The Banshee- she wails outside my door. Someone in this home will die, soon. I can hear her screams of anguish, they burrow into my mind, like a nail being driven into a plank. Madness is clawing at me, I do not know if I can stand this much longer. If only the one who is to die will just hurry up. It could be any of us, my mother tries to soothe us all by telling stories of her youth in Ireland. The Banshee, she said, wailed for five days before the death of her grandmothers. Another five days before her grandfather.
Alice asked Mother how do we know which one of us it is? Who does she wail for? Father, pacing the floor, looked at Mother; we all were thinking it. Little Alice, sweet little Alice, she had been sick since birth. A cold that never ended, her lungs weren’t growing right in the womb the doctor said. It seemed that even out of the womb, they would not grow. The fresh air of the country side is what she needed, the air would stimulate growth of her lungs, that’s what Father said. But we had been here for two years, two long years and the cold still hadn’t ended. Little Alice, most certainly, was the for whom the Banshee wailed.
But how does one tell a small child she is to die? The thought drives me deeper into my budding madness. I cannot handle the nightly screams anymore, it has been three days. I leave my family and take residence in a boarding house in town. Blessed sleep will surely come to me tonight.
As I lie down to sleep, I suddenly remember my mother’s stories, five days the banshee wailed. Five days before my great grandparents were greeted by Ankoú. The thought of being greeted by Ankoú fills my mind.
The Banshee- she wails outside my door.