Mr. Keith’s House – Part III
A harsh raspy voice repeats my name; the house knows I’m here. Does it also comprehend why I’m here? It doesn’t matter; I will investigate when I’m ready and not on its terms.
With that thought in mind, I ignore the call upstairs and finish unpacking. There is another bedroom on the ground floor, and I claim that as mine. I finish making the bed when from upstairs.
I pay no heed to the voice and go into the kitchen to unpack the dishes and the little food I brought. Next on my to-do list is grocery shopping.
Upstairs, a loud thump that sounds like a door slamming against the wall distracts me. I smile a mirthless smile, pressing my lips together in a thin line, thinking how impatient the spirit is upstairs. It will have to wait, as I will be here in the house for a while and want to be as comfortable as possible.
Most of the activity was upstairs, although I still needed to investigate the cellar. The house is a three-bedroom, two-bath Victorian with gables. Two bedrooms and a bath upstairs and a third bedroom and bath downstairs. Somebody had renovated the home, bringing the electrical and plumbing up to date, and it still had the original wood flooring.
It sounded like a temper tantrum upstairs with more thumping, followed by multiple doors banging and slamming against the wall. The entity doesn’t like Ramon ignoring it.
When I started investigating the paranormal, that was one of the things my instructor taught me. Spirits make noise because they want attention. They live off fear, so the more attention I give the creature upstairs, the more I feed it.
I don’t plan to feed this entity anything, so it will get no attention from me. Throw all the temper tantrums you want ghosty. I walk into the bathroom to unpack my toiletries.
Three hours later, I’m unpacked and relaxing on the living room couch. I turn on the TV to the travel channel and one of my favorite series, In Search of Monsters.
Ramon? Is that you? Please help me, Ramon.
I tense. That is Kyle’s voice but is it my brother or the house trying to confuse me? His sad voice washes over my body, and a wave of guilt crashes through me. I bend over in pain, covering my ears with my hands.
Ramon? Please, Ramon, I want to go home.
You are not Kyle. Kyle is dead, and I’m not listening to you. I turn up the volume on the TV until I drown out whatever was pretending to be Kyle. The house went silent a few minutes later, and I lowered my hands.
My body continues trembling after hearing my brother’s voice or something imitating him, and it affects me more than I thought it would. The house wins this round with its underhandedness. I will not allow it to get to me like that again.
Laughter fills the upstairs, expanding through the rooms downstairs and filling the spaces until I feel it vibrating through my body. A deep guttural laugh resounds through the domicile – this thing was happy with itself.
It is the hardest thing for me to do, but I brush off the taunting. I remember my training, refrain from feeding the house or letting it hurt me like that again. This house will not manipulate my emotions again, not now – not ever.
Wiping the sweat off my forehead, I force myself to sit back on the couch and resume watching TV.
Soon, the sick mirth stops, and surprise. Silence reigns once more. The pretender drew first blood emotionally; I can’t afford to let that happen again.
Tomorrow is a new day, and I will do better; then, a weird urge befalls me, and I answer it.
Looking upstairs, I said. “Goodnight, Kyle,” and the house howls in response.