Christmas Ghost

While hanging up your Christmas lights, you are flagged down by a neighborhood kid who offers to help. As he helps you, he tells you about the Christmas ghost that haunts his house. What’s odd is that you’ve noticed the same things happening around your house. Write this scene.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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54 thoughts on “Christmas Ghost

  1. kathleenmagner

    Darren propped the ladder against the snow-stuffed gutters and hefted the coil of Christmas lights over his shoulder. They ran along the edge of the house, a black and pointy squiggle against the white. While Margaret sat inside the living room-the toasty, cozy, already decorated living room-her chastisement echoed in his ears.

    “It’s only your imagination, Darren.” She’d sipped on her hot chamomile and hummed as if a new thought had entered her mind. “Why don’t you get some fresh air to clear your head? You could put up those lights while you’re at it.”

    Her passive-aggressive insinuation had him in his coat, boots tied, gloves on, ladder out of the garage, and back braced for another climb. The nagging vision, however, the woman only he seemed able to see, clung.

    “Fresh air.”

    Darren breathed in deep, let his lungs frost over, and exhaled a misty cloud. He staggered when the haze hovered before his eyes. The puff warped, taking on the same ethereal curves as they had since he’d stopped worrying about whether his students learned and started worrying about what he’d find in their end-of-the-semester essays.

    Her mouth gaped. In an unfelt wind, her hair billowed and her calico dress fluttered. Her arms reached out, her fingers clawing for his throat.

    Grabbing hold of the ladder’s rungs, Darren escaped to the gutters. He spied over the rooftop, the coils of smoke from the chimney gray with the fresh log Margaret must have put on the fire. Burying his chin into his coat’s collar, he warmed the stubble on his face and urged the ghostly chill out of his bones.

    “My imagination,” he whispered.

    “Hey Mr. Arnold.”

    Darren snagged the roof’s edge, catching his balance when he glanced down. At the white-picket fence Margaret had needled him about putting up for two years, stood Jake, his mittened hands wrapped around twin posts.

    “Hey Jake.”

    Darren peeked at the neighboring garage, opened door revealing a space as empty as the driveway and darkened living room, and then returned to the knit-capped boy. He had to give the kid some credit, though, at least he’d managed to put on his jacket and scarf before heading outside.

    Resting his chin on one hand, Jake blew off the powdery snow clinging to the pickets. Flakes fell in a slow shower, making divots in the ground-obscuring white.

    Darren’s shoulder whined under the prickly weight of the lights and the thought of company, other than Margaret, Papa Oliver who seemed intent on staying forever, or the angry woman appearing in breath, in mirrors, in the night, gained appeal, even if it came in the form of a twelve-year-old latchkey kid.

    “Want to help me out, Jake?”

    Jake looked up, blue eyes wide, a warble in his voice. “Sure.”

    “Come on then.”

    … Click here to read the rest. Any comments are welcome.

  2. laurentravian

    I was just about to make myself some hot chocolate (in winter, I finally have an excuse to drink it so I drink like, 3 or 4 cups a day) when I heard a knock on the door. Sighing, I left the kitchen and opened the front door to see Ally Thimble, the little girl who lived down the street all bundled up. “Can I help you, Ally?” She nodded seriously. “May I come in and have some hot chocolate, Mrs. Everett?” “Certainly, Ally. I was just about to make some myself.” Poor child. She barely gets any sugar at home. Her parents are health freaks, who, according to Vera down the block, have their six year old on a juice fast. Not only that, but none of the neighborhood kids want to play with Ally. I think Vera and I are her only friends. Ally took off her coat and boots and hat, then followed me into the kitchen and watched me make hot chocolate until I slid a steaming mug under her nose. Between sips, she told me why she had come. Apparently, she had made friends with the ghost of a little boy who haunted her house. Her parents had punished her when the ghost gave her some bread (even the punishments were strange in that house. Only beet juice for a week), and then he had gone away. She brightened up at the next part. “Mrs. Everett, I think Johnny came to your house. I told him about you and Mrs. Clearwater, and he isn’t at her house. I checked. But he is here… See!” I did see. The was the outline of a little boy materializing on my carpet. I adjusted my glasses, and said, “Johnny, can you drink hot chocolate? And if so, would you like some?” He shook his head, and whispered something into Ally’s ear. She burst into tears, and he vanished. I asked her what the matter was, and she said between sobs, “Mommy and Daddy have gone to Boca Boca. And they forgot me! Waaaaaaaah!” I quieted her down, then phoned the Child Protection Agency. I arranged to adopt little Ally, and when the Thimbles were reached for their comments, they signed the adoption papers willingly and moved to Boca Boca permanently. Of course, with Ally came Johnny, and we three lived happily together for the rest of my life. (Living in a college town as we did and using my dead husbands connections at the university to score Ally a scholarship).

  3. dlhockey3

    Hey, I like this! The writing created feelings of compassion and wistfulness, combined with urgency and resignation. The everyday verbage throughout made the story flow smoothly, with well-placed vagueness of interpretation keeping me uncertain who the ghost(s) is/are until the very end. I also like how the declaration of hope for the ghosts at the end, actually leaves a feeling of hope for the living. Thanks for your story!

  4. SBWriter

    The hammer missed my finger by a centimeter, and I caught myself as a string of swear words formed on my lips. This season, I was definitely going to do better. This season, I was determined to be jolly.
    “Whatcha doing?,” a tiny voice called to me from somewhere out of view.
    I didn’t want to stop my progress, but the string of lights still coiled around my ladder wasn’t getting any shorter. I stepped down a few rungs and ducked my head to see two small grey New Balance sneakers standing under my awning. The kid attached to them was nervously rubbing one knee against the other.
    I took a breath, “Be jolly,” I warned, and then hopped down off the ladder.
    “Hi Bobby,” I smiled at the little boy from across the street. “Merry Christmas to you. Eh, what do you need?”
    The boy smiled a huge snaggletoothed grin before grabbing the lights and hoisting them around his frame.
    “I was gonna help you, Mrs. Jeffries. My mom said it’d be good to cuz this is the first Christmas that Mr. Jeffries isn’t gonna….”
    “Okay, fine,” I interrupted, trying to take the snappiness out of my tone. “Just hold the lights while I string them up.”
    Bobby smiled again and leaned against the side of my house. He rubbed his nose with the back of his sleeve and looked around the yard. “Say, you still haven’t cut down that tree, huh Mrs. Jeffries,” he nodded towards the gnarled oak on my front lawn.
    “No, Bobby, I haven’t,” I tried to keep the annoyance out of my voice. “I like that tree.”
    “But it’s the tree Mr. Jeffries fell out of and….”
    “Bobby, please, I don’t really need all of this chatter. I have to get the trim on this house up.” I sighed. Kids can really hurt you.
    “But Mrs. Jeffries, that’s a bad tree. Sometimes, when I look at it from my window, it looks like it wants to come get me. I don’t want the tree to get met too.”
    “Bobby, I think I’m good here. How about you come back later and I’ll fix you some milk and cookies, like for Santa Claus?”
    The boy looked at me suspiciously. “Aren’t those things for Santa? Plus, I wanna help. My mommy says you’re gonna be lonely this year, and I decided to cheer you up.”
    “I don’t need cheering Bobby, I just need you to help me with these lights.”
    Bobby shrugged and scratched his left leg with his right foot. He held the lights up higher and I continued hammering away.
    “So, do you think Mr. Jeffries is gonna bring you a gift this year? I mean, he always leaves one for you, so I mean,” he trailed off.
    “Yes, I believe he will. He always gives me something I like, no matter what the circumstances, so….”
    “So even though you can’t be together, together this Christmas, he’ll always be here, huh?” Bobby looked so hopeful, I almost cried.
    “That’s right, Bobby. We’ll always be together, no matter what.”
    Bobby looked around again. “My mommy was mad at me for playing in the street one time. But I’m gonna make it up to her. I’m gonna get her most favorite thing ever for Christmas.”
    I smiled at him. “Oh yeah, and what’s her most favorite thing ever?”
    He shrugged. “I dunno yet, but I hang around the house and listen to her talk to her friends, and I’ll figure it out.”
    His confidence was absolutely adorable. I concentrated on hammering and we remained silent for a while. I looked over at the house across the street. Bobby’s mother was sitting on the porch rocking back and forth with a thin shawl around her shoulders. I waved, but she didn’t see me.
    “My mom’s kinda sad right now. You know, I think around Christmas she thinks about Grandma and Grandpop a lot.”
    “Yeah, I do too. The holidays have a way of making people remember their loved ones even more fiercely.”
    “So, what are we gonna do?”
    “We’re gonna finish putting the trim on my house, and then we’re going to put the tinsel on your house, okay Bobby,” I said with a nail between my teeth.
    “Okay, Mrs. Jeffries.”
    At that moment, my husband walked out of the house, down the driveway, to the mailbox.
    “Did you see him!?” cried Bobby, dropping the lights and running towards my husband.
    “Mr. Jeffries look. Look and see what we did for you!” he cried wildly, running toward my husband.
    As the boy got closer, my husband turned to walk back to the house, and just as they were going to collide, Bobby’s tiny body flew right through my husband. My husband bristled as if he were suddenly cold.
    I hammered away furiously, determined to get all of the lights up. My husband’s eyes raised slightly as he noticed the ladder leaning against the house, the lights all up on the roof now.

    I smiled at my handiwork. He staggered toward the house, with a pile of Christmas cards in his arms. Bobby stood in the driveway, staring sadly at Mr. Jeffries. I got off the ladder and stood in his way, but he walked right through my open arms.

    “Merry Christmas, baby,” I whispered. He turned around as if he heard me. Then walked inside and closed the door.

    “So what are we gonna do now, Mrs. Jeffries?” asked Bobby.
    “We’re going to finish the trim on my house, then put the tinsel up on yours. They’re going to see us one day Bobby. They’re going to know we’re still here.”

  5. Icabu

    “Be careful!” Christine shouted up to her neighbor’s son, Jeremy. He was on her ladder stringing her Christmas lights across the porch eaves. She hated being on the ladder and was grateful when he dropped by to help. With her husband in Afghanistan and two small children, she needed all the help she could get.

    “Did you put the lights up on your house?” Christine asked.

    “Yeah, last weekend,” Jeremy called down.

    “I like how yours blink. I couldn’t find that kind,” said Christine.

    “Oh, they’re the regular kind, Mrs. Christine. Our ghost makes them blink.”

    “Ghost?” Christine shivered as a sudden chill passed through her.

    “Yeah, every Christmas he comes around.” Jeremy descended and plugged the lights into the extension cord.

    Christine gasped as the lights began to blink after a short while. She looked over at Jeremy’s house across the street. It was early afternoon but the overcast sky made it dim enough to see the lights clearly. The lights on Jeremy’s house were on and blinking in time with hers.

    “He blows out mom’s candles all the time too,” Jeremy said. “I think he thinks it’s funny.”

    Christine’s hand went to her mouth. She’d recently bought some Yankee Candles and thought something was wrong with them; they wouldn’t stay lit.

    “He also likes playing around with mom’s crèche. Only moves the animals around, though, not the people.” Jeremy repositioned the ladder and ascended, plugging the next strand to the last one.

    Her hands stopped untangling the lights. Christine had blamed her children for playing with the crèche pieces. When Jeremy tugged on the strand, she snapped out of her reverie.

    “Does this ghost ever hurt anyone or anything?” Christine asked cautiously.

    “Oh, no,” Jeremy said casually. “He started coming around at Christmas after dad passed away.”

    They finished the lights in silence. Jeremy put the ladder away in the shed. They looked at the finished work, the lights blinking away.

    “Looks like you’ll have company this Christmas, too.” Jeremy said.

    Christine nodded, unsure how she felt about sharing her home with a Christmas ghost. Jeremy didn’t seem to mind, though.

    “It’s kinda nice knowing someone is there. He’s fun, not a mean ghost,” Jeremy said.

    “I didn’t know you father died, Jeremy. I’m sorry to hear that.” Christine squeezed Jeremy’s shoulder.

    Jeremy shrugged. “Three years ago. In Iraq.”

    Christine turned at the sound of a car pulling into her driveway. Her heart froze when two sober-faced Marines stepped out of the car.

  6. celsius

    “Did you notice a very faint tune in the background… sounding somewhat like soft chimes?” Bill said he had. “A slightly rotten smell whenever you pour milk?” Yes. “Do you also see a faint silhouette right around midnight standing in front of one of your windows, that vanishes when you look closer?”

    “Those events… repeated around the same time of the month every year, always the end of December,” Bill said as he stepped back warily, “I had no idea it could happen with anyone else… how long have you been experiencing the same things?”

    “Since I moved back here five years ago. I began to get curious on the third night when it first happened, and decided to investigate the town’s history, but the library didn’t have all of it’s archives organized back then, and there’s been nothing on the internet… until this year.”

    “What did you find?” the boy stepped closer.
    “In 1866 there was a massacre. A man named Otis Draver returned for Christmas the year prior from the Civil War. Expecting to spend time with his family for the first time in four years, he instead found his wife and two daughters slaughtered after they had been raped by a squad of degenerate soldiers from the Confederacy. A former slave was accused instead and hung immediately. After burying his family and grieving for a year, he decided to repay the soldiers by visiting them and their families that next Christmas. 33 people died that night, and only one family member survived. The child was discovered hiding in a cabinet, shivering and in shock.”

    Otis… Bill thought to himself… the skies seemed to darken, one of those weird world warping darkenings, not just a cloud passing by overhead. Why did the name strike a chord, tying a knot in his stomach combined with the feeling of having the air knocked out of him? He thought back over the events of the day and in an instant remembered a similar feeling… when he discovered a trap door in the basement. He didn’t have a chance to open it at the time because his mom called him to drop off some presents with one of the neighbors. “Do you believe in ghosts, Dr. Rainten?”

    “I believe in the power of the mind to be able to fool itself into accepting such drivel,” he replied. “The only reason I investigated in the first place was because I was familiar with how suggestion, even if overheard subconsciously, can sometimes affect one’s perceptions.”

    Bill knew Dr. Rainten was a famous psychologist and would only slip further into his PhD modality if pressed. He said his goodbyes and returned home. As he opened the trap door, his flashlight caught a glint. Looking closer he saw a large knife with the letter’s O.D. engraved on the handle. He had always wondered why his parents would shy away from talking about family history.

  7. dreamon1213

    Worn out I look back on my work, after 2 and half-hours only the roof lights are up. With an exasperated sigh I begin to untangle the lights for the bushes. The crunching of footsteps on the snow behind me pauses me for a moment as I turn to see who it is.
    “Hey there Ms. Smith you want some help with those lights?” It’s Turner the 14-year-old boy from across the street, whom is always eager to lend a helping hand.
    “Why that would be lovely Turner, thank you.” I say as I hand him another set of lights waiting to be detangled. In a few moments Turner has already untangled his lights watching as I try and wrestle with mine.
    “Here uh why don’t you begin wrapping the bush while I try my hand at these lights.” Turner trying to save me from any further embarrassment relieves me.
    “Thanks for all your work Turner, if it weren’t for you I’d probably be working on my lights till new years!”
    “No problem Ms. Smith, I was glad to get out of the house Shermia was really starting to spook me.”
    “Shermia who is that?”
    “Shermia is… well your not going to believe me.”
    I turned and looked at Turners face; he was well grown for a 14 year old probably 5 foot 9 thanks to a recent growth spurt. His jaw had become more defined in the past year and his shaggy hair had darkened to a mud brown. He was a good-looking boy. His clear pale blue eyes were always sparkling even now in the icy air. He was very mature and intelligent for his age. I’ve known him for about 4 years now and we have sparked a kind of friendship he told me about his troubles and the stress of having to take care of his 12 year old brother who was very badly behaved and in all these years never once had he lied to me. “Of course I’ll believe you! What is it Turner?” He looked up from the lights and peered deep into my eyes to a point that I became frightened and worried about his well being. Who was this Shermia and what were they doing to my Turner?
    “Well you see a couple of weeks ago when my mom had taken my brother to his doctor appointmen and my father was still at work I began to hear these noises. At first I dismissed it to the wind and continued on with my homework but after awhile these noises heightened and went from howling to a sort of eerie shrieking. I became scared and then embarrassed at my childish behavior after all I am 14 and the fact that I was getting scared at the wind was a bit humiliating. So I went downstairs to investigate. I looked everywhere but could not find the source of the noises. Outside the air was still and no wind was blowing yet the shrieking continued! Just as I was about to surrender and call my mother it suddenly stopped and after a few moments my father pulled into the driveway.”
    Turners eyes had widened as he was telling the story, in fact mine have too for it was only yesterday that I heard shrieking in my own house on a windless evening, of course I had blamed it on an earache that must be coming in. But now I wasn’t so sure. “Turner, these noises, how are they related to Shermia?”
    “Shermia is the source of these noises. She is the ghost that haunts my house and when I am home alone she comes out and makes a ruckus. We have spoken a few times; she refuses to tell me why she is in my house or even why she only comes out when I’m there. On Christmas though she is telling me to expect a nice gift. And apparently today is the last day she will be at my house she has already been present at another home and once again she won’t tell me who’s. She is very creepy luckily for me she didn’t find what she was looking for in my home so I will be left safe and alone. I feel bad for the next house she goes to because if she finds what she wants there, well let’s just say that person should surrender. Shermia is not a ghost to mess with”
    I can hear the shrieking in my head, the chills that sometimes over takes me and I can almost hear Shermia’s voice, “Its your turn.”

    Feedback welcome!

  8. Coyote Soup

    Adolescent Apparition
    By: Coyote Soup

    Adolescent Apparition Proclamation; Adolescent Apparition Declaration.
    Adolescent questioned eerie flickering lights causing luminosity especially dreary.
    I have to accede, acquiesce, agree, confirm, consent, corroborate.
    Adolescent believes ghoul, ghost, phantom, poltergeist, specter, or spirit.
    Overactive imagination guarantees I; the cause just has to be faulty electrical work.

    Adolescent Apparition Proclamation; Adolescent Apparition Declaration.
    Adolescent queried alarming echoes causing reverberations remarkably creepy.
    I have to accede, acquiesce, agree, confirm, consent, corroborate.
    Adolescent alleges ghoul, ghost, phantom, poltergeist, specter, or spirit.
    Juvenile embellishment thinks I; the cause just has to be old rattling windows.

    Adolescent Apparition Proclamation; Adolescent Apparition Declaration.
    Adolescent interrogated possession movement causing problematic locating.
    I have to accede, acquiesce, agree, confirm, consent, corroborate.
    Adolescent maintains ghoul, ghost, phantom, poltergeist, specter, or spirit.
    Childish exaggeration hopes I; the cause just has to be the new housekeeper.

    Adolescent Apparition Proclamation; Adolescent Apparition Declaration.
    Adolescent probed unexplained temperature drops causing uncanny chilliness.
    I have to accede, acquiesce, agree, confirm, consent, corroborate.
    Adolescent asserts ghoul, ghost, phantom, poltergeist, specter, or spirit.
    Youthful ornamentation wishes I; the cause just has to be an inefficient furnace.

    Adolescent Apparition Proclamation; Adolescent Apparition Declaration.
    Adolescent asked feelings of not being alone causing an uncomfortable sensation.
    I have to accede, acquiesce, agree, confirm, consent, corroborate.
    Adolescent asserts ghoul, ghost, phantom, poltergeist, specter, or spirit.
    Accurate assumption fears I; the cause just has to be a neighborhood spook.

  9. celsius

    “Did you notice a very faint tune in the background… sounding somewhat like soft chimes?” Bill said he had. “And is there a slightly rotten smell whenever you pour milk, but the milk is still good?” Yes. “Do you also see a faint silhouette right around midnight standing in front of one of your windows, that vanishes when you look closer?”

    “Those events… repeated around the same time of the month every year, always the end of December,” Bill said as he stepped back warily, “I had no idea it could happen with anyone else… how long have you been experiencing the same things?”

    “Since I moved back here five years ago. I began to get curious on the third night when it first happened, and decided to investigate the town’s history, but the library didn’t have all of it’s archives organized back then, and there’s been nothing on the internet… until this year.”

    “What did you find?” the boy stepped closer.
    “In 1866 there was a massacre. A man named Otis Draver returned for Christmas the year prior from the Civil War. Expecting to spend time with his family for the first time in four years, he instead found his wife and two daughters slaughtered after they had been raped by a squad of degenerate soldiers from the Confederacy. A former slave was accused instead and hung immediately. After burying his family and grieving for a year, he decided to repay the soldiers by visiting them and their families that next Christmas. 33 people died that night, and only one family member survived. The child was discovered hiding in a cabinet, shivering and in shock.”

    Otis… Bill thought to himself… the skies seemed to darken, one of those weird world warping darkenings, not just a cloud passing by overhead. Why did the name strike a chord, tying a knot in his stomach combined with the feeling of having the air knocked out of him? He thought back over the events of the day and in an instant remembered a similar feeling… when he discovered a trap door in the basement. He didn’t have a chance to open it at the time because his mom called him to drop off some presents with one of the neighbors. “Do you believe in ghosts, Dr. Rainten?”

    “I believe in the power of the mind to be able to fool itself into accepting such drivel,” he replied. “The only reason I investigated in the first place was because I was familiar with how suggestion, even if overheard subconsciously, can sometimes affect one’s perceptions.”

    Bill knew Dr. Rainten was a famous psychologist and would only slip further into his PhD modality if pressed. He said his goodbyes and returned home. As he opened the trap door, his flashlight caught a glint. Looking closer he saw a large knife with the letter’s O.D. engraved on the handle. He had always wondered why his parents would shy away from talking about family history.

  10. Egg

    Sam appeared at the foot of the ladder with the gnarly snake of lights in his hands. I reached down and accepted the string with a smile, and hooked it onto the corner of the eave.

    “Thanks, buddy. How’s your Chrissie looking? Lots of presents under the tree?” I glanced over to the neighbor’s house, and noticed the indistinct shape of Sam’s parents through the front window.

    “Nah. We keep our gifts at grandma’s place until Christmas Day. Doesn’t stop her though. She just rips open anything she can find.”

    “Your grandma rips open the presents?” My brows knotted in confusion as I accepted another length of lights from the boy and affixed it to the eave.

    “No,” he stressed as if I required careful instruction. “Milly. She does it every year. Last year she was at your house, too, before you and Mrs B. moved in. That’s why the Smits left. It’s only for the twelve days before Christmas, though, and she never breaks anything.”

    I stepped off the ladder and repositioned it further along the house as I tried to decipher the boy’s words. “Okay, I give up, Sam. Who’s Milly?”

    “She used to live in our house before I was born. Dad said all she wanted for Christmas was one of those little music boxes with a ballerina inside, but her parents were pretty poor, so all she got was a crappy, second-hand doll. Well, she was so mad, she tore through the house screaming, and ran straight into the knife her mom was using to cut up the roast. Dad said that blood was everywhere, and that’s how he got the house so cheap.”

    I stared at the boy, and strained to think. “Are you saying that Milly’s a ghost?”

    “Well, duh,” replied Sam with his annoying, pre-teen attitude. “So, has she visited you yet?”

    Before I could answer, Rex came bounding across the lawn and slumped at my feet, his big, puppy eyes shining up at me, the morning’s admonition for tearing apart my wife’s meticulously wrapped presents, clearly forgotten.

    My face drained of blood and I felt my skin go cold.

    Rex has been confined to the carport for the last four nights, but still the gift carnage continues, and my wife and I struggle for an explanation.

    “Perhaps it’s the little girl I’ve heard crying,” suggests Mae.

    My stomach flips. “Her name’s Milly.” I relate Sam’s story and to my astonishment, my wife laughs.

    “Well, I wish you’d told me sooner,” she says. Mae disappears from the room and returns some minutes later holding a small, ornate box. She opens it and a tiny ballerina twirls to the tinny tones of Greensleeves.

    We place the music box on the mantelpiece before retiring, and as I drift off to sleep, I swear I hear a child’s heartwarming giggle, and somehow, I know that this will be the last time we hear from Milly, the little girl who finally received her music box for Christmas.

  11. IrieGodwin

    It’s Christmas time again. In my community we take decorations seriously. If you aren’t competing then you participate at the risk of having your house largely overshadowed by the more decorous houses. The upwardly mobile professionals of this historically old neighborhood go all out, from strings of lights, to nativity scenes. As I was adding fake snow to my lawn Jeffrey, the neighbor’s kid approached me. “You need some help Ms” he asked adjusting his scarf around his neck, his cheeks and nose red from the cold. “I sure could use some help, here, take this snow. I want them draped over the bushes, but it has to look authentic.”

    “Gotcha.”

    “Are you guys putting up decorations this year?”

    “No, Mom is too spooked to be festive. We might be moving.”

    “Moving? What’s there to fear?”

    “Haunted houses.” I stood pensively for a moment and before I could respond he continued, “We hear sounds at night, conversations in the attic. Once I woke up in the middle of the night, I felt like something was watching me so I got outta bed and headed to my parent’s room, when I passed the attic I heard a voice say ‘Come on up. Check it out’ I ran as fast as I could and jumped in my parents bed”

    “That’s very odd” I noted in a detached manner, deep in my thoughts still.

    “Mom heard them too, she’s taking it hard” The truth was, I had a similar encounter in my dreams, except I’m not sure I was dreaming. I saw I group of four gentlemen around the kitchen table talking. It felt so real that I woke up in a cold sweat.”Here take this garland” I said handing him one end. We finished up and I went inside. I wanted to find out if his ghost was in my house as well so I put on a pot of coffee and buried my head in a book while I waited. I never got tired of reading David Copperfield;”Never save for tomorrow what you can do today.” That was a quote I lived by. I sat at the kitchen table and I thought that maybe I was falling victim to an overactive imagination, but the curiosity drove me to wonder If it could be true.When one o’clock struck I felt a chill, I closed my book and sipped my coffee. I froze as I noticed four ghostly specters floating in unison around my kitchen. The went to the corners and crossed each other diaganolly in a slow and measured manner. Soon they were at the table surrounding me. I was too stiff from fear to move, to choked up from shock to scream. The clock rang out at 1 again I shook my head, rubbed my eyes and stood up. What had happened, were Jeffrey’s speaking ghosts my dancing ghosts. The next day I decided to do some research. I went through the periodicals at the library and I learned of the death of 3 finaciers who were murdered by a potential client. As it turned out he had been shown the home of his dreams but couldn’t afford it due to his loan denial, he arranged a meeting in his home with the three gentlemen and shot them all. He was at large for a month until he showed up at the house a month later on Christmas day as if propelled by some invisible force and took his own life. He was found with his pockets turned out and his money scattered. Since 1930 there have been reports of strange occurences in the two houses. The adjacent house was also owned by the bank and they tried desperately to sell it.I visited Jeffrey and his mom and recounted all that I had learned. They sought a priest, I sought a shrink, and we spent Christmas together. The shared experience made us brave, we had each other to confide in.

  12. LaurieFagen

    “Hey, Miz Sheldon, need some help?”
    I grabbed the ladder as my heart skipped a beat.
    “Jeez, Joe, you startled me!”
    “Sorry,” the neighbor kid apologized, grabbing a string of lights. “Are these going on next?”
    “Yeah, thanks.”
    I reached down to meet Joe’s chubby hand, noting dirty fingernails and grimy palms before seeing his face, complete with pizza sauce on his 8-year-old chin and a matching stain on his shirt.
    “We just finished putting up our decorations, too,” Joe said, looking away and sounding curiously forlorn for such a normally fun activity.
    “You don’t sound too happy about it,” I noted.
    “Oh, it’s nothin’ really, just in my ‘magination. That’s what my dad says anyway.”
    I plugged the new strand into the one already on the house, and started to stretch it along the top of the garage.
    “Really? Like when a strand of lights is working just fine but when you put ‘em up they’re suddenly bad?” I chuckled.
    There was silence from Joe.
    I looked down to see his face turned up toward me, eyes wide with surprise.
    “Yeah, how’d you know?” he asked, almost whispering.
    “Oh, well, I just, it seems like that happens to me every year.”
    “Do you ever have a favorite decoration that all of a sudden you can’t find?”
    It was as if I took a punch in the gut. I had searched high and low for at least an hour for a series of three little snowflake lights that I loved, but they were mysteriously missing.
    “Uh, as a matter of fact, I did.”
    “Oh, no, so the Christmas ghost is haunting your house, too?!” Joe said, almost in a panic, eyes darting around as if looking for something.
    “Now, hold on, Joe,” I said as calmly as I could muster. “What’s this about a ghost?”
    “My dad doesn’t believe it, but it’s the second year it’s been at our house,” Joe said. “It must’ve come over here, too! Did you hear noises in your attic?”
    I paused, remembering a sound I heard earlier above the ceiling, which I had attributed to a large mouse or even a squirrel – at the time.
    “Oh, it’s probably nothing, just some animal or something, Joe,” I tried to say in a reassuring tone, but not succeeding very well.
    “Look! Didja see that?!” Joe pointed to a small window, high on the house just under the roof. “It’s here!”
    I nearly lost my footing, and felt my stomach lurch with fear as I hung on to the ladder for dear life.
    “No, Joe, she’s … I mean, there’s nothing there.”
    The image of a wispy smoke-like object floating by my attic window earlier suddenly popped back into my mind. I had dismissed the sight as a cloud’s reflection in the glass, but now the hair on the back of my neck was standing straight up as I pictured a woman’s face wearing a filmy dress.
    “So it’s a girl ghost?” Joe said very softly. “That explains the laughing …”
    “OK, Joe, tell ya what, I think I’m done for today,” I said, changing the subject. “How about a cup of hot chocolate?”
    “No thanks, Miz Sheldon,” Joe said, turning to leave. “Give it to her! Maybe she’ll stay at your house and not mine!”
    He turned and ran home, leaving me holding the lights and wondering about our new neighborhood resident.

  13. Tristan

    “No Joke, Mrs. M. My house is haunted. I hear someone in the dining room every night. Thing is I can’t make out if it’s a guy or a girl cause it sounds kind of funny. Like a bad radio station.” I took a break from draping the net lights over the rectangular shrub in my front yard.

    “Look, John, I don’t buy it. If there really was something in your house I can’t believe you would just be chatting about it like it’s something you saw on television. “ I rolled my eyes and got back to work. John was seventeen and deceptively handsome. He was known to wander around the neighborhood and chat up ladies like a fresh faced Lothario.

    “Scouts honor.” He laughed while he rolled out an extension cord. I huffed, rearranging my lights. He sauntered up beside me, leaning in close.

    “What’s the matter Mrs. M? Am I scaring you?” His voice was huskier than it had been a minute before.

    “John, go home before I call your mother,” I laughed.

    “Whatever you say. Sweet dreams.” With a final cocky wink he was gone. I hoped for his mother’s sake the occasional rumors of late night assistance he offered weren’t true.

    That night I sat up with the latest novel on my list waiting for my husband to get home from work. However, my focus was constantly slipping. I’d never given it much thought but now, alone, I felt a tickle at my eardrum; much like when someone opens a door and air rushes quietly into the room. My hair stood up on end and as my fear grew so did my need to seek out any possible intruder. I set aside my book and grabbed my pepper spray and a Maglite hoping desperately not to need them. The ground level of the house was clear but as I crept upstairs some distant sound became more distinct. I knew the sound though I had never sought it out. I had told myself it was the normal sounds of a house at night. I zeroed in on the door of the guest bedroom with my heart beating louder. Thu-thump! Thu-THUMP!

    I pressed my ear to the door. There was a crackle of static. “never believe who I saw her talking to tod-“ the voice faded out. “alking to that Joh— brazen as day.” It was female, I thought, but I was having trouble making sense of the words.

    “no good, we all know that. He’s a fox that young one, ” Another female, it seemed. I noticed the door was open a crack and my curiosity drew me to it. Slowly I inched forward and pressed my eye against it. There were women, five of them flickering in and out in smart dresses sitting around a table. As I gazed transfixed by their ghostly cards, “Hey! What do you think you’re doing you snoop!” A misty face sent me screaming from the gossiping spectral bridge club.

    1. Tristan

      Kind of bent the rules a little. Not a Christmas ghost, but discovered during the Christmas season :p Anyway, I’ve never written broken up dialogue like this before so let me know anything you see that could be improved. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

  14. kwilson

    My Christmas lights flickered and died after I had so carefully unwound and laid them across the yard. Wiping the dust from my plaid sweatshirt, I grimaced. “Damn, I hate to replace lights as much as I hate to just fix them.”

    “Morning Mr. Wilson,” my neighbor boy, Danny, chirped breaking my thoughts. “You putting up the same lights from last year?”

    “Guess so, they’ve been in my family for years.”

    “Mr. Wilson, did you see Willobee last night?”

    I scratched my beard dumbfounded. “No Danny I did not.”

    Danny’s blue eyes pleaded for acceptance. “But Willobee howled from the roof. You didn’t hear him?”

    “Danny,” I gazed above not wanting to look at his disappointed face, “you know Willobee died last year.“

    Danny’s shoulder’s sank as he cast his glance across the snow. Should I tell him the truth or shall I give him hope that Willobee is still with us? I knelt down taking Danny’s mittened hands. “Now Danny, I know what you mean, I saw a cat yesterday that looked just like Willobee.“

    “Really? You saw him?”

    I clasped his hands tighter. Should I tell him ghosts do not exist? “Have you heard him before?”

    “No just last night when we put up our decorations.”

    I didn’t have the guts to tell Danny the food dish I left out every night was emptied by morning. Nor could I tell him my Christmas lights weren’t bothered by mouse sitings like the rest of the stuff packed in the garage. I whistled clean air. “Ok Danny, you’re right, I have noticed Willobee a few times.”

    “Mr. Wilson, if you stopped feeding him would he would stop coming?”

    I dropped his hands and stood up. “What makes you think I feed him every night.”

    “Because we do too. Except last night when he howled.”

    “Really, maybe that’s why I didn’t hear him. I put his plate out like always.”

    “Mr. Wilson, I love Willobee and want to keep him around.”

    “Yes I do to.” I confessed. I looked at my old lights that barely worked and thought perhaps it’s time for new. “It’s ok to stop feeding him Danny. He’ll get a rest from the same old food and move on to something new. And this year Danny, I’ll get some new lights for Willobee.”

  15. Camille6

    The temperature drops several degrees in the time it takes me to get the tote out of the basement. A small white sticker on the side proclaims “Christmas Lights.” By the time that I’ve reached the kitchen, cottony bits are again falling from the sky.
    I look at the thermometer again to see if i can survive putting up the lights outside. The thermometer reads…hold on….70 degrees? I sigh.
    The thermometer has been acting strange for a while. I tap the side. I got this as a parting gift from my cousin, after I married Nigel and moved out to northwest Oregon from southern California. It had worked just fine back then, but ever since i had moved here, it has gone crazy.
    I pick up the box and I’m just about to head out the door when I hear the bathroom door slam. I turn around, my fingers white from clutching the box.
    “Hello?” My voice is uncertain. I shrug it off as another draft that always seems to be in the house. The same one that knocked over the pitcher on the mantelpiece and the books on my bed. I shrug it off. After all, what else could it be?
    It doesn’t take too long to get the compact ladder out of the shed and hauled around to the front of the house. The ground is slick with a few inches of crunchy snow. I position the ladder and am just untangling the strands of lights, when a cough breaks the snowy silence.
    “Do you want any help?” asks the boy with the milky skin, and blond mop of hair. He looks too frail to be in the cold, but eager. He stands on the edge of the sidewalk, kicking his boot against the snow.
    “Um… I guess if you want to. Where are your parents?” I ask, looking down the street.
    “I don’t live that far. I’m closer than you think.” said the boy. He walked toward the box. Started to untangle the lights.
    That’s how we work. In companionable silence. The boy who looked so frail is nimbler than he appears. He easily loops the lights on hooks around the house. I am thankful for his help. His milk white skin gets a rosy tint. He looks happy.
    “ Thanks for your help, it would have taken me forever.” I say laughing quietly. “It’s getting late, you should probably be getting home. Do you want me to call your folks?”
    “I’ve been out later before,” the boy replies. He looks solemn. “Do you have the Christmas ghost in your house?”
    I am packing up the boxes as he says this. “Excuse me?”
    “The ghost.. has it been bothering you?”
    “What ghost?”
    “Isn’t there one?”
    I shrugged my shoulders, “How could i know if there was one?” I might as well humor the boy.
    “If there is something, then it will try to get your attention. It slams doors and breaks things. It… makes things happen.”
    My blood chills a little. I think about the supposed drafts in the house that have been slamming doors. My grandmother’s broken vase. I think how heavy that vase was.
    “Um, i think you should head back home. Where did you say that your house was?”
    “Don’t be afraid of him… the ghost. He won’t hurt you.” says the little boy as he walks down the street. His voice is calm.
    “How do you know?” i ask confused.
    “I live two houses down from you.” he says suddenly. He’s avoiding the question. I don’t have the heart to ask it again.
    I feel shaken up after the boy is gone. I go inside and make some tea. I sit down at the computer. Is there a ghost in my house? How did the boy know so well? I had never seen that boy in my life. How could he know? I sip my hot tea and sit down at my laptop. Nigel won’t be home for a while. I might as well figure out a few things while there is no one around to ask questions.
    I type in my street address. The first hit is a picture. Its in front of my house. I click the picture. My jaw drops.
    It’s a newspaper article. The main headline: GAS LEAK KILLS TWO BOYS. It’s about two boys who had been having a play-date at my house. The gas stove had started to leak. It said that Kevin had left only only to die quietly at his own house from carbon monoxide intake. The other, Wyatt had died at my house. Both families had been out running errands that day, and had returned too late.
    The picture features the two boys in mittens with sleds and puffy coats. Its dated 11 years ago. The first boy looks older with red hair and freckled skin. His name is Wyatt. Wyatt is the one who had died at my house. The other boy’s name is Kevin. He is younger with milk white skin and ruffled blond hair. I know him better as the boy who supposedly lives two houses down from me. The one who helped me put up my Christmas lights this afternoon.

  16. paige_one

    Cussing under my breath at the tangled mess of lights my late husband left behind; I heard a small throat being cleared. I turned around and saw my seven year old neighbor, Steven. “Do you need some help, Mrs. Rudnick?”

    I smiled, hoping he didn’t hear my four lettered exchange with the knot, “Thank you. I can’t seem to get these undone.” He put his gloves in his pockets and extended his hands to me so I passed him the wad of lights. We both sat down on the front porch stairs which were unusually dry for this time of year, but winter was coming late for us I guess.

    As he was concentrating on the lights he asked, “Did you bake cookies for Santa?”

    “Oh, Santa doesn’t stop at my house. He only goes to the ones with the children.”

    Steven looked confused, “Santa always stops here.”

    “I know last year a family with children lived here, but now that I live here I think he’ll probably head right over to your house.”

    “Haven’t you met Christopher?”

    “Who?”

    “Christopher. He’s my best friend. He drowned in your pool last year.”

    I felt my lunch come up a little in my throat. I had remembered the realtor mention something about the loss of a child but he brushed it off as if it was only a story.

    Steven went on to tell me how Christopher sometimes comes over to his house to play. “He likes my train. He wanted one but he died before his birthday. His family took it with them when they moved.” He paused with his tongue slightly out while focusing on the lights, “I asked Santa to bring him one, so you should probably put out some cookies tonight.”

    That night I kept feeling like maybe I wasn’t alone. I kept trying to justify every little odd thing that had been happening, like when the Christmas pickle that I was certain, just for old time sake was hidden on the tree and the next morning appeared on the coffee table; I figured my mind was slipping.
    Just to humor myself I set out a plate of cookies for Santa and a tall glass of milk before heading to bed.

    On Christmas morning I headed downstairs to have a peek. As I suspected there weren’t any presents left under the tree. I turned to exit the living room and noticed the milk and cookies had been devoured. My head began to tingle a little and I insisted to myself that I must have been sleep walking last night, but then I heard the little engine and the whole hearted giggle of a young boy.

  17. UtahJackson

    “Christmas ghosts?” my wife asked, her eyes amused and wide at Kendall’s story.
    “That’s right, Mrs. Baker. Just like in that story with Uncle Stooge.”
    “That’s Uncle Scrooge,” I said as I turned from the sink, drying my hands. My wife and I exchanged sideways glances, both trying to suppress a little laugh. I sat down at the table along with them.
    “I appreciate the help you gave me today Kendall,” I said. “That inflatable snowman turned out to be quite the project, especially for Christmas Eve day. Why don’t you have another cookie and take a couple back to the house with you?”. I slid the cookie dish over to Kendall. His small hands shot out and scooped up three cookies like a well-oiled bucket-lifter. Helen took two of the three from him and wrapped them in a napkin.
    Kendall left soon after, singing a lispy rendition of All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teet on the way out the door. We laughed and waved as he sprint-skipped down the driveway, holding his wrapped cookies above his head in a victorious salute to the world.

    Later that evening a fire licked all about the fireplace. It warmed Helen and I as we sat on the couch, holding each other, listening to Christmas songs, each of us suspended in our Christmas joy.

    “Frank,” Helen said. “Do you believe in Christmas ghosts?”. I coughed a little and readjusted myself on the couch.
    “Would it matter if it was a Christmas ghost or not?”. She pulled back from my embrace and scanned my face.
    “I know what you mean by that,” she said. A chill walked down my neck, gaining speed as it leaped across my spine.
    “Helen, it’s late. We should go to bed.” I got up and stumbled a little as I walked over to the hearth. I picked up the stoker and with hurried pokes, pushed the dying logs to the back of the firebox.

    “You’ve seen it, haven’t you?” she asked.
    “I need to remember to set out cookies for Santa,” I said. I put down the stoker and walked towards the kitchen. Helen popped off the couch and intercepted me. She grabbed me by the shoulders.Her graying eyebrows were arched up and back.

    “Frank, I’ve seen the Christmas ghost. It haunts me every year starting on December 15th and it continues until Christmas Eve night. I’ve seen it by our bed and it always says the same thing.” Her words stopped and she looked for a long time at me. “You know what it says, don’t you Frank?”.
    I dropped my head to the ground and let out a huge, deep sigh. “It says exactly what Kendall said it says”.
    Helen pushed me away and stepped back. “I knew I wasn’t crazy. Why didn’t you tell me you knew about the ghost? All these years I’ve kept this to myself, afraid to say anything to you. But, but, you knew.”
    “I’ve known- yes.”
    Helen walked past me and went straight to the Christmas tree. She got on all fours and submerged herself under the tree, flipping through presents, cussing her hair as it caught in the groping needles. She backed out with a rectangular package wrapped in festive colors of green and red. She turned to me and held it up. I looked at her with open palms at my side.
    “This,” she said, half-spitting the word as she stood back up. “This is what you wanted for Christmas this year. The last two months you have talked about this and I got it for you. But you know what?”. She crossed her arms and rocked back on her heels, anger rolling across her face like a snowstorm. “I don’t think you deserve this. Not this year. Not for making me think I’m crazy all these years. No sir. You definitely don’t deserve this. Santa has checked his list and he has found you to be bad. Very, very bad.”
    With a smooth pivot to her right she flung my gift across the room. It landed with precision onto the diminishing flames. Instantly, the wrapping paper crackled and popped as the flames danced up the sides and devoured the large red bow adorning the top of the box.
    Helen rushed past me and up the stairs. I heard her feet stomp across the landing. She punctuated her disgust with a mighty slam of our bedroom door. As my gift met its fiery fate, I went to the hallway closet and retrieved a spare blanket and pillow, wishing that this Christmas I were the ghost.

        1. UtahJackson

          It is that curiosity I am after. Thanks for the comment.

          BTW, I have no idea what the ghost says. It was merely a literary convention that I was testing to see if there was any effect on a reader and by golly, there was.

  18. NatySuz

    Riley skipped up to me last Saturday while I hung my Christmas lights and asked in his chipper way, “Can I help you with that Ms. Suzy?” “Sure Riley, I could always use some help. What are you up to today?” He said in his adorable 5 year old way, “I am on a mystery!” “Oh yea what mystery might that be?” He proceeded to tell me, “The mystery of the Christmas Ghost! Ms. Suzy we have a ghost in our house these days. Ever since my mama died last summer we been having strange things happen. But ever since the Christmas time has come the Ghost is extra busy.” I was intrigued to say the least, ” Riley what kind of things has this ghost been doing?” He listed ever so carefully all of the wonderful things this “Christmas Ghost” had been doing, “We have had more delicious things to eat on our front porch every afternoon when we come home from work and daycare than ever. And you know what? Some of them are the very things that mama used to make! Our dry cleaning has been delivered, our grocery bill paid, pizza deliveries, our grass cut, our windows cleaned, the fruit and pecans picked from our trees and put in bags on our porch. Why our car was even washed this morning before we got up!” I exclaimed, “This is one hard working ghost! But you know what Riley? We have had the same type of things happening around our house this year. We have been having some pretty tough money problems you see and well we weren’t real sure how Christmas would pan out not to mention pay for our house. And do you know that we have been given so much money for Christmas by family, in lieu or in addition to gifts? These are not people who normally give money. We have also received food or food gift cards instead of gifts by other relatives! Our needs are being met in mysterious ways!” Riley said, “Hum this is mysterious!” Then I pronounced, “Not really, it is a ghost but this ghost has a name and it is the holy ghost, which is God and Christ Jesus in the spirit.” Riley whispered, “Huh?” I sat down and faced him, “Riley I know you know who God and Jesus are from Sunday school but the holy ghost is their spirit, because they aren’t here physically, He helps them do their work. So it is a ghost or spirit but the work is being done by people, God’s people. People who love and serve God.” Riley getting a knowing look said, “Well who are these people?” I told him questioningly, “It could be The Browns next door to you, the Smiths across the street or your Sunday school teacher and her family. It could be anyone God chooses to use.” Riley was getting it now and feeling a little more at ease, “I get it but why don’t they just tell us they done it?” I gave Riley a little hug and said, “Isn’t it more fun this way? Instead of thinking how nice these people are, you realize how big, kind, generous and gracious God is to you. And you thank Him and give Him praise.” Riley exclaimed, “I want to be a Christmas Ghost too! How can I?” I thought a minute and looked around, “Hum, you see all those newspapers on the curb, you could take their to their owners doorsteps?” Riley practically screamed, “Bye Ms. Suzy!” I waved and smiled, “Happy Christmas Ghosting Riley!”

  19. Earl Parsons

    The older I get, the more difficult it is to get the Christmas lights and decorations out and up. This year had been particularly difficult, primarily because of the weather, but also because of some weird goings on around my home. Nevertheless, there I was, with boxes and boxes of lights and decorations spread out on my front lawn.

    Tommy Banks is an energetic teen with an unusual desire to help out around the neighborhood. I was really glad he came along that day and offered his assistance. His presence and positive attitude was just the motivation that I needed to get through my annual decorating enterprise.

    This wasn’t the first time Tommy had helped me, so he kind of knew just how I worked, and just where most of the decorations and lights looked their best. He dove right in, worked like a dynamo, and before I knew it, we were nearly half way through. Then my wife stuck her head out the door and announced that lunch was on the table. So, we headed into the kitchen for a break and some grub.

    It was then that Tommy asked me if I’d noticed anything strange happening around the neighborhood. His question caught me a little off guard, because I was just about to ask him the same thing. Still, he opened the door, so I asked him to elaborate. What he told me came as quite a surprise.

    You see, Tommy’s family was about as deep into the Christmas season as we were at my house. Both of us had accumulated so much in the way of lights and decorations that it took us nearly a whole day just to get them out of storage, and nearly a week to get them all in place. What had started off as a friendly competition ended up with the two best decorated houses in our neighborhood.

    According to Tommy, his dad pulled the decorations out of storage and stacked them willy-nilly in the spare bedroom. The next morning, his dad went back to the spare bedroom and found that the boxes had been neatly re-stacked and organized. Mr. Banks figured his subconscious must have kicked in and he had unknowingly organized them as he brought them in. Strange thing can happen when exhaustion takes over.

    Mr. Banks placed all the boxes in the proper rooms and set up the nine foot artificial Christmas tree. Mrs. Banks took over the interior decorations and sent the boys outside to start with the exterior. Tommy and his dad went to the shed to dig out the outside lights and decorations, and again were a little shocked at what they found. What was a mess yesterday had been organized, dusted off and readied for the task at hand. And, again, no one knew how this happened.

    The look on my face must have tipped Tommy off, because he knew instantly that the same thing had happened to me. We finished eating in silence.

  20. Methoosis

    “Emily clean up this place at once!” Said Emily’s Aunt Mathusis. “Yes my golden queen.” said Emily. Emily was scrubbing the floor with her toothbrush. Poor Emily who had no amazement in her life, after Emilys parents left Emily with Aunt Mathusis. Knock knock. “Yes yes… Their here!” Mathusis rushed to the door. She opened it. “Are you Mathusis?” said a tiny man. “Yes YES I am!”. The tiny man man rolled his eyes. “Uh. Well that peach-y. Now can you please give this to Emily? She’s invited to Saritas house on the 23nd at 1:30-6:00. Bring a rub cause were having a Spa.” Mathusis turned hot red. “Thank you… I’ll pass it on to her.” said Mathusis slamming the door at the tiny mans face. “Emily! Were are you?” “I’m coming!” said Emily speed walking towards Mathusis. Mathusis put her hands on Emilys shoulder. “Emily. Honey. Your invitied to Sarita’s house.” said Mathusis in a calm voice. “REALLY?” said Emily jumping up and down. “Yes, but your not going.” Mathusis happily said. Emilys energy and excitement faded away. Emily ran to her room. She started to cry. Mathusis locked up Emily in her room. Her small,stone room. Suddenly the tiny man yelled out Emilys name. Emily looked out her window. Their he was. The tiny man Jumping up and down yelling Emilys name. “Emily let down your beautiful hair!” said he the tiny man. And so, Emily did. The tiny man grabbed onto Emilys hair. He look at it, and before counting to 3 he pulled Emily hair, witch made Emily fly out of her room like a stick on a bowen arrow. “She scream on the top of her lungs “YES I’M GOING TO SARITAS HOUSE FOR A SPA!” “Looks like my work here is done.” giggled the tiny man.

    1. Methoosis

      Please Don’t put this on writer’s digest! I did not write it.
      I was writing my story for this prompt in microsoft word, and so I copied it and was going to paste it, but was multi-tasking, and I accidentally copied something else (this, written by a young relative of mine) and pasted it here instead of my story! Please don’t put it on Writer’s Digest!

  21. wmyrral

    Andy is something of a trouble maker. You understand my suspicion when he offered to help me decorate my house. I was pretty sure it was him that decorated my house with eggs last Halloween. But, maybe this was his penance.

    “What do you know about hanging lights on a palm tree?” I asked.

    He looked at the two tall royal palms in front of my house.

    “Nuttin’, he said.

    “How about placing lights along the eaves–so they don’t short out if it rains?” I suggested.

    He looked at my ladder and the box of lights I’d so carefully arranged and stored last January twelfth when my wife made me take them down. She insists that’s the day to ‘undecorate.”

    “Gee. I don’t know nuttin’ ’bout ‘lectric lights,” he admitted.

    “Well, Andy, just what do you know about decorating besides egging houses?” I asked in exasperation.

    “Not much. I jus’ did the eggs ‘cause Charley tol’ us kids ’bout how you useta do it as a kid.”

    Charley! My son away at college. Thanks, Charley.

    I ignored his explanation and asked, “Then just why did you offer to help?”

    “Promise not t’ laugh?”

    “Promise. Out with it.”

    “I wanted t’ git away from th’ ghost.”

    “Ghost?” I wasn’t laughing. This kid was deadly serious. He was ready for the funny farm..”Tell me about your ghost.”

    “I don’t never see ‘im. He’s a ghost. Ghosts are invisible.’

    “O.K.,” I admitted. “So how do you know he’s there?”

    “Well, it’s like the hall rug. It keeps gettin’ pulled away from th’ wall and wrinkled, even when nobody’s been in the hall. ‘N’ th’ water jar in the frige. No matter how many times y’ fill it, it’s always empty when y’ wanna drink. Th’ garbage can under th’ sink’s another thing. It’s always knocked over when y’ start t’ stick in some garbage.”

    “Andy,” I told him. “You’ll have to hide from your ghost somewhere else. I’ve got to get these decorations up or my wife will kill me.”

    He gave me a funny look and rushed off. I figured this story was too good to keep. I’d take it in to the little woman. Give her a laugh.

    I went in the house and called. No answer. She probably went down the hall to the back porch. I straightened the rug. She always did that. I wish sh wouldn’t drag it away from the wall and wrinkle it.

    Well, before I tracked her down, I’d get a drink. Damn! The water bottle was empty again. I got a glass and filled it with ice and water as I filled the water bottle. As I was putting the bottle back in the frige, I noticed that blueberry pie I still hadn’t eaten. But clumsy me, I dropped it as I was getting it from the frige. Unfortunately, it landed upside down. Or maybe that was fortunate. The dish didn’t break.

    I grabbed a fist full of towels and cleaned up the mess before Emma, my wife saw what a mess I made. As usual, the garbage pail under the sink was tipped over. I straightened it out and put the garbage in it.

    Now why did I come into the house. I sure wish Emma were here . She always reminded me of my absent-minded behavior when she was still alive. I really miss her.

  22. cekensinger

    “Mr. Bland, do you need some help?”

    I heard Tim’s voice as I almost fell off the ladder from stretching too far to get the Christmas lights hung on my house before darkness fell. I knew Tim from church and he had stopped many times to visit or just say “Hi“, since we had moved into his neighborhood.

    “I have another ladder. How do you feel about heights?” I answered.

    “Heights don’t bother me and neither do ghosts.” was his reply.

    I was intrigued. “Have you seen a ghost?”

    Tim looked thoughtful as I helped him place the ladder where we could pass the lights from one to another. As we alternated hanging the lights and moving the ladders, he told me about the ghost.

    “You don’t see a ghost, or at least I didn’t. I just heard a noise in the basement and saw some boxes slide across the floor without anyone being there.”

    “You actually saw some boxes move on their own?” was my question.

    “No, I didn’t see them slide. I had my back to them and heard something sliding and when I turned around, the boxes were about ten feet from where they had been. My brother and Dad were upstairs and no one could have gotten into the basement without me seeing them. I finished what I was doing and got out of there.”

    “So you’re not as easy going about ghosts as you led me to believe,” I joked.

    As we finished the job we discussed other strange things that he had seen in their house. I was genuinely interested in these phenomena and said, “Send your ghost over sometime. I’d like to meet him.”

    Johnny laughed and said, “Be careful what you say, he may be listening.”

    Later that evening as we were putting the empty boxes into the basement, I had my back to some of them. I heard something sliding on the concrete floor. I didn’t even turn around. I just yelled for Johnny to quit horsing around.

    “What did you say, Mr. Bland?” he replied as he stuck his head around the door above me. I wished I had been more careful about the things I said as a joke.

  23. BrandiB

    “There are no angry spirits in my house! You’re a liar; I’m the only person to have ever lived in this house.”
    I looked at the little brat scornfully. I hated this kid; he always came around wanting to help me or just to talk.
    “Oh, yeah, well -,” He looked quickly to the sidewalk where his father had appeared, “I gotta go.”
    “When are you going to take the old cars off your lawn?” His father yelled to me from the sidewalk.
    “Never,” I sneered at him.
    His eyes narrowed. “This would be such a nice neighborhood if you weren’t here.”
    “Well, it’s my yard and I’ll do what I want.” I fought the urge to cuss at him.
    I’ve always hated this neighborhood, if it wasn’t for my wife – God rest her soul – I wouldn’t be living here. If the neighbors weren’t complaining about the cars it would be that my dogs barked all night, or that I didn’t mow my lawn, or more recently that I didn’t shovel they side walk or driveway.
    I looked at the incomplete lighting project and chuckled as I thought about the wicked fight my wife and I had last winter when I refused to put up her precious lights. She said they make our yard look almost pretty, “It takes the attention away from all the trash in the yard.” She had said instigating the argument.
    “Well, I think the lights look just fine now darlin’,” I wiped a stupid tear out of my eye, “Kind of abstract.” Then I laughed, the neighbors will love looking at this until July when I may or may not get around to taking them down.
    Suddenly something hit my back and I turned to see a bunch laughing brats throwing snowballs at me.
    I ran down the driveway toward them. “Get out her you little sons-of -,” As I began my rant I slipped on my un-shoved driveway, landing on my back. I heard an awful crack and felt warmth spreading to my neck. I stood up and swayed dizzily. One of the kids was screaming, probably cracked my head and was bleeding in the snow, kids these days are weak. Still wobbly I looked down at the snow. My lifeless body was still there, blood melting the snow as it ran from my head.
    I ran inside the house wondering who I could possibly call to help me. “You’re dead Al,” I turned to see my wife standing in the living room.
    As I stood there staring at her she threw open the front curtains and looked outside. “Look at this Al, our yard looks like a junk yard. You couldn’t even put the lights up properly.” She put her hands over her ears. “And listen to those dogs of yours, can’t you at least try to shut them up.”
    I stared at my wife as she yelled at me, boy is she angry.

  24. jmiff328

    “Hey Mr. P, You need some help?” I heard Johnny Henry calling from my yard below. I was on a twenty foot ladder unwisely testing the warning about using the tops rungs. Our Christmas light assortment seemed to double every year and this year was no exception. I began my work on Saturday morning at 9am and quit more or less at dark. Sunday was the same, and now it’s Monday and I had to call in from work to finish the job. The little Henry boy would’ve been better off coming a few days ago but I wasn’t going to complain about free labor. I set him to work on the ground level reindeer while I finished the roof masterpiece. Johnny called to me from the ground. “Mr. Smiles said that I should come help you.” My hands froze and I felt my heart jump around like a rabbit. “Excuse me?” I said. He continued oblivious to my change in demeanor, “Mr. Smiles told me to come over. He said that you might have an accident if you did things by yourself.” I swallowed, a lump that continued down into my stomach. The roof suddenly felt very steep and the light dusting of snow was now starting to make my boots slip from their resting place. “Who is Mr. Smiles?” I asked, already knowing the answer. Johnny looked up at me on the roof and all the innocence was gone from his expression. His eyes that once were blue, now were fire orange. He started to smile and continued until his mouth began to rip apart. His teeth were insanely sharp and were now dripping with blood from his ragged mouth. It was the same thing I had started seeing in my dreams. Later I caught a glimpse of him in mirrors and when I would look back he would be gone. He finally came to me in person a few nights ago and he sat in the corner of the bedroom and smiled at me all night. The smile was the most terrifying thing I had ever seen. I made it to the ground quickly taking three ladder rungs at a time and grabbed Johnny by his white snow coat- it was now red with what appeared to be gallons of blood- and shook him. I faintly heard police sirens in the background as I was yelling at Mr. Smiles to leave this boy alone. At some point I knew that Johnny was dead but I continued to shake him and yell. I felt something sharp in my leg and looked down to see blood pouring from what looked like a gunshot wound. My vision started to take on a darker tint and the people around me- police officers I believe- were shouting as well. “Call a bus, this guy is about to crash and I want him alive long enough to fry him. Look what he did to this poor kid.”. “I didn’t do it.” I tried to say but they either didn’t hear me or they didn’t care. I was suddenly very tired. I needed to take a quick nap and finish the Christmas lights when I woke up. Before I passed out I saw a man walking in between the cops towards me. He was smiling in an unusual way but I couldn’t place it, he started laughing and the last thing I heard came from between needle-like teeth, “I will see you when you wake up Mr. P.”

    Feedback welcome and appreciated.

  25. LaGenie

    It seemed that every year, a few weeks before Christmas, my lights began to flicker. It always made me hesitant to hang the Christmas lights at least not before I called in the electrician. I knew my house was old and the old wiring had mostly been replaced but I had to be cautious. I didn’t want a fire. Every year it was the same thing, “No problems with your wiring,” Mr. Joe said before handing me the bill. I hung the lights in the usual place, streaming them across the porch and around the side of the house and there it was again. The same old stocking that I knew I’d thrown out the year before. It was ragged and only God knows I didn’t want it hanging on my mantle next to the other stockings I had planned to give to the neighborhood children. That red, worn out stocking must have had an invisible foot inside that walked it back to my house from the city dump. This year would be different I thought. I’m going to wash this stocking and fill it with goodies and then I’ll hang it next to the other stockings over the fireplace. I did just that, and suddenly the lights that weren’t suppose to be flickering stop their flickering and a bulb went off in my head. I finally understood why I couldn’t get rid of that stocking. Somewhere, some child that had nothing, would appreciate a little something in a ragged, worn out stocking if it came with love. That stocking never found it’s way to my back yard again because I filled it with love and sent it on it’s merry way.
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  26. LaGenie

    It seemed that every year, a few days before weeks before Christmas, my lights began to flicker. It always made me hesitant to hang the Christmas lights at least not before I called in the electrician. I knew my house was old and the old wiring had mostly been replaced but I had to be cautious. I didn’t want a fire. Every year it was the same thing, “No problems with your wiring,” Mr. Joe said before handing me the bill. I hung the lights in the usual place, streaming them across the porch and around the side of the house and there it was again. The same old stocking that I knew I’d thrown out the year before. It was ragged and only God knows I didn’t want it hanging on my mantle next to the other stockings I had planned to give to the neighborhood children. That red, worn out stocking must have had an invisible foot inside that walked it back to my house from the city dump. This year would be different I thought. I’m going to wash this stocking and fill it with goodies and then I’ll hang it next to the other stockings over the fireplace. I did just that, and suddenly the lights that weren’t suppose to be flickering stop their flickering and a bulb went off in my head. I finally understood why I couldn’t get rid of that stocking. Somewhere, some child that had nothing, would appreciate a little something in a ragged, worn out stocking if it came with love. That stocking never found it’s way to my back yard again because I filled it with love and sent it on it’s merry way.

  27. akvaughn

    Every year I tell myself the same thing, “If you left the lights strung around the eaves, you wouldn’t be on this ladder.” And every year as I take the decorations down, I kick myself for not tradition I loathe so much.
    “Mr. McVay, Mr. McVay, I been waiting for you to come out of your house. I really need to tell you something important.” I was being summoned by the neighbor kid Morry. Morry has a tendency to have a bizarre imagination with outlandish stories to give our cul de sac color.
    “Morry, you are just in time to help me with these decorations,” I responded. “I have to keep up appearances living next to you. Your parents have out done themselves again. I really like the carousel of lights.” I am thinking to myself, “Seriously?
    “Okay sure, but I have to tell you this first. Did you know your house is haunted by a Christmas ghost? So is ours. I met the ghost just last week. He’s pretty old, over a hundred years old at least.” Morry was out of breath and jumping from one foot to the other.
    “A ghost? Where did you see him? My intention was to give the child some much needed attention. I didn’t think he got much from his parents.
    “I saw him when he was moving between our two houses. I tried to follow him, but he went through the wall.” Morry was becoming more animated as he continued his tale. “I saw him with my own eyes. He walked straight into your house through the side, didn’t even bother using the door.”
    “I have been noticing little things around the house, that I keep getting blamed for but didn’t do,” Morry went on. Someone keeps moving all my mother’s Christmas decorations around, even hiding some of them.” My mom started yelling at me because all her goofy Christmas junk got moved and replace with her old nativity scene. Dad swears up and down he is innocent. She told me if I moved anything else, I would not get any toys for Christmas.
    I nodded intently at Morry as I recalled seeing our old Crèche on the mantle this year. I had assumed my wife and daughter had decided to replace the winter village this year. I rather preferred the return to focusing on the true meaning of Christmas instead of all the materialism. I wanted to validate the child’s story, so I responded, “Yeah, I have been seeing the same things happening around our house too. What do you think he is trying to tell us?”
    “Maybe the ghost wants people to think about the baby Jesus at Christmas time and not silly elves or putting up a bunch of stuff in the front yard that looks stupid,” Morry said as he pointed over to his yard covered in ornaments.
    “Morry, I believe you may be on to something. I agree with the ghost. Can you help with these lights?”

  28. Tanya77

    “Thank you Johnny. If it wasn`t for you i still would have been decorating the front porch in this icy weather and i doubt i would have gotten anything done”, i smiled down at the eight year old boy who lived next door. He was a very helpful kid. Every time i needed help he seemed to materialise out of nowhere.

    “It`s ok, Mr. Cormack. My friend Paul is always watching out for us and if someone needs help he asks me to help since he can`t.”

    “Who is this Paul? He lives near?”, i asked curious, because i knew everyone in the area but never heard of Paul.

    “Yes, he lives in my house and your house sir.”

    He spoke so matter of factly that at first it didn`t register what he said. When it did i looked at the boy wide eyed.

    “What did you just say? He lives with us?”

    I started thinking the boy wasn`t so normal after all. True when i needed the most help he did seem to appear at the right time and i always wondered how he did it.

    “Yes sir.” He sighed. “Paul told me not to say this to anyone but i think, since he lives with you too it`s good you know. Paul is a ghost. He used to live in a big house that now has been turned into your house and mine. That`s why he stays in both of our houses. He was only twenty-two when he fell from the roof and died. Paul told me he wanted to be a priest, so now he tries to help us as much as he can maybe his soul could rest in peace if he does this. He really likes to help a lot. When there`s something missing it always shows up thanks to him. If a painting isn`t right he straightens it and so on. Don`t be mad at him, he just loves to help others.”

    The boys said eyeing me carefully to see how i took the story he just said. And my brain knew it was true. I noticed the small things the boys said in my house too. Like losing the keys and finding them where they usually were. Or the newspaper on the porch out of the rain so that it wouldn`t get wet. I always thanked the paper boy for it but he always said he never put it there.

    Looking at our houses i shivered, not from cold this time. I needed to make some research about this. But i knew that this ghost wasn`t going to hurt me, since he had always lived with me. I looked at the boy again.

    “Thank you for telling me. I won`t tell anybody and if you see Paul tell him i know and thank him for all he does for me. Now run along and go get warm inside.”

    Johnny smiled but ran home as i asked. I went inside and before i went to sleep, i thanked Paul and prayed for his soul.

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