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At first, its appearance was nothing more substantial than a fly bumping against a window. Almon thought nothing about the tapping of the sound of wings he heard on the glass. Examining for the source of the tapping, and finding nothing, it soon captured his full attention. Yet, the tapping continued. Instead of a rational explanation, he saw a dark reflection in the glass, it was a face not his own. He also saw reflected a gray hand, barely visible, rapping on the glass from outside. His eyes widened, as the face in the reflection withdrew. Then, his heart almost stopped with a sudden knock on the front door some distance behind him. But when Almon opened the door, nobody was there, just the night air. As soon as he closed the door, before he could release the doorknob, a hard pounding ensued upon it from the other side. He opened it quickly only to find no one there. He felt a growing sense of apprehension, as if he had walked through a spider’s web with his face. A chill went through him, but mostly though, he could sense something out of the ordinary was happening. What followed for Almon were bad dreams and restless nights.
Then, when the new moon arrived in its normal time and phase, providing no light at all to illuminate the night, the land had reached its darkest hours. Almon was having another nightmare. Unbeknownst to him as his muscles involuntarily twitched in dreams, the room chilled like ice, and his warm breath came out as vapor. Suddenly, he startled awake, and arose from his deep slumber to a sickening smell of rotten eggs. There, in the corner, standing in his bedchamber, a ghost wrapped in robes floated above the floor in dulled colors. The spirit manifest itself in an illuminating spectrum like candlelight. Lingering across the room it hovered by the window with its back to Almon. Slowly turning to face him, it moved with no connection to the floor. It floated forward, toward the bed, as if tossed on unseen waves in invisible water. The ghost was adorned in a gray robe, a hood obscured his face in the darkness of its deep folds. A gray beard protruded from underneath its hood. With this one distinguishing feature, Almon knew this ghost was not the spirit of his dead father.
Unable to breathe, his heart-pounding Almon could only look on in shock, and as much as he wanted not to believe, he could only stare at what he knew was really there.