The Phantom Coach II – Robert G. Wertzler

The old house by the Loch was, in its time stately, grand, and host to lords and ladies, and notables of the day. Now, it had fallen on hard times. The noble family that had built it centuries ago died out. New owners had stinted on upkeep, or had gone bankrupt trying to do right by it. Finally, a fire some years ago had left it a ruin. The real estate developer who had now bought the land saw no point in trying to preserve it, seeing in his imagination instead a fine, thoroughly modern, and very richly (If not tastefully) decorated (and so, as devoid of soul or sense of history as he himself) hotel to capitalize on the view.

Thus, it came to pass that in the counsels of the shadow realm it was decided that the resident ghosts and other entities and spirits of the place should be spared the pain of having to inhabit such an unnatural place (in their terms) as it would become. The Phantom Coach was dispatched to pick them up and take them to more accommodating new homes.

The Coach arrived when no living humans were about to see and the spirits got aboard. They were quite a collection too, spanning centuries and even millennia, but, being spirits, of course they all fit in the coach. As they were pulling away, they heard an exclamation from the only living witness. She had never in her life seen anything of the kind, but tried to say a farewell with the only word she had, “Moo”. The spirits waved to her and were on their way.

Bob Wertzler is retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times the title, “Recovering Therapist”, seems to fit. In 2006 he retired to move to Western North Carolina to help and become primary care giver for his father who had developed Dementia. Before all that, there was work at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things. He relates to a line in a Grateful Dead song, “What a long, strange trip its been.”

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