The walls shook as Lisa opened the entrance of her apartment! After she slammed the door shut, she took off her pants and shirt in order to avoid getting red liquid all over the floor. She picked up the drenched garments and bitterly declared, “They’re ruined!” She hurled them into the garbage can by the kitchen, and she noted that under normal circumstances, she wouldn’t have sweated about a bit of clothes that became unusable, but since she was broke now, she needed the few possessions she owned to function! She stomped over to her dresser and put on her pajamas; she definitely needed to shower, but she never wanted to go through an experience like what occurred this evening again, so she didn’t want to do anything else but solve this mystery!
She sat on her bed and opened up a book on the paranormal. After a minute or two, she recognized that she was reading stories about encounters, and she didn’t need anymore reminders of what it felt like to be in the vicinity of a ghost! She skipped ahead to the next section of the publication, but it was more of the same! She kept scanning the pages to search for keywords that would reference the information she needed, but it became apparent that this tome had wasted her time! She threw it across the room and rubbed her temples in frustration.
All of a sudden, the sensation of an animal rubbing against her skin was detected by her legs! No creature was in the room with her, so that only meant one thing… “No! Not again! Not tonight!” Lisa bolted up and commanded, “Show yourself! Quit playing games and do it already!” Lisa braced herself for another violent confrontation with that villainous spirit, and…
A transparent cat manifested itself into the studio! It no longer bore color, but Lisa could tell that it used to be darkly hued. It had a collar with the name Hester imprinted on the tag, and Lisa felt imbecilic for getting so worked up by what was clearly a departed pet! Its sweet face appeared so hurt by the harsh tone she used on it, and a pang of guilt stung her! She hated to afflict an innocent soul like that, so she earnestly apologized to Hester, “I’m so sorry! I didn’t know! I thought you were someone else, and-!”
Hester disappeared, and Lisa howled in tribulation! She couldn’t believe she had chased off the only individual who showed her kindness that eventide! She leaned against the wall to keep from collapsing onto the floor, and as she contemplated all of the various disasters she caused, she felt the surface beneath her get cold! She glimpsed behind her, and she caught sight of the open curtains by her window. She fixated on the rushing river in the rear of her abode, and she pondered why a chill always set in whenever she beheld it. She decided that it didn’t matter at the moment and violently pulled the curtains shut.
She parked herself in front of her reading material again, but she realized that her brain was too fuzzy to absorb anything else until morning. She questioned what fresh chaos would emerge as a result of her inaction, and then she speculated if she would ever gain any luck in this town! She theorized that perhaps she wasn’t meant to stay in Melas. She dreaded the concept of searching for a new job after doing it nonstop for the last three weeks, and moving after arriving only days ago daunted her, but she couldn’t picture herself surviving much longer at this rate if she stayed! She concluded that once she dealt with this phantasm issue, she needed to escape this place! With a heavy sigh, she grabbed her phone and began combing through the employment pages again!
Delron was chatting with Melanie at the checkout counter when Lisa burst into the front access with a couple of armfuls of bags! “Forgive my tardiness!” Lisa breathily belted out. “I was completely out of food, and the only grocery store open in this city is on the complete opposite end from us!”
“Why didn’t you just go to Dullahan’s?” Melanie probed. “It’s only a few blocks away!”
“You didn’t hear what happened at Dullahan’s?” Delron canvassed Melanie, and when she indicated she hadn’t, he filled her in, “It flooded real bad, and they gotta close their doors to assess the damage.”
Lisa strove to not seem so regretful about that event. She may have prevented disaster in that instance, but she still held responsibility for that apparition’s mayhem! She certainly didn’t mean to cause harm to anyone, but still, she couldn’t shake the shame for not doing more to prevent this disaster from unfolding! She was going to make things right, but in order to do that, she would have to ensure her continuation of this mission by pretending that nothing was wrong and throwing suspicion off of her trail! She couldn’t let anyone interfere, and she needed to act as soon as possible in case she obtained employment elsewhere, so they could think what they want about her impact on her ex, but they could not know her culpability in this endeavor!
Melanie was too lost in thought to catch sight of her shift in mood. She surprised Lisa by abruptly airing her thoughts, “…Well, you’re not late now, but you will be after you put your stuff away…” She mulled it over for a flash, and then she decreed, “You’ve got five minutes to put away your perishables, and then you gotta assist Delron with the next delivery.” Lisa nodded in comprehension, and not wanting to waste a single second, she dashed upstairs.
Lisa went down the outside stairs and saw Delron loading up their delivery bicycle with several titles. “Wow, someone doesn’t wanna go outside on Halloween!” Lisa joked.
“Oh, quite the contrary!” Delron politely differed. “These are for the Board of Tourism. They wanna do some final research before the holiday travel really picks up! People come here to get scared, and they make sure they’re truly frightened by using as much accuracy as feasible!”
“The History of Witches,” Lisa read the cover of a collection that she loaded onto the wagon. “The witchcraft victims weren’t witches in reality though! So, how is that accurate?”
Delron told her, “Well, they wouldn’t get a lot of visitors by acting like peasant farmers, would they?” Lisa tittered at his quip. When they got everything packed, Lisa eyeballed the overly filled cart with concern, but Delron anticipated her worry and assured her, “Neither of us are riding this! We’ll each take a handlebar and wheel it to the Head of Tourism’s house.”
They each grabbed a side, and as they towed their vehicle, Lisa observed that the street was empty. It registered to her that she had the optimal opportunity to admit to Delron what she did! She would’ve preferred to have kept it to herself completely, but she could see she was struggling to reach a viable solution on her own, so she had to find out if he could offer her any aid in this dangerous conquest! She fretted that her assessment of his character had been incorrect and that he would blab her secret to everyone, but something in her gut said that it would prove prudent to involve him, so she took a deep breath, and…
“Do you ever watch Galaxy Trekkers?” Delron queried.
“Huh?” Lisa had gotten so focused on her complicated crunch that it almost blindsided her to hear him bring up anything unrelated to that topic. “Oh, my dad was into that show, but I never got into it. Listen, I-.”
Delron interrupted her, “It’s my husband and I’s favorite! Denis texted me last night and showed me a picture of one of the professors in New Orleans. Doesn’t she look like Prynne Dimmesdale?”
Without really glancing at the photo, Lisa relayed to Delron, “Yeah, sure. Look, I need to-.”
“The professor hadn’t even heard of Prynne Dimmesdale!” Delron prattled on without the slightest hint that he had caught on to Lisa’s need to make an important admission. “Can you believe that? She’s the spitting image of Captain Nichols, and no one ever-!”
“I touched the Proctor’s Bible!” Lisa blurted out. She didn’t want to behave so rudely, but she had no clue how long it would take to get to their destination, so she felt as though if she didn’t immediately confess to her grave blunder, she wouldn’t get another chance! “I got distracted by some shit my ex-boyfriend started on social media, and I accidentally grabbed it! Now, there’s a ghost who wants to get revenge against the descendants of those who got her killed, and the entire town is a target! I’m so sorry!”
Lisa expected Delron to get angry and lecture her, but also considered that he would get scared and perhaps even have a panic attack. What she didn’t anticipate was confusion! Delron’s brows furrowed as he drank in her words, and after a brief period of consideration, he puzzled, “Huh? Was this a dream you had?”
Following an exasperated sigh, Lisa reiterated her point, “No! I thought I was dreaming at first, but the ghost is real! She endured a terrible murder, and she’s been waiting to get payback against our ancestors by hurting us! Especially me! Evidently, I had family here a long time ago!”
“Ghosts can’t hurt people though!” Delron perplexedly argued. “They can’t do anything more than bother the living!”
“She can do more than that!” Lisa contended. “She created the flood at Dullahan’s! And she started the fire at the Dennison home! I don’t know how she does it, but she can make things appear out of nowhere! At first, she just spilled cranberry juice, but soon, the store changed into a red river!” Delron seemed alarmed by her remarks, but it was obvious that he hadn’t accepted her explanation. “You don’t believe me, do you?”
Delron cagily reacted, “Well, I… um…”
All of a sudden, the air around them grew frigid! A breeze barreled by the two of them, and it carried a devious cackle with it! When it passed them, Lisa asserted, “She’s about to strike again!” Delron’s visage lost color, but through his stiffened muscles, he nodded in consent.
They trailed the movement of the gale by the effect it had on the objects in its path. It flew to the townhomes next to the old courthouse, and it became more translucent as it dove into the first dwelling in the row! The chosen vessel emitted a slight glow, and Delron denoted, “That’s Mister Ernice’s place! That’s where we’re supposed to go!”
“Then, that’s where we’re going!” Lisa decreed.
“But…!” Delron initially objected to this notion, but then he begrudgingly acquiesced, “What are we gonna find when we get there?”
Lisa responded, “No idea!” She steeled herself for a dark, inevitable undertaking, and then she marched towards the afflicted terrain. Delron gulped, but soon, he joined her.
The windows were slightly foggy and offered Lisa no insight into what may have been transpiring in this edifice. Several antique bottles were lined along the edge of the glass, and they remained untouched, but she did not take that as an indicator of safety and security within! She didn’t overhear anything heinous occurring, and she prayed that it stayed that way! She crossed her fingers that they could respond hastily enough to save those who dwelt within these walls! Lisa knocked on the door, and she as well as Delron waited for Mister Ernice with bated breath…
“Oh, finally! Help has arrived!” a male with a slim figure and somewhat softened features dryly proclaimed.
“Whatever you need, we’ll do it! What’s happening?” Lisa pressed him.
He gazed at them peculiarly, and Lisa couldn’t understand why he would bear such an ungrateful attitude towards two individuals willing to rescue him from his plight! The man opened his arms up and gestured towards his surroundings. “Where are they?”
Delron catechized, “Where are what?” It suddenly dawned on him, and he groaned, “Oh no! The books! I’ll go grab them!”
The man clicked his tongue in annoyance as Delron jogged back towards their load, and then he griped, “You forgot the books? You had one job! Seriously, is this what you moved to Melas to do?”
“How did you know I moved to Melas for this?” Lisa feared that the malevolent essence may have given him personal information, and she apprehensively wondered what else he may have been privy to! She still aspired for a rational reason for this though, so she probed, “Do I know you?”