Voices

October 25th, 1934

Such an odd thing happened today. I was dressing for dinner when a man’s voice said, “Are you there?” It wasn’t very loud, and I thought it was probably Edward speaking from outside the open window. It’s the sort of thing he would do while I’m busy. I said, “Of course I’m here. Do let me finish dressing,” and a few minutes later I left before the gong went.

But when I asked Edward what he wanted, he said he’d been in the library all evening with Dick and William and certainly wouldn’t have been lurking about outside my window anyhow. Dottie overheard us talking, and she’s convinced Pilkington House is haunted. Dottie’s a bit of a goldfish, of course, but perhaps she’s right for once.

October 27th, 1934

As of last night, I’m convinced Pilkington House really is haunted. When I told Dottie this morning at breakfast, she simply stared at me for quite five minutes—which may be a record for silence in her case. I can’t fault her, though, since I’ve been positively jumpy all day.

First of all, when I got in bed last night, I had the oddest feeling that someone had just been lying there. The bedclothes felt warm where I was lying, but cool on the other side of the bed. I put that down as nerves, but as soon as I closed my eyes I heard a man speak. I think it was the same voice as yesterday, although it was so faint I really can’t be certain. The voice said, “Would you like us to leave?”

Well, really. I mean to say, there wasn’t a soul in my room except me, and even William isn’t such an ass as to hide in a girl’s room at night to give her a fright. So I said, “Yes, get right out,” but my voice had gone all squeaky.

The voice said, “If you’d like us to go, make a noise,” and I certainly did, as I tried to turn the electric lamp on and knocked it off the table with a colossal crash. Gladys came rushing in thinking I was being murdered, and I was glad to see her—particularly since the bulb had busted, and I needed the glass swept up.

I didn’t let on I’d heard a ghost, of course. I mean, last time Gladys thought she heard a ghost, last summer when we were staying with the Wilkses and their bulldog was so ill, she gave notice instantly and rushed home to London, and I had to practically double her wages to get her back. So I just told her I’d had a nasty dream, and she turned all motherly and said I mustn’t eat lobster so late at night—which is probably true. I certainly didn’t sleep a wink.

October 28th, 1934

I’ve asked Lady Covington to please move me out of the blue room tonight. Dash it all, when a girl can’t turn around without disembodied voices asking her what she’s upset about, and footsteps creaking across the floor when no-one’s there—well, it’s just not the thing. Lady Covington said the blue room’s never been a bit haunted, although some sort of uncle is supposed to play piano badly in the music room on Michaelmas, but she’s put me in the Egypt room for the rest of my stay. She said she’d move Douglas Tillery into the blue room instead of me, since he snores so loudly a ghost would need to shout to wake him, even if he weren’t deaf as a stump.

October 29th, 2009

Investigators report no activity in “blue room” last night. Disappointing considering the quality of sounds and EVPs recorded the previous two nights. May be due to equipment failure. Upon review of recordings made overnight, heard only intermittent, rhythmic, almost guttural noises. Jordan calls it “groaning” but Jordan thought that bat last week was a full-body apparition. Jordan needs to chill. Noises sound more like snores to me. Must review video to make sure Jordan not napping during investigation.

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K.C. Shaw has fiction appearing in numerous magazines and anthologies.

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