Dating with the dead, p.1
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       Dating with the Dead, p.1

           Don Everett Smith, Jr
 
Dating with the Dead
DATING WITH THE DEAD

  By

  Don Everett Smith Jr.

  ****

  PUBLISHED BY

  Dating with the Dead

  Copyright © 2012 Don Everett Smith Jr.

  This story is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

  ******

  TABLE OF CONTENTS

  Chapter 1 - Acknowledgement

  Chapter 2 - Dating With the Dead

  Chapter 3 - About the Author

  ******

  Chapter 1 - Acknowledgement

  Special thanks to writer and performer Divinity Rose for the cover and special thanks to Sabrina for her proofreading the story.

  For more information about my writing, please visit https://donsmithwrites.wordpress.com. Also, please visit me on Facebook.com at https://www.facebook.com/donsmithwrites and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/donsmith1974.

  ******

  Chapter 2 - Dating With the Dead

  Greg smiled as his girlfriend Tiffany was readying herself in the bathroom. As she stepped out she smiled seductively, toying with the sheer blouse she wore over a green negligee. With a seductive smile, she took several slow steps towards the bed as Greg waited under the covers.

  She put a hand up to her mouth and blew into her palm.

  “Yuck,” she said as her face contorted. “Excuse me.” She turned around and went back into the bathroom.

  “Hurry back,” Greg called as his shoulders slumped. He quickly reached over into the side table and pulled out a canister of breath mints.

  As he popped one in, he heard a voice echo through the old house. “Let me in, you bitch!”

  “What in the hell?” Greg said aloud. The voice came from the direction of the bathroom and was clearly masculine. He heard another voice howl like a wild canine. “Where is my child?”

  The unearthly voices made their demands again. “Let me in, you bitch!”

  “Where is my child?”

  Greg watched in horror as the door to the bathroom swung open and Tiffany ran out, shrieking. Her overnight bag and clothes flew into her arms as she ran past a chair on the other side of the room. Greg did not think Tiffany noticed it as she ran down the large stair case.

  “Tiffany!” he called. “Wait!” He rolled out of bed and threw on his robe. “Uh…um…if this is about your breath...” He flew down the stairs just in time to see the large wooden front door unbolt itself and swing open allowing Tiffany the chance to escape.

  “Tiffany!” he shouted again.

  “Get away!” she screamed as she ran down the long driveway. He stopped halfway down it and watched her sprint off into the night. He had a feeling that she would run the two miles down the rural road – which was jokingly called “The Lost Highway” – back into town.

  “Damn,” Greg whispered. He turned and looked up the old house that he had inherited almost a year ago from his uncle. The first floor was built with sandstone and stretched several yards on either side of the porch. Each wing had at least one picture window and several smaller ones. The second floor had been refitted with siding within the last century.

  Greg had lived here alone for the last year while he finished his latest novel, so he was immediately shaken when he looked up into the window where his bedroom was – and saw the figure of a woman looking back at him, waving a finger at him angrily.

  “Sweet Lord in heaven,” he said as the breath left his body. He ran up his steps into the house and just as he stepped in the door, it slammed behind him.

  “What the...” he said, spinning around. A blue burst of wind shot through the door and into Greg. He fell backwards landing one of the many of the Persian carpets.

  “Why?" called the wind with a hopeless voice. “Why?”

  Greg looked up and saw the eyes of faceless souls stare down at him from the vaulted ceiling and the walls. He gripped the carpet as the hairs on his arms stood straight up. He then looked up over at the portrait of the Van Greer matriarch - Jeanetta, his great-great aunt. And he’d be damned if she had not been painted to look as if she were staring right back at him. The very image sent another chill down his spine.

  She wore a red dress common over a hundred years ago and sat in a chair holding a bouquet of flowers. The expression on her face was of unearthly disappointment.

  “Where's my child?” cried still another woman floating down the stairs. She was dressed in a black blouse and skirt. She wore a white apron. Her face was broad and her eyes were sunk into her head. “Where's my child?”

  Greg buried his face in his hands and began to pray it would stop.

  “Where's my child?” the woman yelled as she crept up behind Greg. He pulled himself up and turned and faced the woman. “Where's my child?" she bellowed.

  He looked into her sunken transparent eyes. “Do I look like I keep children on me?” Greg shouted as he slapped the pockets of his robe. “Huh?”

  The woman stopped.

  “Get outta here!” Greg said as he turned and walked across the giant Persian carpet to the portrait of his aunt. “Auntie Jeanetta…” he said with clenched teeth. “I was about to have sex with that woman!”

  The eyes of the faceless souls begin to howl for their forgotten lives. “Oh will you Christmas Carol rejects just shut the hell up?” Greg said.

  “Let me in, you bastard!” Another voice screamed from the outside. Greg looked out the window and was able to make out the form of eyes and a vicious grin in a silhouette. Greg waited a moment as the silhouette floated there and he opened the window. “You comin’ in or you stayin' out in the cold tonight?”

  The silhouette floated in. “You are so annoying!” Greg sighed as he slumped into a large easy chair and placed his head in his hands. “I can’t believe this. I get stuck with a mansion that my uncle – ” he points to the portrait – “your husband – built on an old Lenape burial ground…”

  Just then a man, wearing a white deer skin shirt and pants and had mud on his face, ran from the living room wall. His hair was long and black and he held a handmade hatchet in his hand which he swung over his head. He yipped up a war cry ready for his next kill.

  “Will you shut up?” Greg shouted as he stood up. “Have a seat!” And he pointed to the couch. “I swear you do this when I cut the grass and it pisses me off.”

  The Lenape brave stopped, then walked over to the couch and sat down. He looked up at the portrait and shrugged.

  Greg glared up at the portrait of his aunt and shook his head in disbelief. It appeared as if the artist had painted her with a shrug and her head cocked to the side.

  “I need a beer.”

  Greg walked into the kitchen and saw a child dressed like a pilgrim standing in the middle of the room. He noticed a bullet wound and a trail of blood dripping from the center of his chest down the side of his face.

  “Where's my mother?” the boy asked in a whisper.

  “Gettin’ it from the plumber,” Greg mumbled sarcastically as he pulled out a can of beer and bottle of soda from the fridge.

  “Where's my mother?” the young boy asked again.

  Greg unscrewed the bottle of soda and put it in the sink. “You wanna drink this, drink it in the sink. I don't want to have to mop up after you again.”

  Greg opened his can and stepped back into the living room.

  The Lenape warrior looked over at him. “This is my fire water, Tonto,” Greg said. “Go get your own.” The Lenape shrugged again.

  Greg slumped into his chair. “Auntie Jeanetta,” he mumbled. “I liked Tiffany. But it looks like you and your spook fest scared her away.
He took another swallow of his beer. “What's your problem? Not my fault you guys ain’t breathing anymore.”

  Something caught his attention and he looked up. At the top of the wall, blood began dripping and took on the shape of letters.

  “Greg!” he read and as he swigged another gulp. “Get…” Another swallow “…Out!” he finished.

  “You really want this house to drip blood on your Persian rug?” he asked looking up the portrait. His aunt now wore a self-deprecating expression. Greg looked up again and the blood on the wall disappeared.

  Greg stood up and gulped his beer again as if he was looking for the right words. “Alright!” he said. “New rule! Next time one of my guests is frightened, I am going

  down to the First Baptist Church of Lower Hawke Village and I will invite the congregation up here to pray you bed sheets out of here!”

  Greg turned around and looked up every corner of the high ceiling. “Am I making myself clear?”

  Greg felt a cold breeze on the back of his neck. He turned to see a tall old man dressed in an old fashioned black suit. His face was long and skeletal and wrinkled. A crown of white hair surrounded his head. His eyes were gone, but Greg could feel the anger.

  The old man pointed a crooked finger at Greg. “What right, damn you!” the old man shouted. His scream echoed through the living room.

  Greg took another drink.

  “What right?” Greg repeated. “What right?” He took a step forward and put his finger into the old man's chest. His finger went through as he shouted, “I own this house! It was left to me by your grandson - my uncle!”

  “What right...” the ghost was interrupted with Greg’s hand in his face.

  “Alright! This is it,” Greg shouted. “All you spooks with eyes come out. Take forms and come here.” The room began to fill with the spirits of those who had passed away but not gone on to the Afterlife. They all moaned and withered from a lifetime of pains. Greg turned around and looked upon the legion of spirits.

  “Now, I know you can see through each other, so you can see me. Now let me ask - who has not paid taxes since 1950?” The ghosts looked at each other then back at him, and, slowly, they all raised their hands.

  “I thought so,” Greg said. “Now, I am paying the taxes on this property so I call the shots. If you who are part of the ‘mortally challenged’ are to go out and find a job, we'll talk. Right now I am in the process of writing my fifth book to pay for this house - so guess what? I'm in charge!”

  The ghosts all shuffled and floated away all grumbling quietly. However, the ghost of his great uncle stood there.

  “What right, damn you!” he shouted.

  Greg sighed. “Uncle Jeremiah,” Greg began. “You are a stupid and stubborn old fart. No wonder Auntie Jeanetta kept a stable boy on the side.”

  The ghost stopped. He turned and looked up to the portrait. Greg saw his aunt’s face was almost as crimson as her dress. She had a “been caught” look on her face with hand over her gaping mouth. The uncle walked over to the portrait and clench his fists.

  “What right, damn you?” the uncle screamed.

  “Where’s my mother?” asked the spirit of the pilgrim boy as he wandered into the parlor holding his bottle of soda.

  “Aw, kid,” Greg said, motioning to the floor. “You’re getting soda all over the floor!” The ghost of his great-uncle turned from the portrait and watched as the soda slid from the boy's stomach and down his leg.

  “What right, damn you?” the spirit of the angry old man screamed.

  The young pilgrim squealed as he dropped the soda. “Mother! Mother!” he shouted, running through the nearest wall and into nothing.

  “Alright, you guys, I'm gonna lighten things up and watch some television,” Greg said as he picked up the remote from atop of the TV. “Then I'm going to bed. If anyone wakes me up, I'll call the Baptists and the last thing you want is a group of angry Baptists running around here!”

  He walked over to his chair and saw the ghost of his great-uncle sitting there. Greg shook his head and walked over to the couch where the Lenape and the silhouette hovered above the cushions.

  “Scooch,” he said as he waved them aside. The silhouette and the Indian floated to the left and Greg plopped down. He clicked on the television and flipped the channels. “Ahh, let's see who's on Leno,” Greg said as he drank his final swallow of beer.

  For several moments, the spirit of the Lenape stared at him. “There something you want, chief?” Greg asked.

  The Indian spirit contorted his lips and said simply, “Car...son?”

  Greg started to giggle. “Not for years, kemosabe.” Greg's giggle turned into a full fledged chuckle and then erupted in a fit of laughter. “You people have no clue do you?”

  The brave narrowed his eyes.

  Greg stopped long enough to say, “I mean you ghosts.” He quietly said, “Sheesh! Even in death political correctness rules the day.”

  “What right, damn you?” shouted the uncle.

  “Uncle Jeremiah...” Greg began. The old man leaned forward. Greg smirked and responded, “Get a life!”

  Greg laughed for another several moments but eventually he slid back and folded his arms. “You know, I was actually going to have sex tonight?” Greg said with a smirk.

  Greg continued to chuckle and laugh to himself, while slowly, the ghosts vanished.

  END.

  Chapter 3 - About the Author

  Smith is the author of THE GOFFLE ROAD MURDERS OF PASSAIC COUNTY (History Press) and IMAGES OF AMERICA: HAWTHORNE (NJ) (Arcadia Publishing).

  Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, and raised in Bergenfield, New Jersey. Smith lives in Bergen County, New Jersey, with his wife, Laura, and their three cats. His work has appeared in numerous comic books, newspapers, magazines and other comic book web sites.

  When not writing. Smith pursues an interest in American history, Sherlock Holmes and a love of comic books and science fiction (particularly Doctor Who).

 
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