|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.|
Pete pulled into the driveway of the abandoned farmhouse and he stared at it for a few minutes. The last time he was here, he tried to find Griswold. He knew he should not be here; at least not by himself. He promised Linda that he would not come here alone and that she would be angry if she found out. He did not see the big deal, all he was going to do was go inside, gather the equipment, and leave.
He left the warm comfort of his car and entered the cold crisp morning air. As he walked to the back door, his eyes followed footprints in the snow made by him and the other members of the group. It had only been two days but it seemed like longer. He saw the footprints where Chris threatened him.
He spotted Griswold footprints and had to stop and to take another look. The footprints did not look right. Rather than a straight line, they meandered. He saw that Griswold had shuffled his feet. To him, it appeared that Griswold lost his bearings.
The back door opened easily because the lock did not work which is how they first entered. Pete cautiously stepped into the house and he entered the kitchen. It was quiet in the house. He heard an occasional creaking and knocking. He concluded that the sounds were normal. The wind blew outside which gave him a satisfactory explanation.
He turned left and found himself facing the door that led to the basement. He stared nervously at it. When he left the funeral home, he did not think it was going to be a big deal. The more he thought about what he saw down there, he could feel fear. The fear intrigued him because he had never been afraid to enter a haunted place even by himself.
Pete found himself pushing the door and it swung open. The basement was darker than he had expected. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a miniature flashlight. Using it to light his way, he took each step individually until he came to the bottom.
He explored the basement using the light from his flashlight and the small windows throughout the basement. In a corner, he found the equipment table lying on its side. The video recorder and monitor laid on the ground. He looked on the floor and noticed his SpiritMic in the middle of the red pentagram. There were no lights and it was silent; the batteries went dead. He put it in his coat pocket.
He took the box and began filling it with various cameras and other electronic devices that SHIPS used on investigations. He folded the table and sat it in the kitchen for when he was ready to take it out to his car. He continued to collect electronic equipment that Griswold scattered throughout the house.
As he wandered through the house, he noticed that it had a different feel. He had a hard time describing the difference to himself. The best he could do was to say it did not feel like something was constantly watching him. The last room to visit was the room where they caught the child spirit on camera. He went in and collected the camera.
As he began to leave the room, he hesitated. As he stood pondering in the doorway, his hand entered the pocket in which he held the SpiritMic. He knew that he should not take his chances but he had some questions. After letting out a loud sigh, he pulled the SpiritMic from his pocket and changed its batteries.
When he flipped the power switch, the SpiritMic lit up and the red light indicating the presence of a spirit flashed.
“… Bad… Man… Gone…”
“Did the bad man leave with Griswold?”
Before Pete could ask another question, the SpiritMic spoke again.
“… Help… Fat… Man…”
The red light on the SpiritMic stopped flashing. Seeing that the child spirit was no longer near and his important question answered, he turned it off and shoved it into his pocket. He walked downstairs and gathered the loose cameras into the box. He hefted the box and carried it out to the car. He walked to the car and opened the trunk. As he sat the box down, he looked at the house again. Even though he did not see any reason to return, something told him that he would be back.