The night was young and in the twilight 4 ladies walked through a narrow street in the centre of a city. Going out in the “middle ages” was in a tavern. A simple building with a bar serving pitchers of beer, full of people wanting to have a good time.
The 4 ladies were dressed according to the latest fashion.
Sonja is a stocky, middle-aged lady with medium-length brown hair. She was wearing a long sapphire blue dress that fell to her ankles. The dress had a deep plunging neckline and was decorated with gold-coloured triangles.
Daphne, a full-figured lady with her broad shoulders, narrow hips and long black hair, is the youngest of the four. She wore a long, ankle-length emerald green dress with a plunging neckline, decorated with gold coloured hearts around her hips.
Debbie, with her waist-length red-brown hair, was the shortest of the four. She was wearing a long, ankle-length golden yellow dress. Her plunging neckline was deeper than the other women’s and adorned with black four-leaf clovers.
Simone, was a slender woman with long curly honey blonde hair and of medium height. She wore a black opal-coloured long dress to her ankles decorated with gold-coloured spades around her hips.
The room was lit only by oil lamps hanging from the ceiling and placed on tables. The air was filled with oil, tobacco, beer and sweat.
The ladies decided that they would sit down at a table and order beer. They took in the crowd, soaked up the atmosphere.
Sonja got up and walked casually to the bar, where she stopped next to an older man. He looked sideways at her, didn’t say a word and the moment Sonja walked away, he followed her with his eyes.
A smile curled her full lips and she cast a questioning look at Debbie.
“Yep, he’s still watching,” she confirmed.
“Great, then ‘our dance’ can begin,” Sonja smiled.
“What dance is it tonight?” Debbie asked.
“A tango,” Sonja replied.
The man Sonja had in mind was her husband and to spice up their relationship they had decided to hit on each other.
“Are you seeing a nice man yet?” Debbie asked Daphne.
“Yes, and with a shake of her head she nodded to a man sitting alone at a table.


Hope and a Chameleon.

Lying on a lounger under an umbrella, she turned over on her stomach.
A gecko appeared in front of her on a rock close to her. He stopped and looked straight at her.
She looked at him understandingly.
“You know,” she said to him, that you have a beautiful complexion, and there was a note of wonder in her voice.
“A chameleon,” she continued, putting on “her soft storytelling voice,” as if she were going to tell a story to small children.
The gecko still stood motionless on a rock, hypnotized by her voice. She laid her head on the lounge and began her story.
“When Pandora’s box was opened, thousands of demons came out.”
“Hidden from the demons, a tiny light came out at the end. Named “Hope”.
“Like a chameleon, her eyes could move individually, searching for those who needed hope.”
“Those who need hope need hope in different shades of color, just like a chameleon.”
And those who hope find the thickness of a chameleon’s skin. Pretty on the outside but thick enough to contain the hope inside.”
“To make sure no one can take it away with ugly words.”
“To make sure no one can watch it with looks of ugly feelings.”
“And to the demons who want some hope, the chameleon will not stand out with its protective color, hidden in its natural environment.”
“A chameleon is by day and a gecko by night, for hope is by day and by night.”
She looked up to see the rock littered with geckos all enraptured by her voice. She rested her head and fell asleep.
One by one, the geckos left the rock, satisfied with their role in the form of hope.

The ghost story

Mien and Sara had summer holidays and were looking at brochures at the kitchen table.
“I’m so excited to go on vacation,” said Sara.
“Well, otherwise I will,” replied Mien as she leafed through the brochure.
They both let out a deep sigh, everything was so expensive and that made it not easy to make a good choice.
“Shall we take a break and grab some treats?” ask Mien.
“Okay,” said Sara. “Mmmm, there’s not much left, we have to go shopping.”
“That can also add up to even more expenses. “Did you also receive a text from Tom about his new house?” Mien asked.
“Yeah, we went over the weekend anyway.” “You know what, I facetime him”.
Mien took her mobile and at the same moment Tom walked in.
He sat down at the kitchen table and grabbed a cookie. “You know, you were supposed to come and stay for the weekend, right?”
“Yes,” Sara said, “we’re really looking forward to that.”
“Well, last night I had such a strange experience, I think the house is haunted!” I hear all sorts of strange noises in the basement.
Oh wow. We need to investigate that. “I’m all for that, and you Mien?” Sarah said.
“No, no, I don’t want any of that”, said Mien anxious. And why, she thought, but she didn’t say, why investigate, it’s not safe.
“Aren’t you coming?” I don’t think it’s haunted, you’ll see there’s a logical explanation for it. We bring equipment to record the sounds,” said Sara.
“Can you come tonight already?” “Tyler’s here too,” Tom asked.
“No, we can’t tonight, we’re going to my grandmother’s to see how she is”.
“Tomorrow is good, I don’t think we have anything left then, Mien?”
“No, we have nothing on the agenda”, replied Mien.
Sara and Mien helped grandma unpack her groceries.
“How was shopping, grandma?” Mien asked.
“Good, I was even able to cross on the zebra crossing, which doesn’t happen very often”.
Grandma walked to the living room with the walker and Mien and Sara followed with chocolate cake and tea.
“This time,” said Grandma, it was a kind lady who let me cross. Many people, she continued, “are not aware of the fact that you can also be kind simply by letting someone else cross the street”.
“What do you mean grandma?” Mien asked.
“It seems like a lot of people don’t understand what the system is based on.” “Stopping for someone else” sends a signal. A signal of kindness, safety and a moment of their time,” Grandma replied.
“That is profound grandma”, laughed Mien.
“I never looked at it that way,” Sara said. “Rules made on the basis of being kind to another”.
“Not only for someone else, you also benefit from it yourself”, said grandma. “It gives you the peace and space to continue doing your own thing, without offending anyone.”
Crossing the road is a big challenge for grandma, she often compared it to a survival trip.
The next day Mien and Sara arrived at Tom’s house. 
The evening went pleasantly.
“Shall we have another nightcap,” said Sara.
Everyone was still in the mood for one last drink.
“What about the noises you mentioned, are they still bothering you?” Sara asked.
Tom replied, “I haven’t heard anything since I told you.”
“We can have a séance to see if they are ghosts.”
“No,” said Mien, “there is no such thing as ghosts at all.” Maybe it’s dangerous, she thought to herself.
Tyler joined the conversation, “I think it’s a good idea”. I sleep better at night without all that noise.” “Who votes for it?”
Most votes count and they went to the basement.
In the basement was an old round table with old-fashioned chairs. Sara drew the curtains on the windows and lit the candles.
They all sat down at the table.
Tyler grabbed his construction helmet and put it on his head.
“What is that good for?” Mien asked.
“Poltergeists,” Tyler replied.

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