Coffee With

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The Wedding Ring

by admin_edje | Published April 19, 2024

The Wedding Ring by Judith Richardson


The sound of a woman crying woke Maggie from a restless sleep. Nudged by an early morning breeze the lace curtains on the bedroom window billowed softly. There it was again. She called anxiously, “Mom?” then remembered her mother was not sleeping in the other apartment in the downstairs of the old carriage house they shared.

The sobbing grew louder. 

She slipped out of bed and wrapped herself in the ragged robe she wore the night she kicked her ex-husband out of her life. Even after three years it enveloped her in a cocoon of power and confidence. It was like putting on a suit of armor. In it she was invincible. The crying continued, but it had softened somehow as though the crier was wearing down, running out of tears and the energy it took to shed them. It was a situation not unfamiliar to Maggie. The breakup of her marriage was not all Richard’s fault. Her red hair and Irish temper were a little to blame. They had both been too young.

The sound was coming from behind the door to the storage side of the attic at the end of the hallway opposite her kitchen. She could see a slit of light in the space between the door and the frame. She made a silent detour to pick up a big wooden spoon from the nest of cooking tools in the center of the kitchen table where Sherlock and Watson, her two cats, sat staring at the apartment door. Heading down the hallway she reached the storage door and as she reached out to touch the doorknob, the crying stopped. She pushed the door open and saw a woman in an old -fashioned night gown huddled against a huge leather hinged trunk. A shaft of moonlight from the latticed attic window revealed woman’s head was buried in her arms. She looked up with a face blurred with tears. When she saw Maggie, her eyes widened.

Maggie spoke quickly. “What is it? What’s wrong? Who are you?” The woman’s eyes met hers in a helpless plea. Abruptly, a smothering darkness descended.

Maggie struggled to find the twine hanging from the single light bulb in the ceiling and pulled it with an impatient jerk. The woman was gone. There was nothing on the spot where she’d been but a pile of old magazines. Switching off the light, she closed the storage door. Still clutching the big wooden spoon, she went back to her apartment to be greeted by Sherlock and Watson who wound round her legs reassuringly. Her heart was pounding. It had finally happened. Maggie had seen the family ghost.