Death Comes to Call is my venture into the world of ghostly paranormal. I’ve avoided ghost stories and horror, because I tend to scare myself, but I felt the lure and finally heeded the beckoning call of the antebellum mansion, Belle Chase, in the heart of Miracle, Mississippi – where strange things happen, and ghosts have been known to walk the night.
Lyle is the son of Cymbeline Davis-Hargrove. His mother is decidedly a lady of the Old South. He and his siblings, and their children, have returned to Belle Chase for the yearly pilgrimage, when strange things start to happen.
Lyle’s dreams were chaotic, full of explosions, guns firing, and death. He felt as if he were running around in a first person shooter game, but nothing touched him. Though he heard the noises of a battlefield, it was an illusion. Real or not, it was highly disturbing. He woke with a start, clutching at his arm. It felt as if someone had touched him and he could have sworn someone called his name.
Sitting up, he put his hand on his shoulder, where the sensation of touch lingered. The room was cold once more and he fancied he could see his breath. Annabelle slept soundly, curled on her side. Unable to still his pounding heart, Lyle got up and went to the bathroom. On his way back to bed, he happened to glance out the window. This room wasn’t quite as close to the fenced in area of the dig, but he still had an unimpeded view of the back yard. He fancied he could see a figure moving around down there. It strolled slowly from one end of the enclosure to the other, pacing as if looking for a way out. Ponderous, slow, it turned and walked along the fence. It was then that Lyle sensed it wasn’t that it was looking for a way out, this moved like a soldier on patrol.
Shuddering with a sudden chill, he backed away from the window, only to encounter an unexplained cold spot. The temperature difference was uncanny and unmistakable. Fingers of fear crept up his spine and he couldn’t move or even call out to his sleeping wife. He felt as if something clutched his throat, tightening slowly. Heart pounding, he could feel the veins in his face swell as if he were being strangled.
“Stop!” he whispered huskily. “Whatever—whoever you are. Stop! We can help you rest!”
The tension grew tighter. With a final gasp, he pushed himself forward, out of the cold spot and started babbling the St. Michael’s prayer. He’d read somewhere that when having a conflict with an evil spirit, this was a person’s first defense. “St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle….” The cold gradually eased, but didn’t go away.
Rushing to the bed, he crawled in with his wife, putting his back to hears. He could feel her comforting warmth in the bed, though he still shivered with the unexplained cold. The room gradually warmed, but now he heard noises—like ghostly whispers.
“Don’t be stupid,” he muttered. “No such thing….” But he knew he didn’t believe what he’d almost said. He knew there were ghosts, having seen them before. He knew the property was said to be haunted, and he’d believed it his entire life. Though he didn’t talk about it, not since he’d mentioned it as a child, and gotten a tail warming from his grandfather that he wouldn’t ever forget.
“We don’t speak of ghosts here at Belle Chase,” his grandfather scolded. “There’s no such thing.”
“But you lied, you sorry bastard,” he said softly. “There are ghosts and something has them stirred up.”
His bedroom door burst open, waking Annabelle and startling Lyle. Chad stood there, eyes wide, sobbing.
“Daddy, come quick! Something’s wrong with Polly! Hurry!”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes