Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Flash Fiction - Ghost Story Style!


Hello all!

It was all kinds of rainy today, so I was really excited when I came across this awesome blog hop!

I've been tasked with writing a ghost story, and I've been working on a twisty version of one for a little while now.  This one, though, is something I just came up with today, after staring through a window, literally watching the rain fall.

Hope you enjoy!  Oh, and if you would like to place a vote in my favor, just leave a comment that says "vote"  ( I won't hold it against you if you don't vote for me, though!  I promise!).

Without further ado, here is my entry!


SALT

“This is crap.”

“Aw, come on, it’s just a TV show.”

“Grace, this has to be the worst idea for a show.  Ever.  And I lived through some pretty bad ones…”

“Oh, you mean in the 1800’s?”

“Ha ha.  You’re so funny.”

“Look, it can still be entertaining - ”

“No, it can’t.  These pretend-macho guys are running through this house, yelling at the dead.  It’s not respectful, the whole thing is insulting - ”

“To everything that goes bump in the night?”  Dan rolls his eyes, and I wonder what they looked like when he was alive.  I’d always imagined them being bright green.  Or clear blue, like the water that’s always on those tropical postcards.

“Can we please watch something else?”

“Like…Ghost?”

“No.  That movie is totally inaccurate.  Although the part during Whoopi Goldberg’s s√©ance was kind of true.  One time there was this really obnoxious guy who wouldn’t let anyone else speak, and…”  His voice trails away, and the smile that I loved was replaced by a thin line.

“What?”

He presses a finger to his lips.  I close my eyes and listen.

Footsteps.  Upstairs. 

“Friend of yours?” I ask.  I mean it as a joke, but my ghost-sense is tingling too.  Whatever’s walking around in my bedroom is bad news.

Wait.  It’s walking around in my bedroom.

“Ew.  That’s it, we’re going!”  I spring up from the couch and run for the stairs.  Dan calls after me, but I don’t stop.  I do not want some long-dead thing rooting through my underwear drawer. 

That’s where I keep the salt.

I bound up the stairs, only bothering to actually touch three of the steps.  Dan appears right next to me, doing that I-don’t-need-a-Portkey-to-apparate trick that ghosts love to show off.

“Are you thinking about Harry Potter again?” 

“Maybe.  Hey, Harry and I are a package deal.  You’re gonna have to get used to it.”

“As long as you keep reading those books to me, I’m fine with that.  You know how I struggle with turning pages.”  He means it as a joke, but he looks through me as he says it.  Like I’m the ghost.

I nod.  “Well, we can start that once we’ve dealt with - ”

Something that sounds like my lamp hitting the floor and breaking into a hundred tiny-little lamp pieces interrupts my thought.   

Dan sighs.  “Is the salt still in the unmentionables section of your dresser?”

“You can call it underwear, you know.  And yes, it is.”

“I prefer unmentionables.”

“I’m sure you do.”

Man, if only ghosts could blush, he would so be doing it right now.

“Well, erm, I’ll distract whatever it is, while you do your ghost-hunting thing.”

“Right.  Let’s go, Casper.”

“I hate that name.”  He mumbles as I push the door open, smiling.

Dan charges the ghoul currently admiring my choir trophies.   It turns to face us, and as I throw myself at my underwear drawer I cringe a little.  My room smells like what I imagine to be the smell-o-vision version of “The Creature of the Black Lagoon.”  A scent that is equal parts fishy, decay, and well, swamp, is undoubtedly seeping its way into my pillows. 

Great.  Now I’ll have to do laundry, too.

I grab the salt and turn around to watch the bizarre wrestling match in front of me.  Dan has the ghoul by the neck – or, whatever’s left of its neck.  This thing looks like it was beheaded a long, long time ago.  Its head rolls onto the floor (it had been holding it in its hands, but those hands are now trying to strangle Dan) and lands at my feet.

I kick it aside and try to ignore the awkward sound it makes as it unevenly travels around my room. 

“Dan!”  I yell, and he ghosts himself through the wall a second before I send a fistful of salt flying through the air.  It hits the ghoul and dissolves it.  I half expect its head (which is under my bed) to call out, “I’m melting, I’m melting!” as it sinks further and further into my floorboards.

I throw a generous amount of salt at the groaning head trying to make a new home under my mattress, and watch it slowly fade away, too.  I linger on the floor for too long.  Dan sees me, I'm sure of it.

“Grace?”  He asks, once I've stood back up.

“Yeah, Dan?”

“You ever wonder where they go?”

“All the time.”

“Then why do you send them away?’

“Because I don’t know what else to do.”

“Oh.”

He looks everywhere else that’s not me.

“Dan?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you ever wonder where they go?”

“All the time.”

“Do you ever want to go?  To find the answer?”

He smiles.  “Not as long are you’re here.”

“Dan - ”

“Hey, let’s go back downstairs and keep watching that stupid Ghost Fighting show.”

“Alright, alright, I’ll be down in a sec.  I've got to clean this mess...and maybe throw my sheets in the laundry.”

He hesitates for a moment, but nods.  “After the show can we read some more?”

“Of course.”

He smiles as he drifts out of my room and down the stairs.  I walk over to my broken lamp and start to pick up the pieces, but stop as soon as I see the grains of salt on the floor.

My stomach turns.  This is all so unfair.  But I can’t keep him.

I drop the lamp pieces and walk slowly back to my dresser. 

I help ghosts move-on.  It’s what I’ve always told myself.

It’s what I tell myself as I reach for the salt.

It’s what I tell myself as I walk down the stairs.

It’s what I tell myself as Dan looks at me, with fear and gratitude.

23 comments:

  1. Well, I'd say this story is a success if you set out to make me cry first thing in the morning. If I can vote (?), this one gets it!

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    1. You totally can vote :) Thanks for the support (and sorry for the tears haha)

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  2. Wow. If i wasn't in this same contest I would absolutely choose this entry to win. I've been reading a few of the others and this is definitely my favorite so far. I think I might like it better than my own. sniff. ;)

    I also wanted you to know that I nominated you for a reader appreciation award on my blog. I don't know if you remember, but you totally fixed my first 150 words. haha. It was really helpful, so when I had to pick some people to nominate, I thought of you. You can shoot over and pick it up whenever. The blog post is "Ghostly Blog Hop and Reader Appreciation Award" :)

    Good luck in the contest!!

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    1. Aww thank you :) I loved your entry, too! I just thought it was a fun thing to do!

      And thanks for the award! I do remember helping you out with your first 150! I'm glad my advice was useful :) I'll pick it up later this week!

      Good luck to you too!

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  3. Replies
    1. Oh good grief! "I lived it??" I hope you know I meant LOVED it. I've been using my phone the last couple of weeks because we were traveling. You think I would learn to double check spelling errors before hitting the send button:)

      and by the way, the ending of you ghost story was fabulous:) Really, it was heart wrenching. She knows she had to so it and he knew it too, but it was still a heart killer.

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    2. hahaha yeah, I figured you meant you loved it :) If you *had* lived it, though, I had a few questions for you :P

      And thank you so much! I originally wasn't going for heart-wrenching, but I think this was a better ending than what I'd planned before. I guess I have issues with happy characters haha BUT I love those kind of "right-but-impossible-to-make" decisions.

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  4. oh fun, with a twist at the end I wasn't expecting that was really Sad.

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    1. aww thanks! I was going to make the end funnier, but thought this was more poignant.

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  5. Aw man! Your ending killed me! Good job!

    Thanks for entering! Good luck!

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    1. Thanks so much! It was a fun (and sad) story to write!

      Thanks for creating the contest! And congrats on the book :)

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  6. Oh! I liked this. Well done! :D Loved the ending. :D

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  7. GAH. I love this, but oh, the ending!

    Vote.

    Great to discover your blog through the Ever blog hop.

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    1. haha, I know! I just can't let characters be happy...

      Thank you for the vote! I'll hop on over to your blog soon :)

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  8. Found you through the Ever blog hop. Wow. This was so sad! But good. Well done!

    VOTE!

    PS - following you

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    1. Aww thank you! You have no idea how much you just made my day with your comment :)

      And thanks for the follow! I'll return the favor!

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  9. I really liked this one! Great job! It was funny and sweet and sad...just well done! :)

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  10. This was a wonderful story! You made me tear up at the end! Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. Aww I'm glad you liked it :) Thanks for reading!

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