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Trysts and Turns: Ghost Story Flash Fiction by cam

Updated on November 23, 2017
cam8510 profile image

Chris has written more than 150 flash fiction/short stories.Working Vacation took 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.

Trysts and Turns

I’m not a brave man. When the sounds begin in my apartment in the middle of the night, I bury my head under the pillow and sleep, or pray and wait for the light of day.

The elevator opened once on its way to the the fifth floor where I lived in a one bedroom, one bath apartment with an L-shaped configuration for the rest. The lift emptied, and I noticed Elizabeth Crepps outside her door. I crossed to where the frail, old woman was sorting through a ring of keys. When she saw me, the keyring shot behind her back. She stared with no expression, no color, and no teeth.

“Ms. Crepps, I’m Greg, a fairly new tenant, and I’ve been hearing noises in my apartment at night. You’ve been here longer than anyone. Do you know if others have noticed anything like this?” Her grin was followed by cackling that went on, even after she found the key, let herself in and slammed the door. Ms. Creeps if you ask me.

Source

I lay in bed that night staring at the ceiling till 1:00 am. A key slid into the lock on my apartment door, followed by the squeak of floorboards. I looked around for my cell, but I’d left it in the living room.

At 4:30 am, I heard footsteps and the door opening and closing. I was alone again. It was my apartment, my privacy, yet I hadn’t had the courage to open the door.

A few nights later, I again heard the sound of metal on metal as a key slipped into place. Someone was crossing the living room, but I waited a few seconds, then opened the door. Light from the street filtered in through the unshaded windows. I looked along the wall to where the kitchen and dining room were to the left. Old, frail Ms. Creeps was turning the corner.

I stepped out and moved along the wall. I had my shaving mirror and held it up. Ms. Creeps was with a man. They were caught up in a passionate kiss, and there was a bed in the center of the room onto which they fell and continued their lovemaking.

Ms. Creeps sat up and turned. I nearly dropped the mirror. The old hag had transformed into the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, hair the shiny black of onyx, teeth the white of oriental pearl. She was young, healthy and looking directly into my mirror. Before I pulled back, she raised a hand and gestured to me to come to her. I fled to the safety of my bedroom.

What I had seen was real. But Ms. Creeps couldn’t have snuck a bed into my apartment. And the man hadn’t come with her as far as I could tell but was already here. How?

Two nights later, she returned, but this time she opened my bedroom door and came to stand beside my bed. She was even more beautiful than I remembered.

“Roger was my lover years ago when he lived in this apartment, and I would come to him often. He died of a heart attack at a very young age.

“What I saw the other night…..?”

"Roger has the ability to return to his physical body whenever he wants, but only here in the apartment."

“What happens if he leaves the apartment?”

“He loses the freedom to enter the world of the living forever.”

“And tonight is one of your trysts?”

Elizabeth seemed embarrassed, her eyes dropping to look at her hands. “No, it’s not.” Then she slid under the sheet next to me.

“I saw your key ring. How many ghosts do you rendezvous with?”

“Don’t ask,” she said as our lips touched, but I had one more.

“How do you do this?” I said, my hand gesturing to the condition of her body.

“A gift from Roger.”

The following morning I woke next to Ms. Creeps. I took a shower and brushed my teeth, then showered and brushed again. When I went back to my bedroom, the old woman was gone.

I didn’t have money for two months rent plus a security deposit, so I had to stay, but I had no intention of sharing my apartment with Roger. I developed a simple plan that required bravery.

One night I heard the key in the lock and the creaking of floorboards. I waited for ten minutes, then slipped out.

I walked to the middle of the dining room and stopped. Roger and Elizabeth stopped as well. She raised her hand, as I’d hoped, and motioned to me with one finger to come to her, to them. So I did.

Source

I didn’t want this to go too far before I had my opportunity, and I was fortunate in that regard. Roger rose to his knees, maneuvering into a new position. He had a lot of those, but this one placed him with the open window at his back.

I struck with all the force I could manage, hitting him in the chest. The force was enough to send Roger out into the night.

While Elizabeth was screaming, I looked outside. No corpse. He was a ghost, after all, prohibited from going anywhere in this world except my apartment. I gambled that it wouldn’t matter whether he left willingly or unwillingly. When I turned around, Elizabeth was still there. I had expected Ms. Creeps.

Elizabeth avoided me for a while, but one night she returned, and our trysts became regular. I seemed to have been granted my own time slot that fits in with the ghosts.

#

Elizabeth and I lay in bed talking about my recent heart attack and how healthy I had seemed before. A man stepped into the dining room, mouth open, face pale. Elizabeth raised her hand, motioning with a single finger for him to come to her, to us.

Source

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    • wingedcentaur profile image

      William Thomas 20 months ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      I'll admit, Chris, I'll have to think about this one! Though it is an interesting variation of the singing sirens theme (singing mermaids luring sailors to their death, and all that). Only this time its with ghosts!

      But that ending made me think that Elizabeth/Mrs. Crepps/Creeps is actually as lethal as any traditionally haunting spirit. After all, the narrator took the place of Roger.

      And it seems that Roger died without knowing it, because it seems as if a new guy is poised to knock him out a window, and take his place in Elizabeth's bed.

      Still, I'll have to think about this one!

      W.T.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      You got it, Deb. Thanks for reading. :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Oh, this is excellent! The woman has the power to choose lovers forever in order to retain her own youth. I like!

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      I'm not sure who is in charge, actually. at the time I wrote it, I was still thinking she was, so I guess I'll leave it a that for now, but it's a very good question. I wish I could accept credit for the title, but Michelle came up with that one. Before talking to her about it, I was leaning toward "Into the Night" which appears in the story near the end."

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Glad someone else is 'taken over' by the characters as the story unfolds - or is it the spirits?!

      BTW, loved the title.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Thanks Ann, It was fun to watch it come around to that at the end. I really hadn't planned it that way. I appreciate the kind words.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Creepy indeed! It's requires skill to be able to bring a story round like that, to infer without stating, and you've done just that.

      Perfect!

      Ann

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      John, I'm not surprised you had trouble following at first. The first draft was already pretty tight and had 1500 words. I had to get rid of 500. This is where a decision has to be made. Is it a flash fiction or a short story? I wanted a flash fiction and really put it through the editing mill. It shows signs of that stress at a few points as I look at it now with fresher eyes. I appreciate you mentioning the beginning. I might try clearing it up a little if I can keep it within the 1000 words. Thanks, glad you liked the title and found some creepiness in the story.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Interestingly creepy Chris. I had a little trouble following at first but it all came together..kind of a creepy love story. I like the pun in the title.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Ruby, I appreciate that you and others are giving me a chance to figure this flash fiction thing out. I love the challenge of getting the whole story told in a limited amount of words. Thanks for reading and for the encouragement.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Interesting tale. A bit scary and ghostly. I find your imagination intriguing enough to wonder what you will dream up next? Smiling..

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Hi Larry, Glad you liked the story. Thanks for reading.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I have always loved a good ghost story.

      Exhilarating fun!

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Bill, I'm so glad you think it's creepy. Now, if I could just write a ghost or horror story that raised just one hair on the back of someones neck, I'd feel like I had taken a significant step. I appreciate the compliment, for sure. Thanks, Bill.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Eric, Ghosts just aren't what they used to be. Strange bedfellows here for sure. Thanks for stopping bye.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Shauna, There's a response I didn't anticipate. I wouldn't want to be responsible for keeping that place rented out. Thanks for reading.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A bit creepy for sure. What I see is a very good writer getting better.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Some strange stuff going on here. Sex and ghosts. We don't have those in my house. LoL

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I think this story is beautiful. I probably wouldn't if I were on the receiving end of ghosts cavorting in my apartment, though!

      Elizabeth has found a way to live with eternal beauty by drawing new lovers to the apartment. Interesting.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      It is well here. I'm in Oregon now, but will be leaving in a few days, but I don't know where yet. I may have a contract in Louisville, KY.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thanks, Chris! Allis good. I've just been a little inundated with life and had to table a few things for awhile. I hope all is well with you, too!

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Yes, it has been. Glad to see you and I hope all is well.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Colin, thanks for reading. Yes, creepy is what I go for in a ghost story or in horror. Glad I got to that point here. I edited this one harder than I have any story I've written. I may have lost some creepiness in that. I had to cut a full third of the original to get to 1000 words. It was excellent practice in trimming away nonessentials, so it was very worthwhile writing. Thanks for stopping.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Right?!?! Sems like it's been forever....or at at least a pretty long time!

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      Ragini, Thanks for stopping by. As I was telling Randi, right above you, it is likely that i will never write anything that is either truly scary or truly funny. I might give someone a creepy feeling or cause them to smile, but scaring and laughing out loud are very difficult to achieve. I'm glad you found it worthwhile reading.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      RANDI!!!!, Sorry, I didn't mean to scream. Nice to see you. I just keep writing in the horror and ghost story genres to try and figure them out. I can achieve giving people an uncomfortably creepy feeling, but definitely not scary. I don't think I will ever get to that point.

    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 2 years ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      Ooh, creepy! Especially like your ending - nicely circular. Good one, Chris.

    • Ragini Vashya profile image

      Ragini Vashya 2 years ago

      I was looking around for a quick read and found this. I wouldn't call it scary, but it was interesting. The pics are great.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Hmmm....interesting, intriguing and definitely creepy! Nice! Great story, Chris!