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The Loophole


5 replies to this topic

#1
Foxglove

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"Oh hi there, Miss! I didn't realize anybody had moved into this old house!" His voice was warm and full of color, like a fresh hot chocolate on a December morn'.

"Did you make it a habit to sneak into this house before I bought it?" I asked, somewhat snappishly.

"Yes," he returned with no shame. "But I didn't sneak in. I strolled in."

"Like you owned the place."

"Yes." He said smugly.

I said nothing. Being blind, there was little I could do either way. If he was evil, I was fairly screwed. I had my mace in the pocket of my jeans, but that was really for when a guy was on top of me. Beyond that it was just about useless.

"You're blind." My intruder said finally.

"White cane against my chair," I shot back, "wide sunglasses, haven't looked your way since you entered ... what was your first friggin' clue, genius?"

My intruder laughed. Every time he spoke he was in a different part of the vast library room. For this laugh he was right in front of me about a foot away. I was used to people unexpectedly speaking that close to me so I didn't jump. "You have nerves of steel, my dear. More than any who've bought this house before you."

"It's been a long line of people, from what I gathered." I replied calmly.

"Yes, this house is quite haunted, I'm afraid." He said from the far corner behind me.

"Well, yes, I gathered that when you first spoke to me."

The room fell silent but the temperature went down another couple degrees.

"What gave me away?" He finally asked.

The room fell another degree. I realized my hands were so tightly clenched my nails were drawing blood from my palms. I forced my hands to relax. "Besides the fact that you spoke in this room without there first being sounds of the door or footsteps leading into the room? You don't sound alive, sir."

"Aren't you afraid?"

"Yes." I admitted.

"Afraid enough to leave and never return to my house?"

"No."

"I want you out of my house, ma'am."

I sighed. "And I want my sight back. I guess we're both SOL."

"Well, okay, I guess I'll have to haunt you until you change your mind."

My anger finally outpaced my fear. "You're a real douche, you know that?"

"Pardon me?"

"What, me being blind isn't enough? You're going to make me go through the entire pain in the ass moving thing again? Go through it blind?"

"You can't play the blind card on me, lady. Being dead trumps being blind. Cry me a river."

It'd been worth a shot. I changed tack. "What do you need a house for anyway? Go to heaven already! Shoo!"

"You're shooing me to heaven? Ma'am, if I was going there I wouldn't still be on Earth."

"Oh." I said in a small voice. "The other place, huh?"

"Unfortunately."

"What'd you do?"

Again the room fell silent. Finally, he said "Coveted another man's wife."

"Just coveted, or did you hit that?"

"Of course I never struck her! Are you out of your mind? I was in love with her!"

"I meant make love to her."

"Oh. Yes."

"And that's enough to get you an eternity in hell? Geez, God's a dick."

"Well, they weren't called the Ten Suggestions, you know."

"So now you're just clinging to Earth for as long as you can, kicking poor blind girls out of their hard won houses? What does it matter if I live here too? I can share."

"Look, if living humans stay here long enough to grow roots I could be dispelled forever. Which means it's straight to hell. I can't let that happen."

"Oh." I rubbed my forehead, which I often did when stressed. "That blows."

"You're getting blood on your face."

I pulled my hand down. "Yeah, I cut myself with my nails when you were scaring the crap out of me."

"Sorry. It was nothing personal. So, how soon can you move out?"

"Look, can you just give me a couple months to recover? It was a very trying process, finding my first house. It's not like I have sighted friends or family to help me. I'm on my own."

"What's this? No friends? A treasure like you? What a shocker."

"What's this? A douche like you sentenced to hell? What a shocker."

"I was kidding, relax."

"I wasn't. Unless I can stay a couple months."

"Fine. 2 months and then you're gone. Deal?"

"Thanks."

The room started to warm up.

"Hey! Where are you going?" I asked sharply.

He sounded uncertain. "What else is there to discuss? We've come to an agreement."

"Well, we could just hang. You know. I wasn't really doing anything right now. Were you?"

I could hear a shrug in his voice. "All I had on my calendar for today was to haunt you."

"So let's hang out. My name is Eve."

"Hello Eve, my name is Raymond. So what shall we talk about?"

"I don't know, tell me stories from your time or something."

"Well okay." He said uncertainly. "I was born in 1908 ..."

***

It took Raymond a good six months into our friendship to realize we'd passed the two month deadline without either noticing. Nor had he been dispelled from our house. Raymond figured there must be a loophole that if the owner of the house accepted the ghost it could stay.

"Too bad you didn't know that before you were a douche to dozens of families before me, huh?" I remarked when he told me his speculation.

"I only had to be really mean to a couple of them. Usually bellowing 'GET OUT' is enough to convince most of them." He said, the shrug in his voice.

And so I made my first ghost friend. It happened pretty much just like that, I swear.

#2
ShadowDog

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There goes my idea!

Naw, just kidding. It was a vampire, not a ghost, but still ... <shakes fist>

#3
Cashmere

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I love it, Foxglove! I think that dialogue is a good way to keep your word count down while still telling a substantial story. I'm glad that both Raymond and Eve got to stay.

#4
GreenLightBaby

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"White cane against my chair," I shot back, "wide sunglasses, haven't looked your way since you entered ... what was your first friggin' clue, genius?"

"You can't play the blind card on me, lady. Being dead trumps being blind. Cry me a river."

Gotta be the best lines. Any chance we'll get more of Raymond's story? Please. :)

#5
Foxglove

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Maybe! Thanks. :)

#6
Foxglove

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So I sold this story to Shadowdog so he could turn it into an audioplay and sell it off his website. And what's the first thing the fat bastard does? Completely rewrites it!

But what really ticks me off is it's better now. :angry:

Just for that I'm buying all pie with the money I got for it and giving him none.



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