slept.

I rubbed weary eyes, seeking sense in me.

It was only my usual fatigue, nothing more.


I recalled my brief glimpse of that face

in the long mirror of my drawing room.

Did I remember a slender hand raised

partially concealing a once young face,

drained of the bloom that should have been?

I whispered, silent, and an echo returned, “Jadis!”

Startled at deep stillness broken, I ran,

trying to banish my treacherous memories

as I fled to my chamber down the shadowed hall.

Chest still heaving, I quieted my sobs,

and I told myself, “a nightmare, only that.”


I did not, could not, move once seated

reading in my chair by the barren, empty hearth.

The cold I felt greater than I should have,

even for such a bleak December night.

Reading couldn’t warm me, not to the marrow,

chilled in this old house by the ocean winds,

frozen by a past cursed by misfortune.

Not my fault. Just bad luck. Just that.


Fearful to sleep, I listened to a storm

that quickly ascended in wind and fury.

Feeling disquieted, still I thought

it’s a regular storm and nothing more,

so I started a small fire in the fireplace,

and lit candles when the power failed.

I was certain the scrapes on the floorboards

in the hallway were not dragging footsteps,

but I wedged a chair under the door latch,

cursing the thinness of the wood.


The icy wind became a tremulous moan,

like that of a woman, maybe. No not that.

It was just echoes down the long hallway,

sounding as though complaining at my door.

I gathered my strength, and my humor,

and called out, resolute and strong.

"Forgive me," said I, "but the night is late

for visitors or bad memories or nightmares."

I chuckled quietly and hoped no one was there,

but I timidly opened the chamber door….

A darkened hall, nothing more.


Alone, alone, I stood in the hallway.

I feared, then made excuses, yet I doubted.

A sudden silence surely was not like a tomb.

This thought chilled me deeply again,

so I whispered to the darkness, “Jadis?”

The dark returned, “Jadis?” as an echo.

Retreating to my chamber, fire dying,

I felt enflamed, frightened, but suddenly hopeful.

when I found the source of those footsteps.

Outside my window was a scraping branch.

It was only wind returned, moving the tree.


Now after 2 am, it was past time to sleep,

so I went to the master bath to prepare for bed,

the candle an eerie, flickering companion.

Still a bit fearful, I closed the door behind me,

accidentally slamming it loudly in my rush.

A shriek next to me made me drop my candle,

and the room was plunged into abysmal darkness.

Blubbering and wailing on the floor, like a child,

I feared the touch of icy fingers that did not come.

I felt for the candle and retrieved my matches.

A strike, a flame, and enough light to see….

It was just me here. No one more.


I stood to look in the old, black-spotted mirror

glaring at myself with one eye. I know not why.

“Have you nothing to say for yourself?” I asked.

I picked up my unpleasantly worn toothbrush

and looked in vain for my toothpaste,

then resigning myself to using only water.

When a sudden smell of perfume wafted in the air,

I remembered the sweet scent of lost Jadis.

I wept for my misfortune that she was gone.

It was my usual bad luck. It most certainly was.


I grimaced at myself, most foully, in the mirror,

and I was shocked to see a young woman’s face appear.

Jadis it was, mouth screaming silently at me to go away!

The door to the bathroom flew open by itself,

and I raced through it to the bed chamber to hide,

deep under dusty covers of my large, curtained bed.

Weeping, I implored God to remove her foul spirit,

for had she not brought me endless misery in life,

with her expectations, and complaints, and weeping?

Something unfortunate had happened on the stairs,

but it most certainly was not my fault at all.


From beneath my covers, hiding my eyes,

I listened to the terrible spirit of Jadis,

walking around the house, weeping and praying,

in the most horrible of ways, like she once did.

I could smell and hear preternaturally well,

the scent of burning sage, sound of salt poured

in the doorways and on the windowsills.

Her prayers of insistent demand, echoed through me.

“Leave, leave, John. You have to go,” she said.

“It’s not my fault you died trying to kill me on the stairs.”

She said such things repeatedly, ‘til nothing more.


I did not understand my encroaching madness,

the insistent feeling that I was becoming hollow.

My bed chamber began to fade from my sight,

as eerie white light cast a dire shadow on the floor

that moved closer every minute, all day, it seemed.

I stood my ground for hours, trembling in fear,

but when the room disappeared, I had no option.

It was my decision to leave, nothing more.


About the Creator

JD Pernoste and Anneliese Dahl

Pernoste is a scientist, poet, and artist, and Anneliese Dahl is a young reclusive poet. Now exploring stories in verse novel format. Check out "In the Minuses".

Twitter: [email protected]

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  4. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  5. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (14)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 months ago

    First of all, I loved your style here. It had a smooth flow to it. Also, it kinda reminded me of Crimson Peak. Very creepy. Congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Emily Dickerson2 months ago

    Quite interesting! Pacing was awesome! That's hard for me

  • K. C. Wexlar2 months ago

    Fun take on the challenge!

  • Em Starr2 months ago

    Hauntingly beautiful. I loved this eerie take on the challenge...Poe-vibes all day long! You have a new fan in me. Subscribed and hearted.

  • Haunting, in every sense of the word. Edgar Allen Poe could not have done better. The poetic lines & cadence make this even more compelling than the story alone. Wonderfully told. Congratulations on top story.

  • Abdul rafey 2 months ago

    Amazing content. Let's support each other

  • Naomi Gold2 months ago

    This is so creative to tell the story in verse!

  • Tale2 months ago

    Excellent 👌

  • Donna Renee2 months ago

    Congratulations on your top story/poem! 😁. Such a unique take on this.

  • Rachael MacDonald2 months ago

    loved the layout of the story. well done.

  • Jeff Newman2 months ago

    Interesting story! Nice job. If you want to read some more stories, would love your feedback on my submission to this challenge

  • Mark Gagnon2 months ago

    Great ghost story!

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