You alright there love?” a passerby asked. “Yeah, yeah” she answered feeling confused. She walked back in, took the leash for the dog, put a coat on and left. She walked the 20 minutes to her parents house on the black ice, her head trying to make sense of what just happened.
It’s not something you can tell people. You can’t say, I’ve made a huge mistake with this fella and you were all right. She was stubborn, she would end it, yes, but when she was ready to. There was no way she would tell anyone about how odd Queenie was in the cottage and how odd the cottage was. They’d think I was crazy, she thought, each time she came close to confessing the truth about her adorable thatched cottage. Maybe I am? Tom had never witnessed anything at all, ever, she mused as she sat eating lunch. Tom is barely here though, she reasoned, when he is, he is mainly drunk or high.
“All ok?” her mother interrupted her thoughts.”Yeah, that was great” she handed her mother her plate.” Are you ok Sally sweetheart?” Sammy gently patted her 20 year old daughters head. She knew her daughter was unhappy, she knew her daughter would be a single parent, she knew Tom was a waster, but she kept it all to herself.” When are you planning on going on maternity leave?” Sal shrugged her shoulders, “Dunno. Mam, do you believe in the after life?”. “What?” Sam narrowed her eyes, “Why are you asking?” Sal loved her mother, she knew her mother believed in God, Spirits and all that jazz, she needed her mothers help, but couldn’t ask, she was, after all, her fathers daughter. Her mother took a deep breath, “Have you seen something?” she sat down. “Well, there’s been funny things happening,odd like” Sal tried to hide her fear. “Like?” her mother coaxed. “Noises, lights going on and off, TV getting louder” Sal got up. “Just freaky kind of stuff” she put her coat on. Sam stood. “Well, I don’t know Sal, I mean does Tom hear and see all this too?”. Sal couldn’t tell her mum Tom was barely there,” Nah, not really.” she felt her face flush, she felt a bit silly now. “It could be because you are pregnant, you’re more aware of these things,keep an eye on it. You’re not scared” her mother paused, “Are you?” Sam rubbed her daughters back. Sal lied,”No, no, it’s just a bit odd, is all” .”Well, keep me in the loop, and if it gets worse, let me know” Sam tried hard to reassure her obviously worried daughter.
Christmas came and went. She saw less and less of Tom and more and more of her belly. “Home stretch now kiddo”she rubbed her stomach. Opening the kitchen blinds Queenie began barking. Sal froze. She could feel it. There was something else in the small kitchen. Her hand shook as she slowly removed it from the cord. Her heart pounded as she spun around. “Hello?” she called out. Nothing. “Is there someone here?” her voice quivered. Queenie was growling. Nothing. She placed a protective hand on her belly, “I mean you no harm” The blind rolled down. The microwave ‘binged’ as the back door flung open. “Hail Mary full of Grace..” she began to pray.
“We need to get out of here” she explained to Tom, a week later.”I don’t care what you think, I’m not staying here any longer. I’ve already told the landlord, we’ve one month to find a new place” she drank the end of her tea. “Well, that’s just stupid. Where are we going to go? The cottage is old not haunted. You’re just being crazy and pregnant” he laughed as he petted the dog. “I swear Tom, it’s …”she looked around.”Haunted” she whispered. “You go lie down babe, I’ll get the dinner and we will look in the paper for flats after, ok?” he helped her up. “With or without you, I’m out of here in a month” she stared at him. He knew she was serious, he didn’t argue. “Fair enough” he helped her to bed.
Time had passed, she opened her eyes to a dark room now. She could smell the cabbage and hear the radio. She felt him, his back was to her. She yawned as she stretched, knowing she’d hit his head. Nothing. She felt nothing. Her eyes widened.There was something beside her. She opened her mouth. Nothing came out. She felt a pressure on her chest, like a force pinning her down. She threw her legs trying her best to get Tom’s attention. She could hear Queenie scratching and jumping at the bedroom door. The door flung open, light filled the room. “WHAT THE FUCK” Tom roared as he hit the light switch. He ran to her. She lay on the bed, sweating, shivering, crying with Queenie now beside her. “What the fuck was that?” Tom rubbed her forehead.” I’m going. I don’t know. I’m going, I’m going” she sat up as Tom helped her off the bed. “I’ll walk you to your parents house, come back, throw the dinner out, lock up and pop back up to you then, ok” he shoved clothes into a bag. Sal couldn’t talk. She nodded, as she attached Queenie to her lead. “I’ll be fine with Queenie, you finish what you’re doing here, ring me when you’re done” She didn’t wait for a response.
Tom arrived one hour later. “I, I saw it” he said as her parents sat at the kitchen table listening to Sal’s account of what she’d been living with for months.”I was closing the bathroom door, the mirror was fogged up. Weird.I didn’t have a shower.” he took a drink of his hot coffee, hands shaking. “I wiped the mirror, I don’t know why.” he shrugged answering a question no one had asked. “It’s eyes were looking back at me, not my eyes” he stared at Sal. “Jesus Christ Almighty” Sal’s father blessed himself as her mother picked up the phone.
The following day Tom, his father and Sal’s father packed up the little cottage as the local Priest blessed each room. The landlord, did admit, there had been a murder there years ago but really didn’t believe it to be related to Sal’s experience.
So, what do you guys think? Was Sal haunted?
Sal’s experience is really my experience, I sometimes find it, (this particular event) easier to write it as a fictional piece. People still don’t fully believe this happened to me, but it did and was one of the scariest experiences of my life.