This was a 750 word challenge story for the week’s photo by artist Richard Wells.
‘Come quick! My house is cursed!’
Natalie and Larry were husband and wife ghost hunters, and this was a bona fide paranormal emergency. Arriving at the Victorian home twenty-minutes ago, they’d found a key and a note:
‘The ghost is crazy. It keeps saying ‘Shut up’ and throwing things. I’ll be at my mother’s until you call me. Please be careful’
“Well, that’s cheerful. We’d better take a look.” Larry unlocked the door and creaked it open allowing a waft of chilling air to escape.
Natalie pulled her chestnut hair into a ponytail. “I sense this is a bad place to be.” She was a psychic medium and had been visited by spirits nearly every day of her twenty-two years.
“Right, you go in and have a word; I’ll jump in the van and have a cup of coff— Ow!” Larry chuckled, rubbing his arm where Natalie had punched him.
“Hey! Stop joking at times like this!” Natalie stepped inside with her torch and EMF detector held before her. Its lights would tell of fluctuations in the magnetic fields.
“Sorry.” Larry caused a loud crackling to fill the space. He’d switched on his SB7 Spirit Box. The device utilised radio frequencies to allow ghosts to communicate. He locked the door and followed Natalie into the lounge, dining space. The couple beamed their torches about the period room. It’s mahogany furnishings and flocked wallpaper were Victorian. The flowered drapes, matching table cloth and globular chandelier shades all appeared as old.
“I feel a powerful male presence here.” Natalie’s detector lights increased as if proving her words.
“Okay.” Larry flinched back from a tapping sound. He placed a hand over his device, silencing it. “Spirits we come in peace. We only wish to talk with and help you. This is my girlfriend Natalie and I’m Larry. What’s your name?” Larry set the machine crackling again. Within seconds the static became words.
“I’m Ma— shut u…”
“You hear that?” Larry gulped, peering into the gloomy kitchen.
“There was a girls voice. I think she was silenced by the male.” Natalie heard a scraping and turned her torch on the dining table. A chair there, slid out to face her. “Larry she’s here.”
“Right.” Larry began snapping pictures on his full spectrum camera. “I got noth—
“Help me! He won’t let me…Grrrrr!” The same girl’s voice had come from the spirit box. It was cut off by a demonic growl and a scream, leaving Natalie seething. The air around her dropped to freezing. Her detector began beeping at his highest level.
“I’m addressing the male spirit. I demand you free the girl and get out na-aah!” A jardinière containing a plant smashed on the floor. Something rushed Natalie, she threw her arms up and hit the wall.
Larry saw her stumble. “Who are you, spirit? Talk to us.” He got one step toward Natalie and swore
“Larry, you okay.” Natalie flicked her torch on him. He was doubled over and bleeding from his head.
“Scumbag hit me with a picture,” he replied with a hand pressed to his wound. Taking it from the floor. He saw a browned family photograph which was defaced. “This must be him, look. Somebody tore his head off.”
“Ouch! No wonder he’s upset.” Natalie found and gave Larry a tissue for his head. “What’s your name? What happened to—” Natalie saw a flash of silver.
Larry launched off his feet, flinging the picture and pulling Natalie down. A knife flashed across the room. Spearing the picture frame – it pinned it to the wall.
“Shit! This spirit’s insane!” Larry rolled off Natalie and cautiously looked about.
“No kidding! I keep asking him to talk using my mediumship – he refuses angrily.” Natalie took out a bunch of herbs and ignited them. She began saying a prayer in a mystical language; its effect was immediate. The air froze, plates smashed in the kitchen and lightbulbs exploded. “I open the door to the light! I request good spirits to come and take those who are evil and angry to a better place!” As the last word left her lips she collapsed to the floor.
It was then Larry saw a transparent little girl wearing a lace bonnet and black pinafore dress standing on the chair. He hugged Natalie as she smiled at the spirit.
The little girl grinned and waved. “I’m Margaret, thank you for saving me.”
“You’re welcome. How…” Natalie trailed off and looked at Larry. “She’s gone- They’ve gone. It’s over.”
Thanks for reading my friends. As always there are more stories to be enjoyed (I hope) in the Short Stories tab.
Have a great day!