A Mesopotamian Ghost Story (Final)

Read Part One: https://neptunesdolphins.wordpress.com/2022/07/18/a-mesopotamian-ghost-story-part-1/

Read Part Two: https://neptunesdolphins.wordpress.com/2022/07/22/a-mesopotamian-ghost-story-part-2/

Rising to her full height, Tataya turns her back on her former lover. Back straight, head high, she imperiously walks back to her doorway. In front of her is the grey ghost of her late husband, once a city official.

Gliding over to Tataya, the gaunt specter stops in puzzlement. “Madame Wife, no lit fire for me? No hot soup? Are you not you glad to see me?”

Tataya whitens, “Go away, Husband. Just go.” Shaken, she tries to step around him, but the Ghost, who now has form and substance, continues to block her. “Wife, why no welcome? Why no musicians playing their lyres for my arrival?”

Before he loses his last nerve, Remutu stammers, “Noble Gidim, can-can-can you tell-tell us the witches that your wife sicced on Nabu-Sama-Iskien? Em… follow-follow us, and we will give-give you barley broth.”

“NO!” screams Tataya. She starts to punch the astonished specter with her fists. Her earrings jangle and her necklaces rattle sounding discordant chords.

Her dead husband holds her at arm length. “What? Why?”

“Leave ME alone. I never loved you. I’m glad you’re dead. I HATE YOU. I HATE HIM. I HATE ALL OF YOU.”

Panicked Nabu-Sama-Iskien flies at Tataya. Slamming into her, he falls on top of her, the brick walkway under them. “TELL ME! TELL ME!” The frantic man pounds Tataya’s head against the bricks. A trickle of dark blood seeps out from her hair. Putting his dirty fingers in the sticky liquid, Nabu-Sama-Iskien faints at the metallic scent.

Silence like the fog envelops the little group.

The orange and red sky blossoms into blues and purples. Remutu glances at the Ghost and the Fly, who ignore him. He stammers, “She-she want-want him dead. All dead. All of-of ‘em.”

The Ghost of Tataya’s Husband stands transfixed by the ghastly scene. For what seems to be an eternity, he remains silent. Then the Ghost turns to the Fly. Softly, he says, “I wish to atone for my wife’s actions.” He kneels down at her body. “Tataya, you are dead. Tell them, or else. DO NOT make me furious.”

“Boatman! We have the names. Now go!”

Pushing through the gathered crowd, Remutu and Iltani come for her weeping husband. As he rocks back and forth, Nabu-Sama-Iskien compulsively plucks at his bloodstained kilt. While the large boatman stands between the diminutive Iltani and the restive crowd, she crouches beside her distraught husband. She takes his hand into hers. “Come home, Husband. We are all well.”

Blankly, Nabu-Sama-Iskien stares at his wife. Iltani tenderly squeezes his hand. “Husband, we are alive because of you.” Rising, she gently pulls him up, and takes his arm. Iltani quietly guides him through the crowd.

Sitting in Remutu’s reed boat, Iltani rubs Nabu-Sama-Iskien’s back. The only sound is Remutu’s grunts as he poles the craft. The round silver moon guides them home.


An artist’s depiction of the Ziggurat of Ur as it may have appeared around the time it was created in the 21st Century BCE. From the game Old World. This illustration is taken from the game Old World, kindly provided by Mohawk Games and republished with permission. Original image by Mohawk Games.


3 thoughts on “A Mesopotamian Ghost Story (Final)

  1. Pingback: Random Links of the Day : Halloween Edition – Adventures of A Mage In Miami

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