November 30, 1994


     She is referred to as the Flickering Woman.

     Celina Zaccardi lived in Boston, Massachusetts, making lace as a way to supplement her meager income.

     In 1911, she was one of many people to be photographed in the tenement buildings in an effort to bring to light the deplorable conditions of many of the Nation’s poorest citizens.

     When the image was developed several days later, Celina, along with several others in her building, vanished.

     And while none of the others – or their remains – ever resurfaced, Celina did.

     Or, rather, she did in a peculiar manner.

     On November 30, 1994, Celina’s picture was found in a sealed steamer trunk purchased at an estate sale. The buyer, Ms. Ann O’Mally, promptly framed the photograph and put it on her mantel. That evening, as Ann entertained friends, they all witnessed the arrival of Celina.

     It took place over a matter of 10 seconds, long enough for people to see her clearly as she sat down in an unoccupied chair. She looked confused as she adjusted her dress, prepared lace for more work, and then vanished.

     For 25 years Celina has flickered in and out of reality at various times, never remaining for any longer than 15 seconds.

     After the third event, Ann began a journal and managed to create a way she and Celina could communicate.

     Since the beginning of their conversation, Ann has remained in the same house, slowly creating a room populated only with items built prior to 1911. For while the world has seen a century pass since her disappearance, Celina has been gone for only minutes in her own.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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