Oh boy. This must be a prompt a reader left for me. I don’t know the meaning of the word “derelict.” It sounds like it should mean shabby or abandoned, like a crumbling house with broken windows, a porch that’s caved in, boards falling off the exterior. A derelict house would have once been smooth and honey brown with the color of fresh wood, but in it’s abandoned state would be grey and splintered.
Like a haunted house. The thing with haunted houses though, is that they are not truly derelict, if derelict means what I think it means. A haunted house is abandoned by the living, but not by the dead.
Growing up in Savannah, Georgia, I did a report for school on the haunted houses of our town. My friend and I borrowed a video camera and interviewed the owners of some of the stately old houses of Savannah — historical homes downtown on the squares, and the Victorian columned homes on Victory Drive. We interviewed the owners and asked them to tell us ghost stories.
The only one I remember is one on azalea-lined Victory Drive. A kind elderly woman walked us through the rooms of the house, telling us strange hauntings that had happened in each. The room I remember was a bedroom. The walls were plaster and were painted a soft color — a subtle mint or a pale blue — and the gentlewoman told us of footprints on the ceiling. The room was for visitors, and guests had awoken in that fluffy bed, looked up, and seen impressions of shoes indenting the solid white ceiling. The footprints moved as if two people were dancing.
I loved that story. It didn’t seem scary at the time, but it was daylight and there was no dancing on the ceiling.
So is a haunted house derelict? I don’t know. I don’t know if even an abandoned house is derelict. I think I need to look it up.
*Derelict does mean abandoned. Score! Thank you to LRose for the prompt.
For the month of November, I will be participating in NaBloPoMo and plan to publish every day of the month. Usually, I will publish a 10-minute free write, initiated by a prompt from my prompt box. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Follow along with the tag #NovemberDaily.