Whispering Wind

“How do you escape when it’s everywhere, when it’s part of what you are, when it’s in you? How do you escape who you are?”

Drip, drip, drip.

The interior of the derelict inn was exactly as Ron had remembered but without the moss growing through the broken floorboards. It was the subject of a land dispute that was never set to be resolved and it had seemed ideal at the time. He stepped over the plaster and wood that had fallen from the ceiling. Glass crunched beneath his shoe and the smell of damp coated his nostrils. Two moths fluttered near the part-boarded windows, hoping to escape and follow the light of the moon that shone through a gap. With his torch held out, he stepped over the rubble and entered the snug. The once cosy fireplace was nothing more than a jagged pile of rubble. He flinched as something brushed against his shin. It scurried off as quickly as it had appeared. “Bloody rats,” he muttered.

Drip, drip, drip.

As he stepped closer to the leak, the dripping got louder. The door to the kitchen creaked as he pushed it. He shivered as a gust of wind circled his head, stroking his nose with its icy fingers. He stopped, gripped the torch with his teeth and zipped up his coat before continuing to the cellar door.

“Ronald,” called a whispering wind. He placed his hand over his racing heart and shook his head. It wasn’t real, it was all in his mind. His heart pounded as he reached for the handle. He had to go down there and finish what he’d started two years ago. He had no choice, they were coming to survey the building for demolition in seven days. Luxury apartments would soon replace the smell of decay.

He wiped the sweat from his brow on the back of his sleeve. “Ronald,” the voice whispered in his ear before echoing through the building. He shook his head as he recalled ‘that’ night. She was dead, he’d checked. He’d wedged her into the wall cavity and sealed up the gap. The image filled his mind as if it were yesterday. He knew her burial was a gaping wound in the building’s structure, one that he’d only patched with a plaster when it really required stitches and a bandage. Back then, he’d returned the following day with wood, paint, and nails, and completed the job as best he could. Now his botched effort had come back to haunt him.

He reached for the handle. The cellar door resisted briefly before falling to the ground in front of him. He stepped on the wood and yelled as his foot pierced the rotten door. Splinters buried through his socks and stabbed his ankles. He snatched his foot back, and ignoring the pain began his descent, one step at a time, pointing his torch ahead.

Drip, drip, drip.

He reached the halfway bend and took a deep breath before continuing forward. “We’ll put you to rest once and for all Emily, once and for all,” he muttered.

“Come play with me now,” the wind whispered. “Come play with us.” Us – his mind raced. As he struggled for breath he felt an icy coldness creeping around his ankles. He shivered, the water had risen up the cellar stairs to meet him. How did the voice know about the others? They were his secret. The others weren’t even in this building, they were better disposed of. Emily was his mistake, one he needed to fix. “We’re waiting,” she called.

He hit the side of his head several times with his palm. “Go away. There is no Emily,” he yelled. He watched her die. He held her until she’d turned blue, he watched her last breath escape. He’d gone back the next day to hide her body in the inn’s foundations.

He remembered when he first met her. “It’ll be fun Emily,” he said, as he’d dragged her bound body into the building. After all, it was her fault. What respectable woman walks home late, alone, along a dark country lane? He’d driven her fifteen miles away from where he’d picked her up. Her disappearance had been in the news for a few weeks, but like everything, the news soon faded along with her memory. There had been no leads, no further appeals, no searches beyond the local area and no sightings. He intended to keep it that way.

“It’ll be fun,” the ghostly voice whispered as a gust of wind tore through the building, disturbing the crows that roosted in the attic space. Muddy water crept up his shins and past his knees. It was coming for him. “Go away, leave me alone,” he cried as he ran up the stairs. He had to get out. He had to get out now!

Drip, drip, drip.

The dripping was all around him. No longer was he following the drips, he was trying to escape them. The torch flickered before letting go of its last beam of light. “You came here, you deserve this,” she said as a haunting melody surrounded him. He felt along the peeling walls in the dark. She continued singing as he blindly reached out ahead. The walls closed in, walls that didn’t seem to be in the same place as they were before, walls he’d hidden behind for so long. Amidst his panic, the pattering of many feet brought him back to reality as they crashed into his legs. Slobbering noises filled the air, followed by more pattering. He banged the torch again and this time it let go of a brief beam of light and he saw them. Creatures. Dozens of them. Grey skinned, knee high creatures with opaque soulless eyes, all staring at him. Drool glistening down their pointed chins.

“No,” he yelled. The slobbering stopped. He couldn’t let the nightmare of his predicament affect his mind any further. There were no such creatures. “You’re not real, this is not real,” he spat as he grabbed his hair and pulled. His eyes darted both ways, trying to seek out a glint of light on anything, anywhere. He had to leave the inn before the inn took his mind. The singing started again, a simple melody, entrancing, alluring, appealing to his need for comfort. “Emily, please …..,” he yelled. ‘Please what? Please forgive me? Please let me go?’ He wasn’t sincere and she’d know. He wanted to live but he would kill again. He knew he would; she knew he would. He stumbled towards the door and bumped into a knee high mass. Hyperventilating, his heart pressed against his ribcage. Every beat pumped through his body, filling his brain with the sloshing of the red liquid as it sped though his veins.

The pattering mass crashed into him. Little hands grabbed the bottom of his shirt and gripped his legs. He pushed forward towards the snug door and back to where the moths danced around the gap in the boards. Moonlight revealed a carpet of opaque eyed creatures. He wiped the beads of sweat from his gritty eyes as he continued to push forward.

Drip, drip, drip.

The floor trembled beneath him. He stepped back before the manifestation of evil that was to emerge could fling him to the floor. Floorboards cracked and pushed upwards. The deafening hum of the moths surrounded him. Emily’s tune filled his head and the owls in the roost hooted. The demon creatures laughed and somersaulted, celebrating the emergence of the beast beneath. As the wood splintered and cracked, a constant flow of grey demons spilled out from the hell that was opening before him. They flowed like running water, filling the room. He needed to get out but they were blocking the exit. He had no choice, he had to go back into the darkness and climb up high. If he stayed he’d drown in the demonic lake. Each demon danced and laughed as another demon was born. So many demons, so many to evade. He stumbled through the snug door and felt his way along the corridors until he bumped into the staircase. He ran up the creaking stairs and was greeted by the light of the moon. He heaved, almost vomiting his pounding heart as the scampering feet chased him. Shrill laughter and Emily’s song echoed through the building. As he stopped to catch his breath he felt the creatures grabbing at his clothing and surrounding him. He flinched as their claws slashed his ankles. “This is so much fun, I knew you’d come back to play with me,” she sang.

He panted and stared at the creatures. “You’re not real.”

“They’re as real as you want them to be,” she said as a whispering wind passed his ear. He didn’t want them to be real, but he could see them. They were real.

There was a broken window ahead through which he could escape. He’d have to jump down a story, he may even sprain an ankle but it would be worth it to escape. He’d get out, leave the country, leave Emily’s body. There’d be nothing left of it but bones anyway. No one had ever suspected him. He grinned and waited until his heart rate returned to normal. The creatures took a step back and began to whisper things he couldn’t decipher. They were letting him go. He was in control. He was freeing himself. He looked back, they were still chattering to themselves. “Now,” he cried as he sprinted across the rubble covered floor, leaped over a hole and landed. The ground beneath him cracked before falling away. He fell down and down. Emily’s song filled his head, the owls hooted and the pattering feet surrounded him. He dropped with a thud into the dark corridor.

Pain shot through his back and legs, he tried to move but his joints were numb. Hundreds of opaque eyes stared at him. The barely visible outline of a human figure formed before him. The demons sniggered and came closer before leaping into the human shaped vial. As they entered, they turned into a brown liquid and filled the body from the head downwards. Ron stared as he watched the demons step in and form more liquid. The head filled, then the shoulders, then her bust. More demons flocked in, each one adding a small amount of liquid to the transparent vial. He watched with a gaping mouth as they continued to spill in, sloshing around and whirling, finding their place in the magical vial.

Drip, drip, drip.

He stared as water dripped from the floor to the ceiling. He yelled, he screamed. Emily stepped towards him. In the distance he saw another two figures. They’d come for him, he was theirs for eternity to do with as they wish. He lay back and sobbed. The water from the cellar floated up in droplets until it covered the ceiling. Water swirled and danced to Emily’s tune but not one drop fell from above. Silence pierced the noise, he was alone. It was just him and the choppy water suspended above.

“How do I escape when it’s everywhere, when it’s part of what I am, when it’s in me? How do I escape who I am?” he asked, sobbing.

Drip, drip, drip.

He held his breath as the building went silent. Water cascaded from above, taking his breath, filling his lungs. He didn’t try to fight, he didn’t try to swim. Emily joined him. This time she didn’t have shiny smooth skin and a mass of beautiful hair, she was nothing but bone. He was now hers for eternity.

A week later.

As the surveyor packed up to leave, he stopped and turned. Where was the haunting melody coming from? A breeze whipped past his ears and around his head. He shivered as the whispering wind passed. “This place definitely needs knocking down. Starting again is the only option,” he said as he signed the form.

Drip, drip, drip.

THE END

By Carla Kovach (Copyright 2015).


Enjoy ghost stories? Check out Flame.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flame
http://www.amazon.com/Flame

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About Carla

Welcome to my blog. I write novels under the name of Carla Kovach. My other passion is filmmaking. My feature film 'Penny for the Guy' will be out next year. If you enjoy a bit of horror, look out for it. I'm on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Feel free to join me on other platforms. I blog about many random things but food and travel are my favourite subjects.
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