Scarlett moved stuff off the computer desk and on to the floor. She turned the computer on and whilst waiting, began sorting the papers and other items into piles. Her mind skipped back to a few minutes ago and her saying goodbye to Greyson. She sighed deeply all ready feeling like she missed him.
She touched her fingers to her lips where his kiss lingered. Hopefully, he’d be back tonight and in the meantime, she told herself, she wasn’t going to worry about any ‘ghostly’ goings on. Glancing at the computer, she saw it had loaded. Sitting down in the large leather desk chair, she clicked on the internet icon and waited to see what happened.
She had not been on social media or anything else much since they had moved in, even though Greyson had got the connection sorted before they had officially arrived. He’d had to do the same with the water, gas, electricity and the TV too. When the homepage loaded, she typed in ghosts into the search box and began scrolling through the results. Selecting a few sites, Scarlett spent the rest of the morning researching.
Heading into the kitchen to fix lunch, Scarlett looked through the cupboards and pulled out some salt and flour. Setting them to one side, she made a sandwich and a coffee then headed back into the study. The afternoon past quietly and she was able to tidy the study, plan the job advertisements out and start work on the dining room.
Switching the TV on whilst she unpacked and having voices fill the stillness of the house, made her feel better. Placing a crystal fruit bowl, that had been a wedding present, on the table, she looked up and across. The news had just started rolling on the TV. She checked her watch and saw it was six o’clock. Pulling her phone out of her pocket, she called Greyson. As the dial tones beeped on, she started to think he was driving. At the last minute, he picked up.
‘Hi. I was about to call you,’ his cheery voice stated.
‘Oh?’ she replied, feeling her heart sink a little.
‘I’m not going to make it home…’
Scarlett bit her lip and dragged in a deep breath.
‘This thing is going to take more time, but it’s okay. My parents are letting me stay the night,’ Greyson explained, ‘you should have come…’
‘No. It’s okay, I’m fine,’ she replied.
‘Just put the lights on in the entrance hall and maybe a few of the rooms. Make sure all the doors are locked and if you hear anything or the alarm goes off, don’t leave the apartment. Okay?’
Scarlett laughed, ‘I’m a grown woman, Greyson!’
‘I know…but…I need you to be safe,’ he replied seriously.
She nodded and in the background heard the barking of a dog and the chatter of voices.
‘I’ll be fine. I miss you,’ Scarlett spoke.
‘I miss you too. Are you sure you’re going to be okay? You could always get a taxi and go and stay in a B ‘n’ B in one of the villages,’ Greyson suggested.
Scarlett shook her head and felt her hair tickling her face, ‘no, there’s no need. I’ll just get into bed and stay there. Will you be home tomorrow night?’
‘I should be.’
‘I love you,’ Greyson said softly.
‘I love you too,’ Scarlett replied.
The hang up tone beeped in her ear. Scarlett lowered the phone and checked the screen. She felt tears starting in her eyes, but she brushed them away and slipped the phone back into her pocket. Turning the TV up louder, she went to make something to eat. Her thoughts ran out of control as she glanced in the fridge then the freezer then the cupboards. Finally, she spotted the bag of flour and the bottle of salt she had left out before.
Picking them up, she went to the front door and unlocked it. Opening the door and peering out into the growing darkness, she listened. Hearing nothing but the normal stirrings of the manor, she walked out and turned on some of the lights. She climbed the stairs and switched on the corridor lights.
Selecting a few rooms, both front and back facing, she switched on a few of their lights. Going up the next spiral stairs, she turned on the second floor corridor lights then once again selected a few random rooms. Feeling better, Scarlett approached the attic door.
She opened the flour and salt then taking them made two wide lines one after the other close to the doorway. Going back to the top of the stairs she did the same there. Then at the top of the next stairs she made the lines again and finally along the edge of the landing square.
Going downstairs, she wondered about making one more line at the bottom, but decided inside to place one at the front door. Having done that and checking the doors were locked, she went back at her apartment, stepped inside and made a line of salt and a line of flour next to the door.
Closing the door, she locked it then walked towards the bedroom. Turning the light on, she made her final lines then placed everything back into the kitchen. Smiling and feeling better, Scarlett decided to have pasta for dinner. Whilst making it, her mind turned over and she wondered if she would capture any prints in the flour or if the salt would stop anything evil disturbing her sleep.
Taking her food into the living room, she watched TV then spent the rest of the evening catching up on a few programs. The manor settled around her, the wood creaking and groaning softly, the kitchen tap still dripping and a gently howling sound as the wind picked up outside.
Yawing, Scarlett looked at the time and decided, though it was approaching eleven, that she wanted a bath. Turning the TV off and the living room light, she went into the bedroom, avoiding the salt and flour lines, and headed into the bathroom.
Putting the plug in and turning the taps on, she grabbed some lavender relaxing bubble bath and put some in. The sound of rushing water pressed hard on her ears, so she put the CD player on and turned up the mediation style music loudly. Out of habit, she locked the bathroom door and began undressing.
Realising, she had left her book, Scarlett grabbed a towel and unlocked the bathroom door. Walking out, a cold breeze pricked her skin. She eyed the windows, which appeared shut and locked. She went over and drew the curtains then collected her book and walked back in. Locking the door again, she placed the towel back and dipped a hand into the water. It was too hot. She turned the cold tap on more and swirled the water, till she was able to get in.
Sinking down, she relaxed and let the water cover her completely. Turning the taps off, she listened to the dripping fall of water until it had stopped. The mediation music filled the air and Scarlett lent back again and shut her eyes.
A light knocking as if someone was at the door to one of the rooms above, echoed into her ears. Scarlett opened her eyes looked up. She eased herself up, slowly and the water rippled around her. She grabbed the sides of the bath then changed her mind as Greyson’s words came back to her. She reached for a sponge and some soap. As she washed the sound grew louder as if someone was desperate for the person in the room to let them in.
Trying to ignore it, she concentrated on the music and began sloshing the bathwater louder. The knocking stopped. Scarlett paused in scrubbing her feet. She looked up and the bath light flickered above her. A lump formed in her throat and she swallowed tightly. The bulb began to buzz then it settled and brightened.
Quickly, finishing up, she got out of the tub. Grabbing a towel, she pulled the plug then began drying. Wrapping herself up and leaving the CD playing, she reached for the door handle. Opening it and peering out, she saw nothing but her bedroom. Laughing in her head, she walked out and got dressed.
A mutter of voices brushed past her. Scarlett stopped pulling on her nightie and listened. The voices grew louder, but she could not quite make out the words. She went back into the bathroom and turned the music off. Stepping out again, she heard a girly giggle and the coo of a baby. Frowning, she went to the door of the bedroom and opened it. The voices become clear and she realised it was the TV. Confused, she walked out into the living room. The TV was on and a documentary about teenage mothers was being show.
Shaking her head, she turned it off and went back to bed. Settling down, she wondered if she’d just miss pressed the button or if there’d been an electrical fault. Letting it go, she picked up her book and began reading. However, after a good few minutes the silence swelled around her, pressing painfully down on her ears and head.
Closing her book, Scarlett went and grabbed the CD player from the bathroom. Telling herself she wasn’t silly, though she felt a little embarrassment, she set the machine up and let the mediation music play out. She also selected a few more CDS from a drawer in the bathroom and set them beside the CD player on the floor.
Getting back into the bed, she picked up her book and began reading till her eyes felt heavy. Settling down, she further avoided telling herself off for leaving on the lamp as she began to doze off. The music waved around her and she let that carry her away. Pleasant dreams filled her head, but they were cut off by a loud collection of voices.
Coming too, Scarlett rolled over and stretched. Groaning, she listened in her half sleep state then she became fully awake. Blinking away the light from the lamp, she pushed herself up and realised the noise was the TV again.
‘Greyson?’ she called sleepy.
Rubbing her eyes, she got up and opened the door. The hallway lights, which she had left on, cast a reassuring glow. Remembering the salt and flour lines, Scarlett stepped widely over them and went to the living room. The TV screen was casting yellow light along the walls. She turned on the living room lights and paused in the doorway. She wasn’t sure what the show or film was on the TV. Sighing, she walked in and turned it off, then just for good measure, unplugged the TV.
Before she went back to bed, Scarlett double checked the door was locked. As she walked back, it crossed her mind to call Greyson, but she decided it was far too late. Back in bed, she changed the CD, selecting one called Native American Spiritual music. Snuggling down, she let the soft flutes and drums fill her ears. Drifting off again, a soft crying brushed past her and Scarlett fought to keep her eyes closed.
Telling herself it was all in head and she really need to sleep now, she emptied her mind and let the howling of wolves fill her head.
The crying came right into her ears.
Snapping open her eyes, she sat up and looked around.
‘Leave me alone, please. Whatever you are,’ Scarlett called out.
The crying stopped.
Scarlett breathed a sigh of relief and put her head back down. Falling back to sleep, she prayed that would be the end of it. However, sometime later, the sounds of a rocking chair moving back and forth from above, caused her to wake once more.
To Be Contuined…