We all have ghosts. They can take the form of a longing for someone who left, an unpleasant memory from the past that keeps haunting you, a fear you cannot push away... They are the things that rest engraved in our minds because they are too powerful or too terrible to erase. But can it be more than that?
Ema Salgueiro remembered the winter nights spent by the fireplace at her grandmother’s, listening to the stories about ghosts and haunted places, or people under spells, which her grandmother sometimes read from a book and sometimes made up.
Usually, the ghosts her grandmother spoke of weren’t wicked or dangerous creatures; they were tormented beings who, for this reason or other, were suspended between this world and the next. Obviously, there were evil ghosts, just like there are evil living people, but the simple fact of being ghosts didn’t make them a menace.
The house Ema and her husband were preparing to enter had been the setting for a lot of the tales her grandmother had made up, because of the sombre look it had when Ema was a child. Located at a secluded place and surrounded by wild vegetation, the house had been abandoned more than fifty years ago by the family who owned it and who now lived abroad. Since she was a child, Ema had always felt fascinated by that old imposing mansion. She had even tried to enter it but she had never been able to open any of the heavy wooden doors. She could hardly believe that old stately house now belonged to her! She had managed to save some money by selling some of her sculptures and her husband had contributed with his earnings as an advertising agent. They added the small fortune Daniel had inherited from his grandparents and they both decided to invest the amount in a house. Ema had long dreamed about making that house her own and giving it life, eliminating that gloomy look which the building flashed to whoever passed by. It had been abandoned for so long that she though it might be possible that the owners wouldn’t mind selling it. The hardest part was to get in touch with the family. They had to scour the area looking for someone who might know where they were, make phone calls and send letters to people who, according to what they’d been told, might know something, until finally they met someone who gave them the address and phone number of the owners. As they had been told, they were abroad – more specifically in France – and they welcomed the chance to make some money and, at the same time, get rid of an old dwelling to which they had no intention of going back and which, in fact, they had already forgotten about.
So Daniel hired a lawyer to deal with the paperwork and travelled with him to the village where the owners of the mansion now lived, in order for the contract to be signed. When he came back, Ema threw her arms around him, happy as a little girl. Her childhood dream had finally come true.