Writing Prompt #3
There’s a ghost in your home, but they aren’t just any random ghost. You knew them when they were alive.
It had been a long Friday and all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch and watch Netflix.
Stepping out of my car I twisted my head left and then right as I felt a crick in my neck developing from all the turning it had done that day.
Constant questions. Constant complaints. Coming from every direction.
“Anna, did you call the caterer for the Goldberg’s?”
“Did you confirm the Whites seating arrangement, Anna?”
Anna! Anna! Anna!
I might actually change my name and then tell nobody my new one.
Cora is hands down the best wedding planner on the west coast but some days I think her business would crumble without me there.
Such is the life of an assistant.
Arriving at my front door with my hands full I realized I was missing something.
My keys. I just had them.
I shifted and heard a jingle before metal hit the ground.
Bending down to get them I heard movement coming from the other side of the door.
Slowly I rose up and placed my key in the door lock before turning the knob.
Trying my best to open it without making any noise but failing miserably due to having the world’s creakiest door, I peered around the edge to get a peek inside.
Don’t even know why I’d be hiding, not like that’s ever worked.
I stepped in and got a better look around.
Everything was in its proper place. Nothing out of sorts.
Maybe I’m just being paranoid.
Expecting the worse.
Father Masters did say there might be some residual…energy.
Letting out a loud sigh I turned and closed the door behind me.
I walked into the kitchen and flipped the light switch before placing my bags down.
Wine. Wine would be perfect after a day like this.
Turning towards the refrigerator I jumped.
The fridge door was swung wide open in front of me.
No way that was like that a moment ago.
I would have seen the light or something. Don’t panic. Residual energy.
Not going to let this get in my head.
Reaching in I quickly grabbed the wine bottle before shutting the door.
I spun around to find a glass and lo and behold, the cabinet door was already open.
Dammit. I thought, letting out a frustrated sigh.
Doubt was getting to me.
This was a little more than residual energy.
Just as the thought passed I heard a giggle coming from up the stairs.
“So much for Father Masters’ help.” I tried to pretend I was talking to myself but we both knew better.
I grabbed a wineglass and slammed the cabinet door shut hard enough to shake the glass within.
As I poured my glass of wine I heard a shatter coming from upstairs.
A normal person would have jumped. Been scared of the situation.
I was not a normal person. This was not a normal situation.
I downed my wine before pouring another and then turned and walked out of my kitchen right into the living room.
There was no way I was going to let her interfere with my plans for the night.
It was all about me, my wine, and my tv.
I’m not going to humor her.
Handle it as you would a child. Don’t give her attention. Don’t reward bad behavior.
Another shatter rattled through the house and I rolled my eyes.
“Quit being a brat!” I yelled without looking away from the television screen.
She’s probably pissed about the other day. Good. She deserved it.
I stood up from the couch and looked towards the top of the stairs into pitch black darkness. I didn’t see anything but I knew she was there.
“I swear on everything, if I cut my foot tonight I’ll bring Father Masters back and have him cleanse the whole fucking house! Test me!”
I waited for some sort of response.
I rushed upstairs, stomping hard on each one to announce my coming.
I flipped on the hall light before walking to the back guest bedroom.
I turned on the light a looked around.
I sped across the hall to the master room.
Opening the door and flicked the light switch.
There, all over the floor were picture frames and the broken glass that covered them.
As I looked closer, I could see what looked like blood dripping out of the eyes of the people in the photos.
“You are so damn dramatic Jessica.” I said in a normal voice. I knew she’d heard me. No way she’d miss me finding the mess she’d made in my room.
“Dramatic?” I heard her voice come from behind me.
I turned to look at her. Or through her.
My sister stood there as plain as day and yes still slightly translucent with her hands on her hips.
“I’m being dramatic?” She continued with clear annoyance in her voice, “This coming from the woman who tried to have her own sister exorcized!”
“Dead sister.” I corrected nonchalantly.
“Thanks to who?” She snapped back and I rolled my eyes.
“It was a push! A little push! You are always exaggerating!”
“You murdered me!”
“Get over it!” I yelled back.
We both stood there fuming as we shot daggers with our eyes.
Closing my eyes I let out a long breath.
Opening them again I saw her staring at me with her arms crossed over chest.
“How many times do I have to say I’m sorry Jess? It was an accident.”
She cut her eyes at me before replying.
“I’ll accept your apology when you’re over here with me.”
With that, she vanished.
Was that a threat? She wouldn’t.
I cleaned up the broken glass and tossed the broken frames in the trash before heading to my bedroom.
Wasn’t quite willing to give up my plans for the night but I definitely need to wind down from my stand off with Jessica.
I’ll just take a bath, get into some pajamas, and then settle in finally.
I lit a candle and set it on the edge of the tub as the water ran.
Once full I stepped in and lay back against the rim of the bathtub.
Yes, this is what I needed.
The water was helping put my mind at ease and yet I still couldn’t help but think of Jessica. I had no idea how else to fix this.
I admit. Performing an exorcism might have been a bit selfish, but it was for her good too! She needs to move on. To find the light or whatever the hell spirits did once they left their bodies.
Damn, I didn’t realize I’d made the water so warm.
It didn’t feel this warm when I got in.
I shifted as I felt the water heat against my skin.
Am I crazy or is the water actually getting warmer?
Looking closely I saw steam began to rise.
What in the world?
I felt my flesh start to burn as the bathwater began to bubble.
I tried to get out of the water but the heat was debilitating. My body kept shaking and slipping as I tried to climb out.
Finally, I leaned my body against the side of the tub and pushed my feet against the wall sending my body flying over the edge of the tub to collapse on the cold tile floor.
As I lay there convulsing, the heat dissipated and I began to regain control of my body.
I could hear laughing as Jessica appeared sitting on the toilet.
She was practically hysterical, holding her stomach and cackling.
“You bitch!” I screamed, “Were you trying to cook me?”
She paused to smile evilly and then raised her hand as if to cast a spell.
I heard a noise from the kitchen as if a drawer had opened.
Before I could think a fork came flying through the bathroom door and sped past my head and into the wall behind me.
“Guess this means you’re done cookin!”
She laughed again and disappeared.
I closed my eyes as my head lay on the floor, wanting to let out a scream but not wanting to give her the satisfaction.
We cannot keep doing this.
Lifting myself up, I stood slowly to make sure I wouldn’t fall.
I walked into the bedroom and got dressed.
Sensing her close, I wanted to give the impression of the “cold shoulder”, but how much of a cold shoulder can you give a ghost?
I left the bedroom and headed for the stairs but once I got to the top step I paused.
Looking down I could remember it perfectly. Her body at the bottom, twisted and unnatural looking. I hadn’t meant to push her.
Well, I did, but not to kill her.
I wasn’t thinking about her being at the top of the stairs, just to get her out of my way.
We’d been arguing about some boy. Or maybe it was the car. Whose turn it was to borrow it from Dad?
It didn’t matter. It had been a stupid argument and it resulted in me pushing my sister down a flight of stairs.
I stood there a moment longer looking before Jessica’s voice whispered in my ear.
“Don’t worry little sister. I wouldn’t be so unoriginal as to push you. I can come up with a good murder all on my own.”
So, she did mean to kill me.
Strangely enough, I wasn’t scared. I just thought maybe this crap would finally be over. I could put money down that no one had ever witnessed a sibling rivalry of such epic proportions and frankly, I was over it.
“Whatever Jessica,” I said, “Do whatever you want.”
I made my way down the stairs and sat on the couch.
My wine was sitting on the table where I’d left it so I grabbed it and sat back with the remote.
I scrolled through the menu options, not totally unaware that various noises were coming from different places in the house.
Sounds like she was putting some effort into this.
Part of me was flattered that anyone would put such thought and time into killing me.
I picked a show and zoned out, not really listening to the sounds in the house or from the tv anymore.
I wasn’t sure how much time had gone by but I knew I had fallen asleep.
Batting my eyes a bit, I tried to refocus my vision.
I paused to listen.
Probably got bored.
I leaned forward to stand and felt a light scratch against my forehead.
What in the-
I looked up in the dark room and couldn’t make out what was dangling in front of me.
What is that, rope?
Before I could reach out the scratchy material slipped over my head and settled around my neck.
I tried to reach to slip it off but it was too late!
The rope tightened, lifting me off the floor!
I couldn’t breathe as I felt my legs kick, looking for something solid to stand on and finding nothing.
The more I struggled the tighter the rope squeezed my neck until finally, I could feel my body began to slip away.
My vision became hazy but I’m sure I could make out the blurry figure of my sister standing there.
Watching me die.
Kind of like I did.
Then everything went dark.
But only for a moment.
I felt my eyes open again and I could see Jessica much more clearly this time.
“What did you do?!”
She smiled as she moved her eyes from me to somewhere over my head.
Raising my head, I looked up to see what she was looking at.
My cold motionless body hung above me. My lifeless eyes were open as they peered down towards me, looking at nothing.
I looked back at Jessica.
She just smiled like she did when we were little and she’d won an argument.
I walked over and stood by her as we both took in the grisly scene.
“It’s the weekend,” she said, “it’ll be a few days before anyone finds you.”
“Wonderful.” I responded sarcastically.
“Wanna read your suicide note?”
“Grow up.” Was all I said before walking off.
I heard the front door open and I pretty much knew who it was.
My phone had been ringing all day but I wasn’t really physically able to answer it.
Cora’s voice was busy talking as the creaky door swung open.
“Officer, she’s never been late to work and she always has her phone on her, I can’t imag-.“
A shrill scream pierced the air as I watched the morbid scene unfold.
After that, it was a hustle and bustle of people coming in and out of my home.
Police officers, medics, coworkers, friends.
Everyone came to pay respects and see the room where Cora found me.
The day of my wake I actually enjoyed walking around to see who had shown up.
I saw my neighbor, the nosy Ms. Harper chatting with a group of people. She was always willing to spread gossip to whoever had an ear for it. I got closer to listen in.
“So sad, but I have to say I’m not surprised. Everyone always thought she’d carried the guilt from her sister’s death. The note only confirmed it. I just had no idea the incident was so…intentional.”
I rolled my eyes.
Guess I better read it.
I walked over to where they’d displayed the note for people to read.
Personally, I thought it was rude as hell but I had to remind myself I did have a lot of nosy people in my life so it made total sense that they would have it out for the world to read.
I leaned over to read what my lovely sister had written in what I must say was a spot on mimicry of my handwriting.
I’m sorry. The guilt is simply too much for me to bear. Most of you know that my sister died in what was said to be a terrible accident, but in truth I was jealous. Jealous of her beauty, her popularity, her wonderful life. I murdered her in cold blood. I simply cannot go on knowing what these hands have done.
Seriously Jessica?! Who actually thought I would write this melodramatic crap! It WAS an accident!
I turned around to find Jessica falling over herself laughing.
“Come on, I couldn’t resist!”
“I hate you.”
“If it makes you feel any better, I’ve accepted your apology.”
With that, she vanished and left me alone at my own funeral.