Ghost Story

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ghost story

Calamity decides to offer me some company

My car breaks down on the foulest of nights

No reception on my phone

In the middle of nowhere, miles from the nearest town

Rumbles of thunder and sheets of icy rain

High winds screaming like a thousand banshees

My watch tells me that it's just shy of midnight

Wasting no time, I put on my coat

Cursing and griping I climb out of the car

An unforgiving rain-driven chill attacks me

Stinging my face

Where do I go from here?

Left?

Right?

The lonely country road offers scant aid

As it snakes through dense woodland

I choose right

And possibly a change of fortune

The darkness is quite something

No lights to guide me

No moon in the sky

I'm feeling rather apprehensive

The country looks so different at night

It stimulates the mind

Not in a good way

Childhood fears are rekindled

Am I being watched?

Are there things in the wood?

My pace quickens

Maybe I should head back to the car

And see out the night 

But I'm the determined type

I won't allow childish frights to control me

There must be a house somewhere

With a phone in hand

I turn a blind corner; walk a good way

When I espy a narrow path running through the woods

A small wooden sign swaying in the wind

I can barely make out what it says

But a spike of forked lightning illuminates the sky

Chestnut Cottage

Worries wash off me like melting snow

I hope the owners accept my sincerest apologies

For calling at such an ungodly hour

A few notes from my wallet should help soften the blow

I tramp down the path, footing unsure

Stumbling with every step

This bloody darkness!

The cottage must be nearby

A cosy abode to unshackle the cold

The chance of a nice cup of tea

A roaring coal fire

I'm thinking too much

The use of a phone will suffice

My foot catches on a rogue root

I topple to the ground

Profanity poisons the air

I rise, brush myself down

My anger is soon diffused

For a small clearing is just ahead

The outline of a cottage

At last, my luck has changed!

I see no windows throwing out light

Alas, I must rouse the owners from slumber

But needs must

I reach the front door and give it a firm knock

A few seconds pass without reply

I repeat the process

Again no response

This vile weather has now become a storm

I am drenched and cold

Frustration flashes before me

And a hint of anger

I knock for a third time

The door opens an inch or so

A subtle creak

No face appears

'Hello?' I say

Silence

I push the door slightly

And peer inside

Cobwebs brush against my face

Lightning briefly reveals the interior

The cottage is empty

Under a blanket of cobwebs and dust

I step into the living room

Sparsely furnished

Strange that an empty house should be furnished at all

I see a small coffee table

On it, there is a candle lantern and a box of matches

I waste no time and soon there is light

Flickering shadows dance across the walls

I notice a fireplace, logs and paper in place

Moments later, I have a roaring fire

I warm my hands against the delicious heat

A minute or two later, I raise the glowing lantern

And take in my surroundings

Clearly, the house has lain dormant for some time

The wallpaper reminds me of my childhood

Ugly yellow with faded blue flowers

And a sofa from an era long gone

A matching chair beside the fireside

There is a picture on the wall

A framed black and white photograph

A smiling family of four

Man, woman, two charming little girls

Standing outside this very cottage

Their garments depict the 60s

They look so content

I wonder what happened to them

I exit the living room and walk down the hallway

A narrow staircase leads up to darkness

Raising the lantern, I emit a shudder

It looks so creepy up there

I decide to forego the upper floor

I enter the kitchen

Pots and pans hang from the wall

An old stove

A refrigerator

A wooden kitchen table with four wooden chairs

Again, I think it strange to leave belongings behind

On the opposite wall, I see an old rotary telephone

Straight from my childhood

As though I've travelled back in time

On the table, there is a pile of old newspapers

Yellowed and brittle with age

I brush a layer of dust off a chair and sit down

The papers are dated mid-60s

I pick one up and read the main headline

HOUSE OF HORROR

A faded image of Chestnut Cottage

Ashen-faced police officers

Family of four slaughtered as they slept

Four little pictures

A man, a woman, two charming little girls

I press my hand to my mouth

An intake of musty air

The phone rings

I almost die of shock

The shrill ringing echoes through the empty house

The House of Horror

I stand

Tiptoe across the room

And pick up the phone

Piercing screams

Chilling

Thumping sounds

Like a hatchet being used 

Horrific

Then silence ...

I notice something

A frightful sight

The telephone wire is cut

End frayed

Rotten with age

I drop the phone and step back

Legs banging into the table

I look down

I pick up another newspaper

Chestnut Cottage: The most haunted house in Britain

Another newspaper

Chestnut Cottage: The house where evil dwells

The final newspaper

MAN FOUND DEAD IN BRITAIN'S MOST HAUNTED HOUSE

The victim smiles up at me

I'm looking at myself

The newspaper is dated today

A creak from above

Footsteps coming down the stairs

I'm like a frightened rabbit staring at car headlights

Too petrified to move

Not that it matters

Because a tall figure is blocking the hallway

And he is holding a very large hatchet

 

 

 

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