“What was that?” Asked Cossette Mulder, sitting up with a start.
“What was what?” Damien Romero asked, setting another piece of wood on the fire. His dark blue eyes flickered in the reflected light.
“I heard a banging sound, almost like someone knocking on the window or front door.”
“I’ll go look. Keep your flashlight close in case the power goes out, and make sure your gun is loaded.” Damien said as he left the room.
The house was abandoned and lonely, resting on a hill with trees that blocked most of it from view. It was raining hard and lightning flashed across the sky.
Cossette stood and walked around the large sitting room where they had a bright fire burning in the fireplace.
It was one of their many ghost and gang stakeouts, she should be used to weird noises coming from the door or unknown locations… but she wasn’t.
She spun around to the window, the curtains were hanging limply, touching the ground. Almost wanting to pull the curtains back, she cocked her gun.
Damien came back, locking the doors as he got closer.
“Was anyone there?” Cossette asked him, stepping away from the window.
“No. Must’ve been some kids pulling pranks. They do say this house is haunted.”
“You don’t actually think that, do you, Rome? I mean, we’ve been here for months and so far, it’s only been mice and kids hiding around the property.”
“I do think so. And I think that someone is watching us right now.”
“Stop being ridiculous.”
“They say they were murdered on this night, back in 1916. They were asleep when they heard noises from downstairs. The husband went downstairs, and never came back up.
Soon, the wife went downstairs, and she never went back up. People around these parts think that every Christmas Eve they come back and roam around the property, finding a victim each time.
Four kids went missing last year, the year before, two adults.” Damien said.
Cossette’s wavy brown hair shone with the fire’s light, her face was turned away from the flames so her steely blue eyes looked like storm clouds. A look of disbelief was in her face.
“You’re making this up, Romero.”
“I swear I’m not, Mulder. See, when people die, their spirits normally would stay down here until judgment day, if it comes anytime soon.
These ghosts’ past forms were two people that history never bothered with as they were minor compared to the start of the first War. They led solitary lives, no children, no other family.
Their names were forgotten, but they received the nickname Spooks from this house.”
“Spooks? Romero, why are you using your codename in this tall tale?”
“It’s NOT a tall tale.”
The lights flickered, then dimmed. Soon they were off and the only light in the room came from the burning fire in the fire-place. “Power’s out.” Said Damien, trying the light switches.
Cossette jumped as lighting crashed nearby. The form of someone was by the window, but outside. It’s form was highlighted by the dull white glare from the lightning.
Damien pulled back the curtain. A clown was standing near the corner of the window, holding a dark red balloon. He put the curtain back quickly, then pulled back another set. Same clown.
Same cruel, bloody, smiling painted face. Cossette’s eyes went wide as she saw the clown, then she shook her head quickly.
“They aren’t real. Just overactive imaginations.”
“Cossette, these are real.” Damien said, closing the last curtain.
She shook her head. “No. There is a logical explanation.”
“Gang dressed like killer clowns?”
The doors and windows that were open slammed shut and locked. Lightning crashed nearby. Thunder rolled above them.
“Now do you think it’s haunted?” Asked Damien, casting a quick glance at Cossette. She was pointing her flashlight around quickly, making sure she didn’t skip a single shadow.
“Why should I? It could just be the windows giving out, or some kids trying to pull a prank.”
“Miss Mulder, you are way too sensible.” Damien commented, pulling back the curtain beside them.
The noise came from the closed and locked door that Damien had came in from. Cossette took out her gun, Damien instinctively moved in front of her.
Lightning flashed again, the clown figure was still in the corner of the window. Cossette bit her lip to keep from screaming, her hands shook, making the light from her flashlight waver slightly.
A loud moan came from behind the door. It quaked a little as something knocked repeatedly. One… Two… Three… Then silence. The great Grandfather Clock struck 10 P.M.,
a hollow sounding bell chimed the hour. Damien sighed, then moved around for a second.
Cossette turned around enough to see the tall, lanky, shadowy form of a man staring at her with empty black eyes. She stumbled back into Damien, who caught her, then looked at the spector.
The ghost was dressed in dark rags and it’s face was barely visible under the large hood; dark hollow sockets where eyes should be, and pale grey skin showed slightly.
It vanished after Damien looked at it.
“Now do you believe?” He asked her, helping her to her feet.
Cossette’s eyes were wide. “Maybe.”
They looked around with their flashlights. Pale light came from outside, thunder followed. The clown figures were gone. Damien put another log on the fire as Cossette kept looking around.
She sighed as she doubled back into the room. The room adjacent to the parlor was a musty drawing room with paintings of old men and women looking down sternly at anyone passing by.
“There’s nothing in the drawing room, Romero.” She said, looking at the old paper covered walls. She looked over at Damien, but he wasn’t there.
Instead, there was a clown mask where he had been kneeling. The bloody smile, sharp teeth, messy makeup looked exactly like the ones the figures outside had been wearing.
Her eyes went wide. Something dark and thick was on the floor and carpet… She knelt down and touched it with a fingertip. Shining her light on it, she started shaking.
Her eyes darted towards the door, a shining hatchet held the string of a red balloon around it’s handle. She walked towards it, then opened the door.
A blood chilling scream came from the next room. Cossette left the mask and hatchet, and ran. “ROMERO.” She shouted, cupping her hands around her mouth. No answer. “DAMIEN.
” Still no answer. She felt her blood run cold as she felt a hand on her shoulder. Don’t turn. DON’T TURN. She told herself, but something in her made her want to turn.
Damien was behind her, bloody, limping, swaying slightly. The lightning crashed, then he disappeared. She watched, wide eyed. There was no sign that he had even been there.
No footprints, no dirt, no blood. She turned and ran again, heart racing.
“I’m right here.” Came his voice as she ran, but he was nowhere to be seen. She stopped, exhausted, legs aching, heart beating wildly.
Her eyes wide as she looked around, sitting on her knees. Shadows covered the room she was in.
Cossette’s shoulders shook as she saw another figure, wearing the same mask as the one that was left in the parlor room. She bent her head down, then waited.
The spector came from behind her, sending her heart into a new rush. Her blood felt cold, an unknown pain washed over her. A scream. Then dark.
Damien knelt beside her, holding her hand tight. “Hey, Mulder. Mulder. Wake up, please. It’s midnight, come on… They’re gone. Please get up.” He put a hand on her icy cheek.
She sat up quickly.
“Where were you?” Cossette asked as Damien helped her up.
“I didn’t know. I found you a minute ago before the clock struck midnight. Witching Hour’s over now. I was running in circles.”
“But there was blood on the carpet…”
“Hey, calm down. Let’s get you home so you can still have a partially normal Christmas.” Damien said, leading her towards his car.
She got into the car through the passenger’s side, then buckled.
They started to drive away, the rain had let up enough to where it was safe to drive on pavement. Cossette watched the dark trees go by as they drove. “Merry Christmas, Romero."
She whispered, smiling slightly.
“Merry Christmas to you too, Mulder.” He said, eyes fixed on the road. Damien tuned on the radio to a station that they both liked.
Cossette answered her phone. “Cossette Mulder, G.G.H. Agent. How can I help you?”
“Mulder? I’ve found something.”
“Yup. One and only.”
“It’s almost New Years, what do you want?”
“Come by the office, I’ll show you what I’ve found there. Say, tonight around six. I’ll be waiting. See ya, Mulder.”
-(+ The End +)-