Peaceful Ashes

 

Lauren drives rapidly down the quiet streets of Kingston and Callie continues reading from her laptop.

"Okay, so the Gibson family isn’t the perfect family they fooled everyone to be." Callie explains.

"Decipher it for me, please Cal." Lauren answers impatiently.

"They told the press that they had three kids right?"

"Yeah: Emily, Luke, and Lisa; what's your point?"

"Well," Callie clears her throat, "My point is that they actually had four."

"A fourth kid huh? What? Is it locked up or something?"

"No," Callie places the papers down on her lap and stares out the windshield of the truck, "But she went missing."

"Like kidnapped and never found sort of thing?"

"Like: most likely murdered or accidentally killed and never found sort of thing." Callie corrects.

"Oh," Lauren understands and then shivers, "Ew, poor kid."

"The body has to be somewhere and we need to find and burn it if the Gibson's hope to stay alive."

"But it could be anywhere, we might never find it." Lauren concludes.

"Or we might," Callie suggests, "Lucille said that Hank had an anger problem, even with his kids."

Lauren looks shocked over at Callie, but nods, "Would explain the vengeful spirit thing."

"Do you think Lucille knows about it?"

"No, she wouldn't have acted so mortified with us when we suggested the haunting; she would have been more scared than angry." Lauren says, "But why now; why this sudden burst of rage?"

"In the newspaper that featured the death of Emily, her best friend Nicole mentioned that they had played around with an old Ouija board—"

"—classic—" Lauren comments.

"—maybe that woke up Ashley's spirit." Callie concludes.

"That was her name?"

"Yeah."

"Poor kid," Lauren adds grimly.

**

The house is dark and the fear of Lucille's dead body being found is a constant threat in the minds of the two girls.

Lauren tries the door to no avail and knocks out the handle with her pistol. The lock clicks open and she pulls on the door while Callie keeps a pistol and flashlight pointed towards the inside of the house. As the door opens Lucille tumbles out, weak and bloody, but alive.

"Ashley..." she mumbles, semi-conscious.

"We know," Callie says as she holds her position, waiting for Lauren to pull Lucille out. "Where do you think Hank hid her body?"

"What?" Lucille is suddenly alert and thrashing in pain while Lauren holds her tight around the arms.

"We know that she disappeared when she was eight. What happened, Lucille? Did Hank get angry with her?"

Lucille begins to cry and a small child's laughter can be heard inside of the house.

"Please, we need to know!" Callie yells down at her from her guard.

"I had gone out for some groceries and had left Hank with Ashley, he loved her, he truly did, but she was a very misbehaving child. She loved creating havoc, but honestly, what child doesn't?" Lucille coughs. "When I came home he was in a panic, whispering odd things and when I asked where Ashley was all he would say was that she was 'gone'. I didn't know what he meant, so I assumed that someone had taken her. Night after night I waited, but nothing. Soon after, I got pregnant, never forgetting my little girl."

Lauren looks down at the tear stricken face of Lucille and asks if Hank had planted any trees near the house, since there was some land that belonged to them.

Lucille gasps, realization hitting her, "Yes, beside the house... that small tree over there!" She points to the right of the house where a small Oak tree was all ready blossoming with the summer air.

The girls look at each other and nod in unison. Lauren drags Lucille off of the porch of her house and Callie keeps the loaded gun aimed at the house. 

A flicker of an image appears as a little girl wearing a yellow pair of shorts and a white top looks up questioningly at Callie from inside the house.

"She can't leave the house," Callie notes as the girl stands helplessly behind the threshold of the home.

"Okay, stay with Lucille; I'm going to dig the body up." Lauren yells, as Lucille whimpers oh God over and over again.

**

Half an hour later, Lauren has finally stopped digging and the little girl is still staring at her mother; safe in the old Honda pickup.

"Come on Callie, let's burn this." Lauren instructs her sister.

Within minutes the poor thing is engulfed in flames.

As Lucille watches the figure of her long, lost, dead daughter disappear in a wind of ashes.

 

The End

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