The Haunting of Tommy Mills

“Tommy, who were you talking to?”

“My new friend Lucas. He said he lives here.” 

“Where is he?”

“He’s right next to you. Geez, mom.”

“Tommy, no one’s there. Stop fooling around and help me bring these boxes in the house.”

“Now he left. I think he’s mad.”

When Tommy walks into his new bedroom, he sees Lucas sitting on his bed, and says, “I thought you were gone for good.”

 Lucas stretches out on the bed. “Nope. You’re stuck with me. This is my room, but I guess I can share.”

“Mom can’t see you. “

Lucas laughs. “Good catch.”

“So, you lived here before? What happened to your family?” asked Tommy.

“Dad deserted us when I was real young. He used to hit mom and she cried a lot. We were both happy when he left.”

Tommy opened a box full of clothes and began putting things away.

“Where’s your mom?” asked Tommy.

“We were in a car accident,” said Lucas. “A drunk ran a red light and t-boned us. Mom died immediately and I was taken to the hospital. I died in the emergency room. Now I can’t find mom, so I came back here.”

Tears welled up in Tommy’s dark brown eyes.

“Please, don’t be sad Tommy,” Lucas said as he began to phase in and out then disappeared.

“Lucas, where did you go? Please come back.”

Lucas reappeared then explained, “Sorry about that. Sadness drains my energy field.”

“You can bet as soon as my energy recharges I’ll be back,” Lucas said. 

Tommy asked, “Can you please tell me what’s going on with you?” There was a silence that seemed to go on for what seemed like forever, and then can the loudest boom and everything shook violently.

Tommy’s mom yelled from the other room, “Tommy! What was that? Are you ok?”

“I’m ok, mom! I’ll be right there!” Tommy looked at Lucas. “What was that?” 

“He’s coming! Get out! He can’t find you in my room!” Lucas looked scared and used his energy to nudge Tommy towards the door.

In the hall, Lucas held onto the doorknob, while Tommy cringed at the loud, angry voice booming from inside his bedroom.

“Lucas! I can smell him. If you’ve shown yourself again, I’m going to kick your friendly Casper ass!”

“W-W-Who’s that?” asked Tommy, backing down the hallway away from the bedroom door. 

“Someone you never want to meet,” cautioned Lucas.

Tommy suddenly backed into a body and he thought that thing, that monster, whatever it was had escaped the room.

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

Two hands grabbed Tommy’s shoulders.

“Tommy! What was that loud noise? What are you doing?”

Tommy was never so happy to see his mom. He grabbed her and hugged her tight.

“Oh, my God, Mom!  You literally scared the sh__” he caught himself, “livin’ daylights out of me!”

Tommy looked as white as a sheet as he continued to shake with fright.

“You look like you have seen a ghost, son.”

“Duh, Mom. That’s what I have been trying to tell you.”

“Stop being silly. There are no such things as ghosts.”

Suddenly, all of the walls started shaking pictures flew off walls and the lights flickered! “Mom, see that it’s the mean one he’s messing with us now!”

 Mom said, “That’s utter nonsense. It’s either a jet flying over or an earthquake. “Go to your room and stay there. You will scare your brother.”

Tommy made a move as if to re-enter his bedroom. A cold force stopped him. “No, Tommy, you can’t! Please don’t go in there!” Lucas wailed. 

Tommy looked from the ghost back to his mom. Tears of anguish stung his eyes, “Mom, I’m sorry,” and he rushed past her and down the hall.

Sobbing loudly, Tommy bolted wildly out of the house, down the street, and into a public park. He slowed and threw himself on the grass near a picnic table. 

As he used his tee shirt to wipe his eyes, he felt guilty about leaving his mom alone.

“You run pretty fast, Tommy.”

“Lucas? You followed me? That thing in my room has got to go. Mom and I can’t live there like that,” said Tommy.

Tommy sniffed and wiped his nose on the arm of his tee shirt.

“What is that thing?”

“I don’t have all the answers,” said Lucas. “I haven’t been dead long enough.”

“I wish there was some kind of instruction manual for dead kids,” said Lucas. “Maybe we could find something at the library.”

“The LIBRARY?” yelled Tommy. “We can use my iPhone.”

“Your what-phone?” questioned Lucas.

“Hey! Just exactly how long have you been dead?”

“I really have no idea. I can’t feel time pass at all. I remember playing Galaga at the arcade next to Blockbuster video store yesterday.” Lucas answered.

“The arcade? Blockbuster? They have been closed for years. l can play games and watch movies on my iPhone.” Tommy explained.

Then all of a sudden, the phone rang. It was Mrs. Winslow his next-door neighbor. “Tommy you need to hurry home. Something has happened. Your mother said to call you and tell you to rush right home.”

“I’m on my way. I’ll be there soon as I can.” Tommy hung up phone and ran home quickly.

Tommy slowed as he got home. His mom and brother were out front with a cop. His mom waved him over. “Why didn’t you say there was someone in the house? I didn’t see him, but he pushed your brother!” 

Tommy’s younger brother, Brandon, scowled right at Lucas. “Who’s he, Tommy?”

“I’m Lucas. I met Tommy at the park. Right, Tommy?”

 “Uh, yeah. Right. We met at the park.”

 “Hello, Lucas. I’m Tommy’s mom.”

 Tommy looked from his mom to Lucas. “Mom, you can see Lucas?”

 “Of course, dear. Really, I don’t know what’s gotten into you!”

Lucas grinned.

“0kay,” said the cop. “Why are you pretending there’s some invisible kid there?”

“Wait, you can’t see him?” asked Mrs. Mills.

“See who?” asked the cop.

“Him!” she said, pointing at Lucas. “That boy! Right there!”

“Look lady, do you want to report a crime?”

“Ma’am tell him no,” said Lucas.

“Errrr, I’m sorry, Officer. There’s been some sort of mixup,” said Mrs. Mills.

The cop mumbled something under his breath and returned to his car.

“What’s going on?” asked Tommy’s mom.

“No human can see me unless I let them,” explained Lucas.

Tommy, Brandon and their mom walked back into their house. The air in the living room became as cold as ice. A loud crash came from inside Tommy’s bedroom.

“It must be that thing again!” Tommy yelled. “We really need to find out what that thing is, Lucas.”

As Tommy slowly moved to his bedroom door he was sweating profusely and couldn’t calm his breathing. “Are you coming Lucas?”

“No. I can’t, Tommy, be careful!” Lucas said.

Tommy opened his door and stepped inside. His stuff was floating around the room and bright lights shined out of the closet.

Before he could take another step, Tommy felt a cold breeze and Lucas was there in front of him. “I can’t let you face him, Tommy. He’s my problem.” 

“Who…” Tommy started to speak but was cut short by all of his stuff crashing to the floor.

“There you are, boy. Daddy is home.”

Tommy was scared but he just had to know who or what was behind this. He finally got his nerve up enough to speak.

“WHO ARE YOU?” Tommy shouted in his most demanding voice. 

A disembodied voice shouted back.

“SILENCE YOU LITTLE HUMAN TWERP OR YOU’LL JOIN MY SON IN DEAD LAND!”

“Dead Land?” Thought Tommy. 

Now it began to make sense. Lucas’ dad treated him bad in life, and now he must have died and is hunting him down in the afterlife. Tommy had to help his new friend… somehow… no matter what it took.

Tommy yelled, “SHUT UP YOU BIG BULLY!”

The demon inside of Lucas’ dad had completely taken control of him in the afterlife. Its eyes were now glowing bright red. Lucas floated in front of Tommy to protect him. 

“Ah, there you are Lucas boy! Looks like you found a new boyfriend. You filthy freak!” 

Suddenly, with a sudden upward motion Tommy was lifted off his feet with force so strong he blacked out. Lucas screamed at the demon that his dad turned into, “Stop! You want me, not Tommy. Please! He’s just my friend and I don’t want nothing to happen to him. Please, oh no!”

Brandon raced into the room and knelt by his brother. He shook Tommy, trying to wake him. Lucas growled, blasting a wave of energy at the ghost of his father. 

“Just as much of a sissy now as when you were alive. How many of your little boyfriends am I gonna have to kill, boy?”

As Brandon was shaking Tommy, trying to get him to respond, his eyes focused on an object hanging on the wall. It was a large religious cross. He remembered seeing a movie where a cross was used against evil.

Brandon jumped up and grabbed the cross from the wall.

He raised it high above his head until he could reach no higher. Brandon yelled at the top of his lungs.

“I COMMAND YOU IN THE NAME OF CHRIST… LEAVE THIS HOUSE AND LEAVE US ALONE!”

The demon inside Lucas’ dad turned into mist and flowed out through the air duct. His ghostly shell was left laying on carpet, unconscious. The cross and incantation also made the ghost of Lucas light up like a Christmas tree. He too collapsed onto the floor. 

Brandon yelled for his mom. “Mom! Hurry!”

Slowly, mom walks into the room with an evil laugh, “Hahahaha! You think you can get rid of me that easily little boy?” With a gust of air, the cross was chucked out the window. “Awe, what’s a matter, son? Mommy is gone for a while!”

Lucas’ energy levels fluctuated then stabilized just in time to hear what the boys’ mom said. “Brandon, help Tommy get up. I have to get you guys out of here quick. We’re in double trouble now that the demon and my dad have separated!” 

The ghost of Lucas’ father began to move.

Brandon helped Tommy to a standing position and as Tommy’s senses started returning, he saw his mom standing there.

Without knowing, Tommy instinctively ran to his mother’s waiting and protecting arms.

Brandon made a grab, but Tommy slipped through his fingers.

Simultaneously Lucas and Brandon yelled to Tommy.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

As Tommy reached his mom, the evil within her possessed body grabbed him and pulled him close, their bodies melting into one large evil entity.

Meanwhile, the ghost of Lucas’ dad awoke. He saw Lucas and said, “I’m so sorry for what I did and said to you son. The demon took over. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”

Lucas’ dad lunged at the demon possessing Tommy and his mom. “Take me!”

The demon used his powers to take Lucas dad and send him away from the house to the netherworld! “Now, as for you, little boy, we have plans for you.”

Lucas stood in front of Brandon and said. “You will leave him alone! What if I take his place?”

 “No! Lucas, you can’t I won’t let you!” Brandon screamed.

The demon hesitated and almost split back into two. Lucas took the opportunity to fling it against the wall. A path to the front door stood clear. 

“Brandon, come on! We need to get outta here and come up with a plan!” 

With a final glance at the demon, Brandon followed.

Lucas ran out the front door and just as Brandon reached it, he noticed his Super Soaker Water Canon in the top of an unpacked box. He grabbed it without stopping and continued out the door.

“Lucas!” he yelled, “Look!” Brandon held up the water gun for Lucas to see.

“That’s only a toy,” said Lucas.

“Yeah, but what if we filled it with… Holy Water?” suggested Brandon.

“It could work,” said Lucas. 

They stood out in the middle of the street, looking one way, then the other.

“But where are we going to find Holy Water?”

Brandon thought for a minute then said, “We could order holy water on Amazon or go into that church across the street. They have it for baptisms.”

“Going to the Amazon is too far.” Lucas replied.

“Not that Amazon,” Brandon giggled. “Forgot this is all new to you.”

“Well we can’t just go into the church and get it,” Brandon said.

“I know. I can’t enter the church. I’m dead and it is a barrier to me,” Lucas said.

Then all the sudden a lady in white came floating down the road with beautiful flowing blond hair and emanating light all around her.

“Mom?”

Lucas’s voice trembled as he watched his mother float towards him. “Mom! I looked everywhere for you! Where were you?!” 

“I was stuck in an in between place. I tried to get to you, but I couldn’t. Your father freed me and said you needed help!” 

Brandon watched, mouth agape.

Lucas and his mom hugged, creating a bright, white halo around them. Brandon was frozen in awe at the miracle he witnessed.

“Mom, I want you to meet Brandon. He’s a human. His family is being possessed by an evil entity. We need to find Holy Water… quick.”

The mother spirit glanced around and saw the church nearby.

“Brandon,” she instructed, “You need to run inside that church and yell for help. If no one hears you, look for a stone structure that looks like a wishing well. That’s where you’ll find Holy Water.”

Brandon opened the heavy, oak church doors and stepped inside. He looked around but didn’t see a soul. He did however see a bird bath looking thing with water. “This must be it.” Brandon thought to himself. He hastily filled up his super soaker then ran back outside.

“Now that I have my super soaker filled with holy water, I’ll see what I can do.” Brandon thought to himself. Then out of nowhere a swarm of mayflies started descending towards him. Brandon started to run as fast as he could, but when he turned down the alley, a pack of wild dogs chased him to large fence.

Brandon backed against the fence at the end of the alley and raised his super-soaker. He had to try something, and it was the only weapon he had. He shot at the cloud of mayflies and each one that was hit by the holy water burst into flames! 

Now the dogs were closing in.

Brandon aimed carefully at the lead dog and squeezed the trigger. It was a direct hit and the dog howled as it burst into a small fireball and disappeared. 

Brandon smiled and quipped, “Yes!”

This was just like a video game and he was good… really good at games.

He looked down the barrel of his super-soaker and kept his eyes focused on the sights.

Each time he aimed and pulled the trigger, he uttered, “Pow!”

“Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow!”

Every shot was a hit. Every hit destroyed its target. Finally, he stood alone, his heart beating hard.

Suddenly, the demon possessing Tommy and his mom appeared. 

Brandon yelled, “Get out of my mom and brother now!”

He pulled the trigger on the super soaker, but it was dry. The demon smirked.

“Lucas, help!” Brandon screamed as he too was taken into the demon.

As Lucas watched Brandon be taken in, he felt so defeated. After all he was just a simple little boy ghost. “What am I to do? I brought this on this family.” He thought. In an instant he had idea. “I will go sit outside the church and leap into the priest when he comes out. He can help me figure this out!”

The priest exited the church and walked down the steps. Lucas leapt forward. Just before he reached the priest, a blast of cold power pushed him aside. 

Lucas’s mother stood on the sidewalk. “You were always an impulsive teen, even when you were alive. There are other ways.”

The priest stopped suddenly as a cold shiver ran through his body. He looked around, but saw no one.

“Hello! Is someone there?”

He got no answer, so started on his way.

“WAIT!”

He stopped again and turned around. Slowly, out of thin air, a young boy started materializing.

“Sir, we need your help. Please. My human friends and their mom are all possessed by a terribly evil spirit.”

Suddenly Lucas’ mom’s spirit materialized next to Lucas and confirmed what he said.

“It’s got three humans and grows bigger and stronger with each passing minute.”

Another spirit appeared next to Lucas and his mom. It was his dad who had been freed of the demon. He hugged his family saying,

“Love you both. I’m sorry for the bad things I did in life. We must stop the demon from destroying another family. Can you help us priest?”

“I don’t know if I can,” said the priest. “but I can try to do my best and assess the situation. I will consult with God and see if he can help me out.”

 Meanwhile, the demon was trying to talk with Satan. The demon snarled, “This is not just my battle, it’s the ultimate evil vs good!”

The sidewalk cracked under the demon’s feet. Smoke and the odor of sulfur filled the air. The priest uttered a frightened squeak and fled back into the church.

A voice bellowed from the crack. “It is not your place to question me, demon. Collect the souls, especially the boy!”

The demon headed toward Lucas, but Lucas’ dad jumped in front of him. 

“LEAVE HIM ALONE!” yelled the dad spirit, as he made the form of a cross using his arms and held them up in front of the demon’s eyes. “I COMMAND YOU TO LEAVE!”

The action did nothing but annoy the demon.

“GET OUT OF MY FACE,” bellowed the demon. “Satan wants the boy’s soul and he shall have it.”

The demon swatted at the dad spirit, knocking him off his feet, then grabbed at Lucas. 

Lucas saw the evil claw-like hand coming at him and bolted for the church door.

Lucas’ mom and dad continued to fight the demon as its clawed hand grabbed Lucas’ head. The memory of his death rushed back to Lucas. He recalled his dad yelling at him in the arcade, running into the basement and falling down a shaft. The same shaft he saw in Tommy’s basement.

Lucas remembered he came face to face with Satan before. He was told that one day they had plans for him and that he was the chosen one to lead them to victory over the forces of good. But remembers that something was told to him by something else but he can’t focus on what.

Lucas felt himself being absorbed into the demon. His parents continued to fight but it did no good. Then the church doors flew open and the priest stood there holding the biggest balloon that Lucas had ever seen. The priest threw it at the demon’s face. Water sprayed everywhere.

The Holy Water spilled down over the demon and its skin began burning and smoking. It released its hold of Lucas’ soul and Lucas slowly returned to the Holy Spirit that he had been.

The Demon becomes transparent and the human bodies of Tommy, Brandon and Mrs. Mills are released.

The six of them stood there with the Priest looking on, thinking the demon had finally been defeated.

The ground suddenly rumbled, feeling much like an earthquake and the small crack that had opened previously got wider.

A netherworld voice trumpeted from the depths of hell.

“Spirits back to limbo where you belong!”

Huge vines grew out from the crack, wrapping around Lucas, his mom and dad slowly dragging them underground.

“Tommy, you will find our bodies in the shaft. Give us a proper burial so we can finally be at peace!”

“I will Lucas. I promise!”

As Tommy made his way back home, he thought about all that had happened he was still shocked to know ghost and demons existed he made a promise to himself right then and there that he would always help kids and families being haunted or possessed by demons. He headed for his basement.

As soon as they reached home, Tommy’s mom and brother collapsed on the couch and fell asleep. The ordeal inside the demon wore them out. Tommy was too restless and was determined to find the bodies. He went downstairs and located the opening to the shaft and peered inside.

It was pitch black inside, but Tommy could see that the shaft went down a short way, then cut its way back into a tunnel. A rickety wooden ladder was attached to the side of the shaft’s wall.

He climbed onto the ladder and carefully made his way down to the tunnel.

He peered into the tunnel.

“HELLO!”

‘Hello… Hello… Hello…’ only an echo answered.

Tommy pulled his iPhone from his pocket and turned on the flashlight. He pointed it into the tunnel but could see only a few feet ahead.

He cautiously entered the dark, damp space.

Tommy was glad to be on solid ground. He thought to himself since he almost slipped off the ladder a few times coming down, “I’ll bet that when Lucas’ parents came looking for him, they fell to their death climbing down that rickety old ladder.” He shined his phone’s flashlight on the floor and saw three skeletons. He carefully collected the bones in the three canvas bags he had brought with him.

Before he could start climbing back up, Tommy heard a loud booming voice, “You Can’t Have Them! A swift glowing red hand snatched the canvas bags out of his hands. They belong to us and now so do you! You will never be able to get out of this portal to Hell!

Something grabbed Tommy’s legs and pulled him deeper into the tunnel.

Tommy kicked at the claw that held him, but he couldn’t get free. In desperation, he yelled into his cell. “Text Brandon. Help! I’m in the tunnel! Found bones but the demon got me!”

The one bar he had on his phone disappeared so he tossed it behind him, hoping it would be found.

Brandon and his mom had been sleeping upstairs, but Brandon had found the urge to pee. As he stood at the toilet relieving himself,

“Ding!”

He pulled his phone from his pocket and clicked on messages, seeing what Tommy had just wrote.

He zipped up and ran back to his mom.

“MOM! WAKE UP!”

Brandon showed the text to his mother. Mrs. Mills jumped up and the two of them hurried to the basement.

“TOMMY? TOMMY?”

They found the uncovered shaft entrance but couldn’t see or hear anything. 

“Brandon, run upstairs and get flashlights from the kitchen.”

Brandon quickly got the flashlights and ran back into the basement. He and his mom were right under where the arcade was years ago. They shined their flashlights down into the dark shaft and yelled, 

“Tommy!”

“I’m going down.” Brandon said.

“Be careful honey!”

He was getting scared as he made his way deeper and deeper, it was so dark. He got to a spot that was so hot that he was sweating badly and was hearing screaming and very loud voices. “Boy, how dare you come down here. You can’t help your brother. He’s mine now. Replacing Lucas in my army! Roar!”

Brandon recognized the voice of the demon. The same demon who he had just recently escaped from. He stopped and picked up his brother’s iPhone. Further along, he found the three canvas bags. He wondered to himself, “If I bury the bones, will they be free to help me again?”

He grabbed the bags and quickly made his way back to the basement. 

“Mom, these are the bones of our three spirit friends. I think we need to bury them to lift this curse and get Tommy back.”

“I think you’re right, son. Take them to the church yard and hallow ground. Hurry!”

Brandon grabbed his folding Boy Scouts shovel and ran to the church. His mom had phoned ahead, and the Priest was waiting. He quickly led Brandon around back to the cemetery.

“Dig right there,” said the Priest, pointing. “Make it deep enough so we won’t ever have to disturb it.”

Back in the tunnel, the demon had Tommy pinned to the wall and was ready to consume his soul. Suddenly, a brilliant white light flooded the tunnel. The demon screeched then disappeared as three angelic beings appeared. It was Lucas with his mom and dad.

“Our souls have been freed.”

Tommy was then greeted by an angelic figure. The angel spoke, “You are the guardian of good here on earth. I am bestowing you with special abilities to help you in your journey of fighting evil demon spirits and protecting souls from evil. Do you accept?”

Tommy grinned. “Yes! I will gladly accept. Thank you! I am ready.”

Tommy looked at his mother. She nodded, knowingly.  He faced the three spirits. “As Guardian I can release you to Heaven.”

Lucas blurted, “I wanna stay with you!” As Lucas’ parents agreed they shimmered and were gone. Tommy took Lucas’ hand and Lucas became a live boy once more.

Epilogue

Tommy led Lucas into his bedroom, hand in hand. “I’m so happy that mom got all the paperwork sorted to let you live here. I even started cleaning out the spare room to make it into your bedroom.”

“Don’t you mean your bedroom? This is my bedroom.”

“Very funny. This is my bedroom.”

“It was mine first. I guess we’ll have to share it.” Lucas smirked and winked.

Tommy blushed a bright red. “I wish. Mom would never go for that, though.”

Lucas sighed. “Ok. Ok. Let’s go check out this new bedroom.”

Back down under the arcade, the tunnel began to glow with an orange light again. Heat and the smell of sulfur poured forth. A clawed hand appeared out of the darkness pulling its owner forward. The demon’s eyes flashed with Hellfire. “I’m not done with you yet, boy. I’m coming and Hell is coming with me.”

The End…. For Now.

Haunted Love (Chapter 1)

Chapter 1 (Written by KenW9270)

Ethan stood on the front steps of his new home and watched his father pull away from the house in the, now empty, rental truck. Ethan sighed and raised his hand in a half-hearted farewell. Ethan’s mom and little brother walked up the steps and joined him. His mom looked over at him. “We’ll be ok, Ethan. The move was for the best.” She said.

“I know, mom. I’ll miss my friends more than I’ll miss him.” He said, still staring at the U-Haul as it disappeared.

“We’re only an hour away. I’m sure you’ll see them, Ethan. Plus, you’re starting college in two weeks. You’ll have a million new friends before you know it. I’m going to find my pots and pans and make us some dinner. You boys start unpacking the stuff in your bedrooms.”

“Aw, mom! Can’t we order pizza for tonight?” Donny piped in. “You know you don’t wanna cook tonight!”

Susan ruffled her ten-year-old son’s hair. “Ok. Ok. Pizza it is. You boys still need to get started on unpacking, though.”

“Ugh! Ok!” Donny said as he disappeared into the house.

“I’ll be in in a few minutes,” Ethan said, sitting on the front steps.

“Ethan, everything will work out. I… I needed this fresh start. This place is a lot closer to my new job, and I won’t have to see your father with… her… every day.”

“I know. I know.” Ethan said. “I understand.” His mom went into the house, leaving Ethan alone on the front steps.

Ethan felt a cold breeze despite the hot August sunshine. It felt like someone touched his shoulder. He shivered and turned to see if his mother or brother had come back outside. There was no one there. Ethan shrugged and stood up. He needed to get started unpacking anyway.

Ethan walked into the bedroom that he had picked as his. Before he could even close the door, it slammed shut behind him. He was pushed back against the door. He wanted to struggle, but there was nothing there to struggle against. Then he felt a cold pressure against the side of his neck. It felt like a kiss, but only if the person’s lips were made of ice. A voice whispered into his ear. “You belong to me now, boy.” Ethan’s eyes went wide, and he tried, without success, to move away from the door. Then a shout rang out.

“Victor! Get out of my room! You do not belong here!”

The pressure holding Ethan against the door immediately disappeared. Ethan looked toward the shouting and saw a boy approximately the same age as him. Jet black hair partially obscured the boy’s face. Ethan took a step toward the other boy. “Who are you? What just happened? How did you get into my room?”

The boy gave Ethan a shy smile, his blue eyes nearly luminescent in the fading light. “My name is Jake, and this is my room, not yours.”

The bedroom door opened, and Ethan’s mom poked her head inside. “Ethan? What was that yelling? Are you ok?”

Ethan turned toward his mom. “Yeah. It was weird, but it was…” He stopped mid-sentence as he started to point toward Jake, but there was now no one there. He looked all around the room, but the only two people there were him and his mom.

“Is everything ok, Ethan? His mom asked again.

Ethan held up his phone. “Yeah. Sorry. It wasn’t yelling. I was picking out some music to play, and I had the volume too high. Sorry, mom.”

“It’s ok, honey.” Susan shook her head and left her son alone again.

After his mom left, Ethan sat on his bed, confused. Then he heard a voice from right next to him. “People can only see me if I want them to.” Ethan turned and saw Jake sitting right next to him on the bed.

————————————————————————————————————

The Christmas Ghosts: Behind the Scenes

The Ghost of Christmas Past floated into the chamber where his brothers waited. “So, do we get this Christmas off or what?”

The Ghost of Christmas Present looked up from the documents he was reading. “You can’t be serious. Look around the present on occasion. If you noticed current events instead of always looking into the past, you’d know we are needed more than ever before.”

“Well, who do we visit this year? After that green beast in Whoville and the miser in London, we are due for an easy one.” He looked towards their third brother.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come simply pointed at the most immense Blood Ledger that any of them had ever seen.

“Who the blazes does that belong to?” He said, his translucent jaw hanging open.

Christmas Yet to Come mutely pointed at the cover of the ledger. Christmas Past groaned and rattled his chains. “Oh, dear. We are in for a long night.”

The Ghost of Jacob Marley moaned to himself as he floated through the halls of the house of his new target. He thought that, after assisting in the haunting of his former business partner, he would have been free to move on. But no, here he was about to haunt yet another businessman.

Jacob did feel honored to participate in this particular haunting, though. He took in the beauty of this significant and historic house. The mix of antique paintings and furniture and newer décor was breath-taking. He readied himself and floated through one final wall. As he entered the Oval Office and faced the man behind the desk, Jacob began moaning and rattling his chains in earnest.

The man behind the desk shouted, “You’re just a Fake Ghost! Get out!”

Jacob Marley rattled his chains even louder. This was bound to be a long night.

The House in the Woods

“Come on, Gage, enough is enough. Let’s just get to your house.” Sam said.

“I’m not messing with you, bro. These woods shouldn’t be this big. I don’t know where we are anymore. I mean look at that hill. There isn’t even a hill between my house and school. I’ve hiked these woods my whole life and none of this looks right.” Gage shrugged.

“We should go to the top of the hill and look around. Maybe we’ll see something we recognize.” Sam suggested.

“Good idea.” Gage said, and they started walking. After a few minutes, Gage stopped. “What the hell?” He said.

“What now?” Sam asked.

“There’s a house on top of the hill. How did we not see that just a few minutes ago? It looks abandoned and super old. There’s never been an old house in these woods, Sam. I honestly don’t understand what’s going on. What do you want to do?” Gage asked.

“We can’t find our way out of the woods, so it can’t hurt to check out the house. Maybe there’ll be a phone or a map or something. Plus, with all the noises we’ve been hearing in the woods, I’ll be glad to get to the house.” He shrugged and kept walking.

“I guess.” Gage said, following his friend.

They reached the top of the hill and Gage spotted a book on the porch, right next to the front door. He picked it up and started flipping through the pages. He looked more and more confused as he read.

“What’s that?” Sam asked.

“It’s a journal about a guy lost in the woods who finds an old house on top of a hill.” Gage said, still reading.

“Stop messing with me, Gage. Let’s get out of here.” Sam said.

“I’m serious, Sam. It’s dark. Let’s go inside and see if we can find a light and we can read this together. Maybe he found a way out.” Gage said.

Gage led the way into the old house. Sam coughed. “It’s freaking dusty and smells bad in here. I hope we don’t have to stay long.” Sam said.

There’s a lantern on the kitchen table.” Gage turned on the lantern. “Good. It works. Have a seat and let’s check out this journal.”

Sam sat down next to Gage and they began to read.

-October 28,1988-

Hey. My name is Evan Riley and I am extremely confused, and, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m more than a little scared. I don’t know where I am anymore. I know where I should be, but I can’t possibly be there. Plus, I don’t think I’m alone. I always feel like I’m being watched. I’m writing in this stupid journal just in case I don’t find my way out of here. Let me be totally clear with you. This is a journal, not a diary. No offense, but I’m not a “dear diary” kinda guy. I only have this journal, because the school suggested one for all incoming freshman and my mom bought it. It’s been living in the bottom of my backpack ever since, until now.

So, back to my story. Where am I? I don’t have a clue! I can tell you where I should be. I should be in a very small wooded area between the school and my friend Jake’s house. I take the bus to school, but two days ago I missed the bus home. It takes like ten minutes to cut through the woods and get to Jake’s house. My plan was to go there and have his mom give me a ride home or hang out there until my mom or dad could come pick me up. Ten minutes from one side of the woods to the other, but I’ve been in here for two days now and still can’t find my way out.

Me and Jake have been all over these woods, but nothing looks familiar now. You know what’s weirder? This afternoon I spotted an abandoned house on top of a hill in the middle of the woods. Why is that weird you ask? There are no hills or abandoned houses in the woods between Jake’s house and school! If I still can’t find my way out of here in the morning, I’ll check out that house. I swear it wasn’t there yesterday! What the hell is going on?

It’s getting too dark to write and I don’t have a flashlight or even any matches. And you know what? That rubbing two sticks together shit just doesn’t work like it does on tv. Sometime tomorrow when I stop for a break or something maybe I’ll write again. I might be just talking to myself anyway. I mean who would want to read my journal anyway?

-Evan-

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-October 29,1988-

Hey. It’s Evan again. Writing in this stupid journal again. Well, it’s just after noon now and boy am I hungry! I’m also pretty freaking tired. I barely slept last night. Every time I fell asleep, I got woke up by loud noises in the forest. I still haven’t seen what’s out there, but there’s more than one and they sound big. I’ve made my way up to the house if for no other reason than to get out of the forest. The house looks like it’s been here forever, but I swear to God that it wasn’t here just a couple days ago! I guess I don’t have many choices at this point. I’m going to search the house for clues. Maybe I’ll figure out where I am and how to get home. Wish me luck.

-Evan-

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     -October 30,1988-

     Hey. It’s Evan again. It’s Thursday now. I think I’ve been here since Monday. Thank God this morning I found some berry bushes and a few edible plants. Boy Scouts paid off. For a while there I was tempted to chew off my own fingers. You think I’m joking, but I’m totally not.

     Anyway, I searched the whole house yesterday and couldn’t find anything useful. There is this one locked door that I can’t open. I’ve tried everything. It must lead to the cellar, because there’s a musty odor coming from behind it. After giving up on the door, I started walking back down the hill. Whatever is in the forest kept chasing me back towards the house. I still haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard it and I tell you this, I don’t want to see it!

     So, I’m stuck in this old, smelly, dusty house. Wait a second. What just happened? While I’m sitting here writing this, the door that I couldn’t get open no matter what I did… just swung open all by itself. My anxiety is through the roof, I’m scared out of my mind, but I’m going through the door. Hopefully, I’ll be back to tell you about all the boring stuff I’ll find!

-Evan-

—————————————————————-

-October 31,1988-

Hey. It’s Evan again. Things are even weirder than I wrote about yesterday. Oh, by the way, Happy Halloween. I sure wish I had some candy right about now. Anyway, the basement was dark and dirty and smelled horrible. At first, I didn’t find anything at all. I started to go back upstairs, and I heard a loud creaking noise. I turned to look, and I saw a door over in the corner of the basement swinging open. I know that door hadn’t been there just a few minutes before. There were stairs leading down with a reddish glow coming from the bottom of the stairs. I ran back upstairs. I thought all night long about my options. The things in the woods have the house surrounded. They won’t let me leave. My phone is dead and even when it wasn’t there wasn’t any cell service. There’s nothing in this house that can help me. All that’s left is the second basement or whatever it is. Now, in the bright morning sunshine, I don’t feel quite as terrified. I’m going down the stairs to see what’s there. If I don’t come back, tell my mom that I love her.

-Evan-

—————————————————————-

Gage snapped the journal shut. “That’s it. No more entries after that. What do you think, Sam?”

“It’s a load of bullshit. We’ve searched this whole house. We’re being punked, Gage. There’s no basement.” Sam said.

“I know, but what about the fact that we can’t find our way out of the woods? We’ve both mentioned hearing noises in the forest. And this house, I know it wasn’t here before. I just know,” Gage stopped in mid-sentence and both boys spun towards the far corner of the kitchen. Their eyes as big as saucers, they watched in horror as a door that hadn’t been there moments earlier swung open to reveal a staircase leading down.

The Ghostly Kiss

Ethan stepped slowly into the house. The chilled air made goosebumps form up and down his arm. The frigid air in the house, unusual for July, only made him smile. He knew he was here again. When Ethan bought this house he never expected the added benefit of finding his one true love.

Ethan spent almost all his time at home now. He barely hung out with his friends. Ethan’s family barely spoke to him anyway, but now he stopped trying to reconnect with them. Jake was all he needed. He promised Ethan that after tonight they could be together forever. Ethan walked upstairs to his bedroom. After changing out of his work clothes and into something nicer, he went back downstairs and waited for him to appear.

Jake appeared in front of Ethan who stood to greet him. “Jake, my dear, I’ve looked forward to tonight for a long time now. I’m so happy you finally agreed. Take me, my love. Take me. I belong to you and you to me. Let’s join together forever, my sweet. I love you with all my heart.” Ethan leaned forward as if to kiss him.

Jake leaned into Ethan’s kiss. His ghostly lips lightly touching Ethan’s warm ones. He lifted one translucent hand to Ethan’s face, caressing him. Ethan’s lips and cheek went ice cold. As the ghost continued the kiss, Ethan felt the warmth draining from his entire body and he welcomed it. The feeling of cold was gone. For the first time, Ethan felt Jake’s warm breath on his face. He leaned in and their kiss deepened. Breathless, he pulled back. “This is amazing. I can feel you now, not just the cold. I love you so much, Jacob.”

Jake smiled, and for the first time, he was able to speak to Ethan. “We can be together forever now, Ethan, my love. Let’s go upstairs and celebrate.” He grinned and winked. Ethan took his hand and the two ghosts floated up the stairs. Behind them, the corpse of Ethan Miller lay on the floor of his living room.