I decided to do something a bit different this time around however, and I attempted a ghost story. It isn’t my forte and it definitely pushed my skills. Maybe I’ll experiment with the genre again some day. Until then, I hope that you enjoy.
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
The room, in a casual state of disrepair, was filled with an inky blackness that was only broken by a single, sharp ray of light that did nothing to illuminate anything. Dust mites danced on air currents unseen and unfelt. Tree branches occasionally plunged the room into complete darkness due to the vagrancies of the wind, hindering the streetlamp’s intended purpose. Four bodies, a candle, lighter, and coin ruined the precise emptiness. Not a sound broke the stillness, save for their breathing.
Then came the grinding flick of the lighter, and darkness was temporarily pushed away. Flame touched the already burned wick of the candle and the four faces were illuminated in the dancing light. Each sat cross legged; boy across from boy, girl across from girl.
“Come on guys, this is stupid,” said Allison, voice higher than her normal alto.
“Stop being a baby,” said Johnny to his younger sister.
Born only minutes apart, the twins exchanged a set of looks that, for a moment, superseded Allison’s tension. Then it was back again and she gripped Anthony’s hand tighter. For his part, Anthony squeezed it tighter before letting it go.
“Well, I’m not a big fan of Faulk Manor myself,” Anthony said. “You know how many people died here?”
“Countless,” Johnny said, a grin spreading across his face. “And that was before Mary Walsh and her thirteen.”
“Relax,” said Kim, the fourth member of the little group. “That’s why we have the star quarterback with us.” Allison snorted while Anthony rolled his eyes.
Johnny grinned wider at Kim as he spoke to the group as a whole. “So we all know the story? Old timey hospital until Mary Walsh snapped and murdered thirteen patients until she killed herself? Rumor says that she cut their throats with a bone saw just to hear their screams turn to gurgles as they drowned in their own blood. Then she used the same saw on herself. And, if you flip a coin made on the thirteenth month of the thirteenth year and if it lands heads up, she’ll come back from the dead.”
“Does it have to land head’s up thirteen times too?” asked Anthony.
“No moron. That’s just stupid.”
“Can we just get this over with?” asked Allison. “I have things to do tonight.”
“So do I,” said Kim, staring directly into Johnny’s eyes. That look had nothing to do with fear. Allison was surprised she didn’t wag her eyebrows. Still, she couldn’t be clearer about her intentions.
“Really? Do you get turned on in creepy locations?”
Kim shrugged and glanced back at Johnny. They exchanged looks—eww—and Johnny picked up the quarter he had lying beside his foot. “It took me a bit but I found a quarter that works. Donnie Vekin’s uncle had the connections.”
“How can that even work? There are only twelve months in the year.”
“I think that 2013 is close enough for the thirteenth year,” said Johnny. “As for the month, thirteenth month of 2013 is January 2014.” He was too excited about this.
With a flick, Johnny sent the coin flying. It seemed suspended over his head, spinning, before landing with a dull thud, sans a single bounce on the wooden floorboards, the impression of George Washington’s face glinting in the candlelight.
The four looked at each other, holding their collective breaths. Stillness filled the room, filled the house. No sound reached their ears, and finally the need for air caused one then another to gasp for breath. Johnny was the last one to exhale, as if in doing so he admitted defeat.
And promptly blew out the flickering flame.
Darkness shrouded the room. The light from outside failed to come in through the window and Allison heard more than felt the three other people scrabble for the lighter that had sat next to the candle. Panic welled up in her as the sounds of scraping and thumping filled her ears as her hands joined the rest in a mad dash for light.
“I got it! I got it!” Anthony’s words came harsh. A moment later the familiar scratch prefaced a dull glow from Anthony’s hand.
“Ok, guys. Funny,” he said. With his other hand, he picked up a bone saw and brought both saw and flame near his face for a closer inspection. It glimmered in the light as he moved it this way and that.
“You like that?” Johnny laughed. “Planned it all along. I chilled your hands, Kim. Should I warm them up for you?”
Anthony snorted and lit the candle, placing the saw next to the candle. As the flame grew, the darkness around Kim seemed to resist before giving in. Gone were the jeans and tee shirt, replaced by faded white stockings and skirt. A matching white top followed with a too large bosom. Grey skin covered arms and a neck neatly cut. As Allison’s eyes scanned up, she felt a scream build in her throat. Dead eyes came to life and a laugh leapt from Mary Walsh as dead hands moved faster than thought to the saw.