Fading Out..., p.1Ayush Srivastava
By Ayush Srivastava
2014 Copyright Ayush Srivastava
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
It was supposed to be just a dare...
When 18 year old Nick Demming Peters entered the haunted Victorian mansion of his small town of Anacresia on a challenge to prove his bravery, on the inside he shook with fear of what might happen. The mansion was haunted by a ghost lady who hated anyone who dared to intrude into her home or tried to damage it. With his barely concealed shaking legs, he enters the mansion at dusk to stay until dawn or until he recovers a sapphire necklace kept in the ghost lady’s room. He was hoping nothing might happen. That nothing changes. But everything did.
But it is never really that simple now, is it?
When 100 year old ghost of Daisy McCain, who died at a young age of 17 on the night her wedding day’s eve, sees the young boy entering the mansion with barely hidden fear, she immediately is drawn to him. But when she sees him try to sneak out the necklace she prizes far more than anything else, she is enraged and decides to scare him to scar him forever. But when she appears in front of him, something happens that neither expected.
And now they have a choice to make: Love or Existence?
A ghost who chooses to stay can only last 150 years while slowly going weak. Daisy is barely able to hold on to her appearance and she often suffers from memory losses. She knows that having chosen to stay, she will just fade out of existence, never to be reborn again. But Nick isn’t accepting that. He never believed in love at first sight but is now in love with Daisy, who seems to be reciprocating his feelings. Now, when Daisy has no hope for herself, he believes that there must be a way. But then there is a choice to be made by them both, do they stay together and let Daisy fade out or do they work to help Daisy move on, and separate her from him and leave two broken hearts in the process?
"You cocky idiot. You think you are the bravest and strongest in the world don't you Nick?" I ask, still infuriated at him for asking Millie for coffee even though I liked her and he knew it. The only advantage he had over me was that he braved asking her out in front of her big brother, the football quarterback Mike "M" Johnson, who threatened severe damage to anyone asking her out, moments before I did.
"I cannot say I am that but at least I am better than you." He replies and my anger spikes. That cocky bastard! I barely control myself from hitting him in that face he is so proud of. The best 'public' part of me, he calls it. Yeah as if he ever even got to second base with anyone.
"You are just a fake, Nick, and I can prove it. Complete one dare of mine and I will accept you to be truly fearless." I say and quickly search through my thoughts for his fears. So what if he has been my best friend since kindergarten? I look for the scariest dare I can think for him but I come up empty.
"Sure. What is it?" Nick replies and I see a self-confident gleam in his eyes. Overconfident idiot. I am still thinking as we walk while I discard ideas that would have worked on me but I know that he will do them easily, despite the consequences. No, I think, the challenge must make him shiver before it even begins.
As we walk past, I keep staring away from inspiration while Nick hums some random tune. I could ask him to paint Mr Cole's ferocious bulldog. Nah, he will just throw a bucket of paint on it or just feed it a sleeping pill somehow and paint it then. I could ask him to destroy Mrs Andrews’s beautiful garden. Really? That's what I come up with? Next!
And I almost miss the way Nick shoulder get slightly stiff and his humming fades a little as we pass the ruined 'haunted' McCain mansion. It is Victorian in design and would have been once beautiful but now, it is only a blot in our city's reputation. Freaks and 'ghost hunters' keep coming to our town to meet and, try to, capture the ghost that haunts its walls but so far none have succeeded. All of us have been warned for three generations now not to go to that place or else-. I freeze and smile at Nick who keeps walking, oblivious to the fact that I am no longer beside him.
"Hey, Nick! I got it. Your dare is..." I say and pause for dramatic effect. He stops but doesn't turn. His voice comes, "Come on, Shane. Can't we do this somewhere else?" His voice sounds normal but having known him for years, I see him shifting his weight on his right leg nervously and the stiff set of his shoulders and I know he is not comfortable here. Even though I feel a little bad, I push away the guilt as I realize this challenge is exactly what I need for my revenge. And so I finish, "to get the sapphire necklace kept inside the McCain mansion."
He freezes and I know that he isn't even breathing. I have a pretty good idea how he would look like. Face drained of blood, eyes wide in disbelief and his body... well, he is trying but I can see the shaking.
"What?!" He shouts but it has lost its strength and is full of fear and anxiety. Then he turns and I see that I guessed correctly. And now his shivering is clearly noticeable to anyone who would look at him.
"Stop this craziness Shane. What you are asking is insane!" He shouts and then walks to me. Grabbing my hand, he tries to drag me away but I resist. "God, have you been possessed? What are you talking about? Do you know what this stupid dare could cause?" He practically blows my ear off with the shouting.
Resisting my urge to take it all back just to have him spare my poor suffering ears (hmm, that sounded a little melodramatic), I simply smile back at him and say, "You are the bravest, aren't you Nick? So why hesitate? I mean that necklace must be just thrown around somewhere so why not just take it?" As I say this, an idea comes to mind. If he refuses, he is humiliated and if he succeeds then I will hand it over to Millie and take all the credit. "You are just a chicken, aren't you Nick?" And then to tease him further, I begin to make clucking noises at him. Childish and silly, but it works.
"I am not a chicken! Fine, I will go and bring it to you." Nick growls at me and begins to stomp to the door of the mansion. But it still doesn't hide his shaking hands. Then, for further pleasure, I shout, "Not now, Nick. My dare wasn't complete. You have to go in at dusk and come out at dawn. Not before that."
He opens his mouth to protest but one clucking noise silences him. I can see he is angry but he is holding it back for some reason. Why? I am tempted to ask but I don't. It doesn't matter right now.
With a defeated sigh, he says, "All right. I will go in there tonight. Now that it is done, I am going home for now. Do NOT follow me." He says with a special emphasis on 'not'. Then, before I can even open my mouth, he leaves me alone.
As I stare at his retreating form, my conscience tells me that I have been too harsh and cruel and I shouldn't have done that. It tells me to apologize but then what happened today at cafeteria comes back to me and I stop myself from calling him out and doing exactly what my conscience wants.
He needs to suffer. I console myself. He deserves it.
For some reason, even I realize my lie. Maybe he does, but not this. Definitely not this. My conscience replies and I can't help but agree.
Fading Out... by Ayush Srivastava / Romance & Love have rating 4.2 out of 5 / Based on38 votes