Ghost in the Darkness

“A word of advice, keep the light on in the attic,”

The old woman said. She paused on her way out the door to give the reminder. “The house is haunted, but the light helps…”

“We will,” Henry interrupted with a polite nod at the host while he tried to usher her out the door. “Thanks again Mrs. Garza. We’ll call you if there’s any issues.” Mrs. Garza smiled and walked out of the house. Henry closed the door, locked all the locks, then he rushed to the kitchen. His new wife, Samantha, stood at the stove working on dinner. He walked up behind her and moved her blonde hair aside to kiss her neck. He dropped his hands to her hips to feel her squirming.

“She said…,” he paused to kiss her neck. “…to keep the attic light on…,” another kiss. “…because the house is haunted.”

“No problem,” Samantha said. She turned, kissed Henry on the lips, then shooed him away. “Go unpack something, let me finish cooking.”

“Fine,” Henry grumbled with a smile and wandered to the bedroom. He unpacked his own suitcase easy enough, he emptied it into a drawer. He glanced at Samantha’s suitcase, but shook his head. The last time he tried to be thoughtful and unpack for her taught him that he shouldn’t do that. He glanced at his watch and realized he only killed about five minutes. He let himself fall to the bed and relax. The 12 hour drive left him more tired than he thought. He heard a faint creaking noise come from the attic as he drifted off to sleep.

“Dinner,” he heard Samantha’s voice pull him out of his dreamfog and he felt his body shaking. Henry opened his eyes to find his wife smiling down at him. “Food’s ready,” she leaned forward and kissed his forehead. He nodded and pulled himself up to a sitting position. He glanced upward.

“You know, I might’ve been dreaming,” he said. “But I think I heard creaking in the attic earlier.” Samantha stuck her tongue out at him.

“Now you’re just being mean,” she turned to leave the room.

“Sorry,” he called behind her. “I’m sure it was just a dream.” Henry realized the room was much darker than it was when he fell asleep. He glanced out the window and realized night had fallen. He checked the time on his phone. 8:40p.m. Henry moved to stand from the bed, but a glimmer caught his eye. He stopped moving and looked around. A thin beam of light reflected off the mirror and onto the pillows on his side of the bed. He looked around the room and found the source of the light, the outline of the attic door. “I’m not going to be able to sleep like that,” he decided.

“Are you coming?” Samantha yelled from the kitchen.

“One sec!” Henry called back. He took a minute to find the light switch for the attic and switch it off. Then he joined Samantha in the kitchen. She sat at the small, round dinner table loaded with meatloaf and plenty of sides. Henry’s stomach growled, he did not realize how hungry he was. He kissed his wife on the top of her head and sat down.

“Thanks, babe. This looks amazing!” he served himself large portions of everything. He was about to bite into his first fork full when a loud banging noise clamored from the attic, followed by a wailing moan. Samantha dropped everything and looked up at the ceiling.

“It IS haunted!” she smiled. “Best honeymoon ever!” She stood from her seat and hopped in Henry’s lap to attack his face with kisses. The voice from the attic continued to groan.

“Told you it was,” Henry replied. He tried to play it cool but the truth was he did not know for sure until that moment. The listing advertised as “haunted” but haunting scams were frequent. “Let’s eat, then we can try to talk to the ghost later,” Henry offered. Samantha nodded and slipped off his lap. Halfway into their meal the ghost’s noises showed no sign of quieting down. It had grown louder and more insistent.

“We should call Mrs. Garza,” Henry said. Samantha agreed. Five minutes later Henry opened the door to let Mrs. Garza in. She heard the horrible sound coming from the attic and punched Henry in the shoulder as hard as her aging body could manage.

“You turned off the light!” she said. “Go turn it on, he’s scared of the dark!”

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