SKMB Halloween Story 2013
Deep in the bowels of the castle, there was a room - a former dungeon, to be precise - that smelled of thunderstorms and secrets. The room was dank, dark, and spooky, as disused dungeons are wont to be.
It was therefore appropriate that the room was currently inhabited only by a pair of spirits who had been trapped in the castle for a very long time.
Time is a relative thing. For those of us who are blessed with an unknown amount of it on this Earth, it is a precious and fleeting commodity, though we seldom seem to recognize it as such. More often, it is simply an abstract concept that we don’t trouble ourselves with very much. Condemned to an eternity in a dusty castle, however, the properties of time are altered; it takes on an ever-growing weight, a tangible quality, a reality unimaginable to those who are still among the living. That isn’t the worst part, though.
The worst part is being unable to interact with the world, to be capable only of bearing witness as those who are fortunate enough to still be embodied delight in the pleasures of the flesh, laugh at one another’s jokes, hold conversations, and get on with the business of living. To walk the earth among such, while being forever separated from the realm in which they operate, is to know the true meaning of regret.
There are other possibilities, of course, ‘other worlds than these,’ as the saying goes. But not everyone is prepared to move on. Sometimes there is unfinished business. Sometimes spirits simply become lost, or confused. Sometimes stranger things happen.
Calum and Bonnie expired in an unfortunate accident involving strong drink and an excess of passion in a stairwell. And for years, they tolerated an endless stream of tourists traipsing through their home, gawking at the ruinous splendor, and taking endless bad photographs before departing, having checked one more item off their lists of things to see in the area.
To be forced to watch these people, living and enjoying themselves without so much as a second thought, was infuriating. To know that at the end of the tour they would be able to go to town for a good, hot meal and a night of drinking, dancing, or lovemaking, then to sleep (perchance even to dream)…now that was nigh unbearable. But to be not so much as recognized by them, to have their very existence simply overlooked, was intolerable.
Even to be able to simply have a conversation with someone else would be a delight. After so many years with only each other’s company, there just wasn’t much to say; everything had already been said, a thousand times and more.
For a time, they had attempted, mostly unsuccessfully, to make contact. Occasionally, some sensitive soul would get an inkling that the castle was perhaps haunted, but they were unable to connect in any meaningful way. There simply wasn’t time within the span of a castle tour to get through to anybody. And getting someone’s attention was a lot of work. Moving objects about was possible, but difficult, and it was easy for someone to dismiss, say, a suit of armor falling down a flight of stairs as happenstance.
Not so easy for the tour guides to dismiss, however, not when ‘happenstance’ became an everyday thing. Rumors spread, and the castle gained a certain reputation, which brought the curious from far and wide. Inevitably, it came to the attention of those whose business it was to investigate these sorts of happenings.
So now some new people had arrived, and tours had been cancelled for a week while an investigation of those rumors was conducted. These people fancied themselves experts in communication with the spiritual realm, and had come with a TV crew to document the mysteries of the haunted castle. The spirits knew that this was their best opportunity, and were not about to waste it.
“Well, ye’ve had a look at ‘em,” said Calum, “Dae onie ay them strike ye as likely?”
“I dinna ken,” replied Bonnie, “But mayhaps the dark-haired lad would do. I like the look of him.”
“Och aye, ye would. He’s yer type, tae be sure.”
The dark-haired lad in question would certainly have appreciated the irony of their choice. He was a big boy, tall and well-muscled, with curling black hair and bright blue eyes. Alone among the team, he took none of this seriously; he was 19 years old, and interested only in having a good time. So far, this gig had proven itself to be endlessly entertaining.
The rest of the team was far more serious about the work, but they certainly weren’t above a bit of partying when not filming or otherwise occupied with the business of outing ghosts, ghoulies, or this week’s bit of unexplained weirdness. Occasionally, the parties would turn into benders of epic proportions for all involved.
This location had all the hallmarks of a perfect party spot. There were seemingly endless rooms to explore, with towers, turrets, crenelations, murder holes, dungeons, secret passageways, hidden courtyards, private gardens, and so forth. The team had brought more than sufficient supplies, including a well-stocked bar.
They believed themselves ready for anything.
~ There'll be Chocolate, if God wills it. ~