Friday Five: February 19th

This week I continued last week’s story which was here.

impound partner lip knowledge full

“What do you mean there is someone in my house?”Principal Wright asked in the same tone of voice he used when he was still a principal and Anthony was in the office for the second time in a week. His little grandson was pulling away from him, trying to get down, but he had him a firm grip. 

“When I came to the door, I was met by a woman in a yellow dress,” Anthony replied, he bit his lower lip, a bad habit, thinking things through. His knowledge of ghosts and specters was largely self-taught. He’d seen ghosts most of his life, which his aunt had called the touch. She was the only one who’d believed him, and gave him a few tips about warding off ghosts. Fighting them, however, was another level. He didn’t have any mentors in the ghost fighting world or a partner in his paranormal investigations. All he had were web searches and, apparently, a disregard for self-preservation. 

“From what I saw of her, I think she’s a powerful specter. She was able to speak. And open the door.” Though that could have been the effects of the wind. 

“You think my house is haunted?” The man said.

“I don’t know if it’s the house or you,” Anthony said.

Principal Wright finally set the boy on the ground and grabbed his hand. The kid mumbled some words that Anthony couldn’t make out. He wasn’t good with small children. He knew that. But now he had to guard them both. Anthony, you have your hands full. 

“Maybe you and your grandson could go out for the day?”

The little boy grabbed his grandpa’s leg and clung to it.  “With eyes these bad I don’t drive anymore.”The other man shrugged and coughed. He looked up at Anthony.

“Now listen son. I understand you think helping. And I know this town has a reputation, but I can assure you my house is fine. Why don’t you come on in with me and we’ll prove it?” 

“I know what I saw.” Anthony insisted. Did he? There were times when he doubted himself. Once you saw a real ghosts you began to see ghosts everywhere. Most were just wispy images that clung too long to the real world. Others were more defined. And a few, like this one, spoke and moved and those he was certain  about.

The old man and the boy had already begun to walk back towards the house. If he tried to force them to stay outside, he’d scare the crap out of them again. Ghosts got stronger when they smelled fear; the irony of fighting them. He saw no choice but to follow them inside. They went around to other side to the car port. The car itself was large, and old, with rust on the rims and looked like it hadn’t been driven in years. It looked like it hadn’t been washed either. Anthony’d seen better vehicles in impound. No wonder the old man didn’t drive much anymore. 

He stepped inside right behind them.

“It’s cold in here,” the man said, “this place never warms up. That’s why we go out in the backyard.”

It was cold in the house. Colder than it should be. Ghost haunted cold. He pulled the root bag out and kept it in his hands. Anthony walked through the house with slow careful steps, looking down the hallway. Nothing. But she was here. He knew she was here. 

“Popsicle,” the boy finally spoke a recognizable word. His little legs ran towards the freezer. He pulled out a red one. Anthony remember those. He used to have them when he was a kid. 

He was surprised a kid wanted a popsicle in a place this cold. He shivered. He was wearing a jacket. The old man and the boy wore nothing but short sleeves. How did they stand it? 

The grandfather patted the boy on the back, ushering him out of the room. 

“The only time he goes is with that popsicle,” the older man said.

“I used to love them too when I was a kid.” 

“It’s the cold. Keeps him occupied.” Principal Wright stepped closer to Anthony. Something about him seemed quiet, timid, afraid.

“The woman in the yellow dress. She’s here everyday,” he spoke in a whisper.

“What?” Anthony replied with shock. Too loud, but the boy wasn’t paying them any attention. They heard the pleased giggle and the little slurp and suck sound of the kid downing the popsicle.

Principal Wright shushed Anthony to keep his voice down. 

“She drops off the boy each morning. No matter what I do. I tried going to a hotel, but there they were. Every morning. Got to watch. If I don’t…,” he rolled up his sleeve, showing scars up and down his arm. The were deep and ugly, in a pattern of hexagrams.

“She gets in a fury if I don’t watch the boy.”

Anthony heart sank to the bottom of his stomach. His legs felt like lead. So he wasn’t afraid for the boy, he’d been afraid of the boy. 

Copyright 2021 Echo Ishii

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