|Note: This is part of an experimental creative writing exercise. If you want to read more or start from beginning. You go to the Oubliette page. Please note the earlier stories are crude. 🙂|
Mara and Owen walked up to the porch of the old rectangular manufactured house with a sagging roof and once pristine siding that was long rendered a dull gray after years of neglect. The house sat off the side of a busy highway and there was no safe place to park. Mara climbed the unsteady metal porch and knocked on the door. A voice from inside called to them, acknowledging their presence and asked for them to wait a moment.
After a couple of minutes, the door opened and a woman in her early thirties with disheveled dirty blond hair opened the door. She was wearing a dirty tee-shirt and jeans. A bath robe acted as her protection from the cold winter air. Her eyes were weary as if she was exhausted from carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. She immediately noticed the West Virginia State Trooper uniform that Mara wore and looked at both of her visitors with apprehension.
“I guess it was only a matter of time. Can you give me some moments to make some arrangements for my daughter?”
Mara and Owen could sense a hint of panic in her voice. Owen noticed a surprised look flashed across Mara’s face but she managed to hide her feelings. “Mrs. Wellington, I am Trooper Mara Martinez and this is Detective Owen Wood. I helped you and your husband last year at your house. Detective Wood and I were at your house and it appeared that someone broke in. We found some equipment there and had some questions.”
Mrs. Wellington frowned. “There shouldn’t be anything at that house at least nothing that belongs to us.”
She made a sweeping motion as an invitation for her guests to enter the trailer. “Come in out of the cold officers.”
Mara and Owen entered the trailer to a small living room that also served as a dining room. There was a coffee table in the center of room that rested on what used to be a light brown carpet that is now dirty and threadbare. On one side of the room was a blue couch with darks stains and in the corner on the opposite side, there was a small dining room table with matching chairs. They sat down on the couch and it creaked under their weight.
As Mrs. Wellington pulled a chair from the dining room table, “I know that it isn’t much to look at. Money has been tight since Buck left and we left that house. I have not been able to make payments so I am expecting that the bank will have me arrested soon. What brings you here officers?”
Mara answered, “The Detective and I were passing through Spartan Hills and I decided to pay you a visit. I was curious how things worked out for you especially after what I saw.”
Mrs. Wellington became less tense and started breathing easier. “Yeah, that was crazy.”
She looked at Owen, “You weren’t the man with her; he was a State Trooper.”
Mara responded. “Trooper Jennings and I are no longer working together.”
“I see. Feel free to call me Sarah by the way.”
Sarah shrugged, “There is not much to say, we don’t live in that house anymore.”
“That what I was wondering. Why did you leave the house?”
“We just couldn’t take it anymore. If I remember, it was shortly after you helped us. We were contacted by a priest from a Maryland catholic church… Saint Michael’s if I remember. He came over and took some notes, said a few prayers, and said that he would get with us.”
Sarah shrugged. “That was the last I heard from him. I assume he spoke with someone because a couple of weeks later, a couple other priests came and did a blessing on the house. They recited a prayer over Melanie and gave us some prayers of protection… one of them was that prayer to the Archangel Michael that you recommended.”
“Did that help any?” inquired Mara.
“For a little bit, yes. When the priests left, the house had a sweet smell of flowers. I don’t know to explain it… it felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Buck’s mood had totally changed and he wasn’t always angry. Melanie started recovering from that illness and was able to start walking around without feeling dizzy.”
Sarah looked at Owen and then to Mara and shook her head, “Whatever it was, it came back and it was angry.”
She stopped. “I need something to drink. Would you like something? All I have is tea and water.”
Mara and then Owen answered “No thank you” as she stood and walked into the next room. Owen leaned over to Mara’s ear and whispered. “Was that one of our people?”
Owen looked at Mara and she nodded. Sarah walked back in with a glass of water, took a couple of drinks, and sat it on the dining room table.
“Where was I? Yes… a couple weeks after the priests did their thing, it came back. Of course, it went after Melanie first…”
“I’m sorry to interrupt, who is Melanie?” asked Owen.
“Oh, sorry. Melanie is my daughter. At first, she complained about seeing shadows moving in her room. It was always at night and always about the same time. Then she said that she heard growling coming from the walls as if there was some animal trapped in them. She did was she was supposed to do and she prayed but she became ill again.”
Sarah wiped a tear from her cheek and continued. “I started noticing it again shortly afterwards. There was this foul smell coming from the basement; almost like rotten eggs. The fuse start blowing once or twice a week. The stress started getting to Buck again… he was constantly angry again. He was always yelling at Melanie or I…”
She stopped and started crying. Owen found a box of tissues sitting next to him and handed her the box. While she was drying her eyes, she looked at Owen. “You said that you found some equipment at the house. What was it?”
“It was mostly ‘ghost hunting’ equipment: cameras, voice recorders, one those boxes that says random words.”
“Oh dear, sounds like it found them as well if they just left that stuff.”
“That’s one possible explanation.”
Mara sat forward in the couch and looked in Sarah’s direction. “What finally made you decide to leave?”
“It started getting physical. It didn’t stop at just moving things. Instead, it was throwing things at us. It even scratched me.”
Sara lifted her shirt to reveal three pink scar lines running in parallel on her abdomen. “It was vicious with Buck. It kept trying to push him down the stairs and doing things to cause him to have accidents. Finally, Buck had enough and left Melanie and I… I can’t blame him but he should have taken us with him. I think he blamed Melanie for it. I don’t know, last I heard he was somewhere in Kentucky. Eventually, Melanie and I had enough and we just up and left one night and have not set foot in that house since.”
Sarah took a deep breath and Mara spoke in a soft tone, “Sarah, I am sorry you went through that.”
“Thanks. Except for the money problems, things are much better now that we left that place. Melanie is better and she can go back to school. She is there now. I didn’t think she was ready but she’s doing it.”
“I have one more question” said Owen flatly.
“Do you know Griswold Wilson or an organization known as Spooksters?”
“No, I don’t. Are they the ones who broke into the house?”
“We believe so.”
“Is that the group with the McKinney girl? If so, she did talk to me several months ago asking if her group can do an investigation. Of course, I told her no and strongly warned her against going in there.”
Sarah shook her head. “I’ll say a prayer for them regardless. Is there anything else I can answer?”
Mara stood up. “That is all. Thank you for your time Sarah.”
Everyone gathered at the door and Mara hugged Sarah and Owen shook her hand. Mara and Owen climbed down the metal stairs and into the cold wind. They continued to the SUV and when they had settled into the seats, Mara started typing on the car’s laptop. “So, do you still think it is an overactive imagination?”
“There could be any number of explanations. For instance, there are several environmental factors that could explain it. The story sounded like the plot from a clichéd horror movie. What do you think it is then?”
Mara stared at the screen and answered. “Well, it is definitely not a poltergeist as our initial agent concluded in his report.”
She continued reading and continued. “The team was supposed to follow-up in three months but they were not able to contact the Wellingtons because the phone was disconnected and there was nobody at the house… I wonder why she didn’t give them a call.”
“My guess was that they had already decided to leave before the exorcists came.”
“Suppression team, that is what we call them in Oubliette and you might be right.”
“Do you think it is time we gave this Griswold a visit?”
“That is what I am thinking.”