Leaves swayed against the ebony sky. The front door rattled and creaked with the wind. The front light to the house pulsed with a white glow before it descended back into darkness. At some point that night, the light would never return again.
Untrimmed hedges surrounded the house. It provided the perfect cover for an intruder. Except the intruder wasn’t outside now – he lived within it. This was his home. The new owner, Cybill Langlert – was the intruder!
Cybill fidgeted in her bed. She was annoyed the light never stayed on. Her decision to purchase the house a few months ago seemed like a good idea in the daylight; it was a steal with a rock-faced exterior, four big bedrooms, three bathrooms, real hardwood floors, and with dark cherry wood kitchen cabinets that were beginning to peel. The house for sure, was a fixer upper. But most of the hardwood could be restored with a little hard work. But the outdated wallpaper would definitely have to go.
Cybill raised her shoulders up from the mattress. A stabbing pain ricocheted through her neck by the jarring motion at which she had raised it. She took one moment to rub it and then…
Cybill leaped out of bed! She grabbed her baseball bat that she kept in the corner of her room and slowly opened the door. One eye peered around the corner into the darkness. Very slowly, she swung her whole head out to determine where the sound was coming from.
This house, since she purchased it, had done nothing but terrify her. Originally, Cybill believed the house may need some work but it wouldn’t be that costly. She was handy with tools and had some knowledge of how to complete the renovations, thanks to her father and her ex-husband, who were both in construction.
But she soon realized it was a bargain for a reason. There were stories in town about the house. According to the town rumor mill a man once lived there by the name of Jocklyn Raydon who had committed some crimes: theft, robbery and murder. But it wasn’t actually his house; he had simply moved in to the abandoned building and took up residence there. However, the police caught up with him on this land and Jocklyn refused to surrender. A shoot-out in the house made a quick end to the miscreant.
The original building that stood here after Jocklyn’s death was torn down. The house Cybill lived in now, replaced it. But the new building was on the same land. The home changed hands multiple times and there were rumors Jocklyn’s ghost, unwilling to surrender the home to the new owners, haunted it.
Stories told by the residents in town recounted common ghostly acts: a tossed dish across the room in the middle of the night, a doorknob that turned with no one on the other side of it, and lights that commonly flickered.
But it was the bigger things that he did. One man while on a ladder replacing a light bulb described how he felt it pushed. Some said it was just the wind. But others said it was Jocklyn’s ghost. The man suffered a broken leg. Hastily, he put the house on the market for sale after being tormented for months by other paranormal occurrences. The last owner who Cybill purchased the home from fell through a glass window. (Some in town said it was the ghost again.) The woman required multiple stitches to her face.
Oddly enough, if there were children in the house the ghost never harmed them. The ghost went to great lengths to ensure he never caused them distress. One child recalled how he woke one morning with earplugs in his ears. His mother deeply shaken by a night when windows were slammed every few hours, and framed photos along the staircase were knocked to the floor, didn’t understand how her son slept through it. That is – until the morning.
A compassionate ghost to children, he cared nothing for adults.
Cybill never believed the stories. An educated woman in law she belonged in the realm of reality, versus that of paranoid fantasy.
There was an explanation for everything.
Her feet wobbled along the uneven floorboards on the second level of her home. Just then, she glanced over. A window slowly was raised upwards. In front of the open window she made out the white outline of a figure with a malevolent grin who wore 1970’s bell bottom pants and a long-sleeved plaid shirt.
Cybill tightly clasped her baseball bat as sweat gathered on her temples. With it raised, she stood there, motionless.
The ghost’s eyebrows were bent downwards. His face twisted with rage. With a rush, he slammed the window down and shattered it. He screamed at Cybill, “Get out of my house!”
Glass sprayed everywhere across the hardwood floor! The wind blew the larger pieces and a clinking sound of it being dragged across the floorboards was heard.
Cybill stood there with her baseball bat raised and said, “No! This is my house! You leave!”
“Ahhhhhh!!!!” Jocklyn shouted as he charged at Cybill.
Cybill always stood her ground. She didn’t move. Some said it was because maybe she believed a ghost couldn’t harm her. Or, perhaps she believed mistakenly, Jocklyn couldn’t move her.
Cybill felt a rush of coldness. All of a sudden she was pushed backwards. She rolled at first easily down the steps of her home with bumps on her head and arm. But once on the bottom of the stairs, she lay there for a moment trying to make sense of what just happened.
A few seconds later, above her stood the white outline of a man in bell bottom pants and a plaid shirt. The baseball bat that she planned to use for protection, he raised it ever so slowly above her.
A cracking sound made her teeth grind together from the blow. Cybill’s eyes widened. She took long gasping breaths of air but it was never enough. Jocklyn’s ghost stood above her, smiling.
Like the light on her front porch that no longer flickered, Cybill descended into darkness.
But darkness does not remain forever.
And after some time, a light came on again.