A Dispiriting Story
By: Monica Ahuja
Trigger Warning: This could be a little difficult to read for those who may not be in a good emotional space. Please remember that you are not alone. If you feel you need to reach out for help, this may be a good place to begin: https://www.csi.cuny.edu/students/counseling-center
Mimi woke up and tried to catch her breath. The creaking of the house had seeped into her dreams and the results had been frightening. She turned on the lamp next to the bed and the room lit up slightly. It was covered in dark tones and even darker furniture.
She hated her great uncle’s house. Until two months ago, she didn’t even know she had a great uncle. She had never met him. And now it was too late because he was dead.
Too afraid to go back to sleep, she decided to take a walk around the house. She had come here alone, like everywhere else; her boyfriend, Nick, was always too busy working. All Mimi knew was if she was still with Rea, her ex, she wouldn’t be so alone and so scared.
The house was eerie at night. It did not help that the house was old. It was built in the mid-1900s, large and only had paints of dark tones. There were traces of color on the walls, but someone had covered them, as if they had decided to erase any color from their lives.
Outside the house, was a creepy and slightly rotten oak that creaked loudly. Mimi could hardly believe that someone had lived here for fifty years all alone. Mimi had somehow inherited the old house after her great-uncle mysteriously passed away. He was found alone in bed with a dagger in his hands but no wounds.
The thought that she was sleeping in the same house where someone had died alone sent shivers down Mimi’s spine. Yet, she stayed in the house because she had already drained her bank account traveling across the country to the home. Now she was regretting staying here. As she walked around upstairs the wind started to whistle, and she heard what sounded like quiet whispers.
The creaking became louder as the wind started to blow more quickly.
Then, the sky crackled and the ground shook. A storm had suddenly developed. Mimi’s discomfort grew and she decided to go to the kitchen where she could find some comfort in the cake she had brought to the house from a diner nearby.
When she arrived downstairs, the house shook violently, and a chandelier fell from the ceiling, but it did not shatter. Mimi ran into the kitchen. It was too late for her to leave now, it was 3 a.m. Mimi shook her head with despair.
At the kitchen table Mimi saw what she thought was a silvery outline but when she blinked her eyes it was gone. She decided to sit down on the chair and rest her eyes. When she went to sit down, a great scream came from under her.
“No! Can’t you see I am sitting here?”
Mimi turned around and screamed.
It was a ghost! She was done with this place. She turned around to grab her things and leave when the ghost said, “You must be my great-niece. I am your great-uncle, Henry.”
Mimi closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She turned around and there he was her great-uncle, in the flesh. Well, not in the flesh exactly.
Mimi turned around and said, “Um. Nice to meet you. No offence, but what are you doing here? Are you here to haunt me?”
Henry laughed in his hoarse voice, “Yes, that is exactly why I am here sitting so patiently at the kitchen table. No little one, I am here to meet you so that I can finally be at peace. And my friend Dan here is keeping me company.”
Mimi looked around for Dan and saw standing inches from her, another ghost. She screamed.
“This is not happening. This is not happening.”
“It definitely is happening, my dear. I was never much a believer in ghosts either but here we are. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I am happy to have met you and to give you my home. You are welcome to do anything you want with it, but I doubt you can sell it. Everyone in the state knows that this house has ghosts.” Henry laughed, “goodbye my dear and good luck!”
Henry vanished and so did Dan.
Mimi sunk down to the floor still dazed. She was going to sell this house as soon as she could, and she was going to get out of here. Unfortunately for Mimi, Henry was right. The house took over three years to sell and she had to sell it to somebody who was from out of state.
But before the house could sell, Mimi had to clean it out, and every time she tried to throw out something, a force pulled it back into place. “Oh great!” She sighed.
One night while looking through the closet of a nearly empty dining room, Mimi found a gramophone and some discs. She put on a disc and cranked the machine and suddenly hundreds of ghosts appeared and were dancing in the dining room.
Mimi could not believe what she was seeing. It was unbelievable! “A ghost dance party!” she screamed. “You have got to be kidding me!” The ghosts all stopped and turned towards her.
Mimi sheepishly said, “Sorry, continue dancing.” They all turned around and danced in 20s style to 70s music. Mimi left the room and went back into the kitchen. And sitting there was Henry.
“Hey kid! Figure out my murder yet?”
“Your murder?” Mimi said rather loudly. “Is that why I can’t empty the house and sell it?”
“Yeah, didn’t I tell you?” Henry asked, slightly confused.
“No, you didn’t, Henry,” Mimi sighed.
“Sorry dear, I’m old. My memory is not good.”
Mimi not sure what to say said, “So murder, huh?”
“Yep, I was killed alright. And I want to know who did it. Otherwise, I can’t be at rest and that means you can’t sell the house and leave.”
“Okay so if I figure out who did it, you and all of your friends will leave me alone? And I can sell the house?”
Henry said, “Yep!” And he vanished again.
Mimi was on the case. She wanted to leave more than anything. She searched the house from top to bottom looking for clues until finally she found one. Near Henry’s bed, there was a floorboard that appeared to be a little out of place. She found something sharp and pushed on the edge of the wooden piece. The floorboard popped out, and inside was a hatchet, a bloody hatchet.
To her surprise, the hatchet looked familiar to Mimi. She remembered seeing it in some old pictures she had found in the house.
Mimi shouted, “Henry!” The old ghost appeared.
“Figured it out, my dear?”
Mimi said, “I don’t know. Do you know who owns this hatchet?”
“Yes, it was my brother’s, but he died years before I did. It has been sitting in my house for a while now.”
“Well, I think he did it.”
“You are telling me that a ghost killed me?”
“I think so. And look…” Mimi lifted the hatchet, “Here is a note.”
In ghostly writing the note read, “Dear Brother, it is time for you to die. No more suffering.”
“Well, that’s helpful,” Mimi said sarcastically.
Henry sighed, “I know why he did it, and I don’t blame him.”
Mimi looked at him with confusion.
“I think about the day I died. I was ill, very ill and struggling. I couldn’t get out of bed for a week at this point. I hadn’t eaten and hadn’t slept. I was alone and tired of living. I was suffering. And he put me out of my misery so that we could finally be together.”
Henry broke down into tears and Mimi sighed sadly. “I am sorry. I wish I could have helped you, but I didn’t even know about you.”
“It is okay my dear. I didn’t know about you either. Now I can be at peace. Good-bye my dear, forever.”
Mimi was sad to see the ghost leave, but she wished him well.
And now Mimi was alone again, like Henry had been for so long. She went to bed and burrowed herself in the blankets. She cried until she fell asleep.
The next morning, she woke up to a loud creak. Mimi caught her breath and she turned on the lamp next to the bed. She was in her own room in her own house. She had no idea how she had ended up there.
Next to her bed there was a gramophone with some discs and a note that said, “Dear great-niece, it is time for you to live. No more suffering.” Mimi looked closely, there was something else scribbled underneath. It said, “P.S You can choose to not be alone. You have Real people in your life.”
Mimi smiled. She knew exactly what to do next.
Categories: Creative Writing