A ghostly green glow

Living in Balance
By Jenipher Appleton

Summer was gone but the good weather lingered on into golden September. It was one of those lovely, almost autumn weekends that found us at the cottage on Three Mile Lake in Muskoka. Saturday passed pleasantly and dusk came relatively early. There was a slight chill in the air so my mother, my dad, my friend Debbie and I sat close to the open-hearth fireplace. At the ripe old age of eleven, it seemed to me that the gathering darkness and flickering flames were setting the mood for one of my father’s choice ghost stories.
Gradually the logs were consumed by the fire and shadows deepened in the room. There were no other cottagers in the bay that weekend so all was very quiet and still, except for the chirping of crickets heard through the screens of the front windows which faced the lake.
My father’s story concerned some poor man whose dying wife had persuaded him to bury her with all her jewels. Later on, the direst of circumstances made him decide to open her grave in order to extract the jewels therefrom. Dad’s quiet, slow, monotonous voice added to the spell of the moment. Debbie and I were paying rapt attention, along with my mother who had undoubtedly heard the story countless times.
We followed the exploits of the desperate grave robber as he made his way to the cemetery. In the light of a dim kerosene lantern, he located the shallow grave and dug down until the metal of his shovel met the wood of the coffin. He opened it and in a rush of courage seized the jewels. We noted his frantic efforts to return the grave to its previous appearance. With backward looks he hurriedly made his way homeward. Now the moment of truth was near. It was almost time to bring everyone back to the present with a start; the man crept up the stairs to the bedrooms that he and his wife had shared. Suddenly…!!
At that precise moment in the story, the whole cottage where we sat was alight with an eerie green glow, which filled every co