The ghost goes by other names, of course. “Pondskirt” doesn’t really engender a sense of fear or invoke any tantalizing ideas about the undead or supernatural forces that inhabit our world. Perhaps the teenagers call it something more appropriate: the Banished Man, the Water’s Voice or the Hungry, all as for instance.

But in my mind It is only Pondskirt, one of those sensation-based phrases that dawns on you and you never quite shake. The vowel sounds lending shape to an already evocative combination of nouns.

I’ve seen It, that old Pondskirt. Making its rounds, always clockwise, around the dirty little lake. An oily smudge in an otherwise bright morning. The day must be bright in order to see. Unless, of course, you’ve come to know Its habits. Then you may even be able to find It in the dark. But only if you and It have chosen to visit this place on the same day and at the same time. And that, friend, takes a very strong sense of intuition.

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