The following is the winner of The Story Club Ghost Story Contest. To become a Story Club VIP, click here.
GHOSTED by Dr. Agonson
The doorbell rang with an insistent temerity. A glance at my phone, and my eyes were blinded by the bright screen. 5:03, and no texts, no calls, nothing. She was ghosting me.
As I was pulling on my pants and throwing on yesterday’s shirt and a sweater, I couldn’t help but think about her. We’d only been on a few dates, but when I looked into her brown eyes, or when I got her to smile at me, it felt real, electric. I felt so alive when I was with her.
I stumbled to the door.
There she was, her face colorless but for a redness around her eyes. A morning breeze played with a few wild strands of her hair, the light tendrils of which seemed to hang weightless in the air. She had been crying.
Sniffling, she said, “Sorry. I’m sorry.”
“Wha-waa, uhm, come in?” I said.
“Can I get you anything? Coffee?”
“No,” she said, sitting down at the table.
“Have you eaten?”
I offered a banana.
“No, I can’t,” she said.
“Are you okay?”
She looked away from me, her eyes wandering toward the door.
“I dropped my phone yesterday,” she said.
I sighed. “Oh,” I said. “Yesterday, well, I thought you ghosted me.”
She laughed, a strange, half crazed laugh, which a lone sob suddenly cut short.
“Sorry,” she said. “It’s just . . . I . . . do you believe in ghosts?”
“Ghosts. That’s why I laughed. You said I ghosted you. Do you believe in ghosts?”
I sat down and looked her in the eyes.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Tell me,” she said. “Do you believe in ghosts?”
“I don’t know,” I admitted.
“I can show you a ghost,” she said, rocking in her chair.
“You saw a ghost?”
Her lips formed a smile, but her eyes . . . I couldn’t help but notice a tear running down her cheek.
“What happened?” I asked.
She insisted I come with her.
There’s an old, abandoned house in my neighborhood. We had driven by it on our last date. She had asked about it.
“Haunted,” I said.
Old, dried leaves crunched underfoot, and an autumn wind stabbed at us as we traveled side by side under that grey morning sky. She told me she had visited the house to see if there were really any ghosts there.
“I’ve always wanted to see a ghost,” she said. We were standing on the rotted porch. “Go on,” she said.
“Is it locked?” I asked.
It wasn’t. A light touch of my hand, and the door fell inward. The latch had broken long ago. I stepped inside. She stayed right behind me.
“Got your flashlight?” she asked.
I turned it on. The floorboards creaked and whined with every step. The deserted house was held together by dust and cobwebs. A chill wind blew in from a broken window.
She gulped, sniffling a little. “I went upstairs,” she said.
Each plank threatened to give right out from under me. I could feel the wood caving to my weight. We went up the flight.
“Careful,” she said. “Don’t fall.”
The landing rattled as I walked over it.
There was a squeaking overhead, and I trained my beam upon the ceiling. A shadow above us darted away, and I twisted around—
“Watch out!” she screamed.
My foot! There was nothing under it. I started to fall, but I grabbed hold of the loose railings. For a moment, I thought they would give, but they held.
“Gloria!” I called. There was no answer. I was alone upon the landing. “Gloria!” I turned my flashlight in every direction. Where was she? I creeped toward the stairs, but there was no sign of her.
Slowly, I made my way back toward the hole. It was easy to miss when you weren’t looking for it.
“Gloria,” I whispered as I crept toward that dark abyss.
My light penetrated the shadows below. There she was, bloody and broken, the reflective gleam of her cracked phone glimmering beside her.
Dr. Agonson is an aspiring writer who started publishing his work on a WordPress blog back in 2017. He’s finished the first draft of a book, and is currently in the editing process. He loves studying biblical Hebrew and Greek, and hopes one day to educate himself and learn Latin.
To read Dr. Agonson’s blog, click here.
To follow Dr. Agonson on Twitter, click here.