|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.|
Before heading to Griswold’s apartment, Pete stopped at his place and retrieved his extra spirit bag that he kept just in case something happened to the one he kept around his neck. It was a short drive from the funeral home to the apartment. When Pete pulled up in front of the house, he saw that Griswold’s car was in the drive. The apartment was in the back of the house and Pete could not see it from the road. The light reflecting off the garage told Pete that someone might be awake.
Pete left his car and navigated his way through the maze of cars and trash cans to the back of the house. He heard muffled voices and music from a television that someone left on. He reached the back door and knocked. The metal screen door rattled breaking the silence of the night. Initially, there was no response and then he heard the clinking of bottles falling and someone cursing. The cursing stopped as the locks on the door clicked and the door creaked open.
A tall, very thin man with disheveled black hair greeted Pete. His eyes were red and bloodshot and he struggled to keep his balance on the door jamb. Pete knew, from Griswold, this was Grease, his roommate. There was an herbal skunk-like smell coming from Grease. Pete guessed that it was weed as Griswold told him that he had a problem with it.
Grease squinted and growled at him, “Dude, you realize it’s 3:00 in the morning?”
“Sorry Grease, can I speak with Griz?”
Grease’s eyes darted around and he spoke with a broken voice, “Who are you? How do you know me?”
“I’m Pete. I’m with Griz’s ghost hunting group.”
Grease relaxed, “He’s asleep and there is no way I’m going to wake him. What the hell is going on?”
Pete looked down at the snow-covered porch. He did not know what to say. He certainly did not want to tell Grease the truth that they left Griswold behind while being chased by a demon.
“We had a miscommunication and we left him behind.”
Grease’s eyes narrowed as he heard this. He said, “Well, your drama is just going to have to wait until the morning dude.”
Pete sighed, “Okay, can you at least give him this?”
Pete held out the spirit bag towards Grease. Grease took the bag and examined it. He shrugged.
“Is it something I can smoke?”
Pete took a step back, “No. It’s for protection.”
“Well, you can keep your freaky crap.”
Greased tossed the spirit bag back to Pete.
“Can you just please, give it to him?”
“Dude, I don’t know what kind of voodoo stuff you guys are into but I’m not getting involved.”
Pete looked at Grease and scowled. Pete knew that he needed to press for this harder. However, he was becoming exhausted and he needed to get to bed. He sighed as he resigned himself to the situation. The bag was just precautionary and he could just give it to Griswold later.
“Hey, since you’re up, would you mind if you get me some snacks?”
“It’s 3:00 in the morning.”
Grease rolled his eyes, “They’re open 24 hours, dude”
Pete shook his head, “Good night.”
As Pete walked away, he heard Grease call him an asshole. Pete wanted to respond but decided against it. As he walked back to his car, he smelled something rotten. He did not remember smelling it before but he figured that it was from the trash cans. He continued to his car and looked back at the house. The light reflecting off the garage had been extinguished and only the moon provided any light.
As Pete turned towards his car, something caught his eye. He swung around and looked at the house again. For a moment, he thought he saw someone standing in the front window of the house. He thought it was a man but there was nothing there. Pete stood there staring at the house and wondered what he saw. Ms. Adams lived alone and there should not be anybody else in the house.
When Pete felt cold air penetrating his jacket, he turned back to his car and climbed inside. As he started the engine, he looked back at the house. There was still nothing out of the ordinary there. As he pulled forward, he concluded that it must have been his imagination.