A ghost story from one of my sisters...in her own words:
The coughing woke me. My dream was unclear, but there was smoke and fire, and I was running to stay alive. I lay on my side in bed, and opened my eyes to look at the clock. The red digital numbers said "2:34 a.m."
I sighed and rolled onto my back. I gasped! There, floating above the end of my bed was a man! He seemed as substatial as I was; not a misty figure from some old ghost story. I felt like I could reach out and touch him, but I made no such attempt. Somehow, he seemed lit from within, because I could see every detail of him as though the light was turned on. He seemed real, but I knew he was not.
Looking at him carefully, I saw he'd once been a soldier. He wore old-style green army fatigues that haven't been used since Vietnam. He was covered in dust and his t-shirt, which surely had been white once, was grimy and gray. His face was dirty and unshaven, and his gaze held sadness and confusion.
His dark hair was cut in a short, military haircut, so thin at the sides that I could see his scalp. Perched on his nose was a pair of thick black eyeglasses. I could not make out his rank, but he was wearing dog tags around his neck. He looked like he was in his 50's, but he may have been younger than that.
He was lying on his side, propped by his left forearm. He made no threatening moves; in fact, he made to move at all. He just floated silently at the end of my bed, staring dispiritedly into my eyes. I looked back at him, feeling no fear, but sensing his sadness.
Several moments passed, each of us staring at the other. Finally, I whispered, "I'm sorry, but you don't belong here." He looked a moment longer, his mouth showing the hint of a smile, and vanished! The room as dark again. I looked at the clock: "2:37 a.m."
Tomorrow, I've got something a little different for you...
(sorry about the purple text. I copy & pasted it from email without thinking. Should be better now)