Guest Post – Kasia James (A Little Spook)
I am intensely pleased to welcome my first guest poster. Please give a warm welcome to Kasia James, who was kind enough to lend her writing skills to creating a spooky short story for our Halloween enjoyment.
Celine stood back and admired her new home with pleasure. Even though the suburb was new, with concrete still raw and the trees mere saplings, her house already looked grounded and settled in its new location. A grand old oak tree, once the shelter of sheep, now graced her back garden. Russet leaves tumbled from the branches, coating the shingled roof like a welcoming blanket.
She had found the house about a hundred miles away, and had immediately fallen in love with its stately Victorian lines and pointed gothic windows. The town it had formerly occupied had been abandoned for decades, the swamp creeping closer each year. Celine had bought the house for a song, glad to rescue it from decay. She had borne long weeks of preparation for the move with impatience, but finally it had been sliced from its footings, trucked across the prairie, and resettled safe from damp on its new concrete slab.
Mounting the front steps for the first time, her weight made the timber creak, and she paused, caressing the timber balustrade. The light caught a small mark carved into one step, and she bent down to examine it. Beneath the pale grey paintwork, it looked like a child had carved their name. ‘CASSY’, or was it ‘CARRY’?
Abruptly, from within the house, a phone rang, echoing through the empty rooms. Instinctively, Celine straightened up and rushed inside, following the sound. In an alcove under the stairs, she found an old-fashioned telephone, still miraculously in place after the disruption of the move. She frowned. No-one knew her number yet. Maybe it was a test, or a wrong number? Tentatively, she picked up the receiver. It smelt of mold and dust.
‘Hello?’ There was a strange fluttering sound, and perhaps the sound of water dripping. ‘Hello?’ she repeated, ‘Is anyone there?’
Quietly, she heard someone clear their throat, as if they had not spoken for a long time.
‘Who’s there?’ she asked again. Her fingers traced along the fiber-wrapped telephone cable absently as she stained to listen.
‘It’s Cassy,’ a child’s voice replied, very quietly, and Celine thought she heard a sob above the faint trickle of water.
‘Hi Cassy. Where are you calling from?’ asked Celine anxiously. Celine’s fingers reached the end of the phone cable, which disappeared into a hole in the timber cladding.
‘I’m in the cellar,’ whispered the child. ‘Please help me, I’m cold.’
Celine gave a tug on the phone cable, and it came away. The end was frayed and tattered. She stared at it in horror. She could still hear the whispering on the other end of the line. ‘This house doesn’t have a cellar,’ she cried, her voice rising in panic.
There was a long pause, and Celine felt her heart pounding behind her ribs. Eventually, the child’s voice came back, as faint as breath on a cobweb. ‘It used to….It used to…’
Author Bio: “Kasia James writes primarily science fiction, with forays into other slightly unreal realities, and is the author of ‘The Artemis Effect’. She also has several short stories published an available on the Ether Books app. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, with a hydrologist and a big black cat called George.”
Also, check out her book!
Three comfortable lives are shattered when a wave of inexplicable events exposes the fragility of human society. With an unprecedented celestial phenomenon, devastating high tides, a breakdown in global communication networks, and the sudden appearance of violent ring-gangs swarming through cities and towns, Kimberley, Scott and Bryn struggle to understand the vast events unfolding around them. Will they survive the Artemis Effect? Will they discover the truth behind the collapse of society before it’s too late?
Thank you so much for joining us!