Excerpt from the WIP for Ghost of a Chance
The basement door was easy to overlook, it looked like a cupboard. It opened easily, revealing a dark hole leading down into the bowels of the earth. I looked for a light switch, my hand searching where my eyes could not but found nothing.
As we made our way down the stairs in the dark, I used the torchlight on my phone to see the way. I found the light switch at the bottom of the stairs.
The air in the basement smelled old and musty, with the faint odour of tobacco. We were in a large room, set out like an office with an old desk and overflowing bookcases. An even older leather armchair sat in the corner surrounded by a neat stack of cardboard boxes.
Laurie must have read my mind, saying exactly what I was thinking. ‘Phew, thank God there’s no freezer, nowhere to hide a body…’
My next thought I kept to myself, maybe the body had been cut up and was in all those boxes.
A loud noise made me jump and Laurie shriek, and that was when the light went out.
‘What was that? Snow, where are you?’
‘I’m here, Laurie. Stand still while I switch on my phone light. I don’t suppose you remember seeing any torches when we were here before?’
The limited light from my phone isolated us as we stood at the bottom of the stairs. I strained my eyes, trying to see the further corners of the room. It looked as it did moments ago, but it didn’t feel the same. Weird rustling sounds, creaking and what sounded like whispering came at me from all the corners of the room.
Laurie must have heard it too, for she turned away from me. ‘I’ll go look for a torch, shall I?’ And shot up the stairs like an athlete.
I wanted to follow her, but something kept my feet rooted to the floor.
The whispering came closer and seemed much louder. Something brushed against my face and the image of a bat flew across my mind. This was unlikely, as there didn’t seem to be any access to the outside, something bats had to have.
I shone the light around the room again and as it reached the leather armchair in the corner, the light flickered and went out but not before I thought I saw someone sitting there.
I barely had the time to consider this when something shoved me.
I felt hands on my lower back, strong enough to cause me to stumble.
Instantly, my arms thrashed around, expecting to contact whoever touched me, but found no one.
‘Laurie, is that you?’
The room was silent, the creaks and the whispering stopped as if waiting for someone or something to answer my question.
I tried to move, to make my way up the stairs but my feet refused to move.
I felt the hands on my back again, a growing chill spreading from the site of contact. ‘Who are you?’
When the voice began to speak, the whispering grew louder, creating a tornado of sound, circling around me.
‘You don’t want or need to know who I am, MR Snow. Get out of my house!’
When the shove came, it sent me flying across the room and I found myself in the leather armchair, pinned down by the hands that sent me there.
As I sat there, stunned and very disorientated, I tried to make sense of what had just happened. A flickering light appeared, bobbing up and down. Now what, I wondered. My rational mind not quite accepting any of this.
‘Snow, where are you? I found a torch, it’s a bit feeble but better than nothing.’ As she shone the light around the room, she found me sprawled in the armchair.
‘What are you doing? Don’t tell me you wanted to take it easy, what are you like?’
A small laugh escaped from my mouth as I thought about trying to explain what I thought had just happened.
I did my best to describe what happened to me in the basement. Laurie listened, but I wasn’t sure she believed everything I said. One thing we did agree on, we were trying to help a lonely and confused woman, not get involved with ghost hunting.
That’s what I think, but is it really? ( all opinions gratefully welcome!)