*I thought I would try my hand at a ghost story. While not my usual genre or style, it was fun to write! I especially enjoyed the research that went into it to make it as authentic as possible.
This story will be given in parts, as it is a bit long and still needs a little work.
I try to use all of my own photos, but this proved difficult for this piece, so the featured photo today is from The Lineup.
Also, my editor is usually not on duty for my blog posts. If you happen to find any errors in spelling or grammar…I’m sorry! I do what I can, but often miss things. Thanks for your patience!
I truly hope you enjoy reading my first ever ghost story!
by Kristy Gherlone
The baby was crying again. The sound wrenched her from a deep hypnotic sleep. Immediately on alert, her eyes flew open. Her heart began to thump loudly against her chest. Something was wrong! Something was wrong with the baby!
Panicked, Isabelle threw the covers aside and jumped out of bed, nearly tripping on her night dress. Her feet touched the cold pine wood floor, making it creak. The baby hushed. Isabelle froze, her pulse pounding in her ears as she paused to listen. The silence was momentary. The crying began anew. Soft beckons turned to billowy wails of fear and discomfort.
She admonished herself as she snatched her dressing gown from the bed post and wrestled her arms into the sleeves. She shouldn’t have taken so much morphine! She didn’t mean to take so much. She only wanted to sleep. Just to sleep and to forget…
She went to the nightstand, feeling around with clumsy fingers until she found a taper. Her hands shook as she lit a candle to see her way through the midnight blackness. Succeeding, she cupped the flame to keep it from whiffing out as she hurried into the long main hallway. The glow from the light snuck around her fingers, throwing shadows that danced on the walls, disorienting her. She turned left in the corridor. After only a few quick steps, she knew that it wasn’t right. The house seemed so different.
Which way is it? Why can’t I remember? She stopped, looking back the way she had come.
Was it the east or west wing? Everything was so fuzzy in her mind.
The baby’s fussing’s strengthened, turning into wounded howls.
“I’m coming! Mummy’s coming!” she cried, spiriting back in the other direction. It was the west wing. Of course!
She hastened her steps towards the baby’s suite just as its wails reached a crescendo. Filmy haze wafted in around her. She batted at it furiously, but it only thickened, making her cough. Stealing her sight, she was forced to feel her way and count the doorways. One, two…
She could have sworn there were three doors! The sounds of the crying shifted as she’d reached a dead end and seemed to come from the other side of the house. She must have gone the wrong way! Confused, she turned and headed back. They never should have built a house so large!
Dark figures lurked in the mist, hissing accusations as she breezed past, making her nervous and jumpy. She darted around them, moving quickly. The faster her feet moved, the more the hallway seemed to lengthen. Finally, she stumbled her way back into the main hallway and turned into the east wing.
Her breath came out in wheezy gasps as she came to a door. The smoky condensation turned to icy crystals that frosted the air, but it went unnoticed. She tried the knob. It was locked! She felt around in her pocket for the key, but it wasn’t there. Frantic, she tried all of the doors, but they too were locked. The crying shifted again. The baby’s shrieks sliced through the windows, threatening to break the panes. The sounds were coming from outside! Oh God! Her baby was outside! Someone had stolen her baby!
“Mummy’s coming little one! I’m coming!”
She thrust her arms into her coat, and wound a scarf around neck. She threw open the front door and bounded down the stony steps that led to the street.
It was so cold. She steeled herself against it, but the sharp air stole her breath. She tightened her belt and pulled the scarf around her ears. It felt as if she would never feel the warmth again. She scurried down the street, letting the sounds of her baby guide her.
The darkness of the night was broken by a light up ahead. She raced along the sidewalk on feather lite feet. The crying grew louder as she neared a house. Her baby was in there!
She ghosted through the doorway and up the stairs. She whipped open the door to the baby’s room and ran in to save her.
“There you are. Mummy is here. Mummy is right here.”
Isabelle reached into the crib and gently lifted her baby. Lovingly, she held it close to soothe the terrible cries.
So relieved to have her baby back in her arms, she took her over to the rocker and sat signing to her until she quieted.
Husha Husha daddy’s off to war, but mummy never leaves you while daddy’s on his tour.
Anything you need now, I’ll happily provide. Just close your eyes and sleep now baby, baby mine.
Stay tuned for more!
Side note: This week I received word that a short story I wrote has been accepted by Short Fiction Break! It(Ice Cream or Moxie) will appear on Aug 2nd. Additionally, The Mystery Tribune read another story of mine(Thief) and requested it for their magazine. It is featured in their magazine now!