Thursday, July 12, 2012

Specter House

Specter House
Phillip B. Gamma

“There it is again!” Elaine jumped up off the couch and frantically looked around the living room. Brad, who had been dozing next to her, groaned and put his hand over his face.
“It's your imagination,” he said. “Now sit back down. You make a nice pillow.”
“There is something weird going on here, Bradley. I can feel it. My grandmother claimed to be a psychic and I think I might have inherited some...sensitivity.”
Brad, sighing and sitting up, gave her a look as if he were talking to a child. “There is nothing 'weird' going on. And you are not psychic. And neither was your grandmother. Because psychics aren't real. Now, do you want a beer?”
Brad got up and eased into his slippers. He made his way around some of the unpacked boxes that were still cluttering up most of the house. Between the living room and the kitchen, he flicked on the front porch light. Psychics may not exist, but drunk college students with a bladder full of Red Bull and Vodka sure were. Best not to give them too many shadowy places to urinate in.
“What about what I saw last night?”
The kitchen lights came on just as he crossed the threshold, the motion sensors making him feel like he lived in the future. Now if only he had a jet-pack.
“You didn't see anything last night,” he shouted. “You had a dream.”
“I wasn't dreaming,” he heard her yell back. “I saw a figure in a white gown walk by our bedroom door. I know it. I was awake and reading. I was not asleep.”
“No self-respecting ghost is going to walk around in a white robe. That's like...racism for ghosts.”
Elaine froze. She wasn't asleep now, was she? And she heard it. She knew she heard it. Circling slowly, she gazed into each shadowy corner of her new living room.
“Hello?” she whispered into the room. “Can you hear me? Should I buy one of those Ouija board things?”
“Are you seriously trying to talk to spirits?” came Brad's voice, now just behind her and loud enough to make her jump. “More importantly, did you drink all the beer and put the empties back in the fridge?”
“What? No. Why would I put them back in the fridge?”
“I knew it!” Brad exclaimed. “It was those damn movers. First they break all my Depeche Mode CDs and then they drink all my beer. They even put the caps back on. Assholes.”
“I don't think it was the movers, Brad,” Elaine said. She knew that if she said the next part, that if she just said the word and got it out in the open, she would feel better. Silly, but better. “I think the house is....haunted.”
“That's ridiculous,” Brad said immediately. He reached over and placed a hand on each of her shoulders.“Baby, this is a pre-fab house. We picked out the floor plan online, a bunch of warehouse workers took pre-fabricated pieces, shipped them here, then a bunch of people looked at some directions and built it. Saying it's haunted is like saying our Ikea touch lamp over there has a Quaker genie trapped in it.”
“There's no such thing as Quaker genies,” Elaine stated with a pout, crossing her arms.
“Oh, I'm sorry. Did I say something in this conversation that didn't make sense?”
Elaine saw Brad's face change. She knew he heard it that time.
“You heard it too!”
“It was the wind. Or some of those college kids fucking around. I'll check the backyard.”
“I'm looking our address up online. If it isn't the house it's the land the house was built on. I saw Poltergeist.”
Elaine unfolded her laptop and began to enter her address in the search box. The good thing about living in a college town was having a quick supply of Wi-Fi connections to choose from. While looking, she could hear Brad rummaging about in the backyard.
Five minutes late he came back in to find her sitting, pale faced and close to hyperventilating, in front of the computer.
“Did you find something?” he asked as he moved closer to the couch.
“It happened in 1985,” she stated as if hypnotized. “There was a frat house here. A bunch of them threw a kegger one night. Someone tried to rig up some kind of gas-powered beer bong. There was an explosion. Fifteen frat boys lost their lives that night.”
Elaine and Brad locked eyes, both looking frightened as they heard that long, mournful whisper-wail.

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