Mr James

A short Ghost Story in five nights

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4. Day Four - Sunday

“I think that Jason had better come home right away” said Mr. Wright.

Jason’s parents normally called him over for Sunday Lunch, but this was 9 o’clock in the morning.

“Is everything alright Bill?” asked Daniel’s father.

“Yes,yes. It’s just Frances - she’s had a bit of a shock last night and I don’t know what to make of it.” Jason’s father sat down a chair in the kitchen. “The doctor’s with her now - he’s given her something to calm her down so I came to get Jason”.

“Wouldn’t it be better if Jason stayed here?” asked Daniel’s father “I mean; it will give you a bit more time to get yourselves straight”.

“I really don’t know what to do” said Mr. Wright “It’s all so strange. Do you believe in ghosts?” he asked suddenly.

“What? Fran saw a ghost? Is that what you’re saying?” Daniel’s father sat down and poured a cup of tea which he handed across the table.”

“I don’t know what she saw. I don’t know what I saw. Look; I’d better tell you what happened: We’d been out to the pictures and went to the Golden Lion for a drink afterwards. We must have left at about 11 o ‘clock and walked back, so it would have been about quarter to twelve when we got back. We got to the garden, and that fellow next door had his lights all on as usual. Anyway, I started to walk up the path. Next minute, Fran’s shouting that she’s seen a hedgehog run along the edge of the gutter and decides to follow it down the road. I had the key in the door so I opened it and called her back. She didn’t turn around, just followed where the hedgehog had run so I walked after her. She was only at the end of the road when I heard her scream. The next minute she’s crawling around the road crying then curling up in a ball. I thought she had slipped or been bitten or something, so I ran over. I got there and saw someone going through the hedge into the Latimer’s garden. I picked up Fran and carried her to the house - We’ve been up all night.”

“My god! Was it a mugger or something? Is she hurt?”

“No. You don’t understand.” 

Mr. Blackburn’s shoulders sagged. He looked shattered. He was silent for a moment as if thinking about what he was going to say. He looked at the floor as he spoke slowly and quietly to his friends:

“When I said I saw it go through the hedge, I meant through the hedge. There aren’t any gaps in the hedge;  there or anywhere else, you can’t even get your hand through it. Fran wasn’t hurt. She’s just plain terrified.”

Mr. Wright looked concerned. He glanced across at his wife who was obviously shocked by what she had heard. He looked at Jason’s Father and spoke clearly.

“There must be some explanation. Are you sure he didn’t jump over the hedge or something? I mean you must have been more concerned with Frances rather than looking where this thing went to.”

“If it was just me, I would have agreed.” said Jason’s father “But it’s what Fran saw.” he paused, as if steeling himself before he continued.

“She said it was small - no bigger than a child. Thin and pale with rags around it’s body. Where the rags didn’t quite cover it she could see that there was hardly any flesh on it and it’s face was nearly a skull. It’s eyes were glazed over too - they were almost white”

Daniel’s parents sat in silence as Mr. Wright continued.

“Oh yes; and it was wet. Yes, that’s what she said. again and again. It was wet....”

 

Daniel’s mother went back to the house with Mr. Wright

and there she stayed until late afternoon. Daniel’s father made Sunday lunch for the two boys and himself, which consisted of him driving to the nearest burger bar and returning with three large bags of food. Jason and Daniel were not told what had happened, other than Mrs. Wright was ill. Jason returned home in the evening. A phone call from Mr.Wright later that evening said that Jason would not be at school the next day.

 

Daniel went to bed as usual that evening. Mr. James’ lights were on again, as were the lights next door at the Wright’s house. Daniel slept that night with the light off and the curtains closed, but didn’t look out of the window as he had the previous evening.

 

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