Agnes (story by R.C. Peris)

My sister-in-law had a miscarriage. The maid, Agnes, carried down the bloodied sheets with a strange smile. I did not like my sister-in-law. This was her fourth miscarriage. Papa was upset that his son had no children. I was only eighteen. I had no suitor but Mama was addressing that. She was trying to make a match for me. My life was just beginning. In a month we would go on a Grand Tour of Europe. I was certain to meet many fine gentlemen.

I went to the laundry to see if Agnes had cleaned my favorite dress. She was standing over a tub scrubbing the bloody sheets with a large smile on her face.

“Have you cleaned my dress?” I asked.

“No, my lady. I’ve been washing these sheets,” said Agnes in a pleasant voice.
“Well, I want my dress.”

Agnes looked at me and her smiled faded but then reappeared. “Oh, do you now my lady?”

“Yes.” I stamped my foot.

“We don’t always get what we want in life.” She went back to scrubbing the blood.

“I’m telling my brother you aren’t doing your job.”

Agnes looked at me queerly. Suddenly her pale skin turned gray and sickly and her red hair turned white. She opened her mouth and screamed. It was a horrible scream. It was painful. And then she stopped. She was back to being Agnes.

I hurried and told my brother. He laughed. “What? Agnes is a Banshee?” He shook his head. He also denied hearing any scream.

At dinner, Agnes served me soup. I ate two spoons of cream of artichoke and fell forward dead. Agnes laughed. I needed to warn my brother there was a Banshee in his home but my spirit was consumed by Agnes.

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