Do As Mother Says

08 Oct

Everybody said the old Bosworth mansion was haunted. At this very moment, standing before the door, I’m inclined to believe the rumors I’ve heard throughout my childhood.

My phone rings, announcing ‘Mother is calling’. I look around nervously, half-expecting someone to hear it. I chide myself for such a silly thought. At most, I might be disturbing a ghost inside but other than that, I don’t think I have anything to worry about. My eyes scan the darkness as I put the receiver to my ear.

“Yes, Mother,” I hiss.

“Are  you in yet, dear? Have you made it inside? Oh, this is so exciting! I can’t wait to tell my friends how brave my daughter is!” her voice babbles in my ear.

“Exciting, Mother? I am breaking and entering. That is not exciting. I’m breaking the law and I don’t need you telling your gossiping cronies. Besides, isn’t Ingrid’s grandson on the police force?”

“Oh Ingrid smingrid. She isn’t going to tell her grandson one word. She’s mad at him for marrying that floozy. So, are you inside yet, dear?” her excitement bubbles over with each word.

“Not yet. I’m at the front door.”

“Well, what are you waiting for? Open the door!” she practically yells in my ear.

“Okay, Mother. I will call you when I get inside.” I hit the disconnect button with triumph. I shake my head and put the phone in my pocket. I still haven’t figured out how Mother has managed to talk me into checking out the Bosworth mansion.

I stare at the front door with its black paint peeling. I lean in closer and think to myself, even in ruins this house holds a certain standard of elegance. I reach to pull a paint chip from the door when it swings open by itself.

Run, run like hell, the common sense in me yells. Get out of here. Are  you crazy? If your mother wants to know about the haunted mansion, tell her to come here herself!

No, no, I promised Mother I would find out if the rumors are true. Surely they aren’t. Just a little town gossip embellished over the years, the more practical side of me counters.

Either way, I gulp, I have to go in.

I hesitate before pushing the heavy door open further. It does enter the back of my mind a door so sturdy and heavy shouldn’t open on its own. I turn to look behind me. The leaves in the trees aren’t moving from any type of wind. In fact, this is one of the more peaceful nights courtesy of mother nature. Pushing aside the fear mounting in my heart, I take a step forward.

“Hello?” I whisper. “Is someone here?”

I hold my breath, counting to twenty. My ears take on the uncanny ability, much like a dog, to pick up sound. The stillness echoes off my skull as I strain to catch any noise that might resemble a ghost or footsteps. Although, truth be told, I have no clue what a ghost sounds like. I exhale quietly, feeling light-headed. My heart is galloping at full speed and I feel it smashing against my chest. I look down expecting to see it trying to escape through my black jacket.

My phone rings again. I let loose with a full-fledge scream. Between the insistent ringing and the new location of my heart pounding in my ears, I can’t hear anything else. I reach for the phone, dropping it from my shaking hands. As I step forward to retrieve the phone, my left shoe kicks it out of reach. I stay put. I swear I can hear laughter muddled with whispering.

I review my two choices in bionic mode.

I can grab my phone and run out the door.

I can forget my phone and run out the door.

The phone stops ringing. Silence amplifies even more but I’m having a hard time distinguishing between my heart beat, my breathing and what I think is supposed to be silence. I nervously scan the entry way, straining my  near-sighted eyes for clues to run like hell. I make a mental note to call for an appointment for my over-due yearly eye exam.

As I grab my phone, it starts ringing. I click the on button to hear my mother yelling.

“Get out of the house now!”

The call drops as the front door slams shut.

I do what any sane person would do.

I faint.

SAM at BMWW has put a different spin on things this month. I like it. A Lot! We’re given 5 different prompts to link up for the month of October. This is the first prompt I picked out of the five.

Everybody said the old Bosworth mansion was haunted … is behind this short story. I don’t really have any plans to do anything further with this piece. I’ve been a little blah with writing lately so this is me dipping my toes into the writing pool.


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5 responses to “Do As Mother Says

  1. Imelda

    October 9, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Hah! That was fine writing there, Chelle. Why why is the mom both eager to have her go there and now eager to have her run as fast as she can?
    It is nice to see a piece from you again. 🙂

    • Chelle

      October 9, 2012 at 9:48 PM

      I’m wondering why the daughter was willing to do it. Lol. It feels good to be writing again. I hate those dry spells where I don’t like anything I come up with. I figured, write it any way and see where it goes. 🙂

  2. SAM

    October 16, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    Gah!! You left me hanging!! I say there is more here, and you have to at least answer why her mom had a change of heart and tells her to leave. She faints and THEN WHAT? I Have to know. You have me IN this story!! Wow. I’m peeling the paint from the front door and everything. What fantastic descriptions! You really pulled me in. Also? The fact that you stayed in present tense all the way through is amazing. I think, possibly, this could read better in past person. It may give you more flexibility if you decide to expand. It is Halloween after all. More haunted house story, please!!

    • Chelle

      October 20, 2012 at 12:57 AM

      Thanks, Sam! I’ve been struggling with the writing quite a bit lately and haven’t felt like my creativity is up to par.
      I have to tell you, I really concentrated on writing in present tense since I do mix present and past together. You’ve helped me to realize this so I had quite the chuckle when you said possibly the story could read better in past person. 🙂 I’m going to take your suggestion and rewrite it in past person and see how it flows.

      • SAM

        October 20, 2012 at 4:17 PM

        There’s nothing wrong with the present tense. You stayed there through the whole story, which is hard to do. It’s just my opinion that past gives more options. I’d love to know how the rewrite worked for you.


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