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Fiction

Bearing Witness

Fran wished there was more to the stories of poltergeists, if she had to be not-quite-dead-enough. No moving of objects or whispering of threats for her. Richards might feel her touch, but she had tried only once. He had looked up with a grin splitting his face, revelling in her powerlessness, and finished strangling his next victim.

A lock of the boy’s hair had gone into an old paint can and up on a shelf right under the low ceiling of Richards’ shack. He was not the last.

Turning her attention inward hardly shielded her from those scenes; her sight and hearing were not bound to eyes and ears anymore, and she could feel the fear and pain running through her like a current. She did not even have the solace of company in this prison. Judging from Richards’ occasional bows and thank-yous to the “loge of spectators”, there were indeed several ghosts, but Fran found no way for them to communicate.

All she had was a vague sense of their presence, which might have been her imagination. That, and what Richards called his shows, which, death by death, chipped away at her sanity.

Inspired by the prompts "Invisible witnesses" and "Crimes against ghosts and spectres" by Tango

Comments

Grim story, that is very well told in such few words.

I liked the perspective you chose to tell this story. Haunting.

I love the emotion in this, how clearly you feel the pain and heartache as they are so helpless while watching him, again and again.

Thank you. It wasn't a fun story to write, for obvious reasons, but I'm glad it got the results I was going for.