Do I love a good ghost story? The walls around me feel oppressive. The old house sits quiet. The sky outside is black and it glows grey when the white cracks of lightening break through it. Today for the first time I feel as if I should have listened because the house truly feels as if ghosts could walk its halls. Bodies were prepared in the basement. Multiple voices are whispering in my head about what happens in old house that use to be used as a family funeral business: frequented by ghosts and a life of mental anguish. Sanitary, cosmetic, and preservative process.
Are there noises from the basement today or is that my overactive imagination is creating bangs, clangs, moans and groans? Are there footsteps on the stairs? Is that the door creaking open very slowly? Something smells of decomposition.
I turn from the window. The storm has occupied enough my time for now and I need to return to my work. As I slide into the chair behind my desk feeling like I should be writing a horror story and not a romantic comedy I notice that my notebook of notes is not where I left it. I scan the desk and shift a few things but it just isn’t there. Irritated I scan the room and don’t see its bright pink cover anywhere. Strange!
I live alone and I know it was here beside my laptop before I went to the window and before the sound of footsteps and strange noises distracted me. Haunted house. I retrace my steps from the time I left the window: hallway to check to the basement door, bathroom for bladder relief, kitchen for coffee, the desk in the study. I do not find it anywhere along the way. The light is dim but that pink glows. Did someone take it?
A crack of lightening followed by a bang of thunder causes me to jump. The lightening illuminates the room and strange shadows leap out at me. Who is there? A spike of panic rips through me and I scoop my laptop and head out the front door questioning why that crack and bang was any more scary then the first that lead me from my desk to the window originally. The fact is that right now it doesn’t matter. I am going to write at the corner coffee shop until the storm settles. The ghosts can roam the house alone.
Hours later the storm has shifted to only a light cold rain.
I return to my house. It no longer feels oppressive. My imagination is exhausted from hours of writing and my house just feels quiet and lonely now. I walked mechanically toward my desk to return my lap top to it. My toes bump something. I look down and there on the floor is my missing pink note book.
By Shari Marshall – 2019