The Ghost

By Johnny, Year 8

Written as part of Control Alt. Edit

As we age, we become the worn out bottom of the cezve briki at the old
woman’s house, its dark and flame-licked base that has seen many a guest in
the wrath and dawn of the radio silence.
There is no fixed variable in life – all our existence is a mere balance
between the words and actions of those we surround ourselves with. As such,
the concept of a life is in no way something constant and consistent. The
sands of time whisking away the memories of those dark, singed stains of
flame on the base of the briki that has long stayed stagnant in the cupboard
of the old woman’s home.
The red brick walls remain stagnant and aged as the wind wraps
around them menacingly. There is no way to describe the feeling of it, the
cutting of the bay leaves amongst the southern summer heat, the picnics
beneath the olive tree and the shade of the fruit-bearing plants hiding us from
the world.
The tall grass falls in sunken, morbid ways, heavy from the afternoon
rain and the downpour of water from the sink where once-fresh tomatoes
and sprigs of parsley were washed. The thick cream-coloured bars of the
verandah are much smaller than what they seemed years ago. The mandarins
and citrons spread generously across the garden, the fruit-flies feasting on
their flesh. The deck of cards across the deck, Queen of Hearts torn in two,
Joker caught between the timber.

Observing is the curse of the curious, the nitpicking of the smallest
things, they say. The burnt out cigarettes perched in the ashtray, the winestained glasses and ouzo-baptised shot glasses, the geraniums that have
overcome the pillars, the jasmine vine that has created some kind of organic,
peculiar arch across the fence gate. The magenta bougainvillea sprawled
across the front lawn.
It has become obvious that this belief of solace in the past is false,
for there seems to be no relief from the pain of memories. Of those tired
and worked yet joyful faces that boasted sparks of youth and hope in their
mahogany and smaragdine eyes; it is apparent that childhood memories are
like dried sunflower seed husks and pistachio shells found beneath the back
verandah of the once fruitful homes, all dusty and chipped from years of
hiding beneath the pebblecrete porch and concealing themselves from the
reality of the earth; a last hurrah to the charming and memory-soaked good
old days, where the tenacity was apparent, the hope brighter, and the dreams
of a better life, bigger.