Supernatural Flash Fiction posted March 13, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
Ghosts take Open House literally.

Open House

by RodG

Sometimes the ground fog in Oakdale is so dense that homes, trees, and nearly everything moving on the silent streets becomes invisible.  I'd blindly trudged into town for the Sunday Trib.  Normally, Rupert, my golden Lab, would be my guide, but he'd passed on just before Christmas.  Returning, I almost stumbled over a sign staked at a corner.

"Open House 1-3."  Realtors with new listings loved them.  So did old coots like me.  Gave me something to do on days like this.

The ubiquitous fog chilled my hands and face as I approached the Sedgewick house, an old Victorian perched on a narrow lot well back from the sidewalk.  Its high-peaked roof, ornate gables, and brick chimney were barely discernible.  For more than a century, four generations of Sedgewicks had lived there.  Only Ray remained.  Just last week he'd said, "Only me and my housekeeper still around, Al.  Don't need all that room."

Shrouded in fog, the exterior looked as haggard as its owner.  Because I hadn't been inside in years, I wondered if there'd been any renovations.

I entered a high-ceilinged parlor filled with far too much heirloom furniture.  I walked to a tall scalloped table, signed the guest book, and picked up one of the glossy brochures.

"Five bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a . . ." I'd read when I heard a voice.

"Hi, Mr. Berke."

My gaze drifted across the shabby Persian rug to the deep bay window at the other end of the dimly-lit room.  A built-in love seat with a red cushion filled most of the alcove.

I dropped the brochure when I saw the young red-haired girl in a blue smock smiling at me.

"Clary . . . No!"

"Oh, you do remember me.  It's been so long."

I gaped.  Clary Sedgewick, Ray's ten-year-old granddaughter, had died from pneumonia twenty years earlier.  Wh--who was this?

Though the thick velvet drapes were tightly drawn, wisps of fog somehow had seeped into that corner of the room, feathering her features.  The walk had been a strain, but I didn't feel light-headed.  Still, I had to be hallucinating.

"Oh, come join us.  There's plenty of room."  Her voice was clear, not a bit distorted despite my impaired hearing.

"Us?" I mumbled.

"Yes!  Rupert's here and thrilled to see you.  He's such a love, and has been giving me kisses all morning."

A gilded mirror on a wall nearby drew my eyes to a dim reflection of the love seat and its occupants.  How distinctly Clary stood out in her blue organdy dress and black stockings.  Even more unbelievable was the shadowy outline of Rupert, sitting close beside her, a paw on her lap, his muzzle on her left shoulder.

He licked her cheek, then gazed at me and . . . smiled.  That tail started wagging and wouldn't stop.

"Come," the young girl beckoned.  "We're going to my old room.  Care to join us?"

I could only nod and followed.


Supernatural Flash Fiction writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
The character in your story is involved in some way with the supernatural.


Artwork is courtesy of Google images.
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