Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales again.
Last week- Maggie and Gerard were interrupted as they “watched movies” by an elderly women with a supernatural problem.
This week our word prompt is ‘Evergreen’. Since this hasn`t been edited by anyone but me, there may be some grammatical errors. I do apologize for any boo-boo you may find. Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!
She seemed nervous, her round eyes darting from one corner of our suite to the other. I looked over at Gerard as he returned from the micro-fridge with a cold can of soda for our guest. Smiling weakly, she took the can, popped the top, drank, and then handed the soda back to Gerard.
“You think I`m crazy, don`t you?” she asked. We both rushed to say that we thought no such thing. She wrung her work-stained hands.
“Why don`t you start at the beginning?” I prodded gently. Gerard placed the can on the coffee-table then sat next to me on the edge of the fluffy, perfect-for-two-lovers sized mattress.
“My name is Dolores Gundy. My daughter, Anastasia, died forty-five years ago and now she walks outside my house every night searching for something.”
The people of Maine certainly are direct. I felt Gerard shifting uncomfortably beside me. The poor man was probably in a great deal of distress. If we could hurry this woman along, I`d be happy to alleviate his uncomfortable state.
“Are you sure it`s her ghost?” I asked the weather-worn woman gently.
“Ain`t that your job to find out?” Mrs. Gundy fired back.
“Well,” I coughed, taken aback slightly. “Yes, it is but . . . Yes it is,” I sighed.
It took us two hours to arrive at the Gundy estate. Actually, estate may be a slight exaggeration. The Gundy home was a turn-of-the-century farmhouse with a rickety wraparound porch, a barn with a squealing rooster weathervane, and a stock pond that reflected the brilliant colors of fall like a mirror. The wind was cold and carried the smell of mineral-rich water as it swept around the property.
“What is that down by the pond?” I asked, standing in front of our white KBNY news van with my hand blocking the bright fall sun from my eyes. By a collapsed boat dock I could see what appeared to be a white statue at the water`s edge.
“That`s Anastasia`s guardian angel,” Mrs. Gundy said through the collar of her sweater. She wore no coat, only that handmade sweater. “I had that put up to mark the place she died.”
“She drowned?” I asked after getting a worried look from my cameraman. Mrs. Gundy began explaining the night of the accident, but I was trying to decipher what Gerard was trying to convey via hand signals and outlandish facial expressions. When he feigned a hanging with floppy tongue and a rope around his thick neck being tugged upward, I spun from him to our host.
“. . . next morning I found her slipper along the shore then her in the water.”
“I`m very sorry,” I murmured as the elderly woman stared vacantly at the pond. “When did you begin seeing her ghost?” I asked, keeping my back to Gerard as he unloaded our gear.
“A week after she died,” Mrs. Gundy`s wide eyes grew watery. “She come up from the pond and circled the house. Every night she does the same thing. I`m going to turn eighty in four weeks,” the woman said, shocking me. She looked no older than late sixties. “My sister`s boy Percy is from Las Vegas and gets this property when I die. I`d like to leave him a nice place, and, well, I`d like to get my daughter sent over. She`s been searching long enough.”
“Searching for what?” Gerard asked as he rubbed his big hands together briskly. The wind howled through the evergreens circling the wide pond, flinging his dreads across his face.
“That`s your job to find out,” Mrs. Gundy said then turned to face the house. “You can bring your stuff inside. I`ll put a pot of coffee on.”
We stood in the cold wind for a moment. Gerard`s hand dropped to my shoulder, jolting me from my study of Mrs. Gundy`s bowed back.
“You sure about this?” he asked, squeezing my collarbone gently. I nodded with a weak little smile. “Okay,” he exhaled, “Let`s get this shit inside and set up. Oh, just one more thing.” He spun me around, pulled me into his chest, and kissed me. When his soft lips left mine, I was no longer chilly.
“I will be really pissed if I die before I get to make love to you,” he whispered, tucking a strand of my short brown hair behind my cold ear.
“Yeah, me too,” I whispered, placing my hand to his rough cheek.
“So let`s not get dead. Deal?”
“Deal,” I said, taking just another moment to absorb the heat of the man holding me. “Okay, let`s get this show on the road. I have a feeling this is going to be the episode that makes Eddie yearn for a cigarette and a glass of wine after he sees it.”'
Whatever Gerard said was blown away by the wind. Inside we found a lovely home, grey and showing its age, but friendly with huge rooms that try as they may couldn`t keep the cold of the first fingers of winter away. Night was creeping up on us quickly. We had a light late lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup with Mrs. Gundy. We then spent a couple hours planning by the coal stove in the kitchen. When the last traces of day disappeared, Mrs. Gundy rose from her seat at the scarred kitchen table, her mouth drawn and her shoulders tight.
“She`ll come out of the pond within the hour,” the old woman said as she padded over to the window. I looked at Gerard over the cups of fresh coffee sitting on the table. His brown eyes searched mine for a long moment then we rose in tandem. In his hand he held the shoulder-mount camera. Mrs. Gundy turned from the window that was already starting to frost around the edges.
“Give us an hour to do our thing. I promise you tonight you`ll sleep deeply and without worry,” I said with a smile as I pulled on a thick, puffy, purple parka. Gerard slid into a comfortably worn black wool coat, pulled his hair free, and then hoisted the ENG camera to his wide shoulder. Outside we went, the squeal of the rusty hinges on the back door setting my teeth on edge.
My feet seemed rather reluctant to leave the small stoop. “You did send Eddie a text with our current location and why we`re here, right?” I asked, glancing up and to the left.
“Yeah, he knows where to find the bodies.”
“Thanks, you are so damned reassuring,” I grumbled. Down the three steps I went. Gerard followed. Light enveloped me. I blew out a breath and smiled into the glaring light of the camera.
“Push your hood back, it`s shadowing your face,” Gerard said, the shaky light slowly calming as he aligned his shot. Reaching up with one hand I flipped the hood backwards.
“Better?” I inquired. He grunted, which I took as a yes. I wet my lips.
“That is too sexy,” the man growled. My toes tingled at the rough needy edge his voice had.
“Can you see the moon behind me?” I asked, waving in the general direction of where the moon should be.
“No, I can`t. I`m kind of fixated on the apparition rising out of the pond.”
I spun around, my clever opening segue forgotten. I watched not only mist rising from water that was warmer than the air, but the silvery form of a woman in a long gown ascending from the pond.
“Maggie, tell me that isn`t fog on my lens,” I heard Gerard ask. Anastasia turned her ghostly head to find the source of those spoken words. Her eyes were empty holes, her hair hung long and lank down her back, and her feet never touched the surface of the water after she levitated from the dark depths. “Shit,” the man muttered. He sounded closer. I did the only thing I could think of to do.
“Anastasia Gundy! Why are you not at peace?!” I yelled. This is television. It had to be dramatic, right?
She replied with a terrifying screech then flew at us, her spectral hands extended and grasping.
Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey
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