“Souleaters” by Elise Valente – Flash Fiction Ghost Story

by E.V. Jacob on December 27, 2012

Written by Elise Valente.  Check out her website and follow her on Twitter!

They swirled around her, taunting and laughing, their hollow voices echoing in the emptiness.  She could feel the breeze of their passing as they moved around her, and she felt the cold of their tendrils as they passed by her.  She curled herself into a ball, and huddled in the darkness as they began swirling ever faster around her.

How did this happen?

* * *

“I want to go on a ghost hunt.  A real ghost hunt, like they do on TV.”  Jenna paused to wipe the sweat from her forehead.  It was ridiculously hot, even for July, and the sun hanging in the clear blue sky was brutal with its rays.  School had just ended for the year, and she was itching for something to do.  Always a huge fan of the paranormal, she’d hit upon the perfect idea.  It now remained to convince her best friend Darcy to go along with it.

But Darcy was shaking her head, her brown hair lifting slightly in the breeze as she moved.  Jenna knew she didn’t even like the idea of ghosts, much less the thought of actually encountering one.  She couldn’t even watch a ghost hunting show all the way through, she got so freaked out.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Darcy said uncertainly.  “There’s better things to do—Jason’s having that party tomorrow night, remember?”

“I don’t care about Jason’s party.  I want to see a real, live ghost.”  Jenna flipped her blonde hair away from her face, and brushed away the stray strands that stuck to her.  It was hot out here, and she just wanted to get home and into the air conditioning.  But she wasn’t going to leave until she’d convinced her best friend to go along with her plan.

But Darcy still had refusal written all over her face.  Jenna tried another tactic.

“Come on, please?  Just this once?  I promise even if we don’t find anything, I’ll never ask you again.”

Darcy let out a resigned sigh.  “Fine, just this once.  But I’ll never do it again, you hear?”

Jenna grinned and nodded, thrilled that Darcy had agreed.  “Yes, I promise it’ll be just this once.  I’ll call tomorrow with the details.  You’re the best!”  Jenna gave her friend a hug, and turned to walk the few blocks back to her home.

“Jenna, wait!  Where are we going to do this ghost hunt, anyway?”

“The old Harrison farmhouse,” Jenna replied over her shoulder.  “You know, the place where they said all those kids died.”

The place where the father claimed he saw demons, where he went mad and slaughtered his five children and his wife with a butcher knife before hanging himself in the living room.  The place where it was said on dark nights, you could sometimes see him, his mad eyes glowing as his transparent form stalked the grounds covered in blood.

Jenna turned back to the sidewalk in front of her, never seeing Darcy shudder as an atavistic chill ran up her spine.

* * *

Had that only been a day ago?  Jenna couldn’t remember.  Their howls and moans were making it hard to think.  They darted around her, faintly glowing in the darkness—misty, amorphous shapes occasionally emitting sharp-pitched screams as they moaned.  Her screams began to join theirs as they began ripping through her, their insubstantiality sharp as razors in her soul.

* * *

The house was run-down, the yard filled with rusting farm equipment surrounded by dead weeds.  The windows were like gaping black maws glaring malevolently at the two girls that dared to approach.  Darcy shivered as she and Jenna approached, her gut telling her to run away while her logical side tried to tell her ghosts weren’t real.  It’s just an old, decrepit house, she thought, trying to calm her nerves.  Nothing more.

Darcy’s feeling of dread only increased when they entered the old farmhouse.  The air was heavy and thick, and she felt like there were dozens of eyes on her in the darkness.  Logically, she knew nothing was there.  But her instincts screamed danger to her conscious mind.

“Jenna, let’s hurry.  I don’t like it here.”

“We won’t be long.  I just want to get some EVPs.”  Jenna pulled out a digital recorder, and started asking questions—How did you die?  Why are you still here?  What do you want?

They waited in between each answer, just like the paranormal researchers did in the ghost hunting shows.  After about half an hour, Darcy was ready to go.  Jenna, however, wanted to listen for answers before they left.

She rewound the recording and played it, listening intently for anything she may have caught.

How did you die?  Silence.

Why are you still here?  Silence.

What do you want?  Death…sounded through the recording, a long, drawn-out hiss of breath that was nevertheless crystal clear.  Something had answered them, and it wasn’t anything Darcy wanted any part of.

“Alright, I’m done with this. We’re leaving, now.”  Darcy stood to go.  It was the last act she’d ever perform.

The forms swarmed them then, tearing through Darcy who screamed and screamed as they ripped through her.  Jenna cowered on the floor next to her, hands over her ears trying to block out the keenings of dozens of voices.  Darcy fell onto the floor moments later, her face slack, her eyes staring emptily at her friend.

And so Jenna’s nightmare began.  The things, whatever they were, had been momentarily sated by Darcy’s death, but their hunger was eternal.  And having fed so well on Darcy, they didn’t need to feed so completely on Jenna.  She would provide sustenance for them for quite some time.

And so they swirled around her huddled form, moaning and crying, occasionally diving through her terror to rip out tiny bits of her soul whenever they needed to feed.

Soon, they crooned to each other.  Soon we will be free.

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