Help the Haunted

This story was written for Pensitivity 101’s Three Things Challenge #349

Today’s three Prompt’s are: Schedule, Nurse, Surprise


Before we join Natalie and Larry Dawson on their latest ghost hunt. Here are their spooky cases so far:
1. Ghost Trapped 
2. Paranormal Museum
3. The Cursed Cabin

Let’s join Natalie and Larry in …

Help the Haunted

Natalie Dawson stepped out of her husband Larry’s van. He was a parcel courier by day, and yet now it was night. Natalie had been a medium since she was born and Larry loved a good paranormal investigation. Yes, the Dawson’s were a ghost hunting team.

“Okay,” Natalie pulled her chestnut hair into a bun and glanced at the modern, red-brick, detached house before her. “Come on! What dangers are you getting me into this time?”

Larry chuckled. “Hey, you’re the psycho —ahem. I mean psychic. Why don’t you go in and tell me?”

Natalie narrowed her eyes at him as he came around the front of the van to join her. “Watch your words, hubby. I can always go psycho and beat you up!” she threatened, poking in the stomach and finishing with a kiss.

“I was only teasing.” Larry kissed back and unlocked the sliding door.

“I know.” Natalie delved into a holdall and popped a tri-field meter in her pocket. She checked and took her torch and an Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) recorder.

Larry selected his camera and a spirit box, to begin with. “Okay, this is home to a single lady called Katherine. She called us because she has a ghostly presence who’s getting more violent by the day. I’ve taken no more details than that as its better for us to find out ourselves.”

No surprise there then.” Natalie’s evening schedule was filled with visits to creepy places to solve paranormal mysteries, calm evil spirits and help those affected by otherworldly forces. “Nobody’s home by the looks of all the dark windows.”

“Katherine is with a friend tonight.” Larry brandished a set of keys baring a rubber ducky keyring.

Natalie made it squeak. “How cute! Lead the way.”  

Larry approached the front door causing a security light to come on. He smiled at it “Well, that’s no ghost. It’s just smart!” he remarked as he unlocked the door. It opened into the lounge with the stairs going up in front of it. Larry left the light off, the couple preferred to leave it dark aside from torches if they could. It seemed to help them to see spirits better that way.

Natalie smelled lavender as she followed him inside. Her torch showed her a fairly bare room, with brown leather sofas and a fair-sized TV screen. There was very little clutter. She peered into a room on the immediate right before the stairs and saw it was a dining room. The table was buried under folded piles of washing this evening. The air was cool causing an involuntary shiver to rattle her vertebrae.

“What do you sense?” Larry asked in a low voice while panning his camera around.

Natalie had engaged her tri-field meter. It was registering no electrical or magnetic fluctuations. The temperature was holding steady as well. “Hmm, I see corridors and pine disinfectant smells coming through. This place was built on the foundation of a much older building, I feel.”

“Interesting. Any spirits?” Larry wandered around the dining table and poked his head into the kitchen. All was silent and calm aside from a grey tabby cat perched on the windowsill.

“Not yet. I … Do you hear that?” Natalie turned to face lounge. A gushing noise could be heard. “Upstairs!”

“I hear it, come on.” Larry grinned at his wife.

Natalie rolled her eyes. “Take it easy, Egon.” She felt the static feeling of excitement prickling her skin too but it was fun to tease.

He chuckled as they climbed onto the upper landing.

“Okay, seems to be a female here.” Natalie entered the bathroom and glanced about. The bath’s bronze taps were full-on. She leant and turned them off. Straightening she caught herself in the mirror and flinched.

“Whoa! You okay?”  

“Mhm, sorry. I saw a lady – older than me – but with my hairstyle in the mirror. She was wearing a white-and-blue pinafore dress and apron. She was holding her head.”

“Nice, we’re getting closer then?” Larry rubbed warmth in his arms as looked about him.

Natalie nodded. “Katherine loves her duckies!” she said while scanned her eyes over the toiletries and array of rubber ducks along the bath top. She hit record on her EVP recorder and spoke again, “Hello, spirit. I feel you and I just saw you. What’s your name?”

Silence seemed to answer.

“We’re friends, we came to chat with and help you if we can. Do you need help?” Larry asked.

Natalie stopped the recording and played it back. She’d gotten no answer Larry’s question had, however.

‘… Yeess …’

“That was a ‘yes’ in there,” Larry said. “I’ll try the spirit box.”

“I heard it. Thanks for the warning.” Natalie grinned as stepped from the bathroom as her husband filled the room with the loud static of radio frequencies being scanned at rapid speed. Larry often scared her when he switched that noisy thing on.

“Talk through this. What’s your name?” he called.

Natalie felt a pang of pain behind her right ear. “Ouch! Is this your pain?” she asked having entered the first bedroom holding her head.

… No …’ answered a voice from the spirit box.

“So, you’re not suffering. What’s your name? What did you do whilst you were alive?” Larry pressed.

Natalie sat on the rubber duck bedspread. “Please answer — ugh!”

“What?” Larry came in with the device still crackling in his hand.

“Something hit me in the back.” Natalie felt eyes on her shoulders and shuddered as she turned and searched the double bed with her torch. There close to her was a little silver fob watch.

“That’s nice,” Larry remarked.

“Yeah.” Natalie picked it up. It was freezing to the touch. At once she was given visions of those corridors again. “This watch, the corridors, the outfit — hospital! We have a nurse here, don’t we?”

‘…matron…’ came the answer in a distant feminine voice from the spirit box.

“Head nurse, very nice. No sticking needles in my arse. Thank you very much!” Larry joked.

Natalie giggled. “Sorry, Matron. Ignore him he’s a goofball. May we know your name?”

‘…Doris…’

“Hi, Doris. The lady who lives here, Katherine, says you are getting violent. Why? Can we help you?” Larry asked.

“This whole area was a hospital until the nineties. I see it clearly now,” Natalie said. “You worked and died there didn’t you, Doris?”

‘…yes…help…K…’

“She said, ‘yes and help’. I didn’t catch the last word.” Larry said.

“Me eith—” Natalie silenced herself amid a thud and a crash by her feet.

“Ow! Why is it that spirits always have to hit me over the head!” Larry complained, with a hand pressed above his right eye.

“You okay?” Natalie squeezed his arm for a moment her torch showed her a broken picture on the floor.

“I’m fine,” Larry said.

“Good … Oh, look!” Natalie revealed a waist up picture of a young lady in her twenties. She was looking smart in a black suit and glasses. The suit had a rubber duck printed on the breast pocket.

“That’s Katherine.”

“I figured, but look.” Natalie pointed to Katherine’s head. There on the right side was a small round hole.

“Huh, the glass didn’t do that,” Larry remarked.

‘…help…Katherine.’ Uttered the spirt box.

Natalie gasped as realisation set in. “Get her on the phone, now!”

“Yes, ma’am.” Larry grinned, shut down the spirit box and pulled his phone out. He selected and dialled a number and put it on speaker. “… Hello Katherine, its Larry Dawson here.”

“Hey, Larry. Have you sorted my ghostie yet?”

“Not yet. I’m in the duck bedroom with my wife Natalie now. She needs to speak with you.” Larry explained.

“Okay. Hi, Natalie. Nice to meet you and thank you for helping me.”

“Hi, Katherine, it’s my pleasure. When you say the ghost was getting violent. How do you mean?” Natalie went right to business.

“I think it’s a she. It’s been poking and hitting me in the head with things. It’s getting annoying and scary.”

Larry glanced at Natalie who was nodding back to him. “Where? Which side?” he asked.

“Erm … Always the right side.”

“Okay, don’t be alarmed but you need a CT scan,” Natalie said. The bed and ceiling lights began flickering on and off.

“What!” Katherine sounded panicked.

“Your ghost is a matron, a nurse, called Doris. She’s trying to tell you that there’s something wrong with the right side of your head.” Natalie explained.

“Really?”

“Yeah, she gave me head pain on the same side. She hit Larry there too. I saw her in the mirror with her hand in the same place.” Natalie let silence fall.

‘…Thank you…’ said a voice in her ear.

Natalie nodded and said a silent ‘You’re welcome.’

“Okay, I’ll get booked in as soon as I can then. So, my spirit is dangerous?”

Katherine asked.   

“No, she’s just trying to help you,” Larry confirmed. “What’s with the ducks?”

“That’s a relief.” Katherine gave an embarrassed chuckle. “I’m a designer rubber duck maker. You tell me what it should look like and I create it on my computer and have the machine make it.”

“Sweet! I need a Larry duck with a proton pack please.” Natalie said laughing.

They talked a while longer and investigated until past midnight but nothing else was to be learned. Doris had given her message and gone silent allowing the ghosting hunting couple to go home.

A week later, Larry received a phone call from Katherine. He rushed into his lounge looking shocked. He found Natalie reclining on the sofa enjoying a magazine and some tea.

“That was Katherine on the phone.”

“Oh, do tell.” Natalie sat up at once.

“Katherine has an acoustic neuroma. A tumour in her right ear. Surgeons will be operating later today to deal with it.”

“Oh, that’s awful.” Natalie sighed but smiled. “Doris might just have saved her life.”

Larry came and kissed her. “No, we did. We listened to Doris and ensured Katherine got her message from beyond the grave.”

The End


Thanks for reading my friends. As always there are more stories to be enjoyed (I hope) in the Short Stories and Short Stories 2 tabs. There’s also poetry here in Poetry Corner

Have a great day!

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