Posted in #Special, General Writing, Monday Short Tale

Happy Halloween!!!

Hey, ya’ll! Welcome back to Simply Paradise & Haven. 

Happy Halloween!! 

As promised, here is the final part of Haunted College Boys Arc. It is complete one year later. 

Two Days Later:

The boys gathered in the dining room, armed with the census from 1988 as well as a list of owners of the homes in their area from 1988.

Ryan asked, “How do we want to go about this?”

Connor offered, “How about we go by the homeowners first? It seems to be the shortest.”

Justin lifted it and peered at it to find the closest house to this home 30 years ago.

“There wasn’t a lot of homes around here, then, was there?”

Squeaks on the board, ‘No. I actually owned much of the property this house and the three houses closest to us now are on. Still do, my sister chose to rent that property out and have homes built on to bring in income. She sold the property the apartment complex on the next street over is on as the city bought some of the property to put in a street.’

The four boys hummed in understanding and Justin read off the first name.

Using the system they’d come up with, Jason marked an X on the board, the name didn’t trigger anything.

It wasn’t until seven names down that a memory flashed back.

“Mitchell Drake.”

The papers dropped as Justin, Ben, Ryan and Connor all covered their heads from the wind that had suddenly started up.

Justin peered up and saw Jason stiff as a board in front of the white board, blue eyes glowing, mouth open wide as if he was voicelessly screaming, his scars glowing white.

“Jason? Jason! Jason!!”

But there was no response. Whatever was happening to Jason, he was trapped within.

And they were trapped in a maelstrom with nothing to do but duck down and dodge the loose items that were beginning to be picked up in the wind. Windows opened and slammed close, shutters slamming against the house, floorboards creaking, doors opening and slamming, the house was losing it along with its owner.

Ryan crawled under the table, pulling Justin under with him, Connor following his lead with Ben.

What felt like ages later, but was likely just a few minutes, the wind finally died down and the house calmed, leaving marks of the chaos.

When it felt safe, the boys crawled out from under the table, eyeing the mess that had been left behind, and realized Jason was nowhere to be seen.

Before they could stop him, Justin took off up the stairs, headed to the one place they could always find Jason.

He came to stop before Jason’s office and knocked harshly on the door.

“Jason? Are you in there? Are you okay??”

No verbal response, of course, but the door slipped open. Justin stepped in, followed closely by the other three. He saw Jason in the chair at his desk, turned to look at them. His eyes and scars were no longer glowing, but his scars looked raw, his eyes pained. He’d clearly remembered something, something horrible.

“What happened down there? Who is Mitchell Drake?”

Jason turned away, picking up his pen.

Shortly, he handed Justin the paper and Justin read it aloud, “He’s my murderer. Daisy Brown must be the reincarnation of his sister, Eryn Drake. In 1988, she was my stalker.”

“But wait, why’d he murder you?”

Jason took the paper back and scribbled one last sentence.

“I can show you, if you like.”

Before they answered, Ryan looked up from his phone where he’d googled Eryn Drake.
“Jason’s right. According to Google, Eryn Drake committed suicide at a sanatorium in 1989, just a week after the one-year anniversary of Jason McKay’s murder and Marshall Davidson’s disappearance.”

“Wow, bad month.”

“Apparently, she’d tried on the anniversary, but the doctors were worried she’d try something since Jason’s death was what tipped her over and sent her to the sanatorium in the first place, so they’d kept a close eye on her.”

Justin turned to Jason, “I want to see.”

Ben piped up, “Me too.”

Ryan and Connor agreed.

In a ripple of light, their surroundings changed.

They were still in Jason’s office, but the light was brighter, the wall clock was ticking away and there was a cup of cold coffee beside the couch. In front of them, sitting at his desk was Jason. But the difference, they saw as he turned at the knocks on the front door, was that this was an uninjured Jason.

“This must be right before the attack.”

Jason was confused as to who was visiting this late at night as a glance at the clock on the wall showed it to be 10 p.m.

He made his way downstairs, knowing it wasn’t Marshall as he was still at work. Marshall often worked late hours, being a nurse at the local emergency room.

He peered through the peephole, confused when he saw the figure of his neighbor.

He opened the door and opened his mouth to ask what he could help him with.

But he never got the words out. Mitchell Drake jumped Jason, knocking him to the ground and stabbing him the first of the multiple times. While Jason was disoriented and in pain, Mitchell dragged Jason upstairs, he couldn’t leave Jason here in front of the door. If Marshall came in and saw him, he’d run and that would ruin his plan.

Once they were upstairs, Mitchell paused to catch his breath.

“I bet you’re wondering why I’m doing this.”

Jason sniped, the first the living ever heard his deep slow drawl, “That’s what most people who are being attacked wonder.”

Justin snorted even as that clearly angered the deranged man.

Mitchell pummeled Jason with his fist, too angry to control where the punches hit and uncaring if it knocked Jason out. He’d simply wait for him to wake up.

Jason tried to defend himself, but the man’s anger and the slow blood loss and pain of his stab wounds proved to be too much.

Mitchell finally calmed and explained why he was there.

“You turned down my sister! She’s in love with you and instead of returning her affections, like a real man, you chose to dabble in sin with Davidson. You couldn’t even respect her enough to not kiss him in front of others, including her. You must pay!”

“News flash, Mitchell, you can’t return affections that don’t exist. I’m gay, I don’t like Eryn and that can’t be changed.”

“I’m defending Eryn’s honor.”

“How? By beating me up, that’s only going to land you in jail.”

“Shut up! No one will ever know I was the one that did it. You’ll both be dead when I’m done.”

“This is a foolish plan.”

“Shut up, shut up, shut up!”

Clearly, Eryn wasn’t the only Drake with mental problems.

Mitchell decided to silence Jason permanently and after stabbing him several more times to ensure he stayed still, he cut out Jason’s tongue, gouged the knife into his face in a mockery of the Joker’s smile.

Then he wrapped the barbwire around the barely conscious Jason’s face, shredding his lower face, and down around his neck.

Mitchell tightened the wire around Jason’s neck, watching blood pour out of Jason’s neck and the life leave Jason’s blue eyes. Once he was dead, he didn’t dare leave him out here where Marshall would find him and flee before he could finish the job. He pulled Jason’s body by the feet down to Jason’s office, the sound of barbwire scraping against the wooden floor a familiar sound to the four living witnessing this horror.

Mitchell went downstairs and waited. But unknown to him, Marshall had entered through the cracked door and seen him attacking Jason upstairs. He’d run back out the door with the intention of going for help only to run into Eryn upstairs. She’d chased him back into the woods and ensured he never came out. Her part in this as well as the loss of her ‘love’ was what tipped her over as she was a naïve person who guilt weighed on heavily.

After enough time that he worried about being caught here by someone other than Marshall had passed, he made his way out and headed home.

A flash of light surrounded them once more and they were back in Jason’s office.

But he wasn’t there. Worried about where he was, they all ran out into the hall just in time to see him step out of Justin’s room.

Justin stepped forward to hug him, needing the reassurance he was still there, before remembering that he was ghost and he would just pass right through him.

Ben asked, “You okay, Jason?”

Jason peered behind him into what had been his and Marshall’s room and was now Justin’s before nodding.

They looked behind him but didn’t see anything.

The lights in the hallway brightened before returning to normal and Jason pointed into the bedroom.

Ben, with the knowledge from his grandmother, gasped.

“Oh! You know what happened to you, you’ve gained the closure you needed. You see a light now, don’t you!”

Jason nodded, not smiling but eyes brighter than they’d seen them.

It was a bittersweet feeling. They’d become close to their ghostly housemate but were happy he’d finally gained his closure and would see Marshall once more.

They bid him farewell and Jason walked towards a light that became brighter and visible the closer he grew to it before he vanished into it.

 

About two weeks later- October 15:

Justin stretched his arms over his head, homework finally complete for the weekend. He nudged Ryan who was staring at his book catatonic.

“I think you need a break.”

Connor rubbed his face from where he’d been studying a medical book, “I think we all do.”

He looked up to see Justin staring at the whiteboard that had been untouched since Jason had left them two weeks before.

“Still miss him, huh?”

“Yeah. I don’t know, we grew so close in such a short amount of time. I know it’s silly but if he’d been alive, I think we’d worked out well.”

Ben commented, “I’d been thinking about that. I’ve wondered if maybe you are Marshall reborn.”

“You think?”

“We already know Daisy is Eryn reborn. There’s nothing that says you can’t be Marshall. You both died within a year of each other, deaths resolved.”

“Then it was fitting that we helped Jason get his closure then.”

“Speaking of Daisy, it’s been nice having a place she can’t get into.”

“Here, here.”

Even without Jason, the house still barred Daisy entrance as they’d realized when they’d had a small party for their living friends a week after Jason going into the light and she’d attempted to crash it.

“I’m just grateful there hasn’t been many questions about it.”

Before anyone could answer, there was three knocks on the front door.

“Uh, did anyone invite someone over?”

“Not me.”

“Nope.”

“Uh-uh.”

Justin headed to the door, the other three following close behind.

When they opened the door, they received the shock of their life.

Standing on the front stoop, suitcase to his side, stood a tall young man, about their age, dark brown hair to his shoulders and very familiar royal blue eyes.

“Hello, my name is Jason McKay. My sister Shirly said there’d be room here for me to stay?”

“Uh, sure. Come in.”

There was another room in the wing with Ben, Ryan and Connor but first…

Ben asked, “What brings you here?”

“I’m studying architecture at the local university, a junior and just transferred there with my mom’s approval. She didn’t really want me back in the town of my uncle’s murder, but I managed to convince her.”

Before they could ask any more questions, a clearly living Jason smiled, “Hello Justin, Ben, Ryan and Connor. Nice to see you all again.”

“So, it’s really you? You’re reborn…?!”

Jason nodded to Justin’s question, “I’m now my sister’s son, it was the easiest way to get my home back in my possession. Technically this is my home now that I’m over 21 but I told my niece/sister that I wasn’t about to boot out the college students she’d rented the place to. I’d just move in with them.”

Justin grabbed onto Jason tightly, finally able to hug him and before they knew it, it was a large group hug, crashing to the ground as Jason couldn’t support four young men on him.

All sitting up, Ben did have one last question to ask, “Your name’s still Jason?”

“Yes. It was decided that my sister had had a surprise son a few years after my death and she’d chosen to name me after me. It was easier than me adjusting to a new name since I was being reborn so soon after passing into the light.”

“Why so soon?”

“I died 30 years ago. It was time for me to have another chance and since I’d started a new life by accident here already, I simply returned to it after resituating myself into my ‘new’ family.”

Justin stated, as he helped Jason up and grabbed his suitcase, “Well, we’re more than happy to have you back with us where you belong.”

With that, the boys headed upstairs, not even questioning that Jason would be moving back into his room with Justin, just as Jason McKay and Marshall Davidson had originally 30 years prior.

The End
©Paula Crofoot

 

Feel free to comment down below. I’d love to hear what ya’ll thought.

‘Til Next Time, Friends! 

 

Wishing you an eerie, spooky, hair-raising, spell-binding Halloween!.png

Posted in #Wednesday, #Writing Prompts, General Writing

Writing Prompts: Skeletal; Ocean; Die

 

_What the hell are you supposed to be__ the monster hunter asked in horror. The skeletal looking creature bared teeth in what looked like a smile, _I'm something new._

 

There are ghost towns in the ocean

 

_If that's what it takes to save the world, better to let the world die._

 

Have fun with those prompts, my shadows. I look forward to seeing what you do with them. 

On Thursday, Halloween, will be the final part of the Haunted College Boys. I never had time to write on Sunday and rather than rush out a small part on Monday, I decided to do one large piece on Halloween itself. So I’ll see ya’ll then. 

‘Til Next Time, Friends! 

Ghosts, like ladies, never speak till spoke to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in #Monday, #Monday Writing, General Writing, Monday Short Tale, Mondays

Haunted College Boys: Part 7

Hey, ya’ll! Welcome back to Simply Paradise & Haven. I don’t have much today but I’m working on vacation pics, community page, shop pages and I’ve got a couple of pies/cakes I’ll be posting as well as Halloween crafts. 

Here is this week’s Monday Short Tale, the continuation of the Haunted College Boys arc. I expect there to be about two more installations. We’ll have part 8 next Monday and hte final piece on Wednesday the 31st, Halloween itself. 

The boys looked at each other, they hadn’t invited anyone over. Only a few people even knew they had their own place. The knock repeated once more.

Ben stood, “I supposed we should at least see who it is.”

Connor added, “It could be Ms. Jackson with more information.”

So while Jason, Justin, and Ryan waited in the dining room, Ben and Connor answered the door.

They were both pleasantly and unpleasantly surprised to find Daisy Brown, Joanna Vogel and Bridget Powell.

They were among the few that knew of their new home, though they could’ve sworn no one had actually given them the address.

Joanna spoke first, “Hi boys! I hope you don’t mind the surprise visit. But we couldn’t wait to see your new home!”

Ben hid his frustration, knowing it would be easier to let them in and get rid of them after a short visit then try to block them. He had no doubt this visit was the idea of Daisy’s.

Joanna and Bridget weren’t too intolerable by themselves but with Daisy, they became mindless followers despite the show of Joanna being the leader. For whatever reason, Daisy had decided she wanted Justin despite the complete lack of attention from him.

Ben waved them in, “We don’t have long, we’re currently doing homework but we can visit for a few minutes.”

Daisy chirped, “That’s fine.”

Ben suppressed a grin as Connor rolled his eyes behind the girls.

They walked into the dining room, the girls not noticing but Ben and Connor were surprised to see the whiteboard blank.

Daisy noticed the board, “Oh! What’s this? For a calendar or something?”

Thankfully, Ryan thought fast.

“No. It’s for homework. That’s why the size. We might be studying different degrees but we can still bounce ideas off of one another.”

“Oh, of course.”

Ben noticed that Justin was distracted and peered to see what he was staring at. He frowned, unnoticed by the girls, when he saw that what Justin was staring at was Jason. Jason was clearly not happy. His eyes were pinned on the girls, angrily glaring at them.

As far as they knew, Jason had never met Daisy, Joanna or Bridget. So what was the problem.

Joanna looked around when she heard footsteps but didn’t see anyone moving as they’d all gathered around the dining room, making small talk. She was going to make an excuse for them to leave. It was pretty clear they weren’t really welcome, but they were being polite. But before she could…

Everyone jumped when one of the dining room table chairs fell over backwards.

Bridget stammered, “Um, why did that chair fall?”

The boys knew why, seeing Jason behind the chair but feigned cluelessness.

A cold wind blew through the house, nearly bowling them all over, actually knocking Daisy over. Bridget immediately helped Daisy up while Joanna questioned where the wind had come from.

The boys shrugged, Jason hadn’t moved so they didn’t know where the wind had come from.

Joanna declared, moving towards the front door, “I think we should go.”

Bridget agreed but Daisy said, “What about the boys. We can’t leave them while this stuff is happening.”

She moved towards Justin, reaching out to grasp his arm.

The fallen chair moved into her path, tripping her. Even if Justin had wanted to try to catch her, he didn’t dare move as Jason stood between Daisy and him, angry eyes focused on Daisy, peering at Justin to see his reaction.

Daisy climbed to her feet, shaking. She moved towards Justin once more but the front door slammed open, vase on the entry table falling off and shattering.

Joanna grabbed Daisy’s arm, getting the clue, “I think we need to go, Daisy.”

Daisy attempted to protest but Joanna cut her off, “Now!”

She pulled Daisy out, Bridget willingly following. As soon as Bridget’s foot crossed the threshold, the door slammed shut, lock clicking into place.

Jason moved to the window in the front room, watching as the three girls climbed into the red car at the curb and pulled away.

The boys looked at each other, waiting for a few minutes.

Finally, Justin approached Jason.

“Uh, what was that all about?”

Jason turned, royal blue eyes calm once more.

He walked into the dining room, the four boys following.

Ben and Connor blinked, once more the board was covered in the previous writing.

Ben pointed, even as Jason picked up the red marker, “Uh-wha??”

Justin snickered, “I’m not sure how but Jason covered the writing and made it blank as soon as we realized who was at the door.”

Just then, squeaks took over the room and they watched as Jason wrote his explanation.

‘I don’t know her. But I don’t like her. She’s bad. I don’t know how; I don’t know why but she is not welcome here anymore. I don’t want her in my home, I don’t want her near any of you.’

Jason left out that he especially didn’t want her near Justin for some reason. 

Ryan commented, “I have no issue barring her from here but how are we supposed to keep her out? Now that she’s been here, with her friends Bridget and Joanna, she’s going to expect to be let back in.”

Before Ben or Justin, the more social of the four boys, could answer, Jason answered.

‘This is my home, even with you living here. I bar her entry; she physically cannot enter.’

Justin surprised them all by cheering.

They saw the confused look on Jason’s face and realized that he didn’t know the backstory.

Connor filled him in, “For whatever reason, starting back in freshman year, Daisy has been obsessed with Justin. They’re not even remotely close to the same degree studies. Justin’s B.A while she’s B.S. in political studies.”

“Honestly, she’s one step away from obsessed stalker needing a restraining order.”

‘Do you believe in reincarnation.’

“Uh, sure…?”

That was something out of the blue, Ben answered in the affirmative, Justin unsure while Ryan and Connor were simply puzzled.

‘I think she may be someone reincarnated from when I was alive.’

“You were alive only 30 years ago. She had to have passed away soon after you did if she is connected to your living past.”

‘Like I said, I don’t remember anyone from when I was alive except Marshall.’

Ryan latched onto the clue, writing it on the board.

“Okay, so presuming she is someone reincarnated from your life and kept her gender; then we can look for someone in this town that passed away 25-30 years ago. Perhaps if you hear a name, memories will come back.”

‘Makes logical sense.’

The other three agreed and Connor had another idea.

“You know what, this town went under a population boom around 15 or so years ago. Maybe we can pull a census from 30 years ago and go over the names. It won’t be that many people.”

Justin added, “We can further narrow the census down by looking in this area of town. I know where I grew up, I pretty much didn’t know anyone not in my part of town as school, events, stores, were all populated by the same people in the area.”

‘We have a plan, then.’

“We’ll stop by the city hall on Monday, they’ll be closed to the public tomorrow as it’s Sunday, and get the census. We’ll go over it Monday evening.”

That’s all for now! What will we find out next Monday about Jason’s life? We’ll see… 

‘Til Next Time, Friends!

If the Broom Fits, Fly it!

Posted in #Friday, #Special, Books

Lola’s Blog Tours: Shadow Prophet

Hey, Ya’ll! Welcome back to Simply Paradise & Haven! Today’s a special post. I signed up with Lola’s Blog Tours to be a part of the book blitz for Shadow Prophet by Andrea Pearson. Now, I haven’t read the book just yet but it’s at the top of my TBR pile and I’ll be posting a review here when I’m done. 

Shadow Prophet banner

My particular stop on the tour has a special excerpt from the book you can only find on the stops of the book tour and in the look inside on Amazon.

Now, without further ado, here’s the info on the book including a special excerpt. 

ShadowProphetPromo

Book blitz Shadow Prophet by Andrea Pearson

This is my stop during the book blitz for Shadow Prophet by Andrea Pearson. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 15 till 19 October. See the tour schedule here: http://www.lolasblogtours.net/book-blitz-shadow-prophet-by-andrea-pearson

Special release day price of 99 cent and special download bonuses!
Shadow Prophet is the first book in Andrea Pearson’s new Midnight Chronicles series. It’s only 99 cents for a limited time. And as a way to celebrate this new release Andrea Pearson has some special download bonuses that you’ll receive for free if you buy a copy of the book. All the information about the download bonuses can be found in the book.

Shadow Prophet (Midnight Chronicles #1)
By Andrea Pearson
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Fantasy Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 15 October 2019

Blurb:
Bound to destroy the woman he loves…

Abel hasn’t seen Lizzie in at least seven years, and his experiences since then have changed him significantly. He’s sure he’s moved past his earlier crush, that he’s immune to her carefree and bubbly personality, but the moment his eyes land on her, he knows he’s still in love.

Instead of a joyful reunion, though, he only suffers agony at being in her presence again.

Because he’s being blackmailed into murdering her.

And there’s no way out. The Shadow Prophet has vowed to kill everyone Abel holds dear if he doesn’t complete the job. Abel has tried everything he can think of to break the contract, but nothing has worked, and he has nowhere else to turn.

Complicating things further, he gets recruited by a second client to help Lizzie achieve an impossible mission. One where they must work closely together while hunting immortal demons. One that will either destroy him or force him to kill her before he’s found a way out—before he’s ready to do it.

But how can a man ever be ready to murder the woman he loves?

If you enjoy high-stakes fantasy action, romance with a hint of angst, and fast-moving paranormal stories, you’ll love Shadow Prophet, book one in an addictive fantasy series. Grab your copy now!

You can find Shadow Prophet on Goodreads: Goodreads

You can buy Shadow Prophet here:
Amazon
Barnes and Nobles
Kobo 
Apple

You’ll receive free download bonuses when you pre-order or buy a copy of the book! The download bonuses can be found in the book.

ShadowProphetFinal_sliver

Excerpt: 

I refused to look in her eyes as I pulled the knife from her now-still heart and wiped the blade, her blood staining the fresh white cloth I’d brought just for this purpose.
She hadn’t struggled.
None of them had yet, though I wasn’t sure why.
My heart thudded dully against my ribs, making me choke on unwanted emotions. I wouldn’t allow myself to think, to feel. Not yet.
Before her magical powers could flow away, I removed a vial from my backpack, holding it against her temple and chanting words I’d memorized months earlier.
A silver-blue, steam-like gas flowed through her skin like smoke from dry ice. With gentle waves of my other hand, I encouraged it to enter the vial, then put the cap on and very carefully tucked it back into its protected pouch for later retrieval.
Five down.
Two to go.
The last two would be the hardest.
I still couldn’t believe I’d ever done the first.
Finally, with my jaw clenched, I looked at her face, so stricken now in death. It had been happy, excited even when she’d granted me access to her apartment. I reached over and closed her eyelids, hating that I was the last thing she’d seen.
I’m so sorry. I cleared my throat and shook my head. Plead my case when you get there. I hope you’ll understand.
I took a shuddering breath before lurching to my feet and stumbling away from the body.
No one would miss her, not for a very long time, regardless of how powerful she was or how well known or loved.
He had seen to all those details a long time ago.
I made sure my things were packed away before pulling my phone from my pocket and sending a quick text to the number I’d saved in my device a few days earlier.
It’s ready.

Grab Discern for free!

Discern

Disappearances at a popular national park… Monsters from another dimension… And Nicole can’t use her magic. What could possibly go wrong?

Links
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Apple
Kobo

About the Author:

Andrea Pearson

Andrea Pearson is an avid reader and outdoor enthusiast who plays several instruments, not including the banjo. Her favorite sports are basketball and football, though several knee surgeries and incurably awful coordination prevent her from playing them.

Andrea graduated from BYU with a bachelor of science degree in Communications Disorders. She is the author of many full-length novels and novellas. Writing is the chocolate of her life – it is, in fact, the only thing she ever craves. Being with her husband and children is where she’s happiest, and she loves thunderstorms, the ocean, hiking, public speaking, painting, and traveling.

You can find and contact Andrea Pearson here:
– Website: http://www.andreapearsonbooks.com/
– Blog: http://andreapearsonbooks.blogspot.com/
– Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/authorandrea
– Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AndreaPearsonAuthor
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/andreapearson2
– Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1909134.Andrea_Pearson
– Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Pearson/e/B005CF5NQ4/
– Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/andrea-pearson
– Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andreapearsonauthor/
– Newsletter: http://andreapearsonbooks.com/myfreebooks.html

Shadow Prophet final

Giveaway
To celebrate the release of Shadow prophet Andrea Pearson is running a big giveaway. There will 9 winners!
– 1 winner will win the Grand Prize which contains 22 of Andrea Pearson’s books in print.
– 5 winners will win a copy of The Glimpses CD
– 3 winners will win a $5 digital gift card to Amazon.com or through PayPal/Venmo

For a chance to win, fill out this form 
All details about the giveaway can be found there as well.

banner Lola's Blog Tours
Lola’s Blog Tours

 

‘Til Next Time, Friends!

Posted in #Monday, #Monday Writing, Monday Short Tale, Sunday Fabricated Stories, Wednesday Weird Tales of the Unknown

Haunted College Boys Part 6

Hey, ya’ll! 

Welcome back to Simply Paradise & Haven, formerly known as Paula’s Eclectic Paradise. Like PEP, Simply Paradise & Haven is a lifestyle blog. It’ll still feature my writing, hobbies such as baking, making miniatures, arts and crafts and the like, travels, goals in progress and being achieved. Simply put living life to the fullest. I’ll be adding a page for Paula’s Pet Paradise and Be Ideal You, an extension of Imaginative HandiCrafts. I’m also going to add a chat page, so long as I can figure out how, as I want us all to come together and have our own community. Barring that, I do have a Patreon that links to my Discord where I’ll be creating a community for my patrons. I’ll keep ya’ll updated on that front. I have a lot of plans for Simply Paradise & Haven. 

I do want to ask that you comment down below what you think of the new logo for SP&H. 

Linked below are last week’s Wednesday’s Weird Tales of the Unknown and this week’s Sunday Fabricated Stories. 

I’m a What?

Demon For Sale

Now for what I’m sure you came here for in the first place, the next part of Haunted College Boys. 

The next morning, Jason floated downstairs, relieved his energy was back, to find the other four gathered around the table having breakfast.

He chose a blue marker and greeted them.

Ben looked up when he heard squeaking and beamed, “Good morning, Jason! I’m glad to see you have your energy back!”

A green thumbs up appeared.

Justin grinned, “In other news, the lock down has lifted. Connor tried going outside and the door opened.”

Another thumbs up appeared.

Ryan added, “Not a man of many words, huh?”

A red thumbs down appeared this time and the other three snickered.

Jason smirked; he saw no reason to waste words. Even when he was alive, his partner Marshall had long noticed the same.

Justin put down his coffee cup, after swallowing the last bit.

“What’s the plan for today?”

Ben responded, “I thought we’d divide and conquer. A couple of us can go see our landlord and find out what she knows before dropping by city hall on our way to the library to join the other two who’ll be looking up Jason McKay and Marshall Davidson of the 80s.”

Connor and Ryan nodded, and Justin asked, “Sounds good to me. Who goes where?”

They turned at the squeaking on the board, ‘Ben and Connor should head to Shirley Robinson while Justin and Ryan head to the library. One friendly and charming with silent and power.’

Ben nodded, “Sound strategy. Justin and I can talk our way through anything while Ryan and Connor can just look at the person and they’ll typically give over.”

Justin snickered, Jason had just met them and already had them cornered on their personalities.

Ben got up, “Let’s get going. The faster we go, the sooner we get back and can go over the information with Jason to make sure it’s correct.”

The other three got up and Jason watched them file out to Justin’s jeep and Ben’s convertible.

~~~~~~

Ben pulled up to their landlord’s house, surprisingly a smaller house than the one she was renting out.

Connor commented, “Don’t most people rent out the smaller house?”

“Perhaps there’s something more here, beyond the fact that maybe she didn’t want to live somewhere someone had been murdered. Brutally by Jason’s hints.”

“How brutally is the question. Do you think he remembers his death?”

“Not sure. But let’s see what Ms. Robinson knows.”

Ben knocked on her door.

She answered the door, “Yes, may I help you?”

“We’re hoping you can. What do you know about a death in the house you’ve rented us?”
She paled, “Now, boys, you signed a 2-year lease. I can let you out, but it’ll be very costly. Surely you can last…”

Before she could continue, Ben interrupted, “We don’t want to move out. We just want answers about the ghost that’s haunting our home.”

She looked clearly relieved, if baffled.

She gestured them in.

Shortly, they were sitting with some tea she’d poured, and she told them the tale.
“I don’t know all of it. I just know that in 1988 my mother received a call. Her cousin, Jason McKay, was found brutally murdered in the office of his own home. It was horrific, he was beaten in the face and chest before his murderer stabbed him multiple times, I can’t remember how many times. His face was carved to the point his mother, my grandmother, insisted on a closed casket funeral, with both a knife and barbwire. But that wasn’t how he died; he was suffocated. No one knows why he was killed or who killed him. Even now, 30 years later, it’s still an unsolved case. He didn’t have any children and my mother was his only sister, 8 years his junior. So, she inherited it, passing it on to me when I turned 18, not wanting anything to do with the place her brother had been murdered. I knew my uncle Jason, so I didn’t want to live there either. I have memories of my uncle Jason and his partner Marshall. So, I rent it out. But I suppose my uncle Jason is still there or simply the horror of his murder left a stain on the home. I’m not sure but everyone I’ve tried to rent it to always reports things moving on their own, sounds in the night, even screams on the occasion.”

She paused to allow them to digest her story.

They exchanged glances, that certainly explained Jason’s haunting.

“What brought you here, anyway?”

Ben answered, leaving out a few details, “Things have been moving on their own, buckets, silverware. Our roommate has had his sleep interrupted by a loud noise in the middle of the night. We haven’t heard any screams yet.”

“Not every tenant has reported that. It appears only to be about once a year.”

With his knowledge from his grandmother, Ben asked, “Could it be the anniversary of his death?”

She paused, clearly having not thought of that.

“You know, it could be. 30 years ago, I was young, about 8.”

Ben stood, having finished his tea, “Thank you, Ms. Robinson. That was what we needed to know.”

The two left, heading to city hall and then the library.

A few hours later, the four returned to the house, having spent time in city hall and the library, gathering a lot of knowledge but not sure how it all fits together.

They entered, Justin calling out, “Jason? We’re back!”

They heard footsteps coming down the stairs and seeing no one, they knew it was Jason letting them know he was on his way.

They gathered in the dining room with the whiteboard, putting down the papers they’d photocopied from the library.

On the board, ‘What did you find out?’

Ben answered, “Did you know our landlord, Shirly Robinson, is your niece?”

‘No. I knew I had a niece, remembering her as a child-the daughter of my little sister. But I never knew what happened to them after I died.’

Ryan answered, “Your sister lived here in town until about 10 years ago. Her husband died of a heart attack and she had already passed your house onto her daughter. She moved, we’re not sure where. It’s not in public records. Your niece lives in her mother’s house, unable to live here with childhood memories of you.”

Justin picked up, “We’re not exactly sure of what happened to Marshall, but we can kinda guess. The night you were killed, October 15, 1988; just a couple of weeks from now by the way; Marshall disappeared. A missing person’s report was put out on him, but he was never found. However, about 5 years later, some of the land on the outer edges of your property here was developed into the apartment complex. When the construction team was on the property, developing it, a skeleton was found. It was eventually buried as a John doe as DNA wasn’t as advanced in the early 90s as it is now. But the information we found on it tells us it was guesstimated to be a Caucasian man in the early 20s.”

He paused and a red marker picked up.

‘You think it was Marshall’s body that was found.’

Ben answered, “Yeah. Especially based on the fact they believe the cause of death to be that of a bullet wound in the back. Maybe he came home to discover you were dead, your killer was still here, and he ran. Only to be caught in the outer woods from the back.”

Little did they know, they’d just partially solved Marshall’s murder. Not that it matters, Marshall Davidson has already been reborn, his spirit having been laid to rest 25 years before by being buried.

Ben decided to share what they’d learned at Shirley Robinson’s.

There was a pause before the green market was lifted.

‘I did know that.’

“So, you know how you were murdered, just now by who or why?”

‘Yes.’

Connor asked, “Why didn’t you mention anything about how you were murdered?”

‘She left details out. No doubt due to being so young.’

“She did mention not knowing all of the details.”

‘I was beaten, I recall flashes of brown eyes. Then stabbed multiple times. The facial disfiguration… My mouth was carved up my face from the corners of my mouth to my cheekbones. Then, barbwire was wrapped around my lower face, digging into my face. More barbwire was wrapped around my throat until I suffocated to death on my own blood.’

He saw the four pale, this was why he hadn’t shared the full details of his death.

Ben eventually spoke unable to come up with another response, “No wonder your sister opted for a closed casket funeral.”

Connor snorted and Ryan rolled his eyes. Justin looked up but before he could respond to Ben, he dropped the pen he’d been fiddling with, staring at the whiteboard.

Ben was concerned, “Justin??”

His mouth opened a couple of times before his voice came out hoarsely, “I-I can see him.”

“Who?”

Jason stared at Justin who was staring right at him.

“I can see Jason. He’s standing by the whiteboard.”

Ryan raised an eyebrow, “Of course he is.”

Ben turned to look before shaking his head, “No. I see him too.”

The transparent young man with long chocolate brown hair to his shoulders and dark blue eyes stared back at them.

Connor and Ryan turned to the whiteboard once more and realized they, too, could see Jason.

The, no doubt brutal, wounds had long scarred over.

Jason raised his hand to his lower face, self-conscious for the first time since he’d died.

But Justin simply got up and moved towards him, “How much pain were you in when you died?”

Jason shifted his lips but as usual, his scarred mouth and damaged throat couldn’t utter a sound.

He turned and wrote on the board, ‘Excruciating. It’s the last thing I remember feeling. The last thing I remember thinking was hoping that Marshall would be okay and why was he doing this. But I don’t remember who ‘he’ is.’

Justin reaches a hand out, quickly pulling it back, remembering that he can’t touch Jason, “We’ll find out. We’ll solve your murder and get you the closure you deserve.”

Jason nodded, knowing they could see him now.

Just then, there was a knock on the door.

So, who’s at the door? Who do  you think killed Jason and Marshall? And why? Comment your guesses down below and I’ll let you know if you’re close! 

‘Til Next Time, Friends! 

 

I'm not where I usually think I am. It's kinda Spooky.

 

Posted in #Wednesday, #Writing Prompts, General Writing

Writing Prompts: Cult; Sing; Lock

Hey, Ya’ll! Welcome back to PEP! Here’s this week’s writing prompts. Despite the title, the cult prompt is actually not the creepiest one of the lot. You’ll see… 

 

_Did I ever tell you about the time I started a cult__

 

 

I love to sing my boyfriend to sleep.

 

_You did lock the door, right__

 

Told you the cult prompt wasn’t the creepiest of the three… 

I look forward to seeing what ya’ll come up with. 

‘Til Next Time, Friends! 

But I love Halloween, and I love that feeling; the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in #Monday, #Monday Writing, Monday Short Tale, Mondays, Sunday Fabricated Stories, Wednesday Weird Tales of the Unknown

Haunted College Boys part V

Hey, ya’ll! Welcome back to PEP! I’m still working on the new name but will share it soon.

This is the first Monday Short Tale of October and as promised, it’s a continuation of the Haunted College Boys arc. If you haven’t yet, check out last Friday’s post for the entirety of the arc so you know what’s happening.

But before we get to that, first, let me share last week’s Wednesday’s Weird Tales of the Unknown and this week’s Sunday Fabricated Stories. While differing in lightness and darkness, both are spooky themed for October. 

It Wasn’t Oil

A Good Dog

Now here’s the latest piece of the Haunted College Boys arc. We learn more about Jason and what ties him here as well as more about the current tenants.

Jason watched idly as Justin and Connor rushed around, gathering their things before running out of the house to their first class.

He turned as Ben yawned.

“I don’t know why they chose 8 o’clock classes.”

“Not sure about Connor but I know one of Justin’s classes he needs for his degree was only offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 am.”

Ben jumped as the sugar bowl suddenly tipped over in front of his plate.

He watched as words were etched out in the spilled sugar.

‘What is he studying?’

Happy that their spirit is friendly now, and clearly regained his energy, Ben answered, “Architecture. I’m studying Music, Ryan’s pre-law; Connor is animal medicine. What did you do when you were alive?”

Eyes shining, mouth would be smiling if he were able, Jason answered in the sugar, ‘Architecture. I designed and built this house.’

“Awesome!”

Ryan leaned forward, eyes fully engaged now, “Can you remember any of your friends or even acquaintances?”

‘Some.’

“You’ve probably already thought about this but any chance anyone mad enough to kill you?”

‘No.’

Ryan nodded, “I’d be surprised if you did, otherwise you wouldn’t be stuck. But all bases need to be covered.”

Jason was pleased to see that this batch of renters were, thus far, smarter than the previous groups.

Ben checked the clock, “Ryan and I have a while before we have to leave for our first classes, can you tell us some about being a spirit. If we know your limits and abilities, it’ll make it easier for us to interact with you to help you solve your murder.”

Jason saw the logic. As such, the next hour before the two living had to leave passed with a pleasant enough, if you ignored the topic, conversation.

~~~

Justin yawned as he entered the kitchen after his last class only to pause in confusion. Ben was hanging a large dry-erase board over the long narrow table Jason had knocked the bucket from. Said bucket now had several dry-erase markers in it.

Before he could ask, Connor, who had gotten home shortly before Jason but hadn’t entered the dining room/kitchen, spoke up.

“Why are you hanging that? Do we need a planner or something? There’s a calendar right over there.”

Ben chuckled, “Nope. This is for Jason.”

Justin’s eyes lit up at the mention of their spirit friend, “Oh, so he can communicate with us more! As much as he can, anyway.”

“Actually, he’ll be able to communicate a lot. Ryan and I had a talk with him this morning, after you two left. The reason he ran out of energy so early last night was because Connor had walked through him. It sucked just as much energy out of him as you were cold, Connor. He’s been a spirit 30 years, with a lot of intruders in his home, he’s a very strong spirit.”

That made sense to the two.

As they gathered around dinner, which was order in pizza, Ben piped up, “Why don’t you go up and get Jason, Justin.”

Justin paused before he sat down, “Wouldn’t that be rude, though? It’s not like he can eat.”

“No. But this’ll be a good time to show him the dry-erase board and talk. I haven’t seen any signs of him so he’s probably in his office.”

“Okay.”

Jason hopped up the stairs, skipping two steps at a time and Connor turned to Ben.

“You’re up to something, aren’t you?”

Ben simply grinned, innocently.

Neither Ryan nor Connor fell for it.

 

Justin knocked on the door that led to Jason’s office.

“Hey, Jason? If you’re in there, can you come down to the dining room? We’re having dinner and got something we want to show you.”

Jason heard Justin’s footsteps fade away as he set his book down, curious at the fact he’d essentially been invited to dinner. He shrugged and floated down through the floor to the first floor. He walked into the dining room, making his footsteps audible so the boys would know he was there.

Ben perked up as he heard footsteps and shushed the others.

He greeted, “Hi Jason!”

The others hadn’t heard the footsteps and looked at Ben like he’d lost his mind until the fifth chair at the table next to Justin’s slid out.

Ben hopped up, “You don’t have to get up, Jason, but look!”

Jason had noticed the new addition to the dining room when he walked in.

Ben continued, “This way you’ll be able to easily communicate to us in here without having to make do with what’s at hand.”

Jason got up, took a look at the markers in the familiar bucket and chose one.

The boys watched as the red marker lifted in the air and wrote, in a familiar neat cursive, ‘Thank you.’

Ben beamed as he sat back down, “You’re welcome!”

They noticed the board move, as if Jason was looking behind it.

“Oh, no worries, Jason! I hung it with Velcro strips. They’ll peel right off the wall without damages.”

The green marker lifted in the air this time and a small thumbs up graced the board.

Ryan turned to an understandably confused Connor and Justin, “Jason was an architect when he was alive. He designed and built this house.”

Justin’s honey brown eyes lit up and he turned to the board, “No wonder you don’t like people in your house. Our landlord mentioned she always rented to college kids. Though she didn’t say why. They don’t respect your house, do they? Which would piss any spirit off but especially one who built the house.”

‘That’s right.’

Justin paused before continuing, “Do you think we could talk shop sometime? I doubt the architecture basics have changed in the last 30 years.”

A green thumbs up followed by, ‘They haven’t.’

Connor had to ask, “How do you know?”

‘I taught myself how to use the tech left around the house by previous renters.’

“Oh, so you know how to use the internet.”

‘And coding programs, music programs, some computer games and those office programs that come on the computers. I also know how to use tablets, smart phones and smart TVs.’

“Oh, so you’re a modern spirit then.”

‘Yes.’

“Cool. That’ll make this a little easier as we start to do research. Of which, Justin,” Ben looked at him, “you just gave me an idea. The landlord. Surely she knows something of what happened here. It’s illegal to sell a house here in Louisiana without disclosing that there’s been a death in the house.”

The squeaking of the marker caught their attention.

‘She does.’

“Oh, she does?”

‘She’s come through, griping about how hard it was to rent this house to a family when the death that occurred here comes to light. She tried adults previously, but they always ran out, screaming about it being haunted. College students usually brush that off.’

“Oh. I wonder why she didn’t say anything to us about it.”

Connor shrugged, “Probably didn’t want to lose us as tenants.”

Ryan snorted, “You kidding. Ben and Justin would’ve wanted to move in sooner.”

The two mentioned simply grinned.

“Tomorrow’s Saturday, then. We’ll talk to the landlord before hitting the library.”

“But first, Jason. Do you remember your last name?”

‘Jason McKay.’

“That’ll help us find information and you said you lived here 30 years ago?”

‘Yes.’

Ryan piped in with, “I don’t suppose you can leave the house, can you?”

‘I’ve not tried since shortly after my death. No reason to.’

“Hmmm.”

Ryan was finished eating and stood up.

“I want to do an experiment. Jason, can you try walking out on the back porch with me?”

No response appeared on the dry erase board, but they heard footsteps following Ryan as he headed to the back door.

Ryan headed out to the far railing on the back porch, hearing footsteps following him to the door. He turned, listening intently, hearing faint footsteps still following him.

“So, you can at least go to the back porch. Can you try stepping off the porch?”

Silence and Ryan wasn’t sure Jason was still there with him or not.

Suddenly, a breeze blew past him, knocking him head over feet, landing sprawled over the back porch, the door slammed open, partially imbedding itself into the wall and the other three ducked as pizza and loose items in the kitchen blew over their heads.

When it had calmed, Justin pulled himself up from where he had ducked under the table, seeing Connor and Ben do the same. He headed out to the back porch to help Ryan up and back in. Ryan clutched his head where he had bashed it on the back porch. Justin turned back to the door as it creaked behind them, closing itself.

“Uh, Jason?”

There was no answer.

Connor was amazed the door was still in one piece considering the imprint it’d left on the wall.

Just then, the back door locked, slams were heard from upstairs and clicks were heard from the windows in the kitchen and dining room.

Ben got up and tried the window nearest him.

“It’s locked! I think we just got locked in!”

Ryan asked, “Jason? Is that you??”

Connor shook his head, gut tightening, “I don’t think he’s even in here. This is something else.”

Justin nodded, “Of all the things Jason had tried, he never actually meant harm; just to scare us out of here.”

Ben asked, faint tremor in his tenor voice, “Jason? Are you in here?”

Nothing.

Justin turned, “I’m going upstairs.”

The other three followed. Justin headed directly to Jason’s office.

“Jason? Are you in there? Are you okay?”

 

Inside, Jason clutched his sides, transparent body trembling from the tremors of pain.

He couldn’t, of course, speak and as much as he wanted to get up and phase through the door to let his new friends know he was still here, he couldn’t.

As such, for the first time in 30 years, the door unlocked.

 

Justin heard the click and grabbed the handle, turning it. The door creaked open, hinges rusty.

He stepped in, partially registering awe that the interior wasn’t even dusty, simply abandoned.

The greater half of him asked, “Jason? Are you okay? Tap once for yes, twice for no.”

Two taps came from the direction of the sofa.

The four filed in, careful to not sit on the sofa, not knowing where Jason was on it.

“What was that? What happened?”

Jason concentrated on a pad of paper, yellowed from age, on his desk and a pen he knew had ink. The pad refilled itself every time he used it, stuck in the same time tunnel he was as a spirit, but he’d lifted some pens from various tenants as the original pens eventually dried out or ran out of ink.

The four watched the pen scrawl across the page, the handwriting not quite the neat cursive they’d become accustomed to with Jason. It was similar enough they knew it was him.

When the pen stopped moving, Connor picked it up and read, “I made it to the porch but the further I walked across the porch, the more pain I was in. When I stepped off the porch, before my foot even made contact with the grass, I was blasted back inside and teleported back in here. I’m still feeling some pain and am physically too weak to try moving from this couch.”

Ryan winced, “I’m sorry. I was hoping that if you could leave the house, you could go with us to the library and be able to point out anything that might be familiar in our research.”

The pen moved again, ‘Don’t be. You had good intentions. None of us knew that I was truly trapped here. Some spirits can move about, some cannot.’

Ben declared, “We’ll just have to make copies of anything we find to do with a Jason McKay in the 80s and bring it back.”

The pen picked up and wobbled before hesitantly scrawling another name.

‘Marshall Davidson.’

Ben, Connor and Ryan were confused but Justin realized the significance.

“That’s your partner, isn’t it?”

A single tap.

“We’ll look him up as well; see if we can figure out what happened to him.”

Recognizing the tension in the room and realizing what it was about, Ben assured Jason, “We have no issue with your partner being a man. We’re either gay, bisexual or a straight LGBTQ ally here.”

Justin continued, “Things have changed since the 80s when you were alive. There are still issues, there’s still miles to go in equality and acceptance but it’s not generally hated like it was when you were alive.”

Connor offered, “I guessed as much, actually, when you used the word partner last night. Most that use that word are referencing to same gender.”

Pain still trembling over him, making him wonder if this was the pain he’d been in when he died, Jason did relax considerably. He’d known general consensus of homosexuals when he was alive of course and the bit that the tenants had ever talked about when they briefly lived here hadn’t led him to believe it’d changed.

Justin stretched, feeling considerably wiped out despite it only being 8 pm. He was trying to ignore the fact they were currently locked in. Hopefully it was only a temporary reaction to Jason trying to leave.

“Tomorrow’s Saturday. I vote we go on to bed, since I don’t know about ya’ll but I’m wiped, and get an early start in the morning to the library and landlord at minimum.” 

The other three living agreed and left the office.

Justin peered around the room, taking in the colors and books, “Are you going to be okay in here on your own, Jason?”

Slight amusement lighting his royal blue eyes, Jason tapped once.

“Alright. I know you’re a spirit but you’re also not alone anymore.”

With that, Justin left the room, closing the door behind him.

Jason relaxed back on the couch, letting his body relaxed in hopes the pain would ease, and locked the door behind Justin.

No, he wasn’t alone anymore.

©Paula Crofoot

So, what will the boys find out tomorrow? Will a new face help or hinder their efforts? We’ll have to see next Monday. 

‘Til Next Time Friends! 

Everything becomes magnified at night. Sound travel in a different way, it's dark, and everything seems far more spooky.

Posted in #Friday, General Writing, Uncategorized

Haunted College Boys I-IV

Hey Ya’ll! Welcome back to PEP! As promised, here is all four parts of the Haunted College Boys arc together so you can catch up or refamiliarize yourself if you were here last Halloween before the new piece on Monday. 

Haunted College Boys

“Yee-haw! Come on, boys. Here’s our new home for the next two years!”

“Why’d it have to be yellow?”

“Hey, it was cheap and not all of us are moneybags.”

The blond looked at his brunette friend wryly.

“None of us are. Not once my father learns of my change in degree.”

“Hm. You’re stockpiling, though, right?”

“Yes, and I have the trust my grandmother left for after college.”

“Then you’ll be fine.”

“Yeah, I will be. It’s better to do something with my life that I won’t waste away at anyway, right, Justin?”

“You got it, Bennie-boy.”

The nick-named early 20s blond glared at Justin, “You know I hate that nickname.”

Justin stuck his tongue out at him, “Suck it up, Benji.”

Ben whined, “That’s almost worse!”

Coming up behind the two, a tall red-head commented, “Give it up, Ben. You know Justin, he gives everyone nick-names. But if we don’t get a move-on, we’ll still be unpacking come sun-down.”

Ben groaned and Justin snickered.

Justin headed upstairs, hollering down, “Yo, who picked which rooms?”

Ben yelled up, “We haven’t yet! Don’t even think about it!”

“Well, then get up here!”

Ben huffed and Connor grinned, brushing his red hair out of his aqua blue eyes.

A fourth voice spoke, the first two turning to see Ryan, “Come on, then. Before we get shifted out of the best room by default.”

The three boys headed up, instigating a brief squabble over the open rooms.

Justin paused by a closed door, “Hey, guys, what’s in here?”

Connor peered over, “No clue. I thought we went through all the rooms before we rented the place.”

“So did I but this door’s closed.”

“Well, let’s see what’s inside.”

Justin tried the door, only to find it locked.

“What the hell?”

Ben came over then, “Why is it locked? The landlord promised we’d have the full house. She knew we were renting it for four guys.”

Justin shrugged, “No clue. But til we can get a key from her or get her unlock this one, let’s leave it. There’s plenty of other rooms.”

Eventually, they settled on four rooms and moved the rest of their stuff into the house, never realizing they had company.

~~~~~~

Jason scowled, watching the latest intruders in his home. No matter what he did, that insufferable woman kept renting it out. Worse than the fact she kept renting his home rather than properly manage it as it should be, but she kept renting it to irresponsible college students that continually destroyed it. Every time renters finally left, there was damage that was not caused by his haunting. It made his spine crawl seeing the damage done. No doubt, these boys would be the same.

He watched them move throughout the house, making plans to scare them out.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Justin jumped the last three steps, landing with a loud thump, making Ryan flinch.
“I smell something good!”

Ryan glowered over his coffee, “Can’t you come in without making racket like a barbarian.”

“Just cuz not all of us are morning people doesn’t make me a barbarian.”

Before Ryan could snark back, Ben stepped in as the usual peace mediator, “Let’s not start this again. Surely we can come to a compromise.”

The look on Ryan’s face screamed that he wasn’t in the mood to compromise and Ben knew Justin wasn’t going to back down. Before they could come to arms, Connor stepped in to assist.

Placing a plate of pancakes before Justin, “Here’s what you were smelling,” and topping off Ryan’s cup, “Drink more. You need it.”

Ryan glowered but didn’t argue and Justin happily dug into his pancakes.

Ben let out a breath and slumped against Connor as Connor hid a grin behind his bangs. They were all good friends, but Ryan and Justin were complete opposites and had been since they’d been neighbors freshman year. But Ryan’s roommate had been the roommate from hell and Ben and Justin had moved Ryan into their room on the sly after finding him slumped over asleep in the common room four times in one week.

It’d taken some time but the two had found common ground in activism. Ben could still remember when the two had come in, completely covered in rainbow paint, leaving tracks all over the dorm hall, their dorm room and the shared bathroom. He’d known Justin was going to the rally for LGBTQ rights, had invited him but he hadn’t dared go against his father just yet, but he had not known Ryan was going. Justin had run into Ryan at the rally and that cinched their brotherhood, especially considering Ryan was straight.

Just then, all four jumped a foot when a bucket on the long narrow table behind them suddenly crashed to the ground.

Justin turned while Ryan peered over his shoulder and Ben and Connor turned to look.

The bucket hadn’t had anything in it, fortunately, but the confusing part was how it had fallen when no one had been near it.

“Uh, any ideas?”

The other three shook their heads to Justin’s query.

“Could it have been the wind?”

Ben looked outside, “No wind. And even if there was, none of the windows are open and the doors are all latched.”

Justin jumped on the table and Ben shoved Connor back as the vase, platter, pens and pencils and the globe brought from Ryan’s home crashed to the ground from the same storage table.

“Okay, now how the hell did that happen? We were all looking at that table!”

Voice barely steady, Ben spoke, “There has to be a rational reason. Right? Right.”

“Of course. We just have to figure out what it was.”

As if laughing at Ryan’s statement, the hall tree crashed, sending Justin’s baseball cap and Connor’s leather jacket flying.

Justin frowned, climbing off the table, “That’s it. Who’s there? Come on, answer me.”

Ryan looked at him as if he’d lost his mind.

“There’s no one there.”

As if insulted, Ryan’s coffee mug tipped over, spilling his coffee all over his lap.

He slammed his chair back, “Damn it!”

Ben was concerned, “Are you okay?”

“Yes. Fortunately, it was half-cold.”

“Still certain there’s no one there.”

“There has to be a rational explanation.”

The house was silent.

“Did they leave?”

“There wasn’t anyone there.”

Connor and Ben whirled around as the knife block tipped over, sliding all the knives to the floor.

“If one of those knives floats, I’m outta here!”

They watched with bated breath.

~~~~~~~~

Jason sat on the counter next to the knife block, sly smirk on his face. As much as he wanted these people out of his house, he wasn’t going to make it that easy. He’d long since learned that lesson. Make it too easy to get them out, they just come back once they’d gained control of their senses, convincing themselves they were seeing things. It would then actually be harder to get rid of them. No, it was better to let the men calm down and do more later.

With that, he picked up the two chairs on the side of the table the boy named Ryan had been on, and tossed them into the chairs on the other side of the table, the four young men having moved towards the door in case a knife did float.

He then vanished up to his quarters, leaving the four staring at the mess of wood.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ryan eyed Justin who was currently slumped over his necessary nectar of life.

“Enjoying your coffee?”

When there was no answer, Ryan reached over the table and poked Justin in the shoulder.

He jumped, knocking his coffee over, eyes wide, “I’m up, I’m up!” and Ryan reared back.

Connor asked, having watched the entire mishap, “You okay, Justin?”

Justin shook his head, “I haven’t had a full night’s sleep this whole week.”

“Video games?”

“No. Actually, I’ve gone to bed at a decent hour. I do have classes and am trying to be more responsible, being a junior and all.”

“But…”

“At about midnight, every night, there has been a loud, screeching noise, right outside my door. But by the time I get to the door, there’s nothing in the hallway. At all! Much less something that could’ve made that noise. Then for at least the next hour, footsteps go up and down the hall.”

“You’ve looked for the intruder?”

“The first few nights, I did. But after sitting on my bed, with the door open and a flashlight the third night, with nothing in sight, I’ve given up.”

Connor glanced at Ryan, “How come we haven’t heard any of this?”

“Because we’re on the other side of the floor.”

They turned to Ben who’d kept quiet so far.

“We’re on the west side of second floor while Justin took the corner room on the east side. The two sides are isolated from each other by distance and the staircase.”

Ryan turned back to Justin, “We’re sleeping in your room tonight.”

“K. But I need another cup of joe.”

~~~~~~~~

That evening, the other three boys camped out in Justin’s room, Ben in his office chair and Ryan and Connor sat on either side of the open door. Justin settled on his bed, reading a book with his booklight.

“Ya’ll can relax. You’ve got about 5 minutes yet.”

“Yeah, but I want to be paying attention so we can spot what it is.”

A few minutes later, even though he was expecting it, Ben jumped half a foot when a loud, floor shaking screech sounded in the hallway.

Ryan and Connor immediately jumped up, dashing into the hall. Connor hit the light switch, turning on the hall light.

They both turned, looking up and down the hallway.

“How?”

Justin stepped out, followed by Ben, “Nothing, right?”

“It wasn’t but seconds ago. There’s no way they could’ve gotten out of sight before Connor turned the light on.”

Just then, the wooden floor creaked between the four, distinct footsteps headed down the hall, yet no one was visible.

Ryan pointed, hand waving, mouth open, baffled. Connor’s eyes were wide, and Ben’s head was moving back and forth.

The footsteps moved towards them once more and Connor moved into the center of the hall, determined to catch whatever was walking. The steps walked between the three and Connor froze, blood ice cold.

Ben frowned, “Connor?”

Arms covered in goosebumps, skin pale, Connor’s mouth opened and closed a few times.

Ben moved towards Connor, but he put his arm up, holding him off.

“I don’t know what it was, but something just walked through me. It was ice cold and just creepy feeling. For a moment, I didn’t think the feeling was going to leave, like it was going to stay.”

He shivered, “I’d be fine never feeling that again.”

Ben swallowed, “I think you were just nearly possessed.”

Justin frowned, the footsteps were silent for the moment, so he wasn’t sure if whatever it was, was even still here.

But he had to try, “Whatever, or whoever, you are, what do you want? Why are you here?”

Ryan spoke, “You think someone’s here?”

“You don’t? After what happened Monday in the kitchen, something keeping me up this whole week, all the other little strange things happening, Connor just being walked through… Something’s here!”

Ben spoke, “Usually, if a spirit is here, there’s a reason. They need something. Question is, what?”

“That’s what I want to know. Are you still here?”

~~~~~~~~~

Jason was standing next to Justin, recovering from walking through the redhead. Of all the things he’d done in the last 30 years, walking through a living human wasn’t one of them. He didn’t like it any more than the redhead had. He focused in on what the brunette was saying.

The problem was, he couldn’t answer even if he knew what it was he needed. He could interact with his surroundings, but he couldn’t talk to the living. That required a voice and he hadn’t had one in 30 years. Not a distinguishable one that could be understood as anything other than moans and groans.

~~~~~~~~~

Justin asked, “Why are you keeping me up every night?”

~~~~~~~~~~~

Jason frowned, in this case, he wasn’t purposefully antagonizing the living. The screeching had been happening in this hallway every night for the last 30 years. The footsteps were him trying to figure out what it was. He knew, in his gut, that it was connected to the night he was killed. He wanted answers just as much as they did.

~~~~~~~~

Justin sighed in frustration before trying once more, “What is it you want?”

~~~~~~~~

Jason always listened to his gut and so, even though he’d never done this before, seeing the intruders in his home as the enemy, he decided to give it a try. He walked into the brunette’s, whose name he believed was Justin, room.

~~~~~~~~~

Justin raked his hand through his hair, “I guess whoever it was left.”

Just then, squeaking came from in Justin’s room.

“What’s that?”

Justin turned and his jaw dropped. The other three crowded behind, jaws dropping and eyes growing wide as the black marker moved across Justin’s dry erase board on the opposite wall.

Justin asked, “Ya’ll see what I’m seeing?”

The other three mutely nodded.

Connor began reading it aloud just to make sure he was seeing what his eyes were screaming they were seeing.

“My name is Jason. I have been here 31 years, 30 as a ghost. I don’t know what the screeching is. It’s happened every night the last 30 years. The footsteps are me trying to figure out what it is.”

Justin crept towards the board, carefully picking up the black marker that had just been set back down.

“There’s no warmth to it. It really was a ghost holding it.”

Ryan wanted to scoff, being the least superstitious out of the four but he couldn’t deny what his own eyes had seen.

Ben finally shook off his shock, “Does that mean you don’t know anything about the day you died?”

Justin jumped when the black marker floated out of his hand before it returned to the board.

Justin read it this time, being right in front of it.

“I know it was late evening. I was still up, waiting for my partner to return home, in my office down the hall. I know it was brutal. But I don’t know by who, why or what happened to my partner. They never returned that I saw.”

~~~~~~~~

Jason left out the part that it was at least a day after he died that he returned as a spirit as his body and definite mess from his murder was gone when he’d reappeared here.

~~~~~~~~

Connor had to ask, “The room down that hall that’s your office, is it the one that is locked?”

The marker didn’t pick up again.

~~~~~~~~

Jason tried to pick up the marker, but he’d used up all of his energy for the moment. He’d need to recharge before he could do it again.

~~~~~~~~

Ben’s brows furrowed when the ghost, no, when Jason didn’t answer. He’d been so helpful just a moment before. Struggling to remember what his grandmother had taught him as she’d considered herself a minor medium before she’d passed, he stumbled on the answer.

“You can’t pick up the marker again, can you? You’re tired. Tap the board once for yes, twice for no.”

There came a single tap on the dry erase board.

Ryan was baffled, “I didn’t know ghosts could get tired. They’re not living anymore, are they?”

Ben shook his head, “No. But they still consist of energy just like us, it’s just manifested differently than our living bodies.”

Justin turned to Jason, “Is that true?”

Another single tap.

Connor had to ask, “How do you know this, Ben?”

“My grandmother believed herself to be a minor medium before she passed.”

“Minor? I didn’t think size mattered.”

Ben chuckled, “Not quite like that. Minor such as she could do tarot readings and crystal balls, even contact the occasional spirit for an answer or two, but she was never able to make full contact with a spirit, nor could she hear or see them.”

“Oh…”

A beat of silence, “What about you?”

“Not that I know of. I can’t see or hear Jason any more than you three can.”

Connor stifled a yawn, “I don’t know about you three, but I vote we get some sleep. We can’t get any more answers to the mystery surrounding Jason’ death tonight anyway. The library is closed, and Jason is out of energy.”

“There’s the internet.”

“And how much of that should we dare to believe?”

“Point. To bed then. Are you alright to sleep in here, Justin, or do you want to crash on the floor of my room?”

“I think I should be fine. The screeching only happens once a night and now that I know what the footsteps are, I’ll be okay.”

“Alright then. Good night.”

The other three boys departed, and Justin fell backwards onto his bed with a deep sigh.

He didn’t know if Jason was still in the room or if he’d left but he spoke anyway.

“Would I be correct in guessing you’re stuck here until you can either find out who murdered you and why? Since I’m going to assume they were never caught. Or perhaps until you can find out what happened to your boyfriend? I caught the him before you erased it and wrote partner. If there’s a yes to any of that, if you even still in here, tap yes.”

A single tap came from the nightside table and he sighed.

“We’ll find the answer. No one deserves to be trapped for 30 years, especially separated from their lover. But you’ve gotta stop making a mess. That was you downstairs, right?”

Another single tap.

Justin settled in for the night before speaking once more.

“You don’t have to answer right now, I know you’re outta energy. But what we’d do to deserve that treatment, huh? Night.”

~~~~~~~~~~

Jason frowned in the darkness after Justin had turned out his light before he walked through the walls to his office. He sat down in his chair, deep in thought.
Never before had anyone not run screaming from his haunting. No one had ever offered to help him solve the mystery of his murder and what happened to Marshall. He had no idea who killed him, why they killed him and so brutally, or what had happened to Marshall after that night.

He settled in to recharge, thinking that perhaps things were finally changing to the good.

~~~~Fin for Now~~~~

©Paula Crofoot

For those of you that remember, you’ll notice there has been a couple of name changes. I never really liked James for my spirit’s name, nor the full name of Thomas. So, now it’s Jason and Marshall. 

Let’s see what happens next, next week, shall we? 

‘Til Next Time, Friends

 

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