Tag Archives: ghosts

Grave Orientation

To all my friends in CIE. You know who you are.

copyright Claire Fuller (is it cheating to use it for a non-FF story?)

copyright Claire Fuller (is it cheating to use it for a non-FF story?)

Grave Orientation

“Welcome to Death,” I say. The morgue is full of the new arrivals, shuffling incorporeally through the gurneys and equipment. They’re a motley group, from the peacefully departed to the violently wrenched. There’s no fear among them, just mild confusion.

I, however, am a nervous wreck.

I cough. “I’m here for your orientation. There are going to be several sessions, from the dos and don’ts of haunting to astral plane immigration policies. If you’ll all look at the screen on the wall—”

They’re not listening. Most are wandering away. One is inexplicably sleeping. I start to panic. I am not even supposed to be here. My boss Larry always did these, until he died last week, somewhat ironically. I wonder briefly who did his orientation and if he found it helpful.

Specters are disappearing through the walls. It’s my neck if they get away without some basic training. What’s worse, they’ll all be haunting my office the first time a graveyard bully crosses their path. I’m sweating and scrambling frantically for what to say.

Who you going to call?” I scream suddenly.

Every eye swivels slowly until the whole, ethereal crowd is looking at me, real fear evident in their wraithish eyes. Then they trundle towards me.

“Good,” I say. “Now, let’s get started.” I click the remote. “Slide 1: proper mausoleum maintenance—”


Death Don’t Us Part

Death Don't Us Part

Death Don’t Us Part

Life and death never end up like you think. I went to sleep one night, dreamed about being back at college with a lobster for a roommate, then woke up in a coffin. It was comfortable, at least.

I lay there for a bit, wondering why I had had a lobster for a roommate when I heard a tap, tap, tap.

“Who’s there?” I said. What else do you say?

“Is that you, Jamal?” It was my wife Olivia.

“Yeah, I’m in a coffin. Where are you?”

“In one too. I’m next to you.”

“Huh. Do you suppose we’re dead?”

“I suppose.”

There was a pause that could have been a few seconds or a few years.

“Do you think this is because we omitted ‘Til death do us part’ from our vows?” I asked.

“Could be. I never thought of this happening. So, you want to get out of here?”

“Can we?”

“After you, monsieur.”

I tried and a moment later, I found myself in a cemetery at night. A translucent version of Olivia appeared a moment later.

“Have you lost weight?” I asked. She rolled spectral eyes at me.

“You don’t have to be so grave about everything,” I said. That made her laugh.

“You kill me, you know?” she said.

“Not anymore. So, what now?”

She took my hand. “I don’t know, go visit our old haunts?”

“Now look who’s starting.”

We floated off. Together.


First Week at the Nexus

I realize this is two letters home from children in a week, but they’re very different and apparently this is how my mind is thinking at the moment.

copyright Joe Owens

copyright Joe Owens


Dear Mum and Dad,

Greetings from the land of inter-dimensional hospitality! Well, my first week at the Nexus Hotel is over. It didn’t drive me insane but there were several points where I wished I’d never been born. Sorry Mum, you did your best and all.

It’s pretty brutal out here. I had a party of Neanderthals stumble in from some primitive dimension and demand the first floor suites. No credit card, of course, but I got half a gazelle as payment. They trashed the rooms and set fire to two of the beds. They also massacred half a Venusian furry convention that was meeting on the third floor. I comped the survivors their rooms. Hope that’s okay.

On Wednesday, we had a couple dark specters arrive. Didn’t pay, of course, just loitered around haunting the place. I got them exorcised finally. It’s fine now.

Some sort of space princess came two days ago. That’s when things started looking up. She’s pretty. I let her have the top two floors indefinitely. I’m redecorating for her, turning it into a castle.

Don’t worry about the hotel, I’m handling everything.

Your son,

Winky.


Winky’s father put down the letter. “Maybe I should go help him out. Just for a few days.”

“You’re retired,” his wife said. “You promised.”

Her husband noticed the way she was fingering her knife. “Right, right. I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

 


Lighting the Way Home – Friday Fictioneers

I am intrigued with story tone, how just a few words can make all the difference to a story. So, for this story, I’m going to let you choose the tone. This story has four endings, all written in white font. Click the text with your left mouse button and drag to block the hidden text and reveal the ending of your choice. Then vote for your favorite.

copyright Ted Strutz

copyright Ted Strutz

Lighting the Way Home

There is a switch in the basement unconnected to any circuit. I always leave it on, hoping that somewhere, it is connected to a light that will lead Brad back to me from beyond.

*

I am sitting in bed, the silver moon fluorescing the room through the window, when the door opens.

“You came back.” I can barely breathe from joy.

“I saw your light,” Brad said. He kisses me, but his lips are cold and I taste decay.

_____________________________________________________

1. Scary

“I came back for you,” he whispers. I jerk awake, gasping, and run to the basement, clawing at the accursed switch.

_____________________________________________________

2. Sad

“Are you real?” He doesn’t answer. I reach out and he starts to recede. “Brad!”

I wake, tears soaking my pillow.

_____________________________________________________

3. Quirky

“Are you still dead?” I ask.

He smiles sheepishly. “Yeah. Can I come to bed?”

“Fine. Brush your teeth first, though.”

_____________________________________________________

4. Silly

“I love you, Beth,” he says.

“My name is Heather,” I say.

“Shit, I got the wrong house again.” He disappears.

_____________________________________________________


A Ghost of a Chance of Success

A Ghost of a Chance of Success

Honestly, I only tried it because my wife said I couldn’t do it.

She gets me to do all kinds of things that way. “I’ll bet you don’t have the guts to marry me,” she said one indolent afternoon 27 years ago, when the summer crickets were in full concert.

I sure showed her.

The challenges started with the mundane: “Bah, you couldn’t mow the lawn if you tried.”

You’d think I’d learn but I had to show her who was boss. Soon I was doing most of the housework while she watched TV and occasionally called out her disbelief in my ability to do various small tasks that I had forgotten.

Eventually, her challenges crossed over into more exotic realms but I never backed down for a second. I spent most of 2013 trying to build a time machine but eventually just built a very small museum and declared victory.

For this latest challenge, I’ve assembled all the things I might need: a large glass bottle, a tombstone, a Bible, a copy of the Necronomicon (just in case) and a liter of ectoplasm.

Now how on Earth am I going to make a ghost ship in a bottle?


Unique POV Corner: Interview with a Haunted House

For this piece, I want to give a shout out to Eric Alagan, since he always says I have unique point of views in my stories.

house

Interviewer (David Stewart): Thanks for talking with me. For the record, your real name is 666 Ghoul Dr, is that right?

 

Haunted House: Actually, there was some redistricting last year. Now I’m 8712 Ghoul Parkway.

 

DS: Fair enough. The reason I wanted to talk to you is that you have been accused, frankly, of being evil. How do you respond to that?

 

HH: It’s just terrible, David. For one thing, “haunted” has such a stigma to it. People say I have ghosts and for some reason, that’s cause to shun me. How about getting me some help, right?

 

DS: Do you have ghosts?

 

HH: Well . . . yes, I suppose.

 

DS: Why did you hesitate? And why is your wallpaper turning red now? Is this some sort of REDROOM thing?

 

HH: No, I’m blushing, and thank you very much for calling attention to it. Actually, ghosts are just how I . . . pass gas. Ethereal gas. It’s a problem older houses have from time to time. We don’t like to make a big deal of it.

 

DS: What about the rumors that your walls bleed sometimes?

 

HH: Oh, now I’m in trouble for having blood in me? You have blood in you and no one calls you haunted. Look, it’s just for fun, okay? Like a party trick. I just do it to cheer the owners up if they look like they’re having a bad day. It puts the life back into them. They start running around, screaming, calling people. It’s good stuff.

 

DS: And the portal to an unknown dimension that’s in your basement?

 

HH: Oh that. A previous owner had that installed to shorten his commute. He had a weird job. Frankly, considering how rare it is, I’d think it’d be a selling point. Kind of like a hot tub with fifth-dimensional bubbles.

 

DS: I see. So basically, you consider yourself a fairly ordinary house, just misunderstood.

 

HH: Well, I’m definitely not ordinary. I like to think I’m just waiting for that special owner. So for anyone looking, I’m on the market. And my price has been slashed repeatedly!

 

(I couldn’t resist the quote from my favorite TV show)


Exploring a Haunted School

This is a true story. As you probably know by now, my wife and I like to explore abandoned buildings at night, especially ones reported to be haunted. We don’t really expect to see anything, but we keep our eyes open.

Not my picture, but the view as we climbed up the slope to the school.

Not my picture, but the view as we climbed up the slope to the school.

Chungil 2

Last Friday night, we went to the Chung-il Girl’s High School, in Daejeon, South Korea, which was closed in 2006. It’s reportedly haunted and I’ve seen some pretty shaky evidence, but it is a huge structure: 5 stories plus the basement, holding 3000 students at its height. We went after work on Friday and got to the school about 9pm. There were spray-painted signs on the entrance saying things like “Forbidden” and “You must not enter” but we did anyway (of course).

I didn't get great shots, since I only had my phone, but you get the idea.

I didn’t get great shots, since I only had my phone, but you get the idea.

The basement was cool, although not that big. It had a trench cut into the concrete floor with water running through it and you could hear the faint tinkle of dripping water. The light of the flashlight shown off the water and reflected on the walls, making a cool shifting pattern of reflections as I moved the light. I could see someone getting freaked out if they were by themselves down there, and their light suddenly went out, and the rusted metal pipes that blocked the basement from the next section started to creak, ever so slowly…

But none of that happened to us. The school was constructed in an L-shape and we walked the length of it and then up a floor and made our way slowly up the floors until we reached the roof. Most of the classrooms were empty, although a lot had graffiti on the walls.

This says "die". We are terrible at following instructions.

This says “die”. We are terrible at following instructions.

The most interesting rooms were the art and music rooms, since they had things left behind. In the art room was a stack of old drawings that I looked through a little.

20140411_21552820140411_215555

20140411_215712There was a lot written on the music room chalkboard. It kind of looks like a song, but the last line says something like “for impact, make the follow-through loud.” The funny thing is that three of the words are English, written in Korean letters, like “polo seuroo” (follow through).

In one room, we found the words “Absolutely don’t turn around” spray painted on the wall. There was nothing behind us though (that I could see).

충일여고 Exploration

We didn’t stay in there too long; no more than half an hour probably. We had missed the last bus back to our city by then so we grabbed a hotel nearby and stayed the night. We were thinking about sleeping in the school, just for the experience, but it was a bit cool and there was no bathroom (my wife’s objection). The hotel where we stayed was named the Lotto Hotel, and their thing was that they gave you a lottery ticket when you checked in. I didn’t check it to see if we won, since I didn’t know where to. Probably we had a better chance of seeing a ghost than winning the lottery that night.

20140411_214250

 


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