Sunday, 2 October 2011

Storytelling Sunday - The Man who Wasn't There

It's Storytelling Sunday time again. So come on in! I was just about to start..

When it gets to this time of year, and the nights get cold and the darkness starts to come down before teatime, I always think back to one foggy night when the children were little..

The house. The gate.
It wasn't late, just after seven, probably, when we heard a knock on the front door.

We hadn't been living in the house very long, so it was still a thrill to make our way down the hall and discover who had found us. But, this time, when I opened the door, I couldn't see anyone at first. It was so very, very foggy. Cold. Dark. And then, suddenly, without a sound, out of the mist appeared a little old man. He was standing on our doorstep and he was wearing a crumpled overcoat and the kind of hat a dad would have worn to work many years ago. He said nothing, nothing at all.

We looked at each other and then, with a quick flick of his hand, he gestured for something to write on. I ran for a notebook and pencil, don't know why really, and I held it out to him and he took it. When he handed it back I could one short sentence:

"Please, one pound for bus fare home."

I could spare a pound, I thought, for a man who needed to find his way home. So I offered him one from my pocket and he took it, tipped his hat at me, turned on his heel and disappeared down the path. As the gate clicked I found The Accountant standing behind me. "Why would he come here?" he said. "We're almost at the end of the road. Wouldn't any of the other houses have been closer? Did he really need a pound for a bus?"

And he opened the gate with another click and took a few steps down the street. The man had completely disappeared. Through the fog we looked, right to the bottom of the road, right to the bus stop. There was nobody there. Not a soul, of any kind.

We never saw him again, that gentleman who tipped his hat but didn't speak. He came out of the fog and the fog carried him away again. But I hope we did help him to find his way home. Wherever that was...

And that's my story for today. Why not add one of your own below? It doesn't have to be big, it doesn't have to be clever. We are interested in any little memory you would like to share, today or any day for the rest of this week, but please do remember add a link back here so that your readers can join in too. The linky stays open just for you!

36 comments:

Cheri said...

Wow, Sian, that is just a little creepy!

Bubbles said...

Cosidering the tales I could tell about things that have happened to me... well, I found this rather sweet. Nomatter who the old man was, you helped him... what lovely people you are!

Barbara Eads said...

I loved your story---eery. I'm sure it was the fog that made it seem so mysterious!

WillieburgScrapper said...

Great short story! Linked up a funny anecdote that happened recently but it's not half as good as this story- got shivers.

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Oooh, what a cool story, Sian. I can't help but think there was a lesson in this - your kindness was tested and you passed with flying colors.

scrappyjacky said...

That is a little creepy....but as Deb said....you definately passed the kindness test.

Lynn said...

Great story Sian if not a little spooky - leaves you asking all sorts of questions just like a good story should. ps thank you for your welcome back message on my blog

Ruth said...

Oooh, good story.

debs14 said...

I will not be telling my son this story or he will be up and down the town streets next foggy night trying his luck at every door in order to fund his university year!
But seriously, what a lovely atmospheric tale. It could well be that every other door he had knocked on had sent him on his way with a flea in his ear and you were the last - and only - kindly person to help him out.

alexa said...

Lovely story in lots of ways, and I am sure your kindness was key to him - whoever or whatever he was. :)

Miriam said...

Oh Sian, your story sent shivers down my spine. What a wonderful memory.

Julie J said...

oohhh spooky - nice way to get Hallowe'en month started. And Story Telling Sunday - is it that time already?????

Jane said...

sounds like a ghost story to me!

angelfish (fiona) said...

Very spooky!

Ifa said...

spooooky!

Jimjams said...

Spookily weird! Kindness counts though whether it be to a little old man on his way home, a scammer knocking on every door, or a ghost who can write notes!

Margie S said...

Very mysterious! I've been wanting to link up for the past several months and was finally able to this month! Thanks for this great idea. I'm hoping to do it again next month.

Becky said...

What a spooky story!

Gail said...

What a great story - it sent shivers down my spine.

Missus Wookie said...

Sounds much nicer than the tresspassers I get here 'because/but you're a church' is a common enough addition to the demands for money sadly.

Wonderfully told too. Thanks again for hosting.

Louise said...

ooo spooktastic Sian. Maybe he collected a pound at every house he passed and went home a very happy man!!

Maria Ontiveros said...

A perfect spooky tale for October! I'm just getting up on Sunday and posting my story - it's also a haunted tale.
Rinda

Ladkyis said...

excellent story! I could taste that fog. It also made me turn the lights on in here, just to disperse the shadows, ya know.

My daughter is going to try and join in this month. I hope she manages it

S said...

Oh, I hope he had made it home safe too - bless you for helping him along his way.

Ginger said...

Love it!! Just the right amount of mystery and suspense to make me wonder what really happened to this man?!!

I just linked up my story and now I'm off to read everyone's :)

humel said...

Wow - so atmospheric! I can just visualise it all. Sent a shiver down my spine!

furrypig said...

Oooh a freaky foggy scary story fab! Thanks for hosting story telling Sunday again it has been a pleasure to join you and all the other talented tale tellers xxx

Sandra said...

Oh my, that's quite spooky

Melissa said...

What an amazing evening - he just disappeared into the fog! I didn't get a story ready for this month, but I'm definitely enjoying everyone elses!

Alison said...

What an odd thing to have happened, but I'm sure he appreciated your kindness!
Alison xx

Gem's Crafts said...

Oooh what a mystery! Did you try looking it up in the local library in case he was a ghost?!

Sian said...

I haven't tried looking it up, that's a great idea!

Carmen said...

Love this story. Gave me goosebumps - they are the best kind ;) Puts me in mind of that old tale - was it a bible story or a folk tale... about the angels that disguise themselves as poor peasants to sort the good people from the bad. Maybe you met an angel that night.

Jo said...

Lovely story, it's given me goosebumps!

jennifer said...

Kind of spooky. I used to love the spooky stories best in Bunty annuals etc. Especially the ones with lots of mist!

I'm glad you had a pound to give him, I hope he found his way home! x

Wanda said...

In a word...eerie. It sounds just like you to give money to a stranger! I hope because of your generosity that he had a good end to his day.

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