I pressed my back against the door after slamming it shut, I inhaled deeply through my nose to calm my unsettled nerves.
It had been a long while since a spirit had been visible to me and it had given me a fright. Due to an accident I had been involved in when a was very young, I’d been gifted with something of a sixth sense which allowed me to sense, see and interact with the dead who had not yet passed on.
I say ‘gift’ in the loosest sense of the word.
The boy had been sulking in the corner of the kitchen, watching Mum cook and I had no choice but to ignore him out of sheer terror. I was naïve to think that the ability would wear away with time.
He hadn’t followed me into my room, which eased my nerves a little. The boy had been tall when he was alive, from what I gathered and had a mop of shaggy blonde hair with a pair of pale blue eyes. He was semi-opaque which, from my personal knowledge, meant he was getting stronger. If he carried on knocking over boxes and messing with the electrics, then soon enough he would appear to me as a regular human.
From downstairs, I heard my father give an irritated yell and I bit my lip. The boy was already causing so much trouble, and I guessed it was because he didn’t want us in his house. Frowning, I moved away from my door. As far as I was concerned, he would not ruin this opportunity for my dad.
Another shout erupted from the living room and I left my room to trot down the stairs and see what the problem was.
Dad was stood in front of the television, banging the back of the flat screen furiously as the snowstorm of black and white fuzzed away on the screen. His expression was set and he turned to look up at me when I entered the room.
“Edie, you’re into all this techno stuff, can’t you do something about this bloody TV?” He grumbled and I shook my head.
“Now, Steven, it’s probably just because it’s a new house. The electrics will be different,” my mother rationalised from where she was sitting in the overstuffed armchair in the corner of the room. I nodded in agreement.
I was trying my very hardest not to look at the spirit boy who was laughing loudly in the doorway, he was hovering in a crosslegged position, with his hands resting behind his neck. But, even my best efforts couldn’t have prevented the inevitable and I accidentally let my gaze wander over to him.
Our eyes met and his face fell in an instant, his jaw dropping in disbelief. I flicked my eyes back to my Dad and I clenched my fists to stop them shaking. Great. Now he’ll try and talk to me. But maybe he won’t? Some don’t. Just calm down. Play it off as nothing. You can’t see him. You can’t see him.
“Yeah?” I snapped out of my daze, “sorry. Um, have you tried adjusting the ariel? Where even is it?” I asked, looking around.
“The previous owner said it was screwed into one of the beams in the attic. God knows why they thought that was a good idea.”
“Maybe you should go see if wiggling about will work?” My mother offered unhelpfully.
Dad huffed out an exasperated high and folded his arms. “Susan. I know.”
“I was only trying to help.” She retorted, looking miffed. She returned her attention back to the Kindle which sat in her lap.
“I’ll stay down here and yell if it works.” I told him, and he sighed in resignation, making for the stairs.
Our of the corner of my eye, I saw a look of horror cross our Haunter’s face and his image flickered, then disappeared. Weird.
I waited patiently for my Dad’s shout to start checking the channels, but before he’d even said anything, the screen guttered back into life and I found the pearly white smile of a news presenter reflected up at me.
Just when I was about to yell up at him that he’d done it right, I heard a girlish scream of surprise and the smashing of glass from the top of the stairs.
My mother jumped to her feet and we both dashed to the bottom of the winding staircase to see what the commotion was about. Dad was white at a sheet and he just shook his head at us, running a hand through his curly, dark hair.
“Dear?” Mum all but shrieked, “whatever is the matter?”
“The lights… Susan I really think it’s really best we call the electrician tomorrow. All of the lights… they just switched themselves on and burst.” He said shakily, before carefully picking his way through the shattered mess at his feet and making his way down the stairs.
My parents went into the kitchen, no doubt to make a comforting cup of Earl Grey, meanwhile I eyed up the dark hallway with suspicious eyes.
As I turned to join them, I was absolutely certain that I saw the glimmer of a furious pale face in the darkness.