A group of authors writing interesting posts weekly and interacting with readers.
Have you ever had a close encounter with a ghost or spirit? If you had an experience, did it change you? I have, and it has greatly influenced both my writing style and my stories.
I have had experiences with ghosts and the paranormal all my life. From the ghoulie voices to the apparitions that seemingly appear out of nowhere, I have shivered my way through. But this ghost story is one I will never forget because it was the one time a ghost wrapped his cold, gnarled fingers around my throat. I didn’t just see an evil spirit. I felt his wicked touch on my skin. That ghostly encounter turned out to have a golden mission because it transported me into the magical world of writing.
I was seventeen when I found out it was moving day, yet again. This time, it was because my mother was divorcing my stepfather. The situation was exceptionally awkward since she was moving in with a boyfriend and had no choice except to take her unwanted luggage – me – with her.
I was at school when my mother moved our things into the old house she had rented. Later that afternoon, she picked me up from my classes and drove straight to our new residence. I didn’t get a chance to look around before she informed me that this was my new home and that my room was upstairs in the attic. She said she expected me to spend all my time at home there. Then she shooed me to the door that led to the hidden bedroom.
To this day, I can still feel the ominous shivers that ran up and down my arms as I stared at the steep, rickety stairs that led to the third-floor converted attic. But I already knew my concerns would fall on deaf ears, so I trudged upstairs where I discovered a drab area with small, floor-level windows, no heat, and poor ventilation. My feeling of dread intensified.
I took one look at the room and ran back downstairs. I begged to be allowed to sleep anywhere but in that dreadful room. But my mother didn’t want me around, so she yelled at me to go back upstairs and stay there. And that was that. So I went back up the stairs with my heart in my throat.
This time, I grimly noticed there were tiny, floor-level windows and no vents in the attic. Pulling the chain on the single light bulb hanging from the rafters in the middle of the room, I could see that it was sparsely furnished. Sheets and a blanket lay on an old, fold-up cot in the middle of the room. An empty bookcase sat in the corner. Sitting next to it, I could see the two boxes containing all my worldly possessions.
The light bulb was still swaying when something in the back corner caught my eye. I took a step closer, thinking it was just a shadow, some coat rack or dresser. But suddenly, my breath froze as my eyes lit on a shadowy figure swaying in the far corner of the attic. Moments passed until a voice in my head screamed at me to run. Frantic, I stumbled toward the door and placed my trembling hand on the doorknob. At the last second, I turned to look behind me. No one was there. No ghost, no figure, nothing.
Reeling, I fell against the doorjamb, questioning if my mind was cracking. But the reality was that it didn’t matter if I was falling apart mentally or even if there was a ghost or not. I was stuck. I didn’t have any other place to go, and I had lots of homework to do. I knew that succeeding in school was my ticket out of here, and I needed to focus on that. So I convinced myself that even if there was a ghost, it wouldn’t happen again.
With new resolve, I headed over to the cot and sat down. The mattress was thin and worn, so was the blanket and what passed for a pillow. Looking around, I stoically accepted that I had made a mistake. There was no one else in the room. I needed to forget about ghosts and do my homework. So with a weary sigh, I made my bed and pulled out my notebook. Life would go on.
The week that followed was nothing out of the ordinary. I even began to question whether anything had happened that first night. All seemed normal until I heard a strange noise as I opened the door to the staircase one night. This time, I wasn’t concerned. I was already getting used to the various sounds the old house was making and figured the sound was just a settling-in noise. Hurrying up the stairs, I hoped to get a strong head start on my English assignment.
I had just stepped into the attic when a small piece of paper fluttering about on the floor caught my eye. It was a corner of one of my English papers. Picking it up and examining the fragment, I frowned. There were no chew marks from the mice who lived with me. Instead, it looked like someone had grabbed a corner and ripped it out of my notebook.
Then that strange noise came again, but this time it sounded like a low, menacing growl. Every hair on my body stood on end. I backed up as my eyes scanned the dark corners. Turning, I nearly stumbled and fell. I told myself that all I had to do was take a few more steps, and I’d be at the door. And then that mind-numbing snarl stopped me dead in my tracks. I turned with my heart pounding.
I looked for movement, but there was none. I blinked and took a step closer. And another. It was then that I realized the thing I had seen was nothing more than a giant spider web that hung from ceiling to floor. My gut twisted in agony.
My logical brain told me to calm down and be realistic. I had no other options, nowhere to go, no one to help me, no one to believe me. I had to stay and gut it out.
Mere hours later, I would regret staying.
To Be Continued…
© Suzi Albracht, 2021
The OAGblog is closed due to problems with Blogger, therefore, the GBBPub is hosting the Author Gang on this website. We're a group of authors writing interesting posts weekly and interacting with readers.
If you're an author