(Teen?) Ghost Story Freebie

In celebration of my team winning (the Dallas Cowboys), I’m sharing some free entertainment.  The following is a short story (1600 words) that I wrote as a challenge to myself to write a complete story in one afternoon, which I did, by golly!  Then I edited and revised it many times over — you should thank me for that, otherwise it would be a pretty clunky read.  The main characters of the story are teenaged girls, so I suppose it’s a teen ghost story.  But you don’t have to prove that you’re under 18 to read it.  If you like ghost stories and you have a few minutes, please read on…..

The Curse of Rose Petal

a short story by Robbie Lewis Lowe

“‘If this name is spoken aloud three times within three minutes, the demon will appear three minutes after the third time his name was spoken.’” Gina read aloud.

Tanya, sitting across the kitchen table from Gina, rolled her eyes.  “Huh,” she snorted, “sounds like a rip-off from that horror movie about the ghost of a murdered slave.”

“Tanya,” Gina answered impatiently, “they had to say his name three times fast. Now, listen…”

“I heard,” said Tanya.  “You say this ghost’s name three times in three minutes, then wait another three minutes and, poof, there he is.  Then what?”

Gina read on.  “‘When Rose Petal appears, he will be very angry, so you must…’”

“Don’t you mean ‘she will be very angry’?” Tanya interrupted.

“Nope,” replied Gina, examining the text carefully.  “It says ‘he’.”

“Must be a misprint,” Tanya concluded.  “Who would give a boy a name like that?”

“Maybe that’s why he’s so angry,” Gina speculated.  She read on, “‘…you must repeat three times, ‘Forgive my stupidity, O Mighty One!’, bowing at the waist each time you repeat the apology. You must be quick about it, else Rose Petal will be quick in his anger to unleash brutal – even deadly – punishment on the one who dared call him from his dark domain.  However, to those who quickly follow these instructions will be granted supernatural power over all competitors, opponents or assailants for the following three cycles of the moon.’”

“Guess that means you could finally beat ol’ Legs Livermore in the fifty yard dash,” Tanya said with a grin.

“Or beat up that hussy that keeps flirtin’ with my boyfriend!” Gina said, her eyes wide with delight at the thought of herself, skinny Gina, terrorizing that gangsta-girl wanna be.

The two best friends high-fived and whooped with laughter at themselves for dreaming that even one of them could be supernaturally equipped to raise them from their lowly status as “losers”.

Then Tanya, recovering her composure, asked, “Well, is that all there is to it?”

“Guess so,” Gina murmured, turning the page.  “Oh!” she exclaimed, “Guess what?  There’s a warning here.  It says, ‘Beware!’”

“OO-wee-OO,” Tanya teased, “here comes the catch.  You probably have to sell your soul, or promise your first-born – or become one of the living dead!”

Gina grinned and shook her head at her friend’s dramatics, then continued reading, “‘Beware!  Rose Petal always materializes directly behind the one who calls him forth.’”

“Sneaky ol’ so-and-so,” Tanya said.  “Um, Gina,” she added with mock concern, “didn’t you just say his name three times?”

“Huh?”

“Check it out,” Tanya said, gesturing toward the book.  “Didn’t you just read the old hobgoblin’s name out loud three times?”

Gina quickly paged back and scanned the text.  One eyebrow went up.  “Was it within three minutes?” she asked plaintively.

“I dunno,” Tanya answered, “I wasn’t watching the clock.  Why? You don’t believe that stuff, do ya?”

“‘Course not.”

“Then why do you look so worried?”

“I’m not worried.”

“Yes, you are.”

“Am not.”

“By the way, you know ghosts don’t have reflections, don’t you?” Tanya smirked.

“Thought you didn’t believe in ‘em,” Gina retorted.

“I saw you checking out the window behind me.  You expecting someone to sneak up on you?”

“Shut up!” Gina snapped.  She turned a few pages.

“Just teasing,” Tanya said.

“I know.”

“Don’t be mad.”

“I’m not mad,” Gina muttered, “I’m reading.”

“Oh. Okay, I’ll shut up.  I’ve got math to do, anyway.”

Gina read while Tanya scribbled, paused, frowned, erased and scribbled.

Before Tanya went on to the next math problem, she decided to apologize to her friend for being a jerk.  But as she looked up to speak, her words froze in her throat as she sucked in air.  At the sound of Tanya’s gasp, Gina glanced up from her reading to see wide-eyed horror on her friend’s suddenly pale face.  Gina gulped hard as she raised her gaze once more toward the window behind Tanya.

What Gina did indeed see reflected in the window made her heart pound so hard it hurt her chest.  A blast of black smoke was shooting straight up behind her like a volcanic eruption.  The eruption stopped and the smoke quickly settled, revealing a glowing, ghoulish red-violet face contorted with rage.  Before Gina could move, the thing roared, deafening her, and the book she’d been reading snapped shut, rose above the table as if snatched up by an unseen hand, then slammed against the side of her face hard enough to knock her out of her chair.  She heard Tanya scream and heard Tanya’s chair scrape across the linoleum as Tanya stumbled backward.

Gina rolled under the table for refuge just as the thing roared again. Crack!  The heavy oak table broke in two and Gina shrieked with pain as the severed table caved in on her legs.  “Help!” she cried. “Tanya, help me!”

Tanya was backed against the kitchen counter with both fists at her open mouth, screaming in utter terror.

Another deafening roar.  Two huge hands shot forth from beneath the horrible face and flung the halves of the sundered table aside.  Gina reached for Tanya who crouched in spite of her terror, grabbed her friend’s outstretched hand, and quickly dragged her to Tanya’s side of the kitchen.

“Apologize!” Tanya croaked hoarsely as she tried to pull Gina to her feet.

“What?” Gina cried as pain shot through her legs.

“Apologize!” Tanya insisted, “Apologize and bow!”

“I can’t bow,” Gina answered tearfully, “I can’t even stand!”

“You have to!”

Another deafening roar.  The monstrous hands were reaching for the refrigerator.  Tanya hooked her forearms under Gina’s arms and hoisted her friend to her feet, then, standing behind her, she wrapped her arms around Gina’s waist and yelled, “Hurry!”

The refrigerator teetered, then rose into the air.

“F-f-forgive my my my stupidity…”

“Bow!” Tanya frantically reminded her.

Gina bowed at the waist, and stammered the rest of the apology, “O M-m-mighty One!” as the refrigerator dented the ceiling.

“Again!” Tanya exhorted.

Gina raised up just enough to bow a second and third time as urgency drew the words swiftly out of her mouth.  “Forgive my stupidity, O Mighty One!  Forgive my stupidity, O Mighty One!”

The refrigerator hung in midair.  The grotesque face softened to an ugly snarl as Rose Petal sat the refrigerator down with a thud.  Tanya still clung to Gina who was still slightly bent in a half bow.

“Where,” Rose Petal growled inhumanly, “did you get that book?”

“At the library,” Gina answered weakly, then added, “M-mighty One”

“Hah!” the angry demon boomed.  “I will wager you did not find it listed in the card catalog, did you?”

“No, Mighty One.”

“Of course not!” Rose Petal bellowed.  “You were duped!  The book was planted by the same demon who lured me to my fate.  You were tricked, do you understand?!”

“Yes,” the girls answered, their voices quavering in unison.

Rose Petal’s face seemed to darken to a deeper shade of violet as it moved slowly closer to the girls.  His arms had disappeared.  When his dark, yet still glowing – and still terrifying – countenance had floated to about twelve inches from Gina’s face, she felt her knees weaken and her heart leap to her throat.  Tanya had leaned as far back against the counter as she could as her own knees began to tremble, otherwise they both would surely have crumpled to the floor.

“You won’t get your three moon cycles’ worth of power,” Rose Petal hissed, “not from me!”

Then he was gone.

“He’s gone,” Gina said hopefully.

“He’s gone,” Tanya repeated.

Then they did crumple to the floor, crying and laughing deliriously and hugging each other.

“Oh-h-h,” Gina groaned, “my legs!”

“Are they broken?” Tanya asked.

“I don’t know.  Help me up again.”

With Tanya’s help, Gina stood, then took a few steps.

“I guess I’m just bruised, after all,” she concluded.  “Boy, my face smarts, though.”

“Yeah, you’ve got a nasty little bruise on your cheek, too.” Tanya observed.

“But, hey, I’m walking,” Gina declared.  “Tanya, we’ve gotta burn that book.”

“You don’t think that’ll make,” Tanya hesitated, “you-know-who mad again?”

“Are you kiddin’?” Gina answered.  “He’s not mad because of his name – he’s mad because of where he is and what he was tricked into becoming.  He wants us to get rid of the book.  I’m sure of it.”

“So,” Tanya asked, “where do you think he is?”

“No place we’d want our worst enemies to go to,” Gina answered solemnly.

“Right,” Tanya replied.  “You get the book and I”ll get the matches.”

As they headed for the backyard grill, Tanya said, “I just have one more question.”

“What’s that?”

“What am I gonna tell Mom when she sees the kitchen?”

THE END

About RobbieAnnLewis

To me, words are like garden plants -- if planted in the right places, well-weeded, lovingly coaxed and given light, they will feed mind and spirit. I live with my boyfriend -- a man who has his own way with words -- by a bay on the Texas Gulf Coast.
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2 Responses to (Teen?) Ghost Story Freebie

  1. Great story! You should challenged yourself to write more often!

    Like

    • Thanks, Ghostbusterbev! That means a good deal, coming from someone with a handle like yours. In fact, I’m writing every day now. I have published a horror/ghost story titled “Stalked” on SmashWords. I’ll post an excerpt from it tomorrow — got to run off shortly for the rest of the day, or I’d post it today. I have a couple other short stories submitted to magazines, waiting for replies…waiting, and waiting.

      Like

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