A Haunting We Will Go

Photo by Nathan McDine on Unsplash

Returning to my theme of a couple posts ago, I have chosen to share another “paranormal” adventure. This is a flash fiction piece I wrote a while ago. It is told from the perspective of a demon. Following in the footsteps of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, this begins with a senior demon speaking to younger demons but as his story progresses, he falls into the memory. I hope you enjoy this “light-hearted” look into a haunting.

The ghost hunter team arrived late this afternoon. I knew they would come. The humans who bought the house six months ago planning to bring it back to its original glory are afraid to set foot in the front door. I must share my technique; you will appreciate this my fellow junior demons. It’s an old trick, really. I convinced them that I was the sorrowful ghost of a past tenant, trapped here by some tragic event. That I was benign. Then, when they thought they understood and had developed a connection with me, I went all nasty vengeful spirit. You know, throwing things, pushing humans downstairs, leaving nasty, burning scratches. Fun stuff.  

Oooh! It gives me the chills just thinking about it. Well … it would if I could get chills. But since I’m a demon, I don’t have a physical body … currently. But that’s another story.

It is quite easy to scare humans—they are so impressionable—but remember, we must obey the rules. And rule number one is: never reveal the truth of what we are.

So, anyway, within hours of fleeing the residence, the couple called for help. Humans always call for some pathetic team of paranormal researchers to investigate. Normally I lay low when they come. Unless I’m bored. And that night I was ready to play. Push for some thrills. Their response? You decide.

                                                            / / /

The last few days had been uneventful but as afternoon fades into early evening, two vans pull up the long drive and park at the front of the old house. I monitor their movements undetected as a team of two females and five males unload equipment and set up cameras and other assorted devices throughout the old structure.

As the final light of day disappears, the call I have awaited sounds. “Lights out.”

Every room in plunged into darkness. Show time.

Photo by T L on Unsplash

Four investigators and two support people roam through the old mansion armed with cameras, EMP meters, and EVP recorders. I zero in on the two female ghost hunters and their male cameraman. This is going to be fun. Step one: pull energy from the surrounding area, tapping into their power sources and draining batteries. Always good for an initial reaction.

“My recorded just died.” The short investigator with the blonde ponytail shakes the device as if that would resurrect the defunct battery. Not terribly bright, is she?

“Same here,” Camera Guy says. “And I just put in a fresh one.” 

“It is believed that paranormal entities will drain energy from the surrounding area in order to manifest,” the tall, thin, investigator with the butch haircut states as she looks into the camera and grins. “I have a feeling we are not alone. This is so exciting.”

Blondie chews a fingernail. I thrill to the anxiety evident in her action. Time for step two: dropping temperatures. As the humans take note of the chill in the air, I skim to the floor above and produce a final, textbook evidence of a ghostly presence: unexplainable footsteps.  

Raised voices sound from below.

“Did you hear that?” Butch-cut Barbie says.

“From upstairs?” Blondie’s voice quivers.

“Yeah. Come on.”

They scramble up the stairs, Camera Guy trailing. I chuckle and head to the small office off the living room where they had set up their base of operations.

The thin, thirty-something guy with a scruffy beard who seems to be in charge sits in a folding chair popping chips into his mouth as he watches dull, night-vision footage streaming in from the four cameras the team set up earlier. I observe for a bit, but he does nothing, just munches and watches. Tedium sets in. I sigh. He startles.

“What?”  Turning to his right, he rewinds and plays back the last minute on an EVP recorder sitting there. A low, almost indistinguishable growl emerges from the hiss. He plays the recording again.

“Good catch Graham. This place is amazing.”

Though his eagerness should stir me, I find no joy. It’s all the same old … same old. I need something new, something more … or, perhaps, something old.

The thought blossoms into a brainchild. My spirit lifts and I chuckle, producing another reaction from tech guy.

My mind swirls as a plan takes shape. Smells—fragrances—aromas produce strong reactions in humans. As minor demon, my power is limited. But creating awesome odors is something even beginner demons can accomplish.

I flash through my memories looking for the last time I’d played the stench game. I frown. Was it really back in 1953? Way too long.

“Command for Molly,” the chip-loving, tech guy says into his walkie-talkie.

“Go for Molly.”

“You and Taylor take Jake and Ryan’s place in the bedroom. I want to give them a chance to test out those new binaural microphones in the kitchen where people report hearing voices.”

“We’re on it, Graham.”

I recognize the voice. Butch-cut Barbie.

Graham leans back, cracks his neck. He yawns—must be as bored as I am—sips from a soda can and sets his focus on the monitors again. I debate releasing a foul odor on him. Nah. I’ll catch up with Molly, Taylor, and their cameraman in the bedroom. A three for one.  

Taylor sits on the bed, mangling another fingernail, as Molly sets her digital audio recorder on a dresser scans the room, her EMF meter in hand. Camera Guy stands off to the side, recording.

“Hi. I’m Molly and this is Taylor. Is there anyone here with us? We’d love to communicate with you. We just want to talk.” Molly sets her EMF meter down next to the audio recorder. “You don’t have to be afraid. We mean you no harm.”

I stifle a laugh. How amusing. They think I might be afraid. How cute! I settle into a corner of the room and create the soft scent of lavender. Old house. Old scent.

Immediate response.

“Molly. Molly. Do you smell that?” Taylor whispers.

“Yeah. It reminds me of my grandma’s house.”

“Lavender, Molly. It’s lavender.”

Molly smiles. Paydirt. I’ve activated a memory. Sweet and meaningful. I glance over at Taylor. She too seems wrapped in the fragrance. And … no reaction from Camera Guy. Time to ramp things up. Roses. President Lincoln roses to be exact. A strong fragrance which seems to delight most humans. 

“Is that you?” Taylor asks.

I ignore her. My focus remains on the cameraman. Yes! His eyes glaze. Now it’s time for my ultimate move. Expending energy, I swirl air currents and move from the bedroom to the kitchen, then the office. Within seconds I’ve captured them all. The sense of smell breaching memories and sending them into their heads.

Now! I summon the biggest, foulest, room-emptying odor. A demon fart. The unbearable reek spreads outward from me to infest every inch of the mansion. There’s nothing else like it in the universe because it emanates from a place of eternal fire and pain and suffering.

Gagging, hacking, thumping footsteps, and cursing fill the air.

Yes! What fun!

“What is that?” Camera Guy moans.

“Argh! Beyond awful!” Taylor whines. She stumbles down the stairs, through the hallway, and out the front door, Molly and Camera Guy following. Molly’s hands cover her nose and mouth while tears stream down her cheeks.

“It’s everywhere,” Graham gasps as he sprints up to the others, carrying a laptop.

A surge of accomplishment floods through me as the humans congregate on the front lawn, retching. Game! Set! And match! One for the demon; zero for the ghost hunters. I win!   

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving with only the pleasant, mouth-watering aromas of good food and only the company of family and friends. Happy reading!

Author: C. S. Wachter

C. S. Wachter lives in rural Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, with her husband Joe, one German Shepherd, and three cats. She and Joe have been married for more than forty years and have three sons, one grandson and one granddaughter. Ms. Wachter earned her degree in Performing Arts and English Education from Rowan University in 1975. She compares developing a character’s perspective to preparing for an acting role. As a life-long lover of books, she has read and enjoyed a variety of genres. However, after reading J. R. R. Tolkien in middle school her favorite has been, and remains to this day, Fantasy with a Christian perspective. Published Works 2018 The Seven Words Epic Fantasy series The Sorcerer’s Bane (Indies Today 2020 award winner in Religion) The Light Arises The Deceit of Darkness The Light Unbound 2019 Demon’s Legacy: A Worlds of Ochen Short Story (based on The Seven Words series) A Weight of Reckoning (sequel to The Seven Words series) 2020 Stone Sovereigns YA Fantasy duology Lander’s Legacy Lander’s Choice. Various Flash Fiction pieces for Havok and in their anthology Stories That Sing Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cswachter/ Website: https://cswachter.com/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17719497.C_S_Wachter Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ch.ris8443 Twitter: https://twitter.com/CSWachter1 Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/C.-S.-Wachter/e/B079Y2R2PJ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1545059479&sr=1-2-ent MeWe: https://mewe.com/i/chriswachter

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