by Greer Thompson
Sometimes you’ve got to get creative to solve a ghost problem.
I’ve been just trying to live with it for a few months after moving into this “fixer upper” my criminal of a real-estate agent sold me on. “Oh it has so much character,” she said. I’d barely gotten my futon set up in the one upstairs bedroom with openable windows when the haunting started. Plates flying across the room and shit. It was crazy! And, fuck it, I like my plates. Those girls from the bar that ran home? Whatever, it wasn’t personal and my vibrator can cover. But those plates were special! They had Winnie the Pooh on them! So, dammit, I was going to solve this bitch once and for all.
I checked out every half-related book from the library and raided the local Barnes and Noble’s metaphysical section, grabbing anything that wasn’t only about aliens who abduct farmers and help them express their most repressed desires. I started with the basics. A Ouija board let me talk to her the last few months. It is a her, after all, and she’s not much of a bitch at all. Sweet girl, goes by Ellie. I introduced myself, but she kept getting confused. Thinking it was 1927, maybe ’28 at the latest. She insisted she hadn’t broken anything of mine. I wasn’t sure what to do.
In my research, I finally found some threads between all of the sources. I need to bring her here to put her to rest. I cobbled together a ritual from a dozen sources. A sage smudge here, an insanely complicated chalk diagram there.
Nothing can go wrong.
I smudge with sage, light the incense, and crouch down in the center of the circle, wearing only a bathrobe. The book said a white robe or naked, and while I don’t think a bathrobe is what they had in mind, I’m not doing this naked. I don’t even have a space heater yet, and a chill rain’s beating a staccato barrage against the windows.
I start the chant, reading off my notes scrawled on the side of a crumpled take-out menu. The words would summon the ghost to me, and it would tell me what it wanted. In theory, I can then help her find her peace. Before she goes after my last Eeyore plate.
He’s my favorite, after all. Punk as hell.
“And if you wish to part the veil, you must tell to me your tale. Blessed be, reveal yourself to me!”
I try to put a lot of umph into that last word. It’s important that ghosts think you’re serious and not just someone growing increasingly worried the author of a book called “Ghost Calling: The Theory and Practice of Incorporeal Communication” is full of shit.
A long moment passes. Nothing shows up. I don’t hear anything, either, not even a stupid half-there, possibly-hallucinated whisper. God dammit, is this not working?
There she is, sitting in front of me.
She’s gorgeous, in a translucent sort of way. She looks young, too, in her early twenties, a few years shy of me. She’s dressed in an incredibly cute dress, vintage (of course). It ends just above her knees, and she’s wearing killer mary jane flats. But what I can’t get over is the bow in her hair, so big it pops out on either side of her head, framing cascading curls. Her eyes stare directly into mine, and it takes everything I have not to have a heart attack right then and there.
“Hello,” I whisper, my breath fogging in front of me. It wasn’t that cold a moment ago. She’s not what I expected from our Ouija texting. She’s beautiful.
She smiles, and despite the cold warmth floods through me. It’s the kind of smile that makes you feel safe and loved just by seeing it. “Hello,” she says. Her voice is low and rich, not the soprano I expected. Sexy.
“Um–” I take a hurried look at my notes. Nowhere had I written down what I’d actually say to her. Shit. Fuck. “Hi. You’ve been smashing my plates. It’s nice to meet you in–person?”
“Oh dear, those were yours? I thought they were my husband’s.” She gets up and starts walking over to the wall, where the wallpaper curls and flakes. “I didn’t realize it had been so long since…”
I remember what she said during the Ouija board conversation. About her not being allowed to love who she wanted. There was only one way out. “When?”
“October 7th, 1927,” she says. “I liked that it’d have two sevens in it.” She rests her hand against the edge of the circle, just short of the wall, and the air shimmers as the magic stops her. She doesn’t seem surprised at that, just a little sad. “So…why am I here?”
“I want to help you with that unfinished business we talked about.”
“Well,” she says, with that smile that sends my heart fluttering. “That would be lovely. If you’re interested.”
The room’s still warm, but there’s a crystalline tear shining from her snow-white cheek.
I’m smiling with confidence now. I walk over and wipe the tear away. I can feel it on my thumb. I can feel her. She lets out a happy laugh, like the tinkling of falling icicles after a thaw.
I know exactly how to help.
I lean over, brush my lips against hers.
“I’d love to.”
She presses against me, her chill body and my warmth making steam between us. I run kisses down her neck, nipping at her collarbone as I slide her dress from her shoulders. Her hand runs up my thigh, and she rubs her fingers against my clit, traces along my labia. Thrills ripple through me, goosebumps appearing on my flesh.
I press into her and moan as she strips me, and we lie down in the middle of the circle, all tentativeness gone.
I turn the tables, sucking on her neck and rubbing on her with my fingers before plunging inside. One, two, three fingers now. She groans in pleasure, straining against me.
She lets out a gasp, and I feel her put her hands on me, gently push me away. I stop, slide out of her, lean back.
Her cheeks are flush. “It’s–it’s just more than I’m used to. Can I work on you for a bit?”
I smile. “Absolutely.” She’s on me in a heartbeat.
She trails chill kisses down my front, then she’s sucking my nipple, soft flicks of her tongue sending shocks of pleasure up and down my spine. She trails down further, playfully puts her tongue in my belly button on the way (first-timers…). I let out a loud gasp as her tongue finds my clit, running my fingers through her hair and arching my back as she goes at me. I feel her fingers on my thighs, tracing lightly along my skin. Oh god. Oh god.
I can’t even stay coherent. She’s sucking my nipple again, and her fingers slip into me. She rubs on me with her thumb as she goes and, jesus–
It–it’s going to be quite the night.
I wake up from the best sleep of my life, and I know she’s gone. But I can feel the faintest trace of where she laid on top of me. And the room is still warm. The warmth of home.
Greer Thompson lives in Seattle, Washington, where he deeply enjoys the cornucopia of trees and rain, as well as the sun for the 0.87 seconds it’s out every year. He writes science fiction and fantasy at night and begrudgingly services computers for money during the day. He has previously been published in Circlet Press’s Coffee: Hot anthology. https://www.humming-rain.com/greer-thompson/
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