Peggy – Part Five

Peggy – Part Five

Here’s part five of ‘Peggy’, columnist John Spychka’s short story.

Peggy – Part Five

We enter the hospital and go to the check in area.

“Hi Lucy,” I say.

“Hello Henry. How are you today?”

“Just fine. This is Hannah, my girlfriend. She’s visiting from New York. We’re here to see Mrs. Mansfield.”

“Let me check. Yes, just as I thought. No visitors allowed for her today. She’s having a bad day.”

“Couldn’t we just see her for a few minutes? Hannah leaves tomorrow, and I would like her to meet Mrs. Mansfield.”

“Since it’s you Henry, I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

“Thanks.”

As we enter Mrs. Mansfield’s room, she gives us a warm smile.

“Hello Henry. Oh, and I see you have brought Peggy with you.”

“Peggy? No, Mrs. Mansfield, this is my girlfriend Hannah.”

Suddenly, Mrs. Mansfield sits up in her bed, her glazed eyes staring at the ceiling, and says:

“Beware, beware, revenge will be sought, beware. My ghost ship and I have arrived. Nothing can stop us.”

“Mrs. Mansfield, snap out of it,” I say. “This is not normal. Hannah, please get help.”

I feel a cold draft in the room. I turn around and see a man with a black tricorne hat, a three-quarter length red coat with gold tassels on the shoulders and a red sash across his waist. I don’t actually see him; I see through him. I notice his left leg is bleeding. It’s Benedict Arnold!

“You cannot stop me. It is too late. In one hour, I will get my…,” says Mrs. Mansfield.

The nurse arrives with Hannah.

“Everyone, please leave the room,” says the nurse.

We exit the hospital, and I apologize to Hannah.

“I’m sorry, Hannah. I have never seen her like that before.”

“It’s okay. I just hope she’s alright. No harm done.”

“Well, maybe a little,” I say.

“What do you mean?”

“When you left to get the nurse, I saw him, I saw Arnold’s ghost.”

“That’s impossible! I thought you didn’t believe in ghosts.”

“I didn’t but I do now. I saw Arnold’s ghost. And he said, through Mrs. Mansfield, that it was too late to stop him. In one hour, that would be seven-thirty, it will all be over.”

“What will all be over?”

“You’re not going to believe this, but I think he’s going to attack Quebec City. He’s the one who’s been moving Adamson’s drawing at the art gallery. He doesn’t want people to remember his defeat. At Chez Temp this morning, I saw him in the mirror in the bathroom. He opened my newspaper to page seventeen, the page that coincidentally contained news on his ship and the Queen Mary II. I think he’s going to attack the Queen Mary II.”

“How could he do that, Henry?”

“His ghost ship, Peggy, is loaded with explosives. The Queen Mary II is loaded with fireworks. Bring the two together and you’ll get an explosion that would ring through the centuries. He’ll get his ultimate revenge on the British by sinking the Queen Mary II at what is supposed to be Quebec City’s biggest celebration ever. What could be sweeter for him?”

“That makes sense in a weird kind of way. We’ve got to tell someone, and fast, because I’m sure the Queen Mary II has already docked!”

To be continued… 

Peggy – Part One
Peggy – Part Two
Peggy – Part Three
Peggy – Pary Four

Categories: News, Opinion

About Author

John Spychka

John Spychka has dabbled in writing since the early ’90s. His closest claim to fame came around 2006 when his work, “The Slava Ladies League Christmas Pyrogy Fiasco,” was shortlisted for the annual Writers’ Union of Canada’s Short Prose Competition. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at the University of Calgary and also has a Master’s in English Literature from Université Laval. He has travelled extensively, having lived in Japan and France. John is a manager in a multi-national software company and dreams to one day be able to live off his writing. He lives in Quebec City with his wife and two children.