Hiller's Incorporeal Axe and Rope
from The Ghost Collector
Object Post 136
Author’s inspiration: I’ve often wondered how a ghost could hurt you if it’s incorporeal
In one hand he carried an axe, in the other was a rope.
Melinda was on a quest for ghosts to populate the haunted guesthouse. Duncan, the resident ghost, had suggested she should seek out Hiller, who lived in (well, occupied) a barn. Melinda found the barn in question… She…
Flung out her arms, flung up her head, and said the charm Duncan had taught her. Then she fell off the hay bales…
…the ghost was standing on nothing. He was a much bigger ghost than Duncan and he looked a lot more solid. He was wearing shadowy trousers and boots, and he had enormous eyes. In one hand he carried an axe…
He also had a rope. Melinda was brave, but startled, especially when the ghost Hiller…
Strode down the empty air towards her, swinging his rope as he came. Melinda wondered if the ghostly axe was as sharp as a real one, and tried to run. It wasn’t much use.
After being chased about the barn, Westworld fashion, for a while, Melinda was too tired to run any more.
And now he was laughing, head back, with his axe a darker shadow against the shadowy wall.
When Melinda stopped running, Hiller stopped too.
“Why aren’t you running, girl?” asked Hiller
“Because I c-can’t,” stuttered Melinda.
Hiller let the axe fall. Melinda noticed that it didn’t disturb the hay as it landed. So maybe it wouldn’t disturb her head if Hiller clobbered her with it? She carefully got to her knees and crawled towards the door. Hiller wrapped his rope around her. It was like being tied up in a frozen spider web and Melinda felt it tearing as she squirmed.
Unfortunately, having attracted Hiller’s attention, Melinda was stuck with him, and his axe and his rope. Oh, and his dog, and his dog’s bone as well. You’d have thought she’d have learned her lesson after that but not Melinda!
The Ghost Collector, by the way, was my reaction against a trend of the times for ghost stories for children to be somewhat short of ghosts. This used to annoy me. I mean, pony stories had ponies right through. Ballet stories had ballet right through. Therefore, I wanted ghost stories to have ghosts right through. Since they didn't, I wrote one that did.