Get Your Premium Membership

Echoes Of A Shady Past

An icy chill descends on 13 Beaver Veil Cottage as sisters Ester and Ellie walk gingerly up the steps on this wet and windy night. This once charming pied-a-terre was now in a final phase denouement. The trees surrounding this house creak ominously overhead as tangled electric wires cackle in the rusty leaves. "Night owls like us should be wary.” Ellie sighs in a shudder as her sniffling nose warps her every word. "Yes......Ellie, watch your every step or we could be joining our Uncle Denny and Auntie Diane in that eternal place in the sky, that is, if there is one.” Ester countered with a ghost- laden voice. "Heavens above or heaven on earth your faith or is it fate is sealed in another world.” Ester continued dryly. A loose tile suddenly drops in front of both of them as they approach the rotting front door of this old period home with its spaced windows, dripping eaves, and contoured outlines. "Focus that torch of yours, Ellie. Look at how evenly split those tiles are. The hidden hand of a superior being no doubt.” The moon peeps behind the clouds almost in sync with Ester‘s edgy broadside.. Ellie smirks nervously as they both tread the damp dark hallway with its crumbling structures and sinister undertone. Auntie Diane and Uncle Denny used to poke fun at our squabbles when we were caring for them. Like ourselves they were natural mimics. They loved copycatting our voices just as we did when imitating them.” Ellie's tone a haunting echo reverberating around the interior of this latter day cave. "Oddly enough Diane always had her worry beads with her. But our impish banter offset her angst. Auntie’s ripples of laughter at the two of us proved that.” Ellie once more stressing a point "Indeed.” Ester concurred. "Denny was more unearthly in his asides.” Pictures, CDS and other personal belongings seemed either to appear out of nowhere or were left strewn as if they had been planted deliberately. “Ester...where are you ? My walks,...My walks....I know you are hiding on me.” Ellie’s mischievous giggle now a misty cacophony in imitation of uncle Denny’s sonorous voice. "The joker within me surfaces despite myself.” Ellie deadpans. "Joker or perhaps a lurking scruple or two.” Ester replied as she cast her auntie Diane’s scapulars at Ellie which she had just spotted on the floor next to a Light Emission Diode gadget. This religious object somehow missed its target. "Far too long brewing that coffee. Are you making that Percolator?" Ester assuming her aunt Diane's plummy twang. Within seconds a swirling witch's brew of Diane and Denny voices filled the air in grotesque mockery as the sisters taunt each other in rotation. “You are holding on too tightly, Diane. I need a rest Uncle Denny.” Ellie calls for an immediate halt to this hair-raising escapade. “We both cared for our relatives as best we could." Ellie observes against this web of suspense. “Diane with her plain dress sense at odds with her aura loved to drop oblique hints about delays. Oh.... and that rocking chair.” Ellie opined. “All an act too...she was never glued to it when it suited. The sudden movements and those long- range controlling beams from her peepers.” Ellie darkly noted. "As for Denny and his colour scheme clothing. He was always nudging Diane when we stared at each other. They had an inkling as to when you and I would row over the Eternal Life question.....or some other state beyond this earth." Ester her voice now saturated with the dampness of this old house. "The 13 BEAVER VEIL BROUHAHA.” Ester as she adds another spine-tingling quip to the proceedings. “They loved our spats.” Ellie whispers amid the sound of scurrying mice and sinister splish-splash of ceiling leaks. "This hovel could still be the death of us literally. It has decayed since our last visit.” The sisters' voices now merge as one. For whatever reason Ellie seemed to be curiously familiar with this dwelling despite the fact that it was supposed to be their first visit in six months. Ester’s suspicions had been heightened every minute they spent in this abode. Diane and Denny had a special sense of attachment to this house despite the best wishes of their caretakers. The elders revelled in this old home and its ghastly....indeed ghostly choir of sounds from the mists of time. "Have you the gumption to climb these stairs? After all, the way things are going this could be our last chance to peer around Diane and Denny's rooms." Ellie’s wet croak vent in the ascendant. "Wouldn't be too sure about the lights unless there's Divine Light.” Ester and Ellie jostling with each other. A pregnant silence ensued followed by spooky giggles. Ester and Ellie climb the stairs carefully eyeing their surroundings while they take big gulps of dank mould air. This was no time for either to lose their balance. Suddenly a burst of thunder and a scattered moonlit beam meld with Ester’s frightened shriek. "Ellie, am I seeing things? It's the rocking chair. Is that where you left it the last time?.....on the top of the stairs." Ester now frantic. "Now you might believe in a higher power ,,,er...gosh.” Gasps Ellie. "There's a faint outline in the chair. Apparition or spirit.” Ellie again. "Where's my tea? Aren't you going to read to me? Are you two still at it?” Diane's voice or its like as it flits from spot to spot. "Ellie please not now ….oh no is that Denny?” Ester was almost possessed. Denny was seemingly speaking through her in retaliation. "I'm here, those delays, feeling guilty are we?” Was I that much trouble?” The rocking chair was tilting back and forth as if it was about to tumble. The ceiling plaster crashes as Ellie and Ester grab each other before heading back downstairs. They dash to the front door which Ellie had forgotten to shut. It looked as if the door was going to close of its own accord. The rocking chair was now at the foot of the stairs as they just managed to squeeze past the closing door without being trapped . Just! " Keep running.” Ellie her words nearly choking her. Out the gate and down the main road they fled against a bizarre backdrop of strange whirlpool noises emanating from the house they had barely escaped. "Phew that was close....I never want that experience again." Ester blurts. You seemed to know the house much better than I did?" Ester again in an arched tone. “You haven't been out there by yourself within the last six months?" Ester posing the question again suspiciously. "….that God is my witness.” Ellie gleams with her ironic religious retort. And the moon peeps out again from behind the clouds as Ellie and Ester continue to flee. Their fearful laughter mingling with beads of sweat that segue into the frost encrusted air for miles around. Howard Kerr Copyright Protected

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022

Post Comments

Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.

Please Login to post a comment

Date: 10/6/2022 4:27:00 PM
We say we don’t believe in ghosts but we always remain skeptical in light of evidence. Very enjoyable read, SuZ
Login to Reply
Date: 8/2/2022 1:25:00 PM
Scary story, Howard. It would make a good short film!
Login to Reply