From the Unseen Departed (A Chuck Wendig Challenge)

Posted: April 22, 2016 in Fiction, horror, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

I’ll admit it, I wasn’t in love with the title I randomly picked up. The story could still use a bit of work I feel, but overall, I’m pretty happy with the general tone of it. As always, comments are welcome (and feel free to check out any of the other bits you might find that strike your interest).

She felt the door open, the creaking of the hinges running through her. She felt the tread of feet on her floorboards, warm breath stirring stale air. Had she lips she would have smiled. Had she breath she would have laughed.

“Hey, what’s up here?” Alison asked as she pulled down the ladder. The sound of it creaking echoed through the old home. Outside, rain pelted the slate roof of the old house

“I’m guessing the attic,” Kevin replied from downstairs.

“Yeah, I know that, smartass. I was wondering what might be up in the attic.”

“How should I know?”

“Well, it is your aunt that left us the house.”

Alison heard the ominous creak of the stairs as Kevin ascended. She couldn’t believe how old the house was. Nestled back away from the road, nothing more than an ill-kempt dirt road to get to it, it squatted menacingly in the woods. No one had tended the grounds in years. The hedges twisted in gnarled contortions around the windows, and thick ivy obscured the windows. Kevin had never mentioned his aunt before they’d received the letter in the mail informing them that they’d been bequeathed the estate in her will.

“So who was she?”

Kevin approached from behind her, his hands lingering on her hips. “My mom’s sister, I think. There were like, I dunno, fifteen years between them? Mom never talked about her much. I mean, she grew up here, but first chance she got to go away she took it and never went back.”

“So your aunt lived here all alone?”

Kevin shrugged. “I guess. It would explain all the dust. And did you see the yard? Talk about a nightmare. I don’t think I even saw a phone downstairs.”

“Huh.” Alison pulled out her cell phone. Zero bars. “Are you kidding me? No way we can live here.”

“Yeah, I know.” He peered passed her up into the darkness of the attic. “I couldn’t just sell the place without seeing it though. I think it’s been in the family for about two hundred years or so. Definitely ante bellum.”

“We definitely have to check out the attic, then,” Alison said.

“You first.”


“Bawk. Bawk.”


Alison climbed up the ladder. Kevin couldn’t help but stae.

“I know you’re staring at my ass.”

“Can you blame me?”


The vaulted attic was as cramped as Alison feared. Boxes and trunks strewn with no rhyme or reason. Covered paintings stood near antique statues.

“Hey is that a sword?”

Alison rolled her eyes. She brushed dust off the top of the trunk and opened it up. Packed in among the mothballs she delicately lifted a vintage corn flower blue dress. A charge like static electricity shocked her fingers, but not enough to make her drop the dress. “Oh my God, Kevin, look at this? How old do you think it is? Do you think it would fit me?”

“Huh?” Kevin put down the cavalry saber he’d been inspecting. “Sure, I mean, I guess. But why?”

“Because it’s gorgeous, silly. Stay up here. I’m going to go change.”

Kevin twirled the sword before getting bored and putting it back. Looking in the trunk Alison had taken the dress from, he found a number of old photographs. Each of them showed a different woman, but all of them seemed to be wearing the same dress as the one Alison had found. Kevin shivered slightly. At least one of the woman in the picture bore a strong resemblance to his mother. Just how old was that dress anyway?

“Hey, can I come downstairs yet?”

“Sure, sugar.”

Kevin blinked. Something about Alison’s voice seemed off, like it had been dipped in honey. And she never used pet names. Ever.

He descended from the attic, but didn’t see her. “Alison?”

“In here. The bedroom.”

Kevin followed the sound of her voice. He found her on the bed, on her back, the dress lewdly pulled up on her legs.


“Come here, sugar.”

Kevin blinked. Weren’t her eyes blue? So why were they green now? Had she put in contacts? He felt his feet pulled toward the bed, his eyes fixed on hers. Feeling like a puppet, he felt his feet move, shuffling along the bare wood. Dust billowed as he climbed onto the bed, climbed on top of her.

Alison’s body wrapped herself around Kevin’s body, drawing his warmth to her. Afraid, he tried to pull away, but all strength fled his limbs, his life energy leeched by the spirit possessing him. The spirit moaned through Alison’s mouth as it consumed him, his strength flowing into her, filling her, making her feel deliciously alive.

After, the spirit, still wearing Alison’s body, rifled through the clothes of the dessicated corpse. Grey skin flaked off like ash to the floor, soon leaving nothing but the clothes behind. Too long had the spirit been confined to this old house. She picked up the car keys.

Time to see what the world had to offer.


  1. moteridgerider says:

    Nicely executed piece of flash. The dialogue shone.

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