Haunted House!

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photo from davidstillman.blogspot.com

All I could think about was the sad face that haunted my dreams at night, and my thoughts all day. The face that was taking over my life. Why? I didn’t know her. If it was the old man’s daughter, she was long since dead. My day at work was painfully slow. Finally, eager to talk to the old man, I made and excuse to leave early.

January dusk soon fell, cold and uninviting. I was grateful for my heated car seat after being chilled to the bone walking across the parking lot. It was dark when I pulled onto the drive way of the ranch. There wasn’t a light to be seen in anywhere in the house either. Wishing I’d brought a flashlight I opened the car door. The breeze was no longer gentle.

Watching my step I walked in the direction of the huge shadow which loomed ahead of me. It’s all I could see of the house. I approached the front door and tapped on it nervously, feeling like an intruder smothered in a blanket of darkness.

The door swung open slowly, creaking as it did so. Doors always creaked in these situations.

“Hello, is anyone home?”

No answer, no movement. The air was deadly still. I took a step forward into the house. The temperature dropped several degrees when I did so. How could it be colder inside than out. My breath formed a cloud in front of my face.

“Hello.” I said softly.

A floorboard creaked. The sound came from above. I looked in the direction of the stairs, but thought the better of going up there.

What if he’s dead? 

Standing just inside the doorway I wondered what to do next. I had no business walking around the house uninvited. People did that in movies and it always ended badly. Turning around I pulled the door shut and walked back to the car. Should I leave a note?

Footsteps crunched on the gravel drive way and I looked up expecting to see the old man. The steps continued, but there was no one to be seen. Instinctively I locked the car door. Footsteps crunched past me, stepping onto the porch. Looking in my rearview mirror, I watched the front door open and close on its own.

Time to get out of Dodge! 

I started the car and floored the accelerator, pebble dashing the front of the house with gravel as I left.

Thank God I didn’t go upstairs! 

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The Smoking Man – Death by Radio?

moorfire04We stared at the radio, unable to speak. The Nurse broke the silence. “Come one Reggie,” she urged the ambulance driver, “Lets get this gentlemen to the hospital for x-rays.”

Reggie looked at me, and then at Mick, “Weird,” he said and shrugged his shoulders. He found a bag in the ambulance and nervously scooped the remains of the radio inside. We expected it to burst into life again at any minute, but thankfully it remained silent.

“I’ll get rid of this when we get to the hospital. I think I’d like to incinerate it, make sure it doesn’t start up again. Bloody things possessed!”

I smiled weakly, if only he knew.

“Want me to come to the hospital with you Mick?” I asked.

“No, I’ll be OK. I can get a cab home. You should get to work anyway.”

The nurse shut the back of the ambulance and it rolled down Frenchgate and out of sight. Thank god he wasn’t killed. It would have been my fault.

Cindy greeted me at the front door when I got back to work.

“I was just coming to see where you’d got to. What’s going on?”

“I don’t think you want to know!” I said.

“Come on, let’s get inside.”

I was jittery all day, just waiting for something to happen. Thankfully the day was uneventful. I wanted to call Pete and tell him what’d happened, but I didn’t have a number for him, other than his parents’ house, and I didn’t want to call there in case his mum read something into it and thought we were an item again.

Five o clock finally came and I was relieved to find Pete waiting for me at the front door.
“It’s Friday, lets grab something to eat and go to the fair.”

“Pete, the radio, it came began to play again in the skip.”

“What? That’s not possible, no electricity, not batteries, and I smashed it up pretty good.”

“It came on! Nearly killed Mick McMichael!”

“What?”

“He was working up on the scaffolding, on his own. The radio came on when he was throwing something down into the skip below. He lost his balance and fell.”

“Holy shit! How bad is he?” Pete turned pale, “its my fault I put it there.”

“He’s alright, landed on some insulation or something, broke his fall. It’s not your fault. It’s mine for involving everyone in the unholy mess.”

“It’s no ones fault. Who could expect a shattered radio to play? Where is it now?”

“In the hospital incinerator hopefully.”

Pete stood still, “Cottage hospital?”

“Yup, I guess that’s the closest.”

He sat on a wall at the side of the road. “You haven’t heard the news have you?”

“What news?”

The smell of smoke hit me. I looked across the valley. Cottage Hospital wasn’t visible from where we stood, but the smoke pouring out of it was.”

“NO!”

“It started an hour or so ago,” Pete said.

“NO! no, no!”

“Come on, let’s get your car and go over there, make sure Mick’s alright.”

I was too dazed to think, or argue. Pete led me home, got my car keys and drove. I dreaded what we might find there. I can’t take much more of this.

Its not funny anymore is it? Someone is going to get killed. What is it with the Smoking Man? The handsome exciting elusive dead stranger. What does he want?