Six Weeks Later

By Ella, Year 8

I’m reluctant to start this story because I’m worried people won’t believe me. Sometimes, I don’t know if I believe it myself.

It happened, I think I can remember the exact day, on April 26, 2018.

So it was just after I had bought my Chow Chow. We had only had him for 2 weeks or so. His name is Honey and he came from a breeder in Perth. He is soft and honey-coloured. Honey is very sweet and protective, despite him being a puppy. 

Most of the time he lives with my sister in Parramatta but every now and then, he comes to stay with me, my Mum and my older sister. I’m writing this story exactly one year after we first bought him. 

My Mum is Indonesian-Chinese and her family is Muslim. My grandmother lived with us and her place was on a couch in the living room near the garage door, next to Mum’s desks. She loved being near my Mum. She never moved from there. No one else was allowed to sit there. She would get very cranky. 

A month before we bought Honey my grandmother passed away. She spoke Indonesian with me. My Mum believed that when a family member dies, they would remain in the house as a presence for 6 weeks.

She only told me this later when some strange things started to happen. At first, I did not believe her. I was sceptical. I just thought it was some kind of superstition. Three weeks after my grandma passed away, my sister complained.

When my sister sat where my grandmother always did she complained of a weird smell. It was a strange smell. It smelt like someone peed somewhere but not. It was not like anything I had ever smelt before. 

A week later, I sat on the couch where my grandmother always sat. My Mum had said to my sister, “Chinese superstitions say that the presence of a family member will stay in their house for 6 weeks after they have died.”

A few weeks later, my dog came over to my house from my sister’s place and stayed with us for a week because my sister was in Melbourne. After the first two visits, my dog started barking. But it was barking at nothing. He sleeps in the hall near where there is an automatic light sensor. I could see it under the door. He had set it off.

I came out thinking he wanted to be let out to go to the bathroom but he was sitting in front of my grandmother’s chair. He sat  down in front of the chair and put his paw out as though someone was trying to hold his hand. But there was no one in the chair. 

I went back to bed and he kept doing the same thing for four nights in a row. He would keep barking even though there was no one there.

On the last day when he was to go back to my sister’s place. 

Mum is in the shower, the door is opened for him, something opened the door for him. The creaking door, I should have heard it.

The next time they came back to stay with us, he did not bark at all. He did not go back to my grandmother’s chair and put out his paw. There was no more barking at night. He just slept through the night. I realised that maybe he was no longer going to the chair because it was now six weeks since my grandmother had passed away. 

Her spirit had now left our home. I still do not know if people will believe this story. I’ve never told it to anyone else.