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Spirit of Soito

Motorcyclists’ undergarments make unusual pyjamas, but with two duvets on top, they ensure a good night’s sleep. It’s January and after a year in Portugal, this is the coldest I’ve been. The granite stone house, now my home, has been empty during a long wet winter. Its damp chill permeates to the marrow of my bones.

Upon waking, my eyes rest upon a tiny woman. Her skin clings in fragile desperation to her slight skeletal form. Dressed in a loose, greyish salmon-pink gown, it provides a degree of stature. Wisps of aged hair straggle like water-weeds escaping the dam of a navy-blue scarf upon her head. She regards me with an expression of curiousity through bright grey eyes. Apologetic on being discovered, she takes a small step back from the bed.

“Hello,” I whisper.

I’ve never met a ghost before.

Our brief meeting instills a duty of care towards this gentle soul and her former home, Casal do Soito.

Dedicated to the Spirit of Soito.


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