It’s that time of year when ghosts walk, ghouls wander the earth and laundry fairies get up to mischief. Wait, that doesn’t sound quite right. All will be revealed, but first a very short story.
Even though I hadn’t visited the house for over fifty years, I found my way easily along the pitch-black path to the huge oak front door. Apart from the layers of grime and cobwebs, everything looked exactly as I remembered. It never occurred to me how I was able to see clearly, when not a single shaft of light penetrated the gloomy interior.
This had been my bedroom, and that my elder brother’s, now long departed. The large wooden table in the centre of the kitchen reminded me of joyful times, when the family had gathered around to eat and talk about their day. Smiling at my nostalgic thoughts I sat down in my old chair, remembering the excitement of waiting for the Christmas turkey to appear, and the noise and laughter as we opened our presents.
At the head of the table the darkness solidified. It was too dense to be a ghost, which would be floating around in a white robe. As I tried to comprehend what my eyes were showing me more shapes appeared, until the table was filled with all my relatives. Perhaps this visit to my old childhood home was a mistake, but after receiving the test results I’d determined to pay one last visit to where I had been happiest.
‘Good to see you, John.’
‘We’ve been waiting for you.’
The cacophony of voices urged me forward, but the glaring light made it difficult to see. Should I join them now, or resume my life of suffering and pain?
Beeep. The hospital monitor screeched as the waves flat-lined.
‘He’s gone. Death certified at 3.25 p.m.’
‘Shame, but the old boy was smiling when he breathed his last. I wonder what he was thinking?’
© Val Portelli/Voinks October 2018
I recently collaborated with a fellow author to publish a collection of fantasy short stories.
‘Weird and Peculiar Tales’ is a mixture of humour, horror and everything between.
If you want to find out how the housework fairies fit in, this will give you a clue. Check it out, by clicking on the link below. It’s great fun. 😀
See you next week.