FRIDAY Feature: The Letter

The following is another incredible story that proves that not all ghost stories have to be scary. Enjoy!

Tap, tap, tap. The noise was just loud enough to wake her from a deep sleep. With squinted eyes, Sheila stumbled to the door of her bedroom and grabbed her night coat off the hook that hung on the back.

Tap, tap, tap. The sound was growing louder. She shuffled down the hall in hopes to find the noise before it woke anyone else.

She paused a moment to find that the mysterious sound was coming from downstairs.

She took a deep breath and rubbed the tired from her eyes as she peered down the dark stairwell. She didn’t like going downstairs at night if she didn’t have to, but the sound was relentless. Tap, tap, tap.

“What on Earth…” she mumbled under her breath as she slowly took each step to the bottom.

The tapping was coming from the kitchen. “What could possibly be making that noise? And at this time of night?” Her mind raced. She flipped on the hall light and continued toward the sound. Tap, tap, tap.

“The bay window!” she thought. Something was tapping on the large kitchen window just in front of her.  Worried about what she might find, Sheila cautiously flipped on the kitchen light.

“Julie?” she whispered and sank to her knees. She stared at the window afraid to move. Afraid to startle what stood just outside.

A beautiful white dove sat perched in the darkness, rapping its beak against the window.

Sheila pinched herself. “Am I dreaming?” she thought, but she could feel the cold tile against her legs as she, herself, sat perched on the floor. Her heart raced with adrenaline as she felt an overwhelming sense that her sister, Julie, was with her.

Watch for the birds,” Sheila whispered under her breath. She smiled at the beautiful dove that continued to sit on her window sill. The tapping had stopped, and the bird remained quiet.  As the tears streamed down her face, Sheila knew that Julie was safe and happy now.

“Francis!” she called to her husband who undoubtedly was still fast asleep upstairs. “Francis get down here! You need to see this!”

Before she could say another word, her husband joined her on the floor in the kitchen. Sheila didn’t want to say the words, but she managed to choke them out as she melted into his arms. “Julie has passed on.”

Francis, or “Cootie” as she lovingly called him, hugged her. “I didn’t hear the phone. Did you get the call?” he asked.

Sheila pointed to the dove that remained poised on the kitchen window sill.  “That’s her, right there.”

Her husband’s eyes grew wide. “The letter…” he whispered.

Days earlier, Sheila had received a touching letter from her sister, Julie. The letter was to inform her that Julie’s cancer was getting worse, and it was time for her to say goodbye.  Julie reminded her sister to be strong and to “watch for the birds.” And, if she were to see a dove, one of Julie’s favorites, she should always think of her.

Sheila knew that Julie was no longer in pain. And, even though she left this world, she would always be near. “I love you, sis.” She whispered. “Thank you for the visit.” With that, the dove fluffed its wings and took off.

Julie’s letter ended up meaning more than anyone could’ve ever imagined.  Sheila was prepared, now, for the phone call that came early the next morning from their brother, Ronnie.  Instead of being shocked and saddened that she didn’t have a chance to say goodbye, Sheila smiled and went on to tell him all about her visit with their sister late the night before.

And although she was never awakened in the middle of the night by a tapping on her kitchen window again, Sheila went on to see many more doves throughout her life, and almost always during the most important times.

(c) 2018 Abbie Richey Butler
Inspired by true events.

I’d like to thank L. King for sharing this incredible story with me about her grandma’s late-night visit with her sister and inspiring this week’s FRIDAY Feature. Do you have a story to share that you’d like to see featured? Send me an email at I’d love to hear it! And maybe our readers will, too!


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