Workin’ Class Boos
© 2003 Ray Adam Latiolais
The house was dark and quiet, but there was something other than me there. I had to move quickly. This was a golden opportunity for someone in my line. I had familiarized myself with the house when I arrived earlier and was able to make good time through its dusty, disordered halls.
The Presence felt stronger downstairs. Using hard earned and long practiced skills I circled through the rooms triangulating, narrowing the possibilities. I pinned it down to the portrait gallery, a long narrow room (or maybe a wide hall) running the entire length of the house’s west side.
The gallery was full of dead ancestors. Dim light seeped through the large windows from distant street lights. It was definitely in the room with me. I squinted a certain way and peered down the length of the room. Near the front of the house I spied not just a Presence, but Presences! Tonight would be a good night for me. I was pleased I hadn’t misjudged the house’s reputation.
Moving carefully to avoid early detection, I eased toward the group of indistinct blobs. As I approached they seem to realize that something was amiss. It was now or never.
Steeling myself, I pushed through the Veil and passed into the world of the living once again. What I had seen from the realm of the dead was a group of high school students. They were likely in the house on a Halloween dare. Letterman jackets and all. Quaint.
They saw me as soon as I’d passed through. Leering, I loosed my Shriek; a sound that was more than mere noise. Its sound and terror ripped the children’s spirits from their bodies. I feasted on their souls as they ran screaming into the night. One of the souls was slow to return to its body. I gorged myself to satiety on it. The much reduced spirit finally caught up with its corpus. Another one for the madhouse.
When none were left, I relaxed and slid effortlessly across the Veil. The trip back is much easier. The dark and cold spirit realm is ever eager to reclaim my utterly damned soul.
Better fed than I had been in years, I made my way upstairs. I was pleased with the night’s business. The house’s reputation would grow and more foolish young mortals would dare to pass its portals. This was going to be a sweet gig. I glided up the stairs into the east garret.
There, cowering in a corner, were the feeble spirits I’d found in the house on my arrival. A woman in an old fashioned maid’s uniform and a young man in a raccoon coat. It was still hours until dawn. I smiled.