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Sunday, 10 April 2011

Sample Sunday - Basement Blues Part 2

As it's Sample Sunday, and the response from the first Basement Blues excerpt was so positive, here's another snippet from the same story. Hope you enjoy.
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So I was starting to moon-dream, and Astrid was trying not to get twitchy over how long Ruth had been in the house. 
 A rumbling, coughing noise erupted from below the porch and a rolling ball of ectoplasm was forcibly ejected into the garden. On the bright side, she missed the rose bush I'd baptised earlier. As a negative, she brought with her quite a few dust bunnies, a number of centipedes, and a couple of large, extremely traumatised spiders.

"No."  Astrid placed one hand firmly on the back of my neck.
"But-"
"Billy!" Astrid bent over and hissed into my ear. "We are in a human neighbourhood. If I ever have to explain to another one why you are chasing the wildlife in human form, I swear I will put catnip in your underwear for the next fifty years!"
She hopped off the car as the front door burst open and Susan came running out, looking horrified and wailing. "Stay here. Calm zombie-girl down before we end up drawing attention."
"Astrid." When she turned back I asked, "Have you ever heard a noise like that?"
She nodded. "About once a month. You get hair balls, Billy. It's gross."

She went off to comfort Ruth, who was flickering - something she only did when either extremely frightened or angry. Catching a glimpse of her face, I was betting on the pissed off option.
I did what any sane man does when confronted with an angry red-head, and headed off  to calm the zombie.

"I don't know what happened," Susan said again.  "She wanted to see the house, so I showed her. Then we went down to the basement and everything went nuts."
"Nuts in what way?"
"The lights started flickering on and off. Then the washer lunged across the floor at us. I was running for the stairs when the main light exploded, and there was this big dark shadow and then something yanked Ruth through the wall."  She sniffed. "I thought - I guess I thought she was dead."
"Susan," I said. "She's a ghost. Trust me on this, she's already dead."
She sighed. "I know. But she looks like a living  person most of the time, and - and she was nice to me, okay? That doesn't happen very often nowadays."
"Okay. Why did you run? What scared you so much down there?"
"I told you," she said. "The washing machine tried to get us."
I must have looked as confused as I felt.
"Billy," she said. "I can't heal. If that machine had hit me and broken my leg, I'd be crippled as well as undead. "
"Has-" my throat was suddenly dry. "Has this thing attacked you before?"
She nodded. "I stopped going down there after the last time, and it wasn't as fast or as scary then  as this time. I thought maybe nothing would happen with Ruth being there." She shrugged. "I guess it doesn't mind an audience."
I rubbed a hand over my mouth and stared at my client. "Susan, you aren't being haunted. This thing is trying to kill you." Permanently. Or even worse, trap her in the basement with it.