The Mysterious Ball
Basically, that’s how I ended up here. And now, my confidence was wavering. I looked back, and I realized that I was a long way from home.
“Perhaps someone living over the other side might be able to help me…” I pondered. As if on cue, the ball rolled down the stoned path, beckoning me to follow. I was too young to realize the enormity of the situation then. A young boy, wandering away from home, chasing after a ball that was leading him astray. Unbelievable.
The rustling of leaves jolted me into the present. I whipped around, but I was unable to find anything peculiar. Surprisingly, the ball had stopped rolling, as if it had also sensed a presence. Mustering up my courage, I decided to peer into the bush. The thorns pricked my skin, and the dim light made my task even harder. However, my hands stroked against a cold metal. And to my astonishment, it was a pocket sized, golden-framed mirror. The pale moonlight shone off it, giving it an eerie glow.
“This might come in handy,” I thought as I pocketed it. It was only then did I realize that the atmosphere of the surroundings had changed drastically. The old trees were twisted and gnarled, much like the fingernails of an old lady. The leaves had long withered away, and the ground looked like an unkempt Persian carpet. The temperature had dropped several degrees, and it was unusually quiet. Unexpectedly, the howl of a wolf pierced the silence, sending shivers down my spine.
The ball zoomed ahead, and I ran, as if the Devil Himself were after me. I stole a furtive glance behind me, only to find a shadow looming over me. I froze in my tracks, and my nerves turned to ice. I turned around slowly, and came face to face with a bedraggled woman. I stifled a scream. She wore tattered clothes, and you could see right through her. Her eye sockets were empty, and her mouth was twisted into an evil grin. But none of those made me gag; it was her arms, or actually, what was left of her arms. The skin had rotted away, and the blood trickled down her arm. She had scars all over her face, with pus seeping through. Then the realization hit me, I knew I had seen her somewhere…
“Oh, the look of horror in your face is priceless. Yes dear, look at my state. Filthy and revolting, aren’t I. A bit disgusting, wouldn’t you say? Ah, finally, I can see the state you are in. Are you surprised, puzzled, confused? I can understand. Do you remember me, Little Davie?” She cackled.
“Little Davie…Only one person called me that, and that was, that was… that was… No, it couldn’t be.” I shook my head in disbelief. My mind must be playing tricks on me.
“Auntie Jenny? But, but I thought you had,…you were…” I stammered as my voice faltered.
“I died. Is that what you were going to say? Yes dear, that’s true. I died when you were very young, I was...”She bit her lip, as if she was holding something back.
“You died in a freak accident, right?”
“Freak accident!” she fumed. “Who told you that?”
“It was Dad.”
“No wonder. If only you knew dear, if only you knew. They have hidden secrets, horrible secrets away from you for years.”
“What kind of secrets?” My curiosity was piqued.
“Only time will tell, my son...”
With that, she smiled, and faded away.
“David! What in the world are you doing there? Get down here this instant!” Dad’s loud voice boomed across the field. I looked back. Apparently, Mum and Dad had assembled a search party for me after they had come back. Not surprisingly, I had forgotten to keep track of the time. They both looked tired and worn out. Immediately, I felt a pang of guilt, but the resentment and the hate rose within me, and I was unable to control my temper.
A rough, coarse hand landed on my shoulders and Dad said in a soothing voice, “Come on son, and let’s go home.”
I shoved his hand away, and replied curtly, “Don’t you dare call me son.”
I knew I had hit a sore spot. Dad arched his eyebrows and frowned. “What are you babbling about, David?”
“ Where is Auntie Jenny Dad? Where is she?”
Dad grimaced. Mum and the search party officers were staring at us, dumbfounded. “Look David, let’s go home. Stop this nuisance.” He uttered as he began walking away.
“No Dad, not until you tell me all the secrets you have been hiding from me.”
Dad froze in his tracks. Mum gasped in shock. I knew what I was doing is something I can never come in terms with in the future, but I had enough of this ‘Don’t-Tell-David-All-The-Secrets’ going on. When Dad turned around, his eyes were brimmed with tears. They flowed down freely onto his cheek. David had never seen him cry.
“Your Mum and I had always wanted a child, but we weren’t able to. Aunt Jenny was a widow then, but she was pregnant. She could not bear bringing the baby into a world without the love of a father, so we had to adopt him. We promised Aunt Jenny that she would be able to meet him once every week. However, tragedy struck on that fateful day. Aunt Jenny hung herself for giving up the only light she had in her dark life, her only hope, her only source of joy she had in her unfortunate life.”
“Wait, you are saying that I had a brother who is actually Aunt Jenny’s son, but you adopted him? So...where is he? Did he go back? Is he studying overseas?” I inquired.
“No David. The person who I was talking about was you...”
1] Don’t you realize what a mirror symbolizes in the Afterlife? It is a portal for us to communicate with the living, and I had deliberately left the mirror where you would find it.
Article name: The Mysterious Ball essay, research paper, dissertation