The Ghost of You

Hey, look at that. I am feeling creative today, so that means another WriteWorld post!

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“Oh, come on. You know that legend is only to scare kids from coming here, right?” I say. “We are going to be fine.”

“Well, it did a really good job of scaring all the teenagers, too,” Dan replies.

I stop before opening the gate to the supposedly haunted house. It once belonged to our town’s founding family, but their bloodline ended decades ago. “Dan, you went skydiving last week, and bungee jumping the week before. Why has this house always scared you?”

He looks at me like I am an idiot. “Parachutes and bungee cords are safe. This old mansion that I know is not up to code is not safe.”

“Then don’t come. I will be back soon.”

I start walking up the stone path that is overgrown with grass and weeds. I shine my flashlight on the Wittenberg Manor. I have always thought about the moment I would go into this house for the first time, but standing here is a reality check.

The legend goes like this: seventy years ago, the funeral of Alice Wittenberg took place on this very estate. She was buried a quarter mile behind the house, in a small cemetery for the family. The official coroner’s report stated that Ms. Wittenberg died from a heart attack in her sleep, but not everyone believed that because she was the epitome of health and only thirty-two. Rumor has it that William Wittenberg, Alice’s father, had a child out of wedlock not long after Alice was born. Allegedly, this child returned to Willow Creek to murder Alice and steal the Wittenberg fortune. Her ghost haunts the property, waiting for her murderer’s return.

There is no proof that any illegitimate child ever existed–I have done intense research because I am fascinated by the story. Believe me, if there was any truth to the legend, I would know.

“Ash, wait! I can’t let you go in there alone,” Dan says, stumbling after me.

“I knew you would come around. Let’s go!”

We get to the porch, and I admit he is right. These floorboards can barely hold our weight. All we need is something from Alice’s old room to prove we went inside. In and out, just like that.

“Ash, I know I said I was okay with this, but I am freaking out.”

We are in the foyer, looking at a sweeping double staircase, and I feel unsure, too. It is a chilly night, but inside the house, it is freezing. I cannot chicken out now, though; my fearless girl reputation is riding on this.

“Dan, stay down here. I am going upstairs.”

He grabs my wrist. “You are not doing this by yourself. Your mother would kill me slowly if she found out you died in here.”

I scoff. “I am not going to die in here! But if you insist, then come on.”

He follows me up the stairs, where there are more rooms in sight than I can count. Dan asks, “Which one is her bedroom?”

“You go right, I go left?” I suggest.

He is hesitant but agrees. We begin our search for some sort of trinket to show off to our friends. I walk into a library filled with more books than I could dream of, three guest rooms, and two bathrooms. I open the last door very carefully. A black cat jumps out at me, causing me to scream.

“Ash!” Dan yells from across the house.

The cat scurries away and disappears. “I’m fine! Keep looking.”

“I don’t think I have to anymore.”

I follow the sound of his voice and meet him in the most elegant and ornate master bedroom I have ever seen. Even after seven decades of abandonment, it still looks beautiful.

“Wow,” I say.

“I know. Now, let’s quickly get something so we can get out of here.” Dan starts looking around the room for a small, yet unique, item.

I go straight for the dresser, with a jewelry box in sight. a priceless Wittenberg heirloom will not be missed. I am not a thief, of course. I am simply borrowing and returning. I pick up a locket and open it. There is a picture of Alice in one side and William in the other. This is perfect proof.

“I got it,” I tell Dan.

He is looking at the vanity, rather than at me. “Ash…”

I turn to see what he is seeing. Staring back at me in the mirror is not my reflection. It is Alice’s. My eyes widen. I whisper, “She is real.”

Dan runs out of the room. Alice’s ghost comes out of the mirror and walks towards me. I back up until I run into the bed post.

“Put it back,” she says, her voice quiet and hoarse.

What. The. Heck.

Louder and angrier, she repeats the command. “Put it back!” Then her ghost pushes through my and disappears. I drop the necklace where I stand.

I gasp and run as fast as I can out of the mansion. I leap off the porch and through the weeds. The cobwebs on the rickety gate do not bother me. I do not stop until I am out on the street, next to Dan.

“She spoke to me.”

Dan looks at me. “Oh, my God.”

We stare at the estate, and it looks creepy as ever. The ghost exists, I think to myself. I wonder if the whole legend is true, if she was murdered. “I have to know.”

“Ash, are you crazy? We are never going back in there!” He drags me down the street to his car. Even as he drives away, I am looking back at Wittenberg Manor.

This is not over, I promise.

I am still trying to write good scary stories. One of these days I will get it. I am also practicing writing in the present tense. These short little posts are good practice for different types of writing. I am working on it!

I have an outline for a supernatural story that I have been thinking about for quite a while, but I am not sure it is ready for a first draft. Lots of big things are happening writing-wise, and I cannot wait to share them with you all!

Have a beautiful day! 🙂

-A

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