Is there a ghost in the house?
A Ghost Story by E. L Grace
Teenagers Linda and Helen were enjoying their first holiday without parents in Blackpool. They were staying at Auntie Pat’s B&B which was a huge Victorian five story terraced house. Auntie Pat was not a relative but Helen’s Godmother and family friend of many years.
Helen noticed something different about her. She was edgy and nervous which was unusual. Auntie Pat could be relied upon for her direct, organised, no-nonsense manner. She would most often approach people with fortitude, a typical Northern landlady everyone thought.
When it happened, Linda and Helen froze. They couldn’t move but managed to look into the mirror just before Auntie Pat gave out the most enormous scream….
To be continued ….
The loudest, most terrifying sound came from nowhere. The explosion was huge, causing thick black smoke to fill the air. Auntie Pat was still screaming and clinging on to her Goddaughter. The mirror then shattered and glass flew everywhere. Helen could smell something burning but could not see a fire, she could just about open her eyes. The noise increased as plates shattered and cupboards were dislodged from the walls. Helen had forgotten they were in the dining room because the wall leading to the kitchen had disappeared. All that was left was a huge hole.
What happened Auntie Pat, did you leave the gas on or something? Stop screaming. Stop clinging on to me. Helen coughs uncontrollably struggling to breathe.
Are you alright Auntie Pat, where’s Linda?
I’m here Helen, but I can’t see you very well. I must be ok I think. Pat tentatively feels her arms and legs and stretches her arm towards Helen. Here hold on to my hand, we can go that way. They both moved cautiously towards the hole. There was a light shining, maybe it was a torch. Auntie Pat reassured Helen and in her strongest voice said;
Come on, this way. It will be alright.
But it wasn’t.
Linda was lying motionless on the floor. Auntie Pat screamed again. Helen cried, is she dead?
We must help her, quickly. They both knelt to Linda’s side and Helen frantically pumped her chest. Is she breathing, asked Auntie Pat? Helen shook her head and stuttered; I can’t tell. I just can not tell. Can you get some water from somewhere Auntie ?
Helen gently slapped Linda’s face. Come on Linda, open your eyes.
She won’t open her eyes Auntie Pat. I’m going to do mouth to mouth, sobbed Helen. There are only 3 minutes before the brain is starved of oxygen. I remember learning about that in Biology. Helen shakes Linda desperately when Pat intervened. Showing her true character Pat told Helen to do three specific things;
Look at your watch and count the seconds between chest pumps
Feel Linda’s wrist to see if there is a pulse
Talk to her, say anything
Helen nods and speaks firmly,
Come on Linda, open your eyes. I think you have just fainted, must have been the shock of the explosion. We have got to get ready for tonight. Do you remember we are going out, out. I have brought my new gold dress to wear, the one with the glitter and sparkle. What are you wearing Linda? Green always suits you. What about that lovely floaty top? Linda, wake up. Come on.
Helen pauses, coughs again and clears her throat. She whispers to Auntie Pat, She’s not moving and it has been nearly two minutes. Get some help. Call someone. Get an ambulance. Do something. Do something Auntie Pat. Helen sounded terrified.
Where are you Auntie Pat? I can’t see you now. It is really foggy.
Moments later a fireman burst through the hole in the wall. Helen sobbed with relief.
Let’s try turning her on her side, you know into the recovery position. The fireman was looking at Auntie Pat.
Helen was so pleased to see them through the smoke. Helen asked out loud; Where did you go? You disappeared and I was so fearful. Look, there’s a fireman here now, so we are all rescued Auntie Pat. Linda will be okay.
Helen turned to look at Auntie Pat for reassurance and noticed her unease again.
Who is he Auntie? Helen pointed towards a man standing by Auntie Pats side. He was tall and broad with a very kind face but he looked like a miner out of the pit. Helen felt a bit nervous.
Auntie Pat reverted to her no nonsense demeanour, looked straight at Helen and said;
You wont remember him of course, but he is my husband, Bert.
Helen uttered, thank goodness he has come to help as well. The fireman needs a hand with Linda. Where are they? Has the fireman got Linda, is there an ambulance? Is Bert alright? He looks so, hmm, so absent.
Firmly, gently, Auntie Pat told Helen that Bert had died in a fire in the house many years ago. Bert had come to find her. He had been looking for her for a very long time, but couldn’t find her. Not until today.
Helen listened, nodding her head when Pat said to her; Bert has found you too Helen and now we must all go together.
But what about Linda? Helen said.
Linda woke up. You saved her
Does that mean we are ghosts Auntie Pat?
Auntie Pat whispered, don’t worry, we are going on our next adventure.
Copywrite Eleanor Grace 2021.