I came across two separate prompts for short stories I intended to write and thought it would be fun to combine them. This was the result. 😀
‘This house is freezing.’
‘It’s not really that bad Jack; it’s just been empty a long while. Now we’re here lets at least look round. Will you please stop playing with your phone and show a bit of interest. Emma, what do you think?’
‘It’s alright I guess. At least it’s big enough to have my friends stay over. You’ll have to pick them all up though; it’s miles from anywhere. Unless I had a car, of course.’
Teenagers! They would be the death of me. Since Colin left to go off with his flighty-piece I’d had enough to put up with, fighting his solicitors to get enough to buy a home for the three of us, juggling work, finances, house-hunting and finding an area where we could afford to live.
Even before that I had the stress of trying to keep the peace while the kids took their exams. Things hadn’t been going well for quite a while, and I didn’t want the atmosphere between Colin and me to affect their future. He had promised the twins a car each if they did well, but now it was down to me to fulfil his promise. It wasn’t as if he couldn’t afford it, but that young, skinny bitch was out for all she could get and was determined to make him forget all his responsibilities to his family.
This house had looked good from the estate agents description, five bedrooms, two en-suites plus a separate family bathroom, a three car garage and even a swimming pool. Most importantly it was within my budget and as I walked round I could see why. The pool was a slimy green insects’ delight, half filled with rubble. The property looked as if it hadn’t been lived in for years and every room would need major updating before I even thought of decorating.
I guessed it would need total rewiring and I’d have to install Wi-Fi if I wanted any peace at all. Somehow I would have to persuade Colin to cough up some more maintenance to cover the costs or we would end up on the streets.
‘Mum, what are all these people doing in our house? Can I bother them?’
‘No, Amelia. I’ve told you before. We don’t mix with their sort.’
‘But they’ve thrown away all my things, and they’re even clearing out where I drowned. There’s no peace any more. Everywhere I go there’s something in the way.’
‘I know darling. I’m finding all these waves a nuisance too. I’ll have a word with great Grandpa and see what he suggests.’
Everyone gathered for the family conference, five generations and enough for a witches’ coven with all of us together. We agreed the taking over of our space had to stop but there was a dispute about how it should be achieved. The older ones favoured the traditional moving of objects, noises in the night and opening doors and cupboards. The younger ones wanted to try more modern methods involving ectoplasm and actual physical contact.
Naturally great Grandfather had the final say and we were all given our haunting duties for a month to see if we could drive them away. Meanwhile we covered our ears from the constant barrage of sound waves emanating from all their gadgets and tried to avoid tripping over the beams.
‘Mum, tell her. She’s moved my phone again.’
‘I haven’t touched your rotten phone. And don’t go in my room messing up all my stuff or you’ll be sorry.’
‘I haven’t been in your room, and I wouldn’t touch your smelly stuff with a bargepole. It’s you who’s been rummaging through my wardrobe and leaving the door open. I’m going to put a lock on it in future.’
‘For goodness sake. Haven’t I got enough on my plate without you two constantly bickering. It might help if you cleared up a bit after yourselves instead of leaving everything to me. I’ve got enough on my plate without forever putting the open packets back in the larder when you’ve finished with them. It’s not a lot to ask.’
It was all getting too much. I had to leave the room before I burst into tears or stared screaming. Actually I was a bit bemused myself. They were good kids really, and although they were typical untidy teenagers their phones and iPads were not usually more than an inch away from their ears.
There was also the mystery of the dried fruit packets being split open and left strewn around the kitchen. Neither of them liked it and I had forgotten it was there, left over from Christmas. Maybe there were rats or something; another thing to add to my never ending list of things to sort out.
I know there are noises in any old house and creaking floorboards are just the warped wood settling down, but since the renovations were completed they seem to have got worse, not better. Perhaps it was time to just cut my losses and find a small flat somewhere closer to town. It would be cramped but the kids would be moving on in a few years and this house was too big to wander around in on my own. It was too remote for my original idea of running a small guest house even if it was quite a lovely home now it had been updated, and I would miss my early morning swim.
‘Colly-poos. There is no way I’m staying in this God-forsaken place. It gives me the creeps. There must be a decent 5-star hotel even out here.’
‘It’s only for one night sweetie. As the next of kin I need to be here to sort out my wife’s estate.’
‘How odd that all three of them drowned. I often thought she was a bit unhinged and living out here must have been the final straw.’
‘Cornelia, that’s a terrible thing to say. You know the coroner ruled it was death by misadventure. Actually this is quite a beautiful place. I could easily turn it into the computer hub for all my businesses. I wonder how strong the signals are out here.’
Listening to the conversation all sixteen of us decided we needed to take action tonight. I had a feeling the Mum of the newcomers would take great delight in scaring the designer panties off Cornelia. Revenge is sweet, especially when you’re a ghost.
© Voinks January 2017