|Note: This story is a part of a larger series of short stories and flash fiction. You can find these stories on the Oubliette home page.
Note 2: This is a reboot and this story will be similar to a previous story but there will be some small differences. Later stories will be different as these differences will have larger impacts later.
Griswold looked down into the dark basement and frowned. He knew Linda and Grace were down there trying to find a way to restore the power to the house. They believed that it was a blown fuse but Griswold regretted not waiting until they finished. He cautiously placed his foot on the first step and started to waddle down the stairs. With a combination of thumps and creaks, he made his way down.
The room was completely dark except for the flashes of light from a miniature flashlight searching the next room. In the corner of the room, Linda crouched with a head mounted light and searched through her backpack. Griswold sat the heavy box he was carrying on the floor next to her. As he stood there catching his breath, beads of perspiration slid down his flushed face saturating the front and back of his tee shirt under his coat. It was near the end of January and fog formed from his mouth as he labored to breathe.
Breaking and entering was not a normal policy for the group but when Pete sent everyone that newspaper article saying the family left overnight, they decided to check it out back in November. Griswold was not comfortable with the situation tonight mostly because of the visit he received from the sheriff. However, after the evidence that Grace discovered during review and how one of his cables slithered across the floor like a snake, he had to agree it was worth the risk of getting caught again.
As if by magic, the single bulb in the center of the room flickered and created a dim light that pushed the shadows to the far corners of the basement. From the next room, which was still dark, a tan and very athletic woman entered the room and twisted her body in a celebratory dance. Linda gave her a golf clap and pulled out a reddish piece of chalk, some candles, and other items.
Griswold uncomfortably knelt next to the box on the floor and pulled open the cardboard flaps. As he peered into the box, he quickly validated its contents and made sure nothing was missing. He reached into the box and pulled out a large rectangular video recorder along with a small black box. He looked at the items that Linda pulled from her backpack.
“What are those for?”
Linda responded, “We’re going to try to do a séance?”
Griswold’s face scrunched with confusion, “A séance? I thought we decided that we were not going to do those.”
Linda shrugged, “Grace convinced me that we should give it a try and Pete was okay with it.”
Griswold tried to hide his annoyance, “That’s nice… I guess. Should I put the cameras where we had them last time?”
“Yes, use the spares in here to record the session.”
As Griswold pulled a couple cameras from the box, the old wooden floor boards above them creaked. Linda and Grace glanced upwards when they heard it. Griswold followed the creaking as it made its way through the house. As the creaking made its way into the kitchen at the top of the stairs, it stopped. A moment later, Grace called to the top of the staircase.
“Chris, Pete? Is that you?”
The silence continued. The only thing that Griswold could hear was his breathing. There was a bump on the door and it slowly creaked open and nobody was standing there. Grace walked purposefully to the foot of the stairs and glared upwards. Linda glanced at Griswold in confusion and went back to watching the stairs.
Griswold heard Grace curse under her breath as she opened her backpack and withdrew a heavy black flashlight. With a soft click, light fired from the black barrel and up the stairs into the darkness. She cautiously looked about as she stepped onto the stairs. Griswold heard the boards creak softly as she climbed. She reached the top and slowly peered around the left side of the door.
A loud voice shouted just as a dark hand grabbed her from the right side of the door. As fast as lightning, Grace swung her flashlight which slammed against the right door jamb with a hard, solid thump.
“Jesus, Bae!” a startled voice exclaimed.
Grace shouted at the dark silhouette, “Chris, Asshole! I’m going to castrate you!”
She pivoted on her feet and stomped noisily down the stairs without saying anything else.
“What? No kiss?”