Ghostly Goings On

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic


Ghostly Goings On is a ghostly caper that involves a cuckold, a former drug dealer, a woman married and dopey husband now living in a cottage in the English countryside, a crooked deal, journeys
back to youth, 3 witches and more....

Submitted: November 22, 2017

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Submitted: November 22, 2017

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"I need my tablet!"

"All right," he said. "But try and come and sit down later in the evening for a normal chat."

"You treat me like a child, really you do. Do you know how my father would treat you back if he knew how you treated me like this?"

"I'm not trying to do anything, but we really need to start having some normal evenings for our own good without technology."

"That's just what I mean!"

"Really, I've already explained that I am not treating you like any kind of child. And I want you to stop thinking that. Instead, think that it is not just me saying it. But it is because everyone says the same thing. And think it is because everyone wants the best for everyone else."

"Bah! You don't know what you're talking about. Really, I don't think you do. How can you possibly say that?"

"I've given you everything! Don't we have a lovely cottage in the country and every luxury? I always dreamed of giving a wife I might have such things. And now you're my wife and I have given them to you. Years ago, I lived in one tiny room near a city centre. I knew I never wanted to go back there. Instead, I wanted something like this and as well, I wanted it for the both of us. And you were the person I met and so it was you I married and not somebody else."

"Did we get married? I can't even remember it. I was so high on drugs that I don't even remember where we married."

"We did get married. And you've never taken illegal drugs. You are now my wife."

She was silent for a while and then said nothing more.

"Don't you have some of that needlework you started and that Mrs. Jones was showing you how to do?"

"I don't want to do it!"

"You know you like doing it. Mrs. Jones was telling me how much you loved doing it. So why don't you go and do some."

"Is it all right if I have permission to go and lie down on the bed to rest?"

"You can if you want to."

When she didn't say anything more really but did not leave, he said, "Yes, please go and have a good rest."

"Aren't you going to join me? Isn't that one of the reasons that we got married?"

"I've got a lot of work to continue with from my office. So I will be up most of the evening doing that. But you can go and have a nice rest on the bed in our house that we have, a nice house like this. I wish I could go and lie on the bed and rest just like you."

The wife was longhaired blonde, attractive and had a big busty build. She had kept remarkably well in trim and she was wearing a red skirt with an orange shirt. When he asked her how she kept in trim, she stamped out the kitchen and he heard no more footsteps after a few seconds from anywhere in the house.

He himself was not unattractive, in his 30s with a mop of brown hair. But he was not really a classically handsome man. And he was not a classical beauty in a male form that his wife was possibly in the female form. Nor was he like a sports-playing hunk as there was something a bit peevish or that looked underfed about him. He was still wearing his business suit despite it getting late in the evening. The suit although regularly cleaned did not look worn. That he had worn the same business suit for some time without changing it annoyed his wife. But he saw no good reason to buy a new one.

When he finished doing his work for the evening, he went into the main bedroom. But he saw that his wife was not lying down there. Then he heard a sound that appeared to be from the kitchen. And after that, he heard the sound of the door at the back of the cottage. At the back of the cottage, there was a garden, mainly grass with a few vegetable and flower beds and further on there was the woods. The woods were crisscrossed with footpaths. The door at the back of the house opened onto the garden from the kitchen. Now he heard the hinges turn and a second later realized that it was somebody coming in. A moment later, his wife appeared. It seemed that she had just come back in and she had been out somewhere for some time.

"Where were you?"

"I went for a walk for exercise, which is what you should be doing," she said.

"You're still in your skirt and short-sleeved shirt! How can you not be cold?"

"I don't feel the cold. And it's not even October! So why should I feel the cold?"

They were going to go to bed when he said that he would pop out for 20 minutes and drive to get some beers from the shop. And he said that he hoped they would have more time to spend together tomorrow.

So he left at that time of night into the cold crisp air of countryside to go to the village shop. And it was also then their lives would change forever, his and hers, individually or together and both of theirs as well.

His motor vehicle pulled up on the layer of stones and gravel that was for him or for any guests to park on as well when they came. It was at the back of the house. The vehicle made a crunching sound and came to a halt just on the edge of the gravel and stones. This ritual was performed every time he drove home as the old gardener had once complained about getting his tools past the parked cars. And this bit of extra space seemed needed despite the gardener coming only at weekends. It was a way of always being certain the gardener had enough room to get in with his tools. Also, it avoided arguments and being called names for not being able to do this simple thing. And that indeed he really should be able to do.

After he parked, he got out but left the beers on the passenger seat. He carried a light briefcase that looked like it only had one or two loose papers inside it and took it into their home. It seemed that he must have left the briefcase in his vehicle when he had come home earlier but he'd only now just noticed. Once inside, he threw the briefcase and a few papers on a seat that was in the hallway of the cottage and went further in. The cottage was eerily silent. As he went up the stairs, his black shiny office shoes creaking on the stairs and the stairs creaking as well produced together a rather odd sound.

He saw his wife in the bedroom stop doing something and instead she looked up at him surprised and astonished. As well, he noted curiously that she had a big red patch on her nightshirt. Also, in the room she was surrounded by more red on the carpets, on the sheets and on the furniture. After a short while, he realized that it was blood. The bedroom had satin sheets that were messed up presumably from where she had been lying down for her rest and that were now stained with the same red. Small wooden bedside cabinets set into the backboard of the bed had some splashes or was it smears of blood. Also, the worn beige carpet was now covered in patches of red. The small cottage windows were wide open and the net curtains billowed in the wind that came in from them. The ornaments on the windowsill looked like they had been displaced and put back. The windows now from earlier on when it was still light looked over onto the garden you could see despite it being evening and then there was the darkness of countryside beyond it. A net curtain did not seem to have any blood on it. Presumably, his wife had wanted some fresh air and that explained the open windows. Inside the house, electric lights burned bright. Outside, a lamp high up on the brick upper wall of the house lighted the garden. After that, there was the countryside dark.

"How did this happen? Did you have an accident? Are you all right?"

"Yes, I am. And it was no thanks to you. It's not my blood. Someone came here and tried to murder me! And they took some money I was keeping that I had in a drawer. Also, they said you owed them money for some reason that I don't know. I didn't know what to say as you had never told me anything about anyone you owed money to and I had never asked."

"So you could tell them nothing!" he exclaimed.

"They just tried to murder me! You imbecile!"

Evenly he said, "I know. But just come out from there. We can go to the spare room. It has an en-suite for you to get cleaned up and a comfortable new bed."

She left somewhat reluctantly and as they went quite gingerly down the old worn cottage stairs made of some dark thick wood, he continued, "Ignore me if you want but I'll tell you now anyway. Do you remember the lawyer who comes here? Or rather, do you remember the person I introduced to you as a lawyer even though you know that we have a different lawyer for everything? He's a drug dealer or has been one. And he dealt me in on one of his scams."

"Drugs?"

"No, another scam."

"You and a scam! Don't make me laugh. But you really did?"

I'm sorry I didn't tell you it beforehand. But if it had come off, I would have made lots of money. It was for you as well as for me. And it was for the others who were involved. I wanted us to be able to afford an even better home than the one we have now."

"So where did it go wrong?"

"I don't know, but I've been worrying about keeping my notes for it in my briefcase and then being forgetful about where I leave my briefcase."

"So you have the details of this scam all written down? Am I right? Then you keep these notes in your briefcase? And that is the same briefcase as the one you take everywhere with you? Also, you just leave it lying around on your passenger seat. You idiot! Why would you do something like that? And why didn't you tell me about your problems? I could have helped you out. Perhaps, I could have helped you to invest some of your money. And then we wouldn't be in the mess we are now. Didn't you think of such simple things as these?"

"How could you have done that? You never mentioned any skills in finance."

"Actually, I did. I don't have to discuss the stock exchange with you for you to know that I have some experience in investing. I think I told you that I had my own investments as one of the first things I said when we met. And…."

"I don't know," he pondered. "I had forgotten you said that. But it really was a lot we could make. And you would have got some as well."

"How much were you going to make from this scam?"

He told her and she said, "That's not nearly enough. It's peanuts. And you're talking poppycock anyway."

"What can we do now then?"

"I don't know," said his wife in tears. "We'll have to make amends."

"How will we do that? Perhaps, I can call this friend and ask what we should do."

"It might be him for all you know or one of his accomplices."

Then more softly, she said, "Let's just put on a big pot of tea and think about it."

"What did you do with the body of the person who attacked you?"

"I dragged him down the stairs and into the garden and buried him."

"Where is his body now? Can I see where you buried him?"

"Why do you need to see where I put it?"

"Perhaps I could tidy over where you dumped him. There might be something you've not done right."

"You don't need to look," said his wife. "I've already done it. Why would I have made some mistake like the one you think? And do you really think that you could do it better yourself? Don't you think I would have done it perfectly all right? And I'd have done it perfectly all right even without you? So you don't need to do anything!"

They went into the kitchen with its big polished wooden cottage kitchen table and his wife made the biggest, the most delicious pot of tea. And it was more delicious tea than he had ever had beforehand.

The next morning there was the sound of rapping on the door. Two police cars and a number of police officers were outside the house.

A police officer came back from around the side of the house to where the others were at the front.

"There looks like there is a guest room and the bed's been slept in. What can you see?"

"There is someone sitting there in the living area in front of the TV."

"No, let's see," said the other police officer looking through the window himself. "I think it's just somebody's shoe. And I think that other thing is his coat lying on the edge of the chair."

One of the police officers went up to the front door and began trying the lock when just then the door opened.

"Can I help you officer?"

"Have you seen anything suspicious around here?" said the police officer after a moment or two and taking off his hat.

"No, I don't think I have."

"Well, thanks. I'll tell them that back down the station. Good-bye now."

He was about to turn to leave when he said, "But is there any information you have?"

"No, I don't have any."

"Well, good-bye then again. We'll probably carry on with our investigations."

Without another word, the policeman left walking down the garden path towards the police vehicles and the other policemen also left.

The occupant of the house shut the door behind them a bit quizzically and went back inside. Once inside, he mentioned to his wife that the police officers had called and had now left.

"I know what we should do," said his wife. "We should look at it systematically and logically."

"What answers would that give that we don't have already?"

"We've talked lots. Now let's put some meaning to it…. Did you actually get any money from all this?"

"No."

"You said that you did. But that it was money that you really stole from them. You told me that you took some money that had not been given to you. And you said how much it was you had taken. But you said as well that you were hoping to get much more from the swindle. Then you thought it really quite a lot of money you had already taken. And it was really quite a bit of money for anyone. Also, it was lots even if they have made money for themselves from criminal frauds beforehand as you said they had. So now you will have to pay them back."

"They took the money. I checked just an hour ago. It's not in the place I put it in anymore."

"You idiot! Did you keep it in the house? Lots of people come to this house. So it could be anyone."

"But then, why did they try to kill you?"

"Perhaps they were looking for more money of mine. They had after all already had a taste of your money. And I tried to stop them getting mine. You just left yours lying around…. Who was in the house today?"

"There was the maid. She could have taken it."

"And then, whoever it was she gave it to, he told her to go back and find some more. Or he'd come instead of her to look for himself…. So what are you going to do to pay back the people we owe?"

"We could get it back from the maid."

"Don't be silly! She's probably half-way by now to somewhere where she can spend the money. Besides, she might have people she's told about us."

"Why don't I call my friend, you know you met him when he came here pretending to be a lawyer. He's very reasonable and he might have a solution."

"I will do it," said his wife.

She went to the phone in another room. And she was gone for at least an hour.

"He says that he forgives us and that we are just to leave the cottage and he'll settle with us later."

His wife watched whilst he wrote a note to him. And then they took their bags, just some nightclothes and a few light things and walked to the station. The station was down some countryside roads near their home. But the country roads now reminded them both oddly of the first time they had come to the village and looked around before they moved in. And it was as though they had never been a part of the village.

At the station, the husband looked at the train timetable and seeing a train to his old town due to leave in a short while, he suggested they wait for it. A train with very few people in the meantime came and left quietly. But it was not their train as theirs was the one after. Still, they watched it as it went out the station as though it might have been their train. And this was if they had done something differently and decided to go somewhere else. Their train came into the platform and they got in it and sat down in the familiar but half-forgotten seats. It would be a longish journey but it was really only a few short hours and they would be back in their old town.

They arrived in the small room where they were going to stay and put their bags down. His wife slumped in a chair after the long journey, her long legs sticking out over the edge of the seat. She had taken off her coat and underneath she wore a flowery skirt and lacy black top. He went to look out of the window from where there was a good view of the city's skyline. As well, his wife from her chair could also see the view that there was out the window. He stood there for some long time reminiscing about when he was a young man and he'd lived in such a room as this. So much of the room seemed familiar to him that it could have almost been his old room. Then he heard a noise of a door shutting. A second or two later the door to the street flung open and a whoosh of air departed from the building. He did not notice at first that his wife had left and gone for good. And then he looked forlornly around the room that he was still in.

"Put those bags down here and switch on the television as I want to check my lottery tickets."

"Hang on a minute," said one of the three women who were in their late 20s and early 30s and dressed in old trousers and T-shirts.

They had come in the room carrying shopping from a shopping trip.

"Did you see that? The curtain just moved for no good reason."

"It must be the wind."

"But we didn't leave the window open. Now it is! How did that happen?"

"Let us go out and have a cup of coffee and come back."

"No, I have my own place and my own kitchen to have coffee in. Why would I want to go out?"

She began going into the kitchen and her friend said flatly, "I'll treat you."

"Did you see that as well? There was a kind of shadow that went across the work surface in the kitchen."

"Let's go and come back."

"You go and I'll follow you."

The others went out leaving their shopping behind and the room now felt even more forlorn.

After they had left, a young looking man with a tuft of hair on his head went down the stairs and out into the street. There was bright sunshine from one end of the road and a warm dry breeze blew along the length of the street. As well, there was the strong scent of a fruit-bearing tree. He walked out as he had done many times blinking in the bright light of the sunshine and then disappeared.

A few hours later about an hour before dusk, the three friends returned together. They went up the stairs and flung open the door to the room.

"That's a relief! It seems to have gone whatever it was. Look! There is no 'moving curtains'. Shall we make a snack and put on the TV. Then we can start on making the evening meal."

You could just hear the three people in the room quietly unpacking. But everything else was silent and they avoided looking at each other. And then with a long wheeze, the eldest of the three women sat down and put her feet up. The others unpacked some more of the shopping. Then they slid into the armchairs or plunked themselves down on the settee, watched some TV and enjoyed their snack. After that, they began on making their evening meal.

He returned to the home that he shared with his wife to find his friend had parked in the drive and to see his friend putting something away. The friend went around to the driver's seat and got in, but there was not enough room for him to get the vehicle out past him. So he opened the door again and put his feet back down on the drive, walked around the front of his vehicle and asked for an explanation. It seemed at best poor parking in the parking lot on the other person's part.

The other man got out and left some beers on the passenger seat but took his briefcase. His taking his briefcase out of the car with him was just a recent habit. And now he came towards the other man as though he was genuinely trying to resolve the issue of how he could leave the parking lot, himself in the way notwithstanding.

"What have you been doing?"

The man now suspicious said decided to come clean and said, "I've been sleeping with your wife!"

"And what else? I suspected that anyway. But there is something more here. Tell me what it is!"

The man said, "You stole from me. And your wife told me about it. She saw everything in your briefcase and the papers and notes you'd kept about the little plan. I feel I won your wife honestly. But I don't take well to snakes-in-the-grass taking money out from under my nose. So what do you have to say about that? Perhaps, show me what is in that briefcase so I can see it for myself."

They struggled over the briefcase and the younger man began gaining the upper hand. The older of the two now attempted to get away. As the two men struggled, they heard the cry of a woman from the house. It sounded like a kind of long 'no'. Still, they struggled some more.

The woman of the house felt anguish having two men fight over her and particularly such a damaged, frail and self-loathing woman as she was. Now two men were proving that one of either of them was the best for her. As well, they were showing how much they loved her. She did not even feel she had enough to give so she could provide for the love of just one man let alone two.

Still, the two men struggled and then one fell to the ground. The younger man kicked the older man on the ground whilst the other tried to defend his body with his hands and arms. Eventually, though, he lay quite still and motionless and the other man went inside.

His wife had disappeared from view whilst they were fighting. And he found her in the bedroom dressed in her nightgown and as well, he saw that the satin sheets were rumpled. His wife despite her recent trauma of seeing two people fight over her still looked sexually satiated from her earlier tryst. Indeed, it seemed unmistakable and as well, it was irreplaceable by anything the husband had recently had to offer. Despite suspecting an affair, he had never really thought that when he found out for sure it would be so hurtful.

However, he decided to play it cool and to pretend he hadn't noticed.

"So what were you doing with him before I came?"

"We were just chatting and then we had sex."

"What were you chatting about?"

And then it all came out, the plan they had together to kill him and everything else. The plan was that he would come round with a classic shotgun to show them, pick an argument with her husband whom he would say insulted him and then he would shoot the other man. It was not ideal coming on a weekday evening but the gardener coming over the weekend who might hear their real conversation had decided the time for them of the murder.

"But now," she said, "I've got you."

"What made you come back up to the bedroom where you had already slept with him just now?"

"There was no real reason really as I had gone into the kitchen and then thought I may as well come up here."

"Why would you go into the kitchen?"

"Oh, stop this! Can't you see it is over between me and him and that it is you I love?"

"What's that you just put down behind you? Let's have a look?"

She reached behind her and picked up a kitchen knife.

"So you were still planning on killing me all along?"

"Why can't we just forgive and forget and go back to our previous lives where we didn't have all this worry and anxiety?"

"Perhaps we could! Now give me the knife! Or I will just take it, shall I?"

He tried to grab it and she shouted at him not to be so stupid. They struggled and they were both stabbed and cut.

"Now, do you see that it doesn't really matter?"

"I still love you," he said.

"And I love you, but what are we going to do now? Go out now and leave me here. Go on! You go downstairs and take your jacket."

Outside, the man slowly moved and took a long worm's eye view of the house. Hearing what was going on in their house or at least the echo of it, the argument and then the silence, he tensed and flexed his sore muscles, got up and ran down the drive. After that, he ran out into the road and flagged down a passing motorist asking to be taken to hospital. He told a wild story to the motorist about what had happened at the cottage and the motorist after he had gone into hospital called the cops.

So the cops had gone to the cottage the next morning and seen the blood in the drive. They looked around the house and that was when the ghost had appeared at the door. The policeman had taken off his hat as a sign of respect. But it was clear the suspect was some kind of spectre. Perhaps, as he had died it meant that he was as well a victim of a homicide. And he was not then anyone they were looking for. They had left the cottage and continued their investigations.

When they did return to the cottage, they found the car with a shotgun in the boot and the blood in the house and the two bodies dead from knife wounds. They also found the papers from the briefcase about the swindle. Most of them were in the drive and were quite badly rain damaged. The investigation continued.

Two people caught the train but that were ghosts. And they played out the same day again every day that had led to their deaths in their old home that was the cottage. There was the clichés of their marriage like their arguments about getting on the computer, the other people they saw and just a hint of romance. Now, they were unable physically to fulfil it. And then they moved out their home that had become unhappy for them and went back to where they used to live.

But when the wife could see for herself what the young man was like all those years ago, then she did not really like what she saw. It was the same young man as years ago said to himself in his dingy one-roomed apartment that he would one day provide for a wife. And this was no matter whom it was he married. Perhaps, this not properly directed generosity was at the root of so many of their arguments. She had left. And he in his old guise left a little later.

But as the story relates, he now disguises himself as a witch. And finding two others, he might cause further toil and trouble.

THE END


© Copyright 2018 Earnest Long. All rights reserved.

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