Sally was as practical as they come. She lived with her partner, Paul, in an isolated cottage fairly deep in the forest. When she moved in with Paul, several years ago, he had warned her that if you’re going to live in such a place you must be immune to the dark and to things that go bump in the night. No good, once nightfall comes, getting worked up in the imagination.
Sally said the warning was unnecessary. “Who do you think I am? Do you think I believe in ghosts?”
Recently of an evening, looking out the window, she saw a spectre, a shape, quietly moving among the trees.
“Paul! Paul!” she called. “Quick! Come and look at this!” But by the time Paul came down the stairs the phantom had gone.
“I’m not sure what I saw,” said Sally. “It obviously wasn’t a ghost, I don’t believe in ghosts, but it certainly was a shape.”
Over the next few weeks, Sally continued to see the spectre. Once, when Paul was there she was looking at it, but Paul said he couldn’t see a thing. Sally started to think she was going nuts.
Things got worse. She became obsessed with the apparition. It was taking over her life. Evening after evening her fear grew.
“I can’t abide it any longer,” said Sally. “I’m leaving.” And she did. She got in her car and drove off to her mother’s in town.
Not long after, Naomi moved in with Paul. They had met several months earlier at Paul’s work, at the Scientific Institute’s Department for the Development of Lasers and Holograms.