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The Ghost on Forest Lane

Fifty years after an 'unfortunate' death, not only the truth, but more is revealed....
On Forest Lane a ghost resides,
who in the darkness howls and cries.
In moonless night he strolls outside,
to find a victim for his plight.

A careless soul he’ll bind and tow,
into his basement down below.
To use his soul for better or worse
to find a way, to break the curse

This silly rhyme was told to scare the young children of the town of Woodbury. Fifty years ago a tragic event had occurred in the quiet town with their sleepy inhabitant. The local doctor had died in a ‘tragic accident’ as it was communicated by the sister of the doctor.

Woodbury was a very small town, almost forgotten by time; it crawled its way into history minding its own business. Surrounded by hills, hidden in a valley, the town could indeed have easily been overlooked by time as it hurried its way forward. There was, however, one peculiar family that occasionally had managed to speed up the heartbeat of the inhabitants.

This particular family was the Vandergeest family. They lived in a big Victorian house on the edge of town and as it were, this house was the residence of the town’s only doctor. But besides the fact that for generations the family had brought forth the town’s doctor, there was something else the family was well known for: extravagant parties. The amount of food that was served, the music, the decorations, there was no doubt that the family spent a lot of money on each party. And when the mood is good and the alcohol is flowing richly, things sometimes just happen, someone would get overfriendly with his married neighbour, or the handsome tailor’s son would sneak off into a quiet corner with the baker’s daughter. It all didn’t matter, because it was said that what happened between the grey walls of the house should remain there. And although gossiping was a popular pastime in the small town, especially for the elderly, people seemed to abide by this unspoken rule for fear of not being invited to the next party.

When Frederik, the only son of the family, had just graduated and was officially a doctor, he assisted his father until his father had enough confidence in his son’s ability to let Frederik run the doctor’s practice by himself. Father and mother went on a trip by car leaving Frederik and his younger sister, Catherine, at home. They hadn’t been on holiday since grandfather died, leaving them with no grandparents. Then disaster struck. While crossing a railroad in misty weather, a freight train unexpectedly came thundering down the hill. The car was ripped apart: a mere piece of paper for the train as it collided with the car with unstoppable force, killing off its passengers.

When the news reached Woodbury, the whole town went into mourning and for a year no parties were held. But after a year passed by, Frederik decided that to keep the memory of their parents - their family - alive, he should continue the tradition and soon invitations went round for another party. His sister did not share the same idea and refrained from attending the parties. Instead she locked herself up in her room during these parties.

On the 31st of October, 1960, Halloween, another party was held. The party was, as always, merry and entertaining, and people went home satisfied. The following morning, however, news went around the town that a terrible accident has happened inside the house. Apparently, Frederik had fallen down the stairs and broken his neck. When the town heard that the family had been struck by a tragic accident yet again, it was received with great horror and disbelief. But as the sister kept all the details of this tragic event quiet, soon a rumour started to spread that it wasn’t an accident at all.

Wild speculations of what really happened that day were making their way around town. Some said it was murder, others claimed he committed suicide but no one actually knew the real cause. Rumours eventually died down and a sort of emptiness fell over the town. Frederik’s sister would not and could not continue the tradition of throwing extravagant parties and the once cheerful residence fell somewhat into decay. The new doctor settled in a house close to the market square. And as time went by, the parties became just a mere memory in the people’s minds.

But then new rumours started to spread. A voice had been heard in the large forest just behind the Vandergeest house. People had seen lights flicker through the attic windows late at night. Brave children who dared to skip through a gap in the hedge said they had felt an eerie feeling that made them shiver in anxiety. Something unexplainable was present in the house. Or, as wise old men, smoking pipes and sitting on the bench overlooking the market square, said, “The spirit of the doctor has some unfinished business to deal with. Better watch out when you venture near that house!”

Soon stories went around about the ghost of the doctor chasing people through the forest, or actually catching people and experimenting on them in his cellar. People made sure to avoid the house, especially at night. And on Halloween none of the local children dared to ring the doorbell of Forest Lane no.1 when on their trick-or-treat round through town.

Elizabeth, however, remained in the house. Relatives had tried to convince her to sell the house and move somewhere else, to move on with her life, but she didn’t listen. On Fridays she would appear in the market to buy her weekly fruits and vegetables, but no one dared to approach her to ask her their burning questions, to satisfy their own curiosity. The market salesmen sometimes inquired about her well being, but as their questions were only met with a weary smile they soon gave up questioning her altogether.

Although living in seclusion, Elizabeth wasn’t living entirely in solitude. She had a few friends; all of them knew her before the tragic family events, that were still troubling her mind, had taken place. There was a grumpy man by the name of Richard Walker, better known as Rusty Walker as he owned a small scrap yard a few miles out of town. He had been a good friend of her brother and now sometimes came to visit and help out in the maintenance of the house. Margaret Jones, a quaint painter. Her family had been close friends with the Vandergeests and had often visited the house on Forest Lane. Now it was only Margaret who was occasionally seen making her way to the house.

And there was Catherine Turner; she had been friends with Elizabeth since they were kids, at times inseparable, playing, gossiping, and giggling to the annoyance of their teachers. But after Elizabeth’s brother died Catherine had never been seen entering the house again. This in itself was odd because Elizabeth and Catherine were believed to be best friends. There was a rumour that Elizabeth’s brother fancied Catherine. Although it could be questioned which girl Elizabeth’s brother didn’t fancy. At that time it had indeed raised some eyebrows by overly inquisitive women. But when Catherine married a man from the neighbouring town of Lakeville and moved there to settle down with him, Catherine slipped out of their minds.

--------

Now, fifty years to the day of that tragic day, Catherine was sitting in the passenger seat of her granddaughter’s Ford. She looked sideways to her granddaughter, Karina. She always thought Karina was the striking image of her when she was Karina’s age. And she wasn’t the only one. People who knew Catherine from when she was young said so too. Karina had the same flowing brown hair, the same piercing green eyes, the same facial expressions and even the same slender body Catherine once had. And the necklace, Catherine’s necklace she had given her granddaughter on her eighteenth birthday two years ago, made the striking image complete.

As they rounded the hill and descended down, Catherine’s eyes were drawn towards the town of Woodbury. It was already past noon, but the sleepy town was still covered in mist. The watery autumn sun had already given up the fight to free the town of its foggy blanket and was descending upon the earth. Catherine’s aging eyes observed the houses she was able to make out through the mist. She knew every street of this little town all to well, and although it had been a while since she last visited the town where she was born and raised, there was no doubt in her mind that, save the occasional new building here and there, it would all still be the same.

As they were driving through the main street of Woodbury and Catherine was confronted with familiar sights, with familiar feelings, her thoughts drifted off to Elizabeth. Although Catherine had moved to a different town, she had never broken contact with Elizabeth. At least once a year Elizabeth would come to visit her, although she had never returned the favour, not until today. Somehow they always managed to avoid the subject of the death of Elizabeth’s brother. She always figured that if Elizabeth wanted to talk about it, she would do just that and Catherine herself didn’t feel the urge to talk about this sensitive subject. While it was kind of awkward at first, it soon became natural to avoid the subject when recollecting memories of the days past.

However, Elizabeth’s last visit had been different. She had urged Catherine to come to her house. Elizabeth said she needed to break the spell, to find closure. Her words had puzzled Catherine. Closure from what? And what spell? But the normally saddened look in Elizabeth’s eyes was now mixed with urgency, fear almost. Catherine conceded and agreed to visit her on the 31st of October.

--------

Karina glanced quickly at her grandmother as she turned her Ford into the driveway of Forest Lane no.1. Her grandmother had been awfully quiet the whole trip. And now that they were almost at their destination, she could feel her grandmother getting tenser by the minute. She could even see it as her grandmother gripped the armrest of the car door tight, so tight that Grandma’s already pale knuckles turned almost transparent white.

“Grandma, are you ok?”

”Yes, dear,” Grandma said breathing deep, “I’m fine, really.”

Karina watched her grandmother closely from the corner of her eyes as she slowly drove her car up the gravel road. Maybe this trip wasn’t such a good idea for Grandma. But it was Grandma herself who suggested this trip. Karina had overheard Grandma and her mother as they quarrelled in the kitchen. Grandma had asked Karina’s mother if she could drive her to Woodbury, to the house of Ms. Vandergeest. However Karina’s parents were planning a Halloween party and her mother wasn’t going to cancel that just so she could drive Grandma to see some ‘crazy old woman.’

Karina had been looking for an excuse to get away from that Halloween party ever since she broke up with her boyfriend more than four months ago. She avoided parties, partly because she still hadn’t gotten over the one year relationship and partly because she wasn’t much of a party girl in the first place. The twenty year old college student preferred to invest her energy in studying and the effort was certainly showing in her grades.

There was also the fact that Karina possessed a pair of large breasts. A heritage of your grandma, her mother sometimes jokingly referred to them. Karina’s grandmother seemed to have the same chest size in her days. Karina had always been a bit shy and introverted and she didn’t like the attention she was getting because of her breasts at all. She usually wore loose sweaters or tee shirts to somewhat hide them. And since all nice Halloween costumes mostly consisted of tight fitted clothing, Karina didn’t feel like running around and having all the men at the party ogling at her.

So when Karina had overheard her mother and her grandma arguing, she walked into the kitchen and offered to drive her.

--------

Karina parked the car close to the front door and stepped out. She hurried around the car to help her grandma, but her grandma had already swung the car door open and struggled herself onto her feet.

“No need to help, I’m fine.”

“Ok, Grandma,” Karina replied as she turned and gazed at the house.

Something about it made it look eerie. The big windows seemed to be covered with a layer of dust or dirt and a few broken windows had been replaced by wooden planks. Parts of the framework and the front door seemed to be rotten and the layer of paint had ruptured open, exposing dark, moldy cracks. No one seemed to have stopped nature taking its course through the garden as it was overgrown with weeds and brambles. The hedges had grown wildly in all directions. Ivy covered a large part of the side wall, all the way up to the roof.

“Are you sure we’re at the right house, Grandma?” Karina asked as she lifted her bag and Grandma’s small suitcase out of the trunk. The house looked so grey, almost deserted. Karina shivered, not knowing if it was because of the cold October wind or this creepy looking place.

“I’m pretty sure,” Grandma said, her voice soft as if she was deep in thought.

They walked towards the front door and Grandma pulled on a small rope that Karina figured would be the doorbell. Indeed Karina could hear the faint clanging of a bell inside the house as Grandma pulled the rope twice. Soon after, she heard the shuffling of feet that were approaching the door. The door opened and an old lady appeared from behind the door. Her wrinkled face turned into a bright smile when she saw Karina’s grandmother.

“Oooh, I’m so glad you made it.”

The two women hugged each other. Then the old woman looked at Karina.

“Oooh look at you, you’ve grown so much since the last time I saw you. I hope you still remember me?”

“Of course, Miss Vandergeest,” Karina replied shyly. Karina found it a bit weird to refer to a woman more than thrice her own age as Miss, but she knew Miss Vandergeest never got married. She wondered why, but didn’t have the nerve to ask her about it.

“Please, call me Elizabeth. Now come on in, I see you are cold.”

Karina and her grandmother stepped inside. The hallway was lit with a few small lights on the walls, bathing it in a soft yellow glow. The walls were made of wood, with paintings on them for decoration. As Elizabeth guided them through the hallway, Karina curiously examined the paintings. They all seemed to be of family members as the names and dates of birth and death were written below them.

Elizabeth opened two big doors to what appeared to be a living room, but it was so big, it could have easily been a ball room. Several old leather couches were positioned to the sides, accompanied with coffee tables. In the center stood a black piano with a silver chandelier above it decorated with glass, but it could have easily been diamonds as the light of the small light bulbs made the glass sparkle. The chandelier, however, seemed to be the only object that sparkled in the room. The piano seemed scratched and dull. Wear was clearly visible on the couches, their pillows flattened. And on the left side of the room, the varnish on the wide wooden stairs that led the way to the floor above had been worn-out.

Karina felt as if she had stepped back in time, it looked all so old, like it was never touched in years. Karina also didn’t see a television. Who in the world didn't have one? And no computer, just an old record player. She wondered if that thing actually worked.

“I will show you your rooms to get rid of your luggage,” Elizabeth said, walking towards the stairs.

When she reached the top of the stairs, Karina looked into a small carpeted hallway. Again small lights were hanging on the wall and wooden doors were on either side.

“There are two bathrooms. One here,” said Elizabeth as she pointed to a door, “and one on the other end, so you can take all the time you need in there.”

“Karina, you can take the last bedroom. It’s the last door to the left. You’ll have the second bathroom just across the hallway, very convenient.” Elizabeth smiled, looking at Karina. Karina had thought that Elizabeth was staring at her, but she quickly dismissed that thought.

“I don’t think you’ll need my help, therefore I’ll show your grandmother her bedroom.”

Karina nodded, gave Grandma her suitcase and started walking towards the end of the hallway. She stopped halfway and turned around.

“Eh, Miss… I mean, Elizabeth. Where do those stairs lead?” Karina asked, pointing at a winding staircase at the other end, barely visible in the dimly lit hallway.

“Those lead to the attic. My late brother’s study is up there. I would advise you not to go up there, young lady.”

“Sure thing, Miss,” Karina replied, although the fact that Elizabeth had mentioned not to go up there made her curious about what actually was up there. But thinking the better of it, Karina walked towards the last door.

“When you’re done freshening up, come see us in the kitchen,” Elizabeth shouted.

“Ok, I will,” Karina answered, as she stepping inside the room.

She put her bag on the old wooden bed and looked around the room. It wasn’t a spacious room, but big enough to fit a desk and the queen sized bed in. The room was decorated in the same old style as the rest of the house. She opened her bag and pulled out her laptop. “No point turning this on now,” she thought, not expecting to have any wireless internet connection here. She put the laptop on the desk and started looking for her toiletry. A warm shower would do her good.

--------

After Karina tweaked the knobs of the shower and warm water was streaming out of the copper colored showerhead, she stepped into the bathtub and let the water wash over her body. It was still late afternoon, but Karina somehow felt tired and she hoped a warm shower would make her come to life again. As she was massaging her body with soap, her hands lingered at her breasts. For some reason massaging her breasts always turned her on; let alone when someone else touched them. When her ex-boyfriend had massaged them, she had always become wet in and instant and when he wrapped his mouth around them and sucked on her nipples...Oooh my! As she was moulding her breasts, her mind drifted off to her ex, to the sex they had. He might have ended up being a jerk, but the sex had always been good.

Karina dreamily let her right hand slide down from her breast over her stomach, and onto her mound. She arched her back, leaning against the wall, letting the warm water stream down over her belly, her abdomen, and her vagina. Her fingers caressed her labia, and a soft moan escaped her lips. Maybe she should have gone to a Halloween party from one of her friends. She was still a girl with hormones and she still had needs. It had already been five months since the last time she had sex. But she wasn’t that type of girl. She couldn’t have a one night stand and she didn’t want to.

Still the desire in her body was there as the tip of her fingers slowly rubbed her clitoris, her body responding in little pleasurable shocks. She began to breathe heavier, closing her eyes as her fingers accelerated the circling motion over her clit, applying more pressure. Her hips were moving slowly, grinding up against her hand, she started to whimper softly. Her body heated up, closer and closer to its boiling point.

Thud.

A dull sound broke her out of her daze. It came from above. Karina froze, still leaning against the wall, listening. There it was again, a soft thud. She turned off the shower and stepped out. Was there someone upstairs? Karina thought Grandma and Elizabeth were the only other people in the house and she had heard them go downstairs together before she went in the shower. Wrapping a towel around her dripping body, she opened the door quietly, and stepped outside into the hallway, almost under the stairs that went up. She listened carefully, but she didn’t hear another thud. She did hear a soft rattling sound coming from upstairs. It sounded like a window was open and the wind was playing with it, opening and closing it. After listening quietly for a minute, frozen in place, she didn’t hear any more thuds, only the soft rattling of the window. Karina shook her head and went back into the bathroom. She started to imagine things she thought to herself.

After Karina was done in the bathroom, she stayed in her room, or at least her temporary room. She had brought her homework with her as she still had a paper to write and exams were fast approaching. And she figured her grandmother and Elizabeth would have enough to talk about that she didn’t need to hear. After a few hours she couldn’t really focus on studying any longer. Her stomach was giving small hints that food had to be consumed soon as it rumbled slightly. It was time to go and find the kitchen.

Karina found her grandmother and Elizabeth sitting in what appeared to be the dining room, at a long table with five chairs on either side and one chair at both ends of the table. Elizabeth was sitting at the head of the table with her grandmother at her right side. Two long stemmed wine glasses and an open bottle of red wine were in front of them. The table was already prepared for dinner for three people.

“Karina, we thought you were lost in the house,” Grandma said as she noticed Karina walked towards them.

“I could have easily, it’s a really big house,” Karina said, sliding into the chair opposite her grandmother. “What’s for dinner? I smell something delicious.”

“Just some pot roast, my dear and since you’re here we might as well eat,” Elizabeth answered.

“I will get it, you’ve done more than enough already,” Grandma said standing up and walking through the door of the kitchen.

Karina looked at Elizabeth, she wasn’t sure if she should ask, but she did anyway. “Elizabeth, are we ehm… alone in the house?”

Elizabeth hesitated for a second and then answered, “I’m pretty sure we are, Karina. I have a house keeper but she only works during the week. Why do you ask?”

“Ooh, eh nothing. Just wondering.”

Soon they were eating and Karina listened to stories of the past as Elizabeth and her grandmother remembered funny anecdotes about their childhood. Karina tried to pay attention to the stories, but soon she got lost in names she had never heard of, or places she had never been, and losing interest, she excused herself and went back to her bedroom.

--------

Catherine watched her granddaughter walk out of the dining room. When the door closed with a soft click, Elizabeth spoke.

“It’s scary how that girl looks so much like you when you were her age. Already fifty years ago.”

Catherine said nothing but nodded.

“Catherine, are you ever going to tell me what happened that night?”

Catherine shifted uneasily, her eyes looking downwards, fixed on the empty plate in front of her. She didn’t have to ask Elizabeth about what night she was asking about. “Well, maybe… maybe it’s time to tell, at least to you.”

“You know of course about that party, this same accursed day fifty years ago. Halloween,” Catherine started. Elizabeth nodded, that day was etched in her memory.

“Well of course I was at that party. And your brother, Frederik, was going around the party, flirting with the ladies, talking with the men, his usual. But he also paid a lot of attention to me, a lot. He was so charming and… I already had a weak spot for him, I think I always had.”

“I suspected something like that.”

“When the party was ending and most of the guests were already gone, Frederik told me he wanted to show me something, a book. He said I would like it a lot and that it was in his study in the attic. Of course I knew that wasn’t the only reason he wanted me to go up there with him, but I had been drinking a few drinks and I wasn’t thinking clearly. Or maybe I was and I wanted this to happen. I don’t know…”

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Karina wondered what to do, no television, no internet, no Halloween parties, and strangely enough no children at the door trick-or-treating. She might as well get ready for bed and read a book before sleep. She took off her clothes and slipped into an orchid colored nightgown. It was her favorite; it wasn’t too long to annoy her when sleeping, the hem was just above her knees, and she loved the feel of the silk against her skin. She was just about to slide underneath the sheets when she heard it again, the rattling sound. She wondered if she should close the window up there, she could after all hear it from her room. Even though Elizabeth had advised her not to go up there, what could there possibly be that she wasn’t allowed to see. Besides she wouldn’t snoop around, just close the window and go down again, there was no harm in that.

Making up her mind she walked out of her room and suck up the stairs. It was dark, but soon enough her eyes had adjusted to it and she could make out walls in the dark. To her surprise, the cracks of a door in the wall were outlined by a soft but clear strip of light. Why was there light? Elizabeth had said there was no one in the house except for them. Had she turned on the light in there? Why would see do that if it was her brother’s study? Or maybe, maybe that’s why she had said not to go up there, because she went up there herself.

Karina hesitated, her thoughts twofold, but eventually curiosity got the better of her. Slowly, very slowly she pushed and the door squealed softly open. On either side of the room large bookcases covered the wall, they were completely filled with books. Candles stood on the edges, their flames pushed around by the draft that ran through the room. Cobwebs hung in the corners of the shelves. A layer of dust covered the books, the shelves, even the floor; she could feel it on her bare feet as she stepped inside the room.

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Elizabeth moved in her kitchen chair and reached her arm out to put her hand on Catherine’s hand. “Go on, dear.”

“Well… I went up there with your brother and I think he had it all planned out. There were candles on the shelves, flowers on the desk; it was all so… sweet. He took me in his arms, he kissed me. I couldn’t resist, I didn’t want to resist. It felt good, like it was meant to be. Then he took his chair, put it in front of the desk and told me to sit down. And I did. I was in a daze, I did what he said,” Catherine hesitated, not sure if she wanted to continue.

“You can tell me anything, please, I need to know, I need to close this. Please, for me,” Elizabeth pleaded, grasping Catherine’s hand in hers.

“I-I sat down. He picked up two scarves from the desk and twisted them around the armrest, then around my wrists. I asked Frederik why he did that. He asked if I trusted him, and I nodded. He said he wouldn’t put a knot in them, so I could free my hands if I wanted to. I nodded again. Then he kissed me and touched me. He started kneading my…”

“You can say it, its ok, really.”

“My breast. No one had ever touched them, not like he did, not on purpose. And I liked it. I felt a bit ashamed but I liked it. His other hand slid under my dress towards my… you know,” Catherine looked at Elizabeth with shame in her eyes, but it was met with a sympathetic nod.

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Walking further into the room Karina saw a big oak desk in the back, behind it were three large windows. The wooden chair, however, was not behind the desk, but stood in front of it, two velvet scarves hanging down from the armrests. They seemed to be of a pale red color. Karina felt uneasy, it looked like the room had been abandoned many years ago and no one had touched it ever since. But that didn’t explain the burning candles. Who had lit them? Elizabeth and her grandmother had been in the kitchen all this time, at least she hadn’t heard Elizabeth come upstairs. Or had the candles been burning all day? Still with the abundance of dust in the room, a foot print, a gripping of fingers onto a shelf would be as visible as a footprint in fresh snow.

And there was something else that made Karina nervous, she could feel a presence, as if there was someone in the room, but looking around she was sure she was the only one. Remembering why she was in here in the first place she hastened towards the windows. But to her surprise none of them were open. Left window, closed. Middle, closed. Right closed. This was getting too weird for her. She had to get out of this room and ask Elizabeth about it, there must be some obvious explanation for this. But just as she turned around, the door slammed close.

Karina peered towards the door to see who closed it, but in the flickering lights of the candles she didn’t see anyone. Suddenly a low voice broke the silence.

“Caaaaatheriiiine.”

“W-who… who’s there? Elizabeth?” Karina asked scared.

“Caaatherine, you came back.”

“No, I’m not… I-I’m not Catherine.”

“It is you, your body, your face. That… that necklace.” The voice was getting closer, Karina realized she had to move, to get out of there.

“I-I don’t know what you’re t-talking about.” Karina started to walk away from the window towards the door.

“Why did you run away?” The voice was now awfully close. Karina looked left, right, forward, but she still couldn’t see anyone.

“I didn’t… I swear… i-it wasn’t me.” Karina’s heart was racing, she had to run. Run. But her legs didn’t listen, shuffling forward in some kind of trance.

Suddenly she felt it; something cold was gripping her arms just below the shoulder, pushing her back, right into the wooden chair. She shrieked and struggled, trying to free herself, her forearms swinging in front of her, her legs kicking, but she was hitting nothing, nothing but air.

“Please Catherine, I won’t hurt you.”

“I’m not… I’m not Catherine.” Still struggling a little, Karina realized her own predicament, she couldn’t fend off the thing that was holding her. Was it a thing, or was it someone, some ghost? She looked at her arms; red streams were visible as if hands were gripping her tight, but she couldn’t see the hands. Accepting that this was beyond her control, she stopped struggling. The grips on her arms seem to loosen, and then it disappeared. She lunged forward to get up, but a pressure on her chest, just between her breasts, pressed her back into to the chair. Knowing she could do nothing she resigned and waited.

In disbelief she saw one of the scarves moving. It was as if she was looking at someone else’s arm as she watched the scarf being wrapped around her left arm, knotted, and pulled tight. It wasn’t her, it wasn’t real.

“W-what do you want?” Karina asked, trying to reason with that something, someone.

“Finish what we started, Catherine.” The scarf on her right was now moving, wrapping around her right arm.

“What we’ve longed for all this time,” the low voice continued.

“I… I don’t understand.”

The pressure on her chest was moving, moving to her right breast. As if a hand was cupping her firm breast and squeezing it softly. And to Karina’s surprise her body reacted, her nipple stiffened, pressing against the silk of her nightgown.

“I’ve always wanted you. Only you,” the voice whispered close to her left ear.

Karina turned her head. She still couldn’t see a face, or something. But the coldness that was massaging her breast was starting to feel good, very good. She didn’t know if it was the touch, the adrenaline, or the unreality of the situation, but she felt a warm feeling developing in her loins.

“Do you still trust me, Catherine?”

The right spaghetti strap of her nightgown started to move, she looked at it as it slid over her shoulder, down her arm, exposing her right breast, the nipple pointing forward.

“I-I…” Karina stuttered. She wanted to say something in protest, but she couldn’t. Maybe deep inside she didn’t want to protest. She hadn’t been touched this intimately in a while and as surreal as this was, this felt… good. Coldness was surrounding her nipple, as if ice cubes were surrounding it, sucking it. She looked down and saw her nipple being tugged forward, she felt it. She just couldn’t see what was causing it.

“Oooh.” It was out before she realized it, a small moan, a sign that she was giving in. Giving into something unknown, someone. The attention that was being given to her breasts heated her body.

Suddenly the cold touch disappeared from her breasts, only to reappear on her knees, spreading her legs softly. Karina didn’t protest, she looked down as the hem of her nightgown was pushed up, exposing her thighs, even her white lace panties. She shivered when she felt a cold pressure on her leg, as if a tongue of ice was licking its way slowly up over her thigh. Karina started to breathe faster, her mouth open. As the cold sensation made its way up towards her panties, Karina slid down, her bottom on the edge of the chair, eager to feel it go to where she expected it to go.

It lingered for a moment, high up her thigh, so close to her crotch. The crotch of her panties was pushed aside and then she felt it, the cold pressure on her pussy lips.

“Mmmmmm,” Karina moaned as she felt it move up over her pussy lips. The touch was cold, but her pussy hot and undeniably wet. She tried to understand it, understand herself. What was going on? Why did this feel so good? It shouldn’t, it’s… weird. But her mind became foggier with every lick of cold over her pussy. She was making little whimpering sounds as her body shivered in response to the cold flicking her clitoris.

“Oooooooh,” Karina lost sight of the absurdness of the situation and was giving into the lust that was building up inside her. She wanted to knead her breasts, but when she tried to move her arms, she was reminded that her wrists were still tied to the chair. Her hips were moving involuntarily, pushing up against the invisible tongue of pleasure. It kept licking, spreading her pussy lips, over her slit. It ran over her clit, flicking it, cold waves that rippled into hot electric sparks through her body, building up to an inevitable climax. She could feel it in her abdomen, like a balloon filling up with air until it would explode in a loud bang.

But then it stopped. She could feel warm drops of her own pussy juices dripping out of her, but the cold pressure was gone.

“What the…” Karina blurted out, disappointed to be so close to release, so close to an orgasm. For a moment she sat there, slumped in the chair, confused, not sure what to do. Gathering her thoughts that had been fogged, still were. But she didn’t have time to come to her senses.

Again she felt a cold pressure against her pussy lips, but this time it felt different, more centered, like the tip of a rod. Her eyes shot open at the realisation what was going to happen, what was already happening. Something slid inside her pussy, something stiff like a shaft, a dildo, a… cock.

“Ooooooooh, ooooh fuck,” she cried out in surprise as it pushed inside her, her eyes wide. She could barely believe what was going on. She was getting fucked… fucked by a ghost. And she was enjoying it, loving it even.

The cold invisible cock was pushing inside her, until it hit the back of her pussy, pushing against her womb. Then she felt it retreat only to be pushed all the way in again. Her body was filled with lust; her hips were pushing forward, meeting its thrust.

“Ooooh fuck, fuck me, ooooh faster,” Karina moaned loudly. The cold shaft felt strange inside her, nothing like she had ever experienced. But her pussy felt like it was on fire, the contrast strange but oh so good. She felt the invisible cock increasing its rhythm, pushing faster inside her, harder, minute after minute. Long hard thrusts were pushing her closer and closer to her peak. Karina couldn’t hold out any longer, her muscles were twitching, her body shaking.

”Aaaaaah, fuck, aaaaaaaah,” she screamed as her orgasm hit her, like a wall of hot air. Her body covered in sweat, her breathing fast, irregular. Her body shocked, shaking from the orgasm. But the shaft kept sliding in and out of her in the same fast rhythm, relentless. And her body responded to it, giving Karina no time to relax, to come down from her orgasm, instead she was swept up again.

In minutes Karina was squealing in pleasure as another orgasm announced itself. And again her body was dipped in ecstatic feelings. Still the ghost didn’t stop. For what felt like hours, Karina was being fucked like she was never fucked before and she felt like she was in a permanent free fall, blown left and right by the wind, receiving orgasm after orgasm. She lost count of how many as her body was getting exhausted, her pussy sore. To the point she couldn’t take anymore.

“Stop, stop, please.” She pleaded, out of breath, exhausted. The ghost obeyed her request and stopped. Karina sighed deep, closing her eyes, trying to regain her breath. A drowsy, content feeling came over her. She didn’t know if the ghost had cum. Can a ghost even cum? She didn’t care, she was too exhausted, she wanted to sleep.

As if the ghost could read her mind, Karina felt the scarves getting loosened around her wrists, sliding from her arms. She was lifted in the air, literally floating as the ghost carried her outside the room and down the winding stairs. Karina, half asleep, still realized where she was and pointed at the door of the room she needed to go.

“That there… That door,” Karina whispered wearily. She was carried inside, and laid on the bed. As soon as her body made contact with the bed, Karina drifted off into a deep sleep.

--------

Catherine looked away from Elizabeth as she continued her story.

“It all felt so good. I had never experienced this before. I was still a virgin, you know that. Then his hand went from my breast to his pants and he started to unbutton it, pull down his pants, and take out his… penis. When I saw it, I suddenly realized what he was doing, what I was about to do. I panicked…. I panicked and I kicked him. He fell to the ground and I stood up and I ran down the stairs, outside. I heard him shout after me but I didn’t listen. When I was running down the hallway towards the front door, I heard a loud thud. I never realised what it was, who it was, I didn’t, I swear… I didn’t realize Frederik had fallen down the stairs. I should have stopped, turned around, but I didn’t. I ran outside and ran home.”

Tears welled up in Catherine’s eyes. She couldn’t stop them anymore and she started crying.

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. It was all my fault, all mine,” Catherine sobbed, her head resting on the table.

Elizabeth clasped Catherine’s hand tight, her other hand on Catherine’s head. She was fighting back her own tears.

“It wasn’t, my dear, it wasn’t. It was me. It was my fault. I pushed him, I pushed my own brother.”

Catherine looked up, disbelief in her eyes, teardrops still rolling down her cheeks.

“Wha… what are you… are you s-saying?” Catherine stuttered.

“It was me. I… I had feelings for you, for months, maybe longer. I don’t know. I was in love with you, Catherine, in love. And I didn’t know what to do, who to tell. I had feelings I shouldn’t have had and I was ashamed of them. You were my best friend, and I couldn’t tell you. I was confused, lost. When I heard someone running past my room that night, I opened the door and looked. I saw you just running to the end of the hallway, running downstairs, readjusting your dress. Moments after Frederik passed me, he didn’t notice me standing in my doorway. His pants were around his knees. I put two and two together and I thought you two had done it. I felt jealous, for a moment I hated my brother… and you. I was hurt, furious. I don't know what came over me. When Frederik stopped in front of the stairs to pull his pants up, I walked behind him and I pushed him.”

Elizabeth put her face in her hands.

“I pushed him. He fell down the stairs. I killed my own brother. He broke his neck in the fall, I killed him.”

Catherine didn’t know how to feel, her mind was a whirlwind of emotion. The tears had stopped as she looked in amazement at Elizabeth, once her best friend.

“He’s still here,” Elizabeth continued, “Frederik is still here. He haunts me, in my sleep, in my house. He doesn’t do it on purpose, but he haunts me. I thought your presence might help, might free him.”

“Why didn’t you move away, sell the house?” Catherine asked while she put her hands around Elizabeth’s face

“Because it’s my fate. My fate and I have to live with it. Only me.”

“Ooooooh, dear,” Catherine sighed, closing her arms around Elizabeth in a tight hug.

For a long while the two women sat there, entangled in each others arms, in silence, not sure what to say to each other. But as the moon climbed up into the sky, fatigue took over and they went to their beds. They would talk further in the morning.

--------

The next morning the sun was shining bright over Woodbury, it still stood low above the earth but something was different. The fog had disappeared and there was something, almost spring-like in the air on that first day of November. It was as if the town had woken up from a long sleep and things came to life again. Elizabeth felt it when she woke up, as if a heavy burden had been lifted. Maybe, she thought, the confession to Catherine and Catherine's presence had helped. Maybe she wouldn’t have any more terrible nightmares or hear strange sounds from the attic. The attic she had never dared to set one foot in after the death of her brother.

Karina was lying in bed. She didn’t feel like getting up, even after she heard Elizabeth and not long after, her grandmother going downstairs. Karina was thinking about the strange events of the night before. Had it really happened? Or was it just a dream? Karina slid her hand over her mound, the still slightly sore feeling was hard to deny. It couldn’t have been a dream. Her fingers played with her labia, they still tingled, or maybe again. Thinking about the night before seemed to turn Karina on, made her wet again.

Karina stood up and walked out of her room. She didn’t know what excited her so much. The fact that she was fucked by a ghost, which was totally unbelievable in itself, or that it could go on and on. Imagine having a boyfriend that could go on and on for hours, maybe a bit painful but oh so good.

Karina walked up the winding stairs, her erect nipples brushing against the soft fabric of the nightgown. She opened the door and to her surprise the candles were all out although they weren’t burned up completely. She looked around the dusty room lit by the sunlight that was seeping through the windows. Everything seemed to be the same as last night, except for… except for something she couldn’t explain. That feeling, that presence that was in the room last night was missing. Karina walked to the wooden chair and rested her arms on the armrests.

“Ghost, I’m back…”

“ I trust you…”

“ I-I… I’m longing for you.”

Karina waited and waited. She sat there all morning, all afternoon, even deep into the night, but no sound was heard, no voice spoke, and no touch was felt.

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