“Aaron, a call for you”, my partner said. “Tell them I’m busy”, I replied, reading my favourite horror/mystery novel. Being a paranormal investigator, the horror novels did send the thunder through my spine sometimes. But sometimes, it was all pale. But nevertheless, I loved reading the genre. And whenever we’re not working on a case, that’s the only thing I loved doing. And this time it was no different. Last case was a success. A week was the time it took to handle. It had been the same since quite some time. But little did I know, my life was going to change.
“I think, you should get this call”, he insisted. I didn’t want to stand up and walk, so my facial expression changed to a bit of anger. I snatched the handset from him, and answered. “Hi Aaron, Micheal Pacciti here”, the voice said. “Yeah, how can I help you?”, I asked. “Can we meet?”, he asked. “Come by my office”, I replied. This was all normal for me, so I didn’t give it much of a thought. People coming to me, frightened as a rabbit, to get the spirits out of their house. I was well worth by then. A prominent name in the field. But this case, was as different as it could have gotten.
He entered my cabin, and we shook hands. He went on to say, “We shifted into the house a week back. We got the house real cheap, so I didn’t pay much attention. But the first night we spent in the house made it clear about the presence of someone, not of our family”. I was noting it all out in my diary. It was the same old story though, and to be honest, I had learnt it by heart, but I had to be professional. He went on, “Screeches on the door, banging of the floor, nail bits on my son’s back, waving of the chandelier, screams, everything is happening in my house”. I went on, noting it down. “I’ll take care of it now”, I replied and smiled, and refered him to my secretary for the advance payment. Most novels don’t show us taking money, but we’re humans and we need that. Luckily, most people understand that bit.
“Steve, I’m going home now. I need to tell Amanda about the case and take my stuff from home”, I said to my partner, telling him in the process to do the same. I took my car and drove home. I entered the house, and Amanda greeted me with a smile. Even though she was ridden to a wheel chair, her smile was still my highlight of the day. I told her about the case, and took my stuff. And before every case as I do, I kissed Sophie’s pic, my deceased daughter.
She was merely 17 when she and Amanda were in the car, coming back from the market, when the car caught fire. I remember I was doing a case study, for one of the spirits, when I got a call from the hospital. When I reached there, I was told that Sophie died on the spot, and Amanda had lost her legs. It’s been five years since the incident, but still, the images haunt me. I loved my daughter, and I considered ending my life. But Amanda needed me more. She is the reason I live now, or maybe, I’m just a walking corpse, whatsoever.
Anyway, I met Steve again in the office, and we drove to the place. We asked the Pacciti family to clear the house, and we stood all our appliances in their places. The infrared scanner, the Bible, the recorder, and all the little things were in their places. We were about to go to the bed, when a screech was heard. I ran to the place where the sound was coming from. It was the mirror, the spirit had screeched upon. It wasn’t clearly written, but what I could see of it was
“I AM HERE TO FIGHT”, and what’s more frightening was, it was written of blood. No spirit was this fast to make it’s intention clear, and that’s when I realise, it’s going to be a long day at work.
“Steve, come here”, I screamed, not out of fear though. He came into the washroom, and saw the message. He looked at me and said, “It’s going to be hard, Aaron”. I just nodded my head, and went out of the washroom. I was amazed to see that all our equipments had fallen down. The spirit was powerful indeed to make things go berzerk. We went out to the living room again, getting our sleeping gear in place. I was to be sleep on a brown sofa. The sofa had blue patches. It felt really old, yet not vintage. It gave me a hint about how miser Mr. Pacciti actually was. The springs were about to pop out of the sofa, and it was killing my back. And before I could complaint about this to Steve, he was already fast asleep. He was snoring already. It was weird. Steve was an insomaniac. He never slept so early. But I thought he must’ve had a hard day, and so, I didn’t hold suspicion about it, and I regret that.
As the sofa was as bad as it could have been, I planned to sleep in my sleeping bag, outside the cottage. Even though the cottage was humongous, the first rule of paranormal activity was to never to go to the first floor on the first night. And so, I didn’t have much option left. The living room was already full of our equipments, and Steve, with his snores. Hall was rendered inhabitable by the constant bashing of the floor from beneath, and also, the lack of space to spread my body. As I walked out of the door, I could feel the breeze. For the first time, I couldn’t identify the nature of it. You see, breezes can be hard, or soft.
Hard breeze always fascinated me. It always meant of something good is to come, and soft was the opposite. I tend to differ from the general conception of it, but it was what it was.
I exited the house, and got my sleeping bag in the place. I laid on my place, and gazed at stars. Finding the constellations reminded me of my childhood when me, dad and my brother would lie down at night, and hold a gaze at the skies, for endless hours. Those were the best days of my life. Within the stars I could see the Orion and the Ram. But I don’t know when, I fell asleep. I don’t remember what my dream was, but it was a nightmare. I woke up, and got into the house to get some water. I was dizzy and was out of senses. I went straight into kitchen and got the water-bottle. When I was going back, I saw Steve wasn’t there. I screamed, “Steve?”, to no reply. At first I thought, he must’ve gone to the washroom, but why would he? He knows the place is possessed, and if it was urgent, he would’ve woken me up. And hence after a long, I was scared.
I went out again. Searching the premises for Steve. It was an empty place, and all I could hear was occasional sounds of animals, and insects, and my own screams. I was tensed. I was worried about Steve. He was an adult man, but our work can be really dangerous. This incident told me how strong the spirit actually was. This was the first time in a long time that some spirit had penetrated our gaurd. But right then, I wasn’t supposed to think about the strength of the spirit, but about Steve.
I went behind the house, in the garden. The tree above was dark. Like abnormally dark. I don’t think I had seen a darker object with my own eyes. And so I went towards it. Walking on the dew of the grass, towards the tree, and well beneath the branches of the tree. What was strange about the scene was, the well even though was below the branches, was getting more light than the tree itself. That what fascinating me. As I went towards it, a knot of grass had my feet, and I fell on my face. My chin, struck the wall of the well, and started bleeding, but I couldn’t care less. My eyes saw the water below. “Look Up”, the words were formed in white colour on the surface of water. I was amazed, but out of fear, I looked up.
The black daze vanished, and the tree was visible again. But all I could see was, a crucified Steve. His hands were nailed to the cross, and his face hung. I knew he was dead. The spirit has had him. There I was, in blood, seeing my bestfriend dead, and not knowing what to do next.
I stood up, bleeding. My legs were crumbling, and I put all my strength in every step that I took. I knew I couldn’t go to the Police, they’ll convict me of the murder. When I was on the road, I fell. Loss of blood had me fainted, on the middle of the road. Everything blackened. I felt like falling downwards, to the deepest parts of the afterlife. I could see Sophie there. Playing with other kids, under a tree. Maybe it was the tree of Life, in the heaven. I could see her. After five years, I could see her. That sight was enough to have me crying. She was running towards me, with her arms open. I just wanted to hug her, and have her in my arms forever. But she came to me, and pushed me, and I started falling again, this time, to consciousness.
“Aaron, you alright?”, I could here Amanda’s voice. “I opened my eyes, and saw her next to me. “What happened?”, I asked. “We don’t know. You were found unconscious on the road. Do you know where Steve is?”, Amanda asked. I was numb for a moment, and Amanda got that. “Is Steve okay, Aaron?”, she asked again. I started crying in her arms. They found his body hung on the cross. I could see his wife crying her eyes out. I didn’t know how to react to it. I had lost a part of me, in him.
A week later, I got back to work. Amanda had been insisting me to take her with me to the house. I was really reluctant at first, because of her condition but in the end, I accepted it. I set up the cameras and microphones again in their place. And close the windows, just so wind doesn’t blow anything away. It was night. Suddenly my eyes opened, and the radar I had in front of me was going crazy. Amanda had been holding my hand, and sleeping peacefully. But suddenly, her body started levitating in front of my eyes. I was afraid, if I was going to lose the only person in my life now. The white sheets on the sofa, levitated with her. Suddenly, in a very heavy tone, that I had never ever heard from her, she murmured, “I’m here to fight. You, mortals cannot stop me. Anyone who lives under this roof, will have to burn in my rage. Either free me, or elope from here”.
I was scared. The next moment, Amanda fell on her wheel chair yet again. I didn’t want to wake her up, but I cried, holding her hand. I didn’t sleep that night, or should I say, the frightening scenario of me losing her didn’t let me. The next morning, she told me something. She told me when the spirit possessed her, it sent her vibes. It, told her a story.
The story of a young girl called Ada. Born in 1848, in the Caribbean to Angolan Parents, she was sold to a businessman in Confederate States of America as a slave. It was a well regulated deal, with all her documents, from birth to the date she was sold, were confiscated by the businessman, and a contract was made, that she wasn’t to leave the house. She was merely 13 when her body was sold. And then, civil war happened. Southern America was losing the battle, and the businessman knew, he’s property was to be seized. It was 5th May, 1865. The businessman got really drunk, and raped her. She screamed, she pleaded him not to do that for her. She pleaded of her loyalty to him, but it was all useless, for the sleazy businessman. And on 6th May, 1865, in fear of her not telling this to his wife, he shot her. And threw her body in the well. She couldn’t leave the house, because of that mere contract. A mere piece of paper, was holding back a paranormal being.
As Amanda was going to tell about the contract, she started coughing really hard. I gave her water, but of no use. I took her to the hospital, and luckily, it was okay. She told me about a basement, having the contract. At that moment, I called up Mr. Pacciti, and asked him about it. He told me that he didn’t know about it either. He came with me to the house. We tried finding a gate, but we weren’t able to. Maybe someone had broken down the gate, and built a wall instead. When I tapped my feet on the wooden floor, out of disappointment, I could feel the hollowness.
I tore down the woodent flooring, and there was the basement. It felt like it hadn’t been opened since a century or half. By now, Amanda had told me everything about the contracts’ whereabouts. I simply went down, and started knocking bricks, beneath the walls. Mr. Pacciti thought I was getting out of my mind, but I wasn’t. One such brick, was hollow. I took out the brick, and there it was. The contract. I tore out the contract, and a screamed was heard. She was free. For the world above.
This had me wondering, about how, my 17-year-old daughter, even though loved immensely, was taken away from me, and how this 17-year-old girl, witnessed the most horrible crime to date. A contrast of lifetimes, a contrast of eras, and a contrast of love.
I lost my bestfriend, my partner in this case. Nearly lost my wife, as well. This was the last case I ever took. I guess, I needed a normal job, for now.