Day 61 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a ghost encounter.
Shannon: I didn’t want to say anything when we got to the tourist lookout point, because I didn’t want to distract my friends from the beautiful view over my rude impulse thoughts. Still, I harbored an uneasy feeling about the guy standing close to the edge of the cliff.
The color of his skin was almost pure white and his veins were prominently showing through his arms. Not only that, but his eyes were ringed with black circles and his mouth revealed some darkness between his lips. The creepiest thing was the way he was he was staring at the people instead of the scenery behind him. Yet everyone was ignoring him, like it was completely normal.
Maybe they could all see he was sick, and I was the messed up one for judging him so harshly. I believed it for a while until I saw him screaming at a little boy. “Get away from the edge,” he shouted into the child’s face and the boy fell back and immediately broke into tears.
“That was harsh,” I finally spoke up to my friends.
They both turned, and quickly looked back at me. Still no terrified reactions. “Did something happen to the kid,” Diana question.
“Yeah, didn’t you hear that man scream at him,” I furrowed my brow. How could they miss it?
“His dad,” Mae questioned.
I shook my head, annoyed. “The guy by the edge,” I pointed and he caught a glimpse of me. Now he was focusing in my direction and I quickly looked away.
“I don’t see anyone but the family,” Diana explained as she looked back again.
I took another look. He was limping toward me now. “The guy walking in our direction, you don’t see him,” my whole body started to burn up as my heart started to race.
“Are you ok,” Mae asked, tugging at my arm.
“I don’t think so,” I shook my head. “We should get away from here,” I stated.
“Stay,” he shouted again, and I would run if I wasn’t paralyzed in fear. If he didn’t exist, where could I truly hide? “I need your help,” his yell turned into a low growl.
Erin: “You know I don’t believe in this mumbo jumbo,” Luke grumbled as he and Rodger stepped into the haunted mansion.
“Well this will just be a fun stroll through a mansion then,” Rodger offered.
“An uneventful stroll,” Luke corrected.
“Do this for me,” Rodger demanded gesturing that for him to move along with his hands.
“Whatever,” they walked in and were greeted by an upbeat employee. He was talking in a deep quite tone, but there was a slight upward tug of his lips. He explained the supposed murdered family that had lived in the home they were about to tour. Then he walked everyone through the floors warning them to avoid touching certain things.
“Now that you have been introduced to our residents, we allow our guests to go mingle with our hosts. Please be respectful of those who live here and we recommend the buddy system,” their guide started chuckling slightly as he strolled away.
“Can we please go now,” Luke grumbled.
“No,” Rodger nearly yelled.
“This place is the biggest hoax possible. Instead of just saying the family is quite today they could at least take time to put effort into tricking us,” Luke complained as he continued to follow Rodger through the halls.
“Would you stop bellyaching so much,” Rodger screamed at the top of his lungs and a statue fell out of the nook in the wall.
“What the hell man,” he took a swing at Rodger but Luke’s arm didn’t make contact it just continued through the air and through his best friend.
“Did you just try to hit my son young man,” Luke immediately fell to the ground as a woman exited the wall from where the statue used to sit.
“This is why I don’t bring friends home mom,” Rodger rolled his eyes. “You know how hard it is to find people who see me. Stop scaring all of them the second they realize who we are.”
“If you’re going to have an attitude feel free to bring it right up to your room,” she placed her hands on her hip. “I will let your friend know he has to come back another time when he wakes up,” she yelled as Rodger forced another statue to fall. The screams of the other humans were beginning to ring through their home.
Writers are the masters of creating people who are not “real,” prove your ability with this prompt.
“You know, I’m fairly skeptical about all of this. Please please show me otherwise.” Ken grunted as he looked around the psychic’s office. It looked modest and not overly gaudy, so he was more comfortable. The man reached into the little drawstring bag he had and pulled out the first bit of jewelry his hand touched, setting that on the table for the woman. The mystic, who seemed younger than most in this profession, looked it over carefully, before pressing her hand onto it. She whispered some things and reached to touch a candle with her free hand. But when she looked at Ken and realized he didn’t need the theatrics, she stopped, and just focused back on the metal.
She put her hand out, and Ken put a second bit of metal on her palm. The girl hissed and grasped the hand instead, and Ken closed his eyes, clearly unconvinced. The girl gasped, seeming to have made contact, and Ken opened one eye to see what she would say. There was a pause as if the girl was hesitant to repeat back what was said, and almost a quiet dialogue between the girl and whoever she had made contact with before she said out loud
“What the fuck are you doing? Don’t you have…anything better to do than fuck around with psychics? ” She looked nervous, ready to break connection if Ken seemed upset by the statement. Instead, the man laughed and seemed so happy that he had tears in his eyes.
“And you have nothing better to do than waiting for me to call? Shame on you too. I’m supposed to be the needy one. ” Ken squeezed the hand harder, and the woman let the nose ring fall between her fingers before squeezing back. She could tell the person he was talking to was younger based on his mannerisms, making this meeting inherently harder than if it was an elderly mother or family member who had died.
“Please tell me you aren’t doing anything stupid.” The woman repeated, and at this Ken turned pink, not wanting to answer. He had to, though, and nodded with evident shame in his eyes.
“Things got bad after you left. Real bad. For a while I drank myself to sleep, I caught feelings for Benny-”
“Eww! No, Bad.” The woman cut off and again seemed to have an internal struggle. Finally, she let go of Ken’s hand to flick him on the nose. He didn’t fight it and leaned in as if he expected this from whoever he was talking to. Ken used this opportunity to pull a photo out of his pocket, to show the woman who he was channeling.
“You fucking sap. Of the 1,000 sexy pictures of me, you choose the one with the mickey mouse ears to carry?” The woman asked, but bit her lip. The man was young. She didn’t know how close to his death it was, but he seemed to be under the age of 30.
“Hey now, look how happy Andrea is. You two look like a real family in this.” Ken sighed quietly, before putting a hand up to tell the woman to hold on.
“She…she has a kid. It wasn’t….She had gone to move in with Joro when I got low, so I can’t say there’s anyone’s fault. Some rich doctor adopted the kid, but, if you were here, if I was stronger, I would like to think we could have her. I know Andrea was mostly grown when you got here and….we could have our own kids, kinda? I would have liked….” Ken had to cut himself off, as he was clearly crying, sobs at this point cutting off every other word. He hated this, even if he had every right to cry, he hated crying in front of Brody. He did it far too often and promised himself he wouldn’t do it now. He reached into his pocket again, this time producing a photo of Annette.
“She’s a fucking asshole. I’ve never met a meaner baby. You two would get along great.” Ken made himself laugh and leaned forward, the woman meditating seeing she wasn’t able to move on until she kissed the man’s forehead like she was being told to by the deceased. After a moment of crying, Ken looked up and laughed.
“So, do you have some kind of physical form? And how do you look? Do you look like you did before you got all the chemo? If so I bet you’re getting all the tail….can ghosts bone?”
The woman shuddered slightly at the word chemo but made herself listen in as he answered
“You seemed pretty hopeful about me having sex. What happened to us being married?” Ken laughed and shook his head, looking at the engagement ring he was still wearing
“To death do us part. And you’re dead honey.” The woman seemed sympathetic with the situation, before he started to ask
“So remember that movie Ghost we watched-and I think we are done here!” She turned bright red, suddenly understanding the implications of what he was asking. Before she could clean up, Ken took her hand and added.
“Talk to Harper. I’ve always wanted you in an officer sandwich. I love you. I always will love you first. No matter what happens, who I meet, and who I catch feelings for, you’ll always be the dad Andrea deserves.” He let go of the Psychics hand, picking up the nose ring as he set three twenty dollar bills on the table, even if they had only been talking for half an hour.
“Thanks.” He smiled softly, taking the final piece of jewelry, praying to God she didn’t realize it was Brody’s cock piece and walked out the door with a refreshed feeling in life.
The door remained locked; an intricate locking mechanism that resembled molten metal that had dripped across the frame had been there since I arrived. Passing the room every single day had worn on me, chipping away at the façade of composure I’d shown the world. Today I felt the perfectly sculpted mask crack under the pressure, fissions running deep through me, and I let it fall away. When I found myself shored up across the hall from the chamber without anything else to do, I knew I was in trouble.
Melting into the floor, the lock enchantment pooled and writhed without anything to attach to. I hopped over it, feeling icy tendrils lapping at my heel, to retrieve the jar I kept it in. Carefully tipping the glass toward the undulating mass, it slithered forward and wound itself comfortably in the container. While it couldn’t think, it was attracted to its container like a magnet. As I screwed the top back on and slid it back on the shelf I tapped the light mechanism in the corner and the ceiling lit up like a field of fireflies.
Back when my lab had been in Narlton you didn’t feel the need to hide the very existence of a room in this space, but in Briarwood you could get permits for Non-Linear Space Addition so the day I arrived I applied. It took about three hours to explain what I meant to do and required a quick trip to see where the room was currently housed; I wanted to move my lab to an undisclosed location and create a portal in the Heart house to that room. After the city hall representative I was speaking with gave the okay I spent a day searching for someone to perform the spells.
When all was said and done I created a room that I could practise dangerous spells in without risking our house. The gloomy laboratory was exactly as I’d left it; vials still filled with various murky substances, spells half-written on chalkboards scattered about the room and glass containers lining the walls in no apparent order. Though it was shabby and dim, it felt more like home than most rooms in this expansive, elegant house.
Touching the boards I remembered writing on brought back all the same dreadful emotions I experienced the month I lost track of myself. Every terrible decision I made in that time, every person I hurt and everything I failed to make right. But, as I admired the fancy spell work I’d found, a smirk stretched across my creased face; I was going to make right what I’d been too depressed to do before.
Anise returned home just as I was testing a nerve-shocking potion by conjuring rats to test it on. When she saw the door ajar she burst in, expecting to find a mess, assume. But when I was just me she grinned, “Lil, it’s good to see you doing something productive again.” As she stepped down into the room, I could see her eyes darting to every vial and taking in every scrap of information she could to determine how I was actually doing.
Once she was leaning her slight, pink frame against mine to get a better look at what I was doing she sighed and relaxed. Dead rats no longer littered the floor beneath this counter, though they had until a moment ago, so that was something in my favour. “Anise, you wanna give me a hand with something? I’m planning to test a spell I’ve never done before and it would be great to have someone else present,” I watched her eyes; every expression she had was a mirror of mine when I first arrived home. Even if I wasn’t acting like the sensible adult right now, I knew all the tricks.
When she nodded there was an odd tilt of her head, like she was still mulling the concept over. But I just sighed and shut the rat’s cage; slipping that particular curse’ ingredient list and steps into an open cubby off to the side. Turning around, I scanned the tables for what I was looking for I started toward the back shelves. On an eye-level ledge was a tiny fragmented tablet with a ritual spell running around the edges and a short list of ingredients scrawled in the center. While it seemed unassuming to the untrained eye, this incantation alone was enough to send shivers down your spine. Gently taking out the containers that corresponded to this spell, I ushered Anise out of the secret room, locking the door with a simple charm as we left.
In Narlton I had to confine my spell work to the house, to my great dismay when it came to deity magick and nothing came of it in the unnatural setting. Briarwood was forever alive with skyclad rituals at all hours of the day and night, for everything from fertility to hangover cures. This was my real home, I suppose, it just didn’t feel like it.
Our backyard was an enormous, secluded space with the greenhouses off to the right and an expanse of flat grass to the right, perfect for any outdoor ceremonies. Though we hadn’t used the space since my return, Anise and I managed to turn the greenery to sand without much effort. Other than that, it was going to be a tough spell to get just right, and a lot could go wrong.
To begin, I wandered to the second greenhouse and plucked an emerald rose from its bush, carefully cutting away the thorns, and headed back to the field. I sauntered into the center of the yard leisurely, pacing out a roomy circle that encompassed nearly the whole plot without a word to Anise. Instead I murmured away lovingly to the rose, dolefully reminiscing the past as the sun beat down.
As I finished my round, she appeared in front of me like a ghost, hands on her hips and face slightly red, “What are you doing? You won’t say what this spell is for. What was that room?” though Anise’ tone was cross, I could tell it was hiding her concern and I just laughed it off.
“Relax, Anise. It was my lab when I was in Narlton, that stupid little mortal town,” my fists involuntarily crushed the flower I was holding as my mind went back to my last memories there. Breathing out shakily I brushed it off, “I’m trying to show Hugo what he did to people. It’s a partial revival spell.” Anise’ eyes betrayed her horror instantly; I dropped the destroyed flower, walked over to my table of ingredients and began the ritual without another word from her.
To be fair, this type of spell wasn’t performed unless it was necessary, and this wasn’t really a necessity to the cause. But I needed it to work for more than one reason, so it was going to. As I began scattering graveyard dust around the circle, leaving an opening for me to enter through, the sky above me darkened and thunder rolled aggressively. Instead of cowering like a part of me wanted to do, I stood proud in the face of Hugo’s immense power; all he was doing was proving that his bark was far worse than his bite.
Continuing on, drops landed on my back like tears as I bent to retrieve another jar of material. As the storm converged above us, Anise rushed to help me with the enchantment before anything could come of the clouds. After the other elements were added, candles set up with fields to deflect the water falling from the sky and the incantation written legibly in the ivory sand I made my way into the circle, letting the entrance close behind me. As soon as the circle was completed the clouds above shied away like a hurt dog.
Halfway through the incantation I could sense Anise standing there, on the sidelines, connecting with my on some completely incomprehensible plane. By the time the spell was done, I was kneeling in a whirlwind of flying debris and screaming souls hoping beyond hope that my light was bright enough for her to see. When I finally released the elements and fell to the ground in a heap I looked up, expecting to see my sister’s figure casting a murky shadow across my exhausted face. Instead it was the glimmering, transparent form of a mad woman I’d given my heart to.
When I woke up Anise was chatting softly with Savean in the kitchen, sipping strong ginger tea and worrying. Lifting my head off the couch I sniffled and sneezed violently, nearly causing Savy to drop her teacup. Head pounding, I struggled to sit up before someone’s arm was bracing my back; my eyes were closed, but I suspected it was my girl-who-was-my-friend. I opened my eyes slowly to see Savy’s cobalt eyes way too close to my face, examining my features carefully.
“I’m fine, guys,” I muttered, waving them away irately. They immediately backed off, Anise leaning gracefully on the back of the sofa and Savean getting to her feet, obviously hurt. But I didn’t have time to worry about their feelings; I’d seen Quin. Searching the room, I found no ghostly apparition floating off to the side or resting against a mismatched chair. “Where’d she go?” I demanded of the room.
Glancing at each other, the two most important living women in my life shared a moment of pure dread and uncertainty. When Anise spoke, he words were devoid of emotion, “She’s in the other room, well, a woman is. She claims to be Quin but I never met her,” shaking her head, she looked to Savy mirroring her expression.
Before anyone else could move a pearly woman deliberately stepped into the bright room and stood, staring into my soul, in front of the counter. I could still see the teapot sitting behind her on the counter. Nothing had changed about her; her juniper eyes were still piercing and her face was kind, there was the faint scent of dirt about her along with the familiar nightshirt she claimed to have stolen from a guy who gave her grief. If I’d been alone I would have cried, but I couldn’t break down just yet.
Just as Quin was about to speak the front door, down the hallway, was blown right off its hinges and everyone froze. I jumped to my feet, nearly fell backward onto the couch and attempted to control my dizziness. Across the room, Anise grabbed the first knife she could find and held it like the warrior we all knew she was. Beside me I felt Savean tense as she stood up, placing herself securely between me and the danger that was waltzing down the hall. Suddenly Quin was gone.
Hugo stepped carefully around the corner, acting like he owned the place and flipping a silver dollar through the air. Before I could think to stop her, Anise lunged at the madman with her hair fluttering out behind her. An instant later the space she’d occupied was empty like she was never there. His hearty laughter didn’t make it to his eyes, which were specks of roiling storm clouds; dark and intoxicatingly fluid. Taking a deep breath, I moved to throw a vial of nerve-shocking potion but Savy hissed at me, covering my body with hers.
When laughter echoed this time I felt physically ill with his disregard for other people but I was powerless to do anything about it. As he sidestepped to get a clear shot at my cowering form, Savean blocked him again, letting out a growl from deep within and shifting her stance minutely. She was gone before I could consider my next move and I was alone with one of my all-powerful arch enemies. Still recoiling with the effects of their last round of torture, I inched backward on trembling knees, wishing to have the courage to speak.
“You are a total disgrace to your side. Though,” he paused as he lifted the lid of the teapot curiously, “your cousin, Serena, told me not to kill you.” Sneering as he spoke her name, he replaced the top and turned his full attention to the woman shrinking before him. No matter what I told myself, I couldn’t muster enough steady energy to confront him, try as I might. “But, really, I don’t care what she says. She’s part of a dying magick anyway,” his chuckle reverberated on the windows behind me, vibrating my bones.
But as he was poised to attack, a blinding ray of light flooded the room, knocking Hugo off balance. As the light receded a woman’s figure stepped forward and bowed courteously at the monster rubbing his eyes before her. Turning to me, Quin’s face betrayed her sorrow as she reached her translucent hand through his chest, staring into his murderer’s eyes. His screams of agony were cut short as she repositioned her hand; it appeared that he couldn’t breathe.
Something between Quin and I opened up, like a telephone line, and I could hear the static in her mind. Calmly, I sent a thought to her, “I was going to make him suffer a bit.” When she turned to me, shock behind her glossy eyes, I pointed to the vial of poison but she shook her head and turned back to her prey murderously. As soon as she looked back at him, Hugo took in a deep breath, panting and grasping at his tight collar.
I could feel the energy in the room change to something ominous and heavy; she was doing some kind of spiritual magick I’d never experienced before. From one cuff blood dripped lazily as she concentrated on him intently. As I stood, unable to move, vines trailed their way out of his other hand and he held onto his throat unable to gasp. Nails ripped down the side of his face in long, jagged gashes and he stomped with one foot as, I suspected, it turned to unyielding stone. Quin knew exactly what I’d gone through because of him; she had been watching me, able to help until now.
Fire licked dangerously from the floor around him, blazing through his neatly-pressed suit as he stared, terrified about himself at the ghosts of everyone he’s ever loved or hurt. When his eyes bulged and his figure contorted I nearly looked away; I remembered what he’d done to me, twice, and wanted him to suffer as I did. Swirling in the air around them was rain and sleet and hail like he’d never know but I knew that wouldn’t really affect him. Ice froze from the flames at his feet, creeping toward his chest as he spewed salt water on our hardwood floors.
Quin turned to me, a shy smile playing on her lips and questions in her eyes. Nodding subtly to her I watched the rage take over her figure, thrusting her clawed hand straight through his chest. As soon as the soul left him, my love disappeared.
Before Hugo’s body was cold, with me sitting like a catatonic statuette on the sofa, Anise and Savean burst in the glass door, trailing dirt onto the carpet. In shock, they saw the bloody mess Quin had left us in the kitchen but didn’t say a word against her.
Created to Write:
Heather sits on the corral fence, staring at the setting sun. In the cool of the evening, something pierces the cold with warmth behind her. She doesn’t move, but the warmth spreads from her back to her stomach. It softly pulses against her neck. She doesn’t will it away, so it stays, pulling her tighter to its warm embrace.
Heather moves away from the fence, the presence supporting her. It turns her around and wraps around her. She buries her face into it, wrapping her arms around it as well.
The warmth is strong, it’s comforting. But it tortures her so much; it has his scent, it has his presence. Breath caresses her neck, tickling it by moving strands of her hair against it. She leans into the warmth even more, wanting to dissolve in the pure bliss of him being there.
Heather hums as she is roused from sleep. She looks around with half open eyes. Her room is dark, the curtains are closed, and the air is chilly in contrast to how warm the autumn has been.
She sits up, the content smile fading away. She leans against the wall, her tears building.
‘What? You thought he was here?’ a voice taunts.
Heather doesn’t look at him.
‘Did you really think that dreams were reality?’ the voice says again.
Heather doesn’t acknowledge the hallucination.
‘He’s dead, dear Heather. And all you are grasping for is a ghost.’
Heather sheds the tears she’s holding back. “No, you are the ghost. Now leave me and go burn Hell, where your soul is.”
Heather opens her eyes and the voice is gone. But the chill still persists. And the warmth in her dream is all but a distant memory.