fiction 2019 / spring 2019 / volume 49

Ghost Hunt—Jasmine Barlow

About Ghost Hunt: I was inspired by my favorite genre of media, horror. Horror movies tend to be hilarious, and any show about ghosts is bound to be entertaining.

Characters

Joseph Gray: narrator for a ghost hunting podcast “Freaky Tales for Freaky People”

Mark Lawson: co-host of podcast

Max (Maxine) Baker: paranormal investigator

Timothy Baker: brother of Max

Two men sit behind a coffee table, with papers spread out. Two slices of cake and two cups of coffee are on the table, along with a laptop (and possibly a microphone).

JOSEPH

Good evening, are you ready for another spook-tac-ular evening?

MARK

Ready when you are, Joseph.

JOSEPH

Did you bring the coffee?

MARK

Right here. (gives Joseph one mug)

JOSEPH

Did you bring the cake?

MARK

Right here as well. (gives Joseph one slice)

JOSEPH

Then let us begin another treacherous—

MARK

—Horrifying-ly nightmare-inducing

JOSEPH and MARK (in unison)

Freaky Tale for Freaky People.

 

JOSEPH

With cake and coffee in hand—

MARK

—Two forks and a random spork (pulls out two forks and a random spork, then places them on the table)

JOSEPH

Let us begin.

JOSEPH

Our story begins with two brothers, both writers for their local newspaper “The Daily Chronicles”. They were assigned by their boss to investigate “The Killer House”.

MARK

First off, that’s a stupid title for a newspaper, and second off, they should be ashamed of themselves.

JOSEPH

I agree. Now, “The Killer House” was once inhabited by Mary and Michael Killer and their son Adam.

MARK

Sounds religious to me. A bit cult-y, I mean these names—

JOSEPH

—and also “Killer” for a last name almost contradicts them.

MARK

It isn’t almost a contradiction; their existence is a contradiction. Why would you marry someone with the name “Killer”?

JOSEPH

They were doomed from the start.

The two hosts watch Max and Tim act out the events. Max enters leading Timothy.

TIMOTHY

Is this the right address?

MAX

I don’t know, I think the broken windows and creepy tree with a face on it look pretty homey to me. Great place to raise a family.

TIMOTHY

Okay, then let’s leave. (turns to leave)

MAX

Right, stand guard, I’ll pick the lock.

Timothy steps away from Max. Fearfully wandering around the stage with a flashlight.

 

MAX

(With a look of triumph) I’m in. Let’s roll.

They walk into the house, Max is immediately drawn to some object (a book, a mirror, a vase, et cetera) and inspects it. Timothy sets up their equipment (a camera on a stand, maybe two sleeping back or a blanket, and Monopoly. He watches his back for a specter.

JOSEPH

Timothy reports in the article that he felt immediate dread upon entering the house, but stayed strong so his sister wouldn’t be scared.

MARK

Wait, there’s a sister involved?

JOSEPH

You know, I think Max is actually a woman.

The actor playing Max is now female.

MARK

What do you mean? Did you not know for sure when you read the article?

JOSEPH

Well it says, “Max Baker”, so I assumed she was a man.

MARK

You can’t assume stuff like that.

JOSEPH

I apologize to you, and to our “Freak Fans”.

Max brings whatever object she found, to their belongings and Timothy inspects it.

MARK

Give me your cake.

Joseph reluctantly gives Mark his slice. Mark eats slowly staring at Joseph.

TIMOTHY

Did you feel that?

Max is checking their EMF (can be a fancy looking device or a calculator) for ghosts. Timothy if frozen in fear.

MAX

Feel what?

TIMOTHY

It felt like someone blew air on my neck.

MAX

That means they like you.

TIMOTHY

Don’t say that, I DO NOT like being touched! (stands up and starts to pace the room)

MAX

Woah, will you take it easy? You’re messing up my reading.

TIMOTHY

I don’t like being touched by a ghost. Here, this area (waving his arms around and spinning). This is my bubble and I do not like people in my bubble and I do not like ghosts in my bubble!

MAX

It’s okay. There’s no ghost here. The EMF isn’t picking up anything in this room. Let’s just play some Monopoly.

Timothy sits next to Max, and the two begin to play Monoply.  

MARK

Tell us more about this “Killer” family.

 

JOSEPH

Indubitably. Mary Killer was no longer in love with her husband, and had taken on a lover.

MARK

Jealous bastard killed his own wife.

 

JOSEPH

No, no.  You see, Michael Killer had also grown bored with their relationship, and took on a lover of his own.

MARK

Well, you know what they say.

JOSEPH

What do they say?

MARK

Cheaters are never weeners (winners).

TIMOTHY

I don’t understand why I always have to be the hat.

MAX

Only cool kids can be the car, besides I’m sure Mary will want the money bag, seeing as how she WAS CLEARLY A GOLDDIGGER.

TIMOTHY

Stop that! Are you trying to get us killed?

MAX

Provoking the spirits is the fastest way to get a reaction.

The lights suddenly turn on.

TIMOTHY

My eyes!

MAX

I knew she was a b—

The lights turn off and something breaks, or a very loud BANG.

TIMOTHY

I’m out! I don’t want to die! (runs for the door)

MAX

Wait! (Timothy stops) The EMF reading is off the charts, we’ve got something!

TIMOTHY

WHY WOULD THAT MAKE ME NOT WANT TO LEAVE?

 

MAX

Tim, (walks towards him) do you remember why we’re here?

TIMOTHY

To prove the existence of ghosts?

MAX

To prove the existence of ghosts because Grandpa Rick asked us to.

TIMOTHY

I don’t want to hear it.

MAX

Too bad.

Joseph sifts through some papers and finds an article on Grandpa Rick. While he speaks, Max and Timothy hug and ponder.

JOSEPH

The two siblings first began their journey of paranormal investigation, after their grandfather, Rick Baker, died. It says here that he died peacefully in his sleep when Max was 12 years old. The two stayed up the night after his wake and tried to use a Ouija board to tell him goodbye.

MARK

That’s very sweet, but a very bad idea. I mean, if you do it wrong, a demon could appear and rip your head off.

JOSEPH

Well, Timothy says they did it wrong and a man appeared. He wore a long dark coat, and had no eyes. Oh wow, he says the man tried take his sister Maxine—

MARK

—Maxine? So, she’s definitely a woman.

JOSEPH

Definitely, and she—

MARK

I guess even then you can’t assume. A mother could love her sister and name her son after her.

JOSEPH

I think we’re getting off topic—

 

MARK

—yet, she goes by Max. Maxine isn’t a very pretty name. I’d do the same.

JOSEPH

I see. (pause) The man tried to grab Maxine by her wrist and drag her into their fireplace.

MARK

How scenic.

JOSEPH

Suddenly, the figure of their own grandfather appeared and rescued her. He pushed the figure into the fire, then turned to them.

MARK

(interrupting, again) Well, that’s just—

JOSEPH

(speaking over Mark)—He opened his arms, and the two of them ran to him and cried. The next morning, the board had disappeared and was replaced by Monopoly, Grandpa Rick’s favorite game.

MAX

We have to do this. We know the truth, we know there are good ghosts and bad ones. We have to do what we can.

TIMOTHY

(crying) You’re right. I’m sorry Grandpa.

The two of them sit back down and continue the board game.

MAX

I think it’s time we initiate contact again.

TIMOTHY

Let me do it. This piece is the thimble for Michael with the oh-so-prickly ego. (loud crash in the background) This piece is for the gold-digger that never lifted a finger yet felt she worked too hard (another large crash). And, this one’s for the boy, darling little Adam, because cars are cool.

MARK

Nice.

They high-five. The continue to play as the story goes on. Waving their arms, passing cash to each other, placing properties dramatically.

 

JOSEPH

Back to the “The Daily Chronicle”, Timothy and Max reported they saw bright lights and heard many crashes echoing throughout the house.

 

MARK

That’s right, when they checked in the daylight, numerous portraits and windows had been broken.

JOSEPH

The sounds can be heard online on their family website, and you can see the photos they took of the damage to the property.

MARK

All’s well that ends well, right?

JOSEPH

Almost. You see, near the end of the night, they noted that only one of the ghost participated in their game.

MARK

Really? Who was it?

JOSEPH

Guess.

MARK

The wife’s lover who wanted to avenge her death by winning her something.

JOSEPH

Nope

MARK

The husband’s lover who wanted to beat that darn wife one last time.

JOSEPH

Wrong again.

MARK

Was it Grandpa Rick?

JOSEPH

I’ll give you a hint.

 

MAX

The car moved!

TIMOTHY

Ten spaces, that’s cheating!

 

MAX

Well, it’s not like we ever play by the rules. Here’s your money Adam.

TIMOTHY

Hey, if either of us win, you have to tell us why you did it, okay? I mean why you really did it.

A child’s laughter echoes across the stage.

MAX

I’ll take that as a “yes”.

MARK

Are you telling me the little boy was the one who committed the murders?

JOSEPH

Police reports don’t lie, especially when the DNA pointed to him.

MARK

I get it, his parents were awful parents, but murder?

JOSEPH

Experts say the boy was advanced for his age. A genius even. He released carbon monoxide into the air while they slept, even sealed the windows and locked the door.

MARK

But, he died too. Wouldn’t he have known to leave?

JOSEPH

Maybe he had darker intentions. If he was able to leave, they might too. Maybe he felt there was no point unless they were sure to die.

MARK

That’s dark.

JOSEPH

I know.

 

TIMOTHY

Dammit! He took all my money!

MAX

Tim watch your language, he’s still a child. I’m mad too, I’ve never lost before.

A child’s laughter rings through the air.

I guess that’s that. A deal’s a deal. Let’s go to sleep. Goodnight Adam!

TIMOTHY

Goodnight Adam!

The lights on them turn off, they go to sleep.

JOSEPH

Well, that’s been another Freaky Tale—

MARK

—for Freaky People. Join as next week as we delve into the mystery of Shawn and the demon raccoon.

JOSEPH

Pleasant dreams.

Lights Out

 

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