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Vanessa - A Highlander Tale

Strange goin's-on in this place, aye.  I've lived in this crusty old cabin in the highlands of Loch Ness for twenty years plus one.  My lovely wife died a year after we married, so I moved away from the village into this isolated place to be alone.  You want to ask me if I've seen Nessie.  Aye.  Many a time.  But it's not Nessie that's raised goosebumps on my skin, nae.  It's her - Vanessa.  I named her after my late wife.  It began about 3 years ago.  There I was on a chilly day in October starin' dreamily out of my single, solitary window 'round about the gloamin' into the hills above when I spotted the lass, her reddish-brown hair blowin' in the breeze as she danced 'mongst the heather, her laughter echoin' throughout the Loch.  Instinctively I got myself together and sped toward the heavenly spectre.  She ran like a gazelle down the mountain in the direction of Urquhart Castle.  I watched carefully as she entered the ruins and into Grant Tower.  She was trapped and she was mine.  As I drew near I could hear her giddy chortle tauntin' me as if to say, "I'm here love, waitin'."  But when I entered the tower there was no one there, just crumbled rock.  Then I spied it - a green scarf lyin' on the ground.  I picked it up and held it to my nose and then froze where I stood.  The scent of fresh heather was unmistakable!

white fairy in the mist
dancing in fields of heather
elusive enigma

I've never told a soul about my visions and never will.  Who would believe a lonely, foolish old man?  For three years straight she's appeared to me in the autumn of the year when the warm turns to chill and the leaves turn to gold, before the snows blanket the hills like white satin.  Maybe I've lost my mind, who's to say?  But it's what I live for now.  Nessie?  She's quite a gal.  But my Vanessa, she's the dream, the vision.  One day I'll catch up to her and hold that lass in my arms in a field of heather... and never let go.  Aye.

* Disclaimer: I don't believe in ghosts.  This is the story of a very lonely man living in a part of the world where the lines between fantasy and reality are often blurred. 

Copyright © July Morning | Year Posted 2018


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  1. Date: 9/21/2018 12:36:00 PM

    Beautifully written story. You should write a novel. I visited Ireland a few decades ago, so while your stories lie between fantasy and reality, mine are full of blarney. :)
  1. Date: 9/21/2018 11:46:00 AM

    Hmmm!...back at yah
  1. Date: 9/20/2018 1:34:00 AM

    I love your Haibuns. Seriously, it's an entertaining little read. You should narrate this.
  1. Date: 9/20/2018 12:37:00 AM

    I loved your story. One could well understand ghosts do not exist. But still the story had me enthralled.
  1. Date: 9/19/2018 4:09:00 PM

    Such an evocative write, and who’s to say what our minds can create and what might await us in a nether realm, whose presence owes its very existence to that of our own.
  1. Date: 9/19/2018 5:32:00 AM

    Shades of "Brigadoon", J M. I love the rich detail of this rather captivating tale.
  1. Date: 9/19/2018 4:59:00 AM

    Great storytelling July... I could have narrated this in a Scottish accent for you lol..
  1. Date: 9/18/2018 6:01:00 AM

    A solitary soul is never alone! If a soul seeks solitude it is because they are full to the brim with memories, cherished and nostalgic as they are! They are their solace and relief! Indeed, he isn't "foolish" neither has he "lost his mind"! But rather feeding on beauties he once lived and rejoiced in! I read your work of art with a great pleasure July Morning.. the weaving of your gripping tale let your reader feel every single word! A beauty and a FAV. Be blessed always.
  1. Date: 9/17/2018 8:51:00 PM

    A wonderful fantasy! What's wrong with lying back in your chair, closing your eyes, and making up another world?
  1. Date: 9/17/2018 5:36:00 PM

    Excellent haibun, Tom. Who needs Nessie when you've got Vanessa. I truly enjoyed reading, but that is no surprises, your creativity is amazing. Hugs, Catie :-)
  1. Date: 9/17/2018 1:43:00 PM

    Very cool. I really enjoyed this story to the point that I was lost in it, I could see it all and it was beautiful...nicely done.
  1. Date: 9/17/2018 1:40:00 PM

    A captivating narrative set in a beautiful and mysterious part of Scotland. Vanessa...a dream to live for! Regards // paul