Wednesday, October 14, 2009

'Ghost Walk' by Ellen Margret

"Holt, what's the point going on a ghost walk? Ghosts don't exist."
"How can you be so sure, Hope?"
She fingered a blonde strand of hair. "I've never seen one."
He crossed his muscular arms, and looked her in the eye. "You can't see oxygen molecules, and yet they're all around you."
"Now, you're being silly."
"No, I'm not. Have you ever seen Mexico?"
"So, maybe Mexico doesn't exist."
Hope gave a mighty huff. "This conversation is utterly pointless, just like those blasted ghost walks that are designed to make gullible people, with over-active imaginations, scream like little girls in the playground."
"So, you won't be going with Billy and Wendy?"
"No, they can go on their own. Knowing Wendy she'll get so scared she'll wet herself. I don't want to be there to see that."
"How about if I came with you? I'll join you there."
"No, I won't waste my time on some idiotic ghost hunt."
"I'd like to be there with you, especially in the old church that's reputed to be haunted by the woman who can't stop searching for the curate who killed her."
"Emphatically, no," she declared.
Holt shrugged. "The stress wouldn't be good for you anyway."
"It wouldn't stress me. How could it if I don't believe in spirits?"
"Still, the atmosphere wouldn't be conducive to relaxation, and that's what you have to learn to do."
"I'll relax when I'm dead."
He put his arm around Hope's shoulder. "Don't talk like that. I want you to live a long and happy life."
"Holt, you know my only real hope is a heart transplant, and there's a long waiting list."
"You told me last month the doctors had some kind of new operation planned. Didn't it involve inserting a valve in your heart?"
"I found out this morning that it's not possible."
"Oh, God, I'm sorry."
"Hey, let's not get morose. I'm well enough at the moment, and I'm glad you're with me. Mind you, the scare you gave me last week might have been enough to finish me off." She shuddered. "I was all set to dash up to Yorkshire, and see you in the hospital. Your sister phoned to tell me about the car crash. She said the doctors had little hope of you surviving."
"Meredith's always been prone to exaggeration. She's an expert at blowing things up out of all proportion. I had a head injury, and the doctors assumed I had brain damage."
"You recovered so quickly. I was going to catch the train after my hospital appointment the next afternoon, but the nurse gave me something that made me so drowsy that I fell asleep. The next thing I knew you were there, standing beside my bed in the hospital room."
Holt sat down on the sofa, and positioned Hope on his lap. "You are my girl. It's my duty to always look after you. Meredith frightened you for nothing, because here I am, and there's not a mark on me. As far as I know my brain isn't damaged." He held up his right hand. "Look, all six fingers present and correct."
Hope laughed. "Your sense of humour remains in tact."
He began to unbutton her blouse. "Something else in is tact too." He peeled off her blouse, and deftly unfastened her bra. "Oh, yes, that part of me in is perfect working order. I can feel it demanding attention."
"Holt, you appear to be undressing me."
"Yes, and I intend to continue doing it until you are sitting naked on my lap."
"I think I prefer to lie on the sofa," she purred, as Holt swiftly removed the rest of her clothing.
He stood up and stared down at her. "My God, just look at you. You have to be the most beautiful woman on the planet. That lovely face, those ripe, pink tipped breasts, and the sexiest legs that ever walked the earth. I could never leave you. I refuse to let anything come between us. You're mine."
She grinned, and her hand moved down her belly to touch the most intimate of areas between her open legs.
"So, are you going to show me that part of you that you claim to be in perfect working order?"
"You bet," he said, tugging off his tee shirt, followed by his jeans.
"Mmm, look at those pecs?" she sighed, staring at his chest.
His boxer shorts, and socks hit the carpet. "I work hard."
She pointed to his high state of arousal. "I hope you're not referring to that."
His body came down over her. "That has one sole purpose. To please this lovely lady," he declared, sliding his shaft deeply inside her.
She sighed. "We've had such good sex these past few days. You always come to me late in the evening when I'm feeling so sleepy. How about meeting me tomorrow. We can walk in the park?"
"Silence, woman, I'm concentrating on sucking your nipples. I never was good at multi-tasking."
She laughed softly, and her hands stroked his firm buttocks. "You're doing a fine job right now. You're shafting
me, and kissing my breasts."
"That's instinctive," he murmured. "Now, stop talking. I'm about to give you the biggest orgasm of your life."
She did stop talking. She had too because speech suddenly eluded her. Holt was right. He took her to a state she hadn't been in before. A state that transcended mortal life. A state where she felt aroused, and yet blissfully serene, both at the same time. She didn't recall falling asleep in his arms, but she was sure she did.
Surely this time he would be with her when morning came? But, in the morning he'd gone again.
* * * *
The day dawned, bright and clear, and it felt unusually warm for the end of October. It was a perfect day for that walk. She felt rather irritated that Holt had left her so early, but how could she be cross with him? He loved her, and she loved him. She called his mobile several times, but it was switched off. She decided to go to his parents' house. He was staying there whilst searching for the perfect flat for them to share. She caught the bus and found a seat at the back, away from the group of children who had already started to have their Halloween fun. They chatted, and congratulated themselves on their costumes. They weren't bad either. The witch had amazing make-up that really did make her look like an old hag. The wizard had the most interesting long wig, and a cape with astrological signs on it. The spirit wore a white sheet that matched his white face.
She thought about her conversation with Holt. I don't believe in ghosts. She wished she did, because then she wouldn't be so frightened of dying. The thought of not existing terrified her more than she was prepared to admit to anyone. When the pains came in her chest, she would often panic. Thank goodness for the tablets the doctor gave her. She had the pain again today. Never mind, Holt would make her feel better. She knew he would be at home, because it was a Thursday. He always had Thursdays off.
When the bus stopped at the traffic lights, Hope glanced out the window. Across the road she saw the funeral parlour. She stared at the woman who got out of her car, and walked across to the undertakers. Was that Meredith? At that moment the woman glanced up at the bus, and Hope knew it was. Meredith seemed distraught, and even from a distance Hope could see that her eyes were red from crying. She jumped up and ran for the door. "I have to get off."
"This isn't a stop, lady."
"Open the doors!" she yelled, trying to force them open.
"Hey, stay calm. I'll let you off," the driver said, pressing the button to open the door.
She dashed across the street. Meredith had already gone inside and so Hope ran after her. She followed her straight through the reception area and into the room at the back where soothing music played in a room that was full of sweetly scented flowers. Inside Meredith stared into a long coffin. "I'm so sorry, Meredith. Is it Grandpa? I heard he didn't have long."
Meredith turned slowly around. "No, it's not."
Hope moved towards the coffin, and stared inside at the corpse clothed in the expensive black suit. Her ears began to ring, and her vision went out of focus so that she could no longer clearly see the handsome features of the corpse. "No, this isn't possible!" she cried, grabbing the corpse's cold hand. "No, this isn't Holt!"
"I'm sorry. The brain damage was severe. He died a week ago, but we've only just been able to bring his body back. I heard you were in hospital, and so I thought it best to wait a while before telling you. The funeral is next Wednesday."
"I only had a few tests. I didn't stay long, and..." She shook her head. "No, he couldn't have died a week ago. Holt's been with me every night for the past week." She touched Holt's icy lips. Lips that had been kissing her breasts not so many hours before.
"Hope, let me take you home."
Hope burst into tears. "This doesn't make any sense. I've been seeing Holt. He wanted to come on the ghost walk tonight."
Meredith winced. "I'm taking you home. This has been a shock, and you don't look at all well."
* * * *
Billy and Wendy refused to go on the ghost walk. They didn't think it appropriate. Hope knew she had to go, but she didn't take the tour with the guide. She went alone, but only to the church where the murdered woman was supposed to haunt. The candles flickered in the church, casting eerie shadows on the walls. Hope sat down on a pew and looked around. For the moment her tears had ceased, but she had never cried so much in her entire life. When a woman wearing a long dress and a shawl entered the church from the churchyard, she decided that she had to be someone in costume. "I think the tour guide is further down the road."
The woman walked to the altar and stared at the statue of an angel. "The man told me I have been here too long."
When the woman suddenly seemed to glow with an intense light, Hope got up. She found it hard to ignore the pain in her chest. "Who are you?"
"I'm someone who is going to a better place. The man said it was best if I go."
"What man?" Hope asked just as the woman vanished before her eyes. The shock sent a bolt of pain through her heart, and she dropped to her knees.
"This man."
She crumpled to the floor, but her face was turned so that she could see the man. "Holt!" she gasped.
He approached her, and held out his hand. "You're mine. Didn't I say nothing would come between us?"
She felt an explosion of pain in her chest, and then it went. She was able to get up and the next instant Holt was holding and kissing her. She stared back at her own corpse. "I'm dead."
He grinned. "We're both dead."
"So, there is an afterlife?"
"Oh, yes, and we are going to spend it together."
She took his hand. "I love you so much, Holt."
He kissed her. "You're my girl, Hope, and you always will be. Now, we should go?"

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