Thanks to all of my cool followers on Twitter and Instagram, this is a user generated story! It’s a paranormal story featuring two characters. The main character’s name is Charlie and they are non-binary. The twist will be that the main character dies, and the ending will be a cliffhanger. If you helped make this story possible, thank you! If you didn’t directly vote, that’s okay, I hope you enjoy the story anyway!
Click here to read part 1.
Charlie forked the last piece of steak from their plate and plopped it into their mouth. As they chewed, Martha stood and started clearing the table. A smile graced her wrinkled face once again and she sighed deeply as she put the dishes in the sink.
The promise of a meal kept Charlie’s mind occupied, but now that they had finished, they realized the house was empty of all relatives and it had been refurbished to its former glory. Bright yellow sunlight shone through the windows, and a crisp spring breeze was floating through the air. The image seemed as if it were an old photograph or vivid memory rather than actually happening.
“We have to tidy up quickly now, I’m expecting a friend”
“A friend?” Charlie replied, rising from their seat to help with the dishes. They didn’t mean to sound as judgemental as they did, but as far as they knew, Martha was a homebody that only left the farmhouse to buy groceries. Once her husband died, she had no motivation to meet new people.
“Oh yes, I’ve made quite a few recently. One in particular is stopping by to watch Jeopardy with us this evening.” Martha replied, handing Charlie a serving spoon and dish towel.
The two finished washing the dishes and as they entered the living room, someone knocked on the door. Charlie became acutely aware that they were still wearing Martha’s dress and blushed. Seemingly reading their mind, Martha said
“Oh don’t worry about that, Charlie. He won’t mind.” Deciding to trust Martha, Charlie stood still as she opened the door. Through the tall oak door with stained glass windows shuffled a thin man wearing a black hoodie, black skinny jeans, and black and white chucks. He had dark skin, a scraggly beard, and stood two heads above Charlie; close to 7 feet tall. Something in Charlie’s mind told them there was something wrong with this man and immediately they were terrified. Martha, on the other hand, smiled warmly and greeted this man with a hug.
“Shall we?” Martha asked, gesturing to the living room.
The three moved into the large room, Charlie and Martha sat on the pink velvet couch and the stranger sat in a matching armchair to their right. On the coffee table was a pot of tea and three cups Charlie hadn’t noticed before. When Martha handed Charlie a cup, they took it and drank without pause. It was almost an automatic response after drinking so much tea with Martha, but it seemed off. The room, Charlie noticed, was starting to dim. The light that had filled the kitchen moments ago was quickly becoming muted and the spring breeze that had been so refreshing chilled Charlie to the bone. They grabbed a knitted afghan from the back of the couch and covered up, clenching the cup of tea in both hands and drinking more before it went cold. It was a mint tea with some lemon juice in it, another one of their favorites. Before they could recall drinking the tea, it was gone and Jeopardy was over.
It seemed as if seconds had passed to Charlie, but now they were staring at the end credits and listening to Martha and the stranger discuss the outcome of the game.
“What happened? I feel strange” Charlie said, Martha and the stranger gave each other a knowing look and nodded.
Martha turned to Charlie and took their hands in hers. She smiled that smile that lit up her face and said “you’ll be fine love, let me take the time to introduce you to my friend here. His name is Theo. He’s going to do a very special favor for me and I need your help.” Charlie’s vision blurred out, but they retained the ability to follow the conversation. Martha and Theo rose from their seats and moved the coffee table. They clasped hands and, in unison, started chanting something in a language Charlie couldn’t understand. As they continued, Charlie noticed a green glow emitting from their hands. Upon further inspection, they realized it was over their entire body. A dark shadowy mist swirled around Theo and an orange glow surrounded Martha.
“What’s….going on?” Charlie asked with slurred words. Martha and Theo stopped chanting and Martha stared into Charlie’s eyes.
“My dearest Charlie, I would move heaven and Earth to keep you safe. However, I’m not quite ready to go yet. You see…”
“Wait, you knew you were dead and you just pretended like everything was normal for that entire meal?” Charline interrupted.
“You see…” Martha continued with a stern expression, “I have some unfinished business that I need to attend to, and you’re anonymity within our family is just what I need to get it done.”
“What the hell is going on? Why are we all glowing? I’m so confused” Charlie stammered.
“You needn’t be confused for much longer. I don’t have much time left to do my work with your body in the living world.” Without time for more questions, Martha and Theo grabbed Charlie’s hands.
“Shall we?” Martha asked. Theo nodded and before Charlie knew it, they were thrust into blackness.
A sharp pain and an awful smell woke Charlie from their stupor. They opened their eyes to see Uncle Bill and several other family members crouching over them, a stale cigarette near their nose. They shot up and realized they were still lying on the fuzzy pink carpet in Martha’s room.
“Finally! God, I thought you would never wake up and we’d have to lug you down the stairs” Aunt Cleo cried, standing, grabbing her full glass of wine from Martha’s night stand, and resting her hand on her skinny hip. Charlie felt delirious, as if they were distantly experiencing what was happening. Then, without warning, they stood, adjusted the lapels on their suit and said
“Oh yes dear, I’m fine” only, it wasn’t Charlie doing or saying any of it. It was like they were trapped in their own body with no power to speak or control it. Their head suddenly turned to glance around the room.
“It’s so nice to see you all again” they could feel their face smile, but sneer when they saw Uncle Bill. “Bill.” they said curtly. He looked confused, but downed the rest of his whiskey and stumbled out of the door.
“Now that this mess is over, let’s get some food. I’m starving” whined Cousin Ramone from behind them.
“Yes, dinner sounds lovely” Charlie said, and felt their arms outstretch towards the door. “Shall we?”
Last Week’s Story: Gone But Not Forgotten Part 1
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