Home > The Ghost and the Silver Scream

The Ghost and the Silver Scream
Author: Bobbi Holmes

ONE

 


Of all the ways he imagined his life ending, he never considered murder. After all, people adored him. He was not only handsome, he was generous, loving, and undoubtably the life of the party, any party. But murder? It was an insult, a blot on a life well lived. Plus, in his craziest alcohol-induced dreams, he had never imagined one of the people closest to him might be the one to pull the trigger. How had he missed the signs?

Trigger was just a metaphor. A firearm hadn’t been the murder weapon. Although, he was as dead as if he had been shot through the heart.

The impressive Victorian, with its intriguing mansard roofline, loomed over him. Looking up at the house, he guessed it had three floors, considering the number and position of the front windows. Turning his attention to the sign posted out front, he silently read: Marlow House, Established 1871.

“I guess I’m at the right place,” he murmured.

He started toward the front door, but then changed directions and made his way to the downstairs windows to look inside. Standing in the shrubbery bordering the front edge of the house, he peeked in one window. It appeared to be a living room. No one was inside. Moving to the next window, he found a bedroom. Once again, the room was empty.

Deciding not to enter through the front door or windows, he went to investigate what he could find by entering along the front gate to the side yard. A few minutes later he stood by what he would soon discover was the kitchen window. Peering inside, he was happy to find three people sitting at the kitchen table, having coffee and chatting.

One was an attractive woman, with dark wavy hair falling just beyond her shoulders. He guessed her age to be late twenties or early thirties. She wore a navy blue, long-sleeved T-shirt and plaid pajama bottoms. He was fairly certain she was Danielle Marlow.

The two men at the table with her were similarly dressed, each wearing what appeared to be dark jogging pants or pajama bottoms with T-shirts. The dark-haired thirtysomething man to her right, he recognized him immediately—Walt Marlow. It was Marlow’s bestselling novel, Moon Runners, that had gotten him into this mess.

If it wasn’t for that book, he wouldn’t be playing Peeping Tom in some little beach town along the Oregon coast. He also wouldn’t be dead.

He turned his attention to the third person at the table, a blond man whose back was to him. At least, he assumed it was a man, considering the broad shoulders stretching out the T-shirt. By the length of his wavy blond hair, barely touching the shirt’s collar and in desperate need of a comb, he admitted it could possibly be a woman, albeit a rather huskily built one.

Motion from the doorway leading to what he assumed was the hall caught his attention. It was then he noticed a black cat strolling into the kitchen and trailing behind him, a pit bull.

 

DANIELLE LOOKED up from the table and watched as Hunny followed Max into the room. The pit bull kept a respectable distance behind the black cat, not wanting to get a swat on the nose for coming too close. What the pit bull, Hunny, didn’t know, Max the cat had long since realized the puppy had grown into a muscular dog who could easily take him down if she felt inclined. Hunny’s temperament prevented her from hurting the cat, yet Max hadn’t managed to last this long by using up his nine lives being overly cocky.

“I think Max is going to miss Hunny,” Danielle said as she watched the pair. A moment later Max curled up by her feet while Hunny made her way around the table, greeting everyone with a wet nose before settling between Walt and Chris on the floor under the table.

“Not sure about that. But Sadie will,” Walt said, referring to the golden retriever who lived across the street. “Those two have become quite the pair, always running around in the side yard or on the beach together.”

“I think it was those bones they dug up next door,” Chris said with a snort. “Partners in crime, those two dogs.”

The bones in question were the remains of a couple who had been murdered in the forties and had been put to rest almost six months earlier, after Hunny and Sadie’s discovery.

“I feel a little guilty having you move out before your house is done,” Danielle said.

“Ahh, don’t be silly.” Chris gave a shrug as he picked up his coffee cup. “It’s going to be a few weeks before I can move into the new house, so I can deal with staying at the foundation office until then. Heather tells me the bed she ordered is being delivered this afternoon. Anyway, I think I’m starting to annoy Walt.”

“No more than usual.” Walt smiled and sipped his coffee.

“Plus,” Chris continued, “you guys are going to need the room for all those Hollywood people. It’s going to be like having the B and B up and running again.”

“Yes, but this time Joanne will be doing most of the cooking,” Walt said.

“I’m playing lady of the manor.” Danielle grinned.

Before Chris could respond, Hunny jumped up from her place under the kitchen table and began to bark. The three turned toward the kitchen door leading to the side yard, to see what had set the dog off, and to their surprise they found a young man standing in the kitchen by the closed door. He looked to be in his early twenties. While it was shocking to find a stranger standing in the room with them—one they hadn’t heard come in—the vibes he gave off were anything but threatening.

“I know that door was locked,” Danielle muttered, her eyes wide as she stared at the stranger. Neither Walt nor Chris had gotten up from the table, but instead remained in their chairs, turned toward the intruder.

The man glanced around the kitchen curiously, unfazed by the pit bull still barking at him. After taking full inventory of the room, he looked to Danielle and smiled. “I didn’t come through the door.” He then reconsidered his words and laughed, adding, “On second thought, I suppose I did.”

The next moment the man abruptly took several steps backwards, disappearing through the door, and then in the next moment he reappeared.

“See?” he said cheerfully. “The lock was no problem.”

“You’re a ghost,” Danielle blurted.

Hunny, now silent, sat down and stared at the ghost, cocking her head from side to side, while Max looked up, annoyed, his sleep having been disturbed by the canine barking.

“And you can see me,” the stranger said, sounding surprised. He looked from Danielle to Walt and Chris. “And you can too. I hadn’t expected that.” He walked over to the empty chair and sat down, which fortunately for him had already been pulled out from the table, since he had not yet learned to harness energy and move objects.

“Who are you…and why are you here?” Walt demanded.

Instead of answering the question, the ghost looked from Walt to Chris, then Danielle and back to Walt. “I have heard there are people like you who can see ghosts, but I’ve never encountered one before. Are all of you alive? I know Walt Marlow is alive.” He turned to Danielle and added, “and I just assumed you’re Danielle Marlow, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe you are someone else. A dead someone.” He turned to Chris and asked, “Are you a ghost?”

“No, we’re all alive. But how do you know who I am?” Walt asked.

“You’re the reason I’m here,” the stranger explained.

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