I was there the night the banshee came for my grandmother.
My grandfather told me the stories. It was said that the banshee would bring death to all who heard her song, and place a curse upon the household. These stories were not true, my grandfather assured me. She did not bring death, he said, but was summoned by it.
I went upstairs to my bed as the sun sank and bled into the hills. The evening was eerily quiet. I lay awake in the growing darkness and listened. And waited.
That night the banshee’s mournful cry carried over the trees like a brittle wind. I pulled the blankets tight and held my breath. I knew my grandmother lay ill and dying in her room, but I feared the banshee would find me and take my soul as well.
I heard the banshee as she emerged from the woods. Her keening grew louder as she crossed the bridge at the creek. I was sure I heard all the voices of the dead moaning as she moved through the graveyard at the bottom of the hill, and follow her as she swept toward the house.
I heard her enter the house and come slowly up the stairs. Her woeful cry echoed through every room. I pulled the blankets over my head and shivered with fear. I heard my grandmother cry out, and then there was silence, broken only by my grandfather’s gentle weeping. I knew then that she was gone.
I rushed to the window but I could see only the wind in the autumn grass and the cold, pale moon.
Many years have passed. I still live in the old house and sleep in the room of my childhood. My bones complain with every step of the stair and the drafts get colder with each passing winter.
Tonight I climb into bed, blow out my candle, and pull the blankets tight. Outside I hear the wailing wind rise and fall and sweep toward the house.
Tonight the banshee will come for me.