The winner of the Ghost Stories Flash Fiction Contest is Kindra Coates. I decided to combine the prizes into a "prize pack". She will receive A Ghost Hunters Season One DVD, T-shirt and key chain. Special thanks goes to New Media Strategies for sponsoring the contest. The winning story is below. Congratulations, Kindra!
"Momma?" The little girl's voice had started in the empty corner of the living room. "Momma?" A pause as if the little invisible girl was drawing in breath to make a louder cry, but instead there was a chocking sob. "Momma." The crying moved from the living room down the hall.
And I was alone in our big, new-to-us, fixer-upper house. The grandkids were at their homes in their beds. Still I searched all three floors of our Victorian rescue, even though I knew there was no way a neighbor's child wandered over.
Every window blazed with light by the time Thomas and Little Tom returned with the last load of boxes. "Since when are you afraid of the dark, Hattie?" Thomas laughed. I forced myself to laugh too.
Just because we didn't say the g-word didn't stop the little girl. They say renovating stirs ghosts up in old houses. And this house was our retirement gift, to restore it to its former glory and give ourselves a profit when it gets to be too much upkeep. So while we hammered, sawed, and painted, there were giggles and sobs, tools went missing, and things moved around that couldn't be explained.
What got me to say ghost though was laying down for a nap a week after we moved in. That afternoon I woke up from my nap freezing. I was lying on my side and the bed in front of my stomach was depressed. The depression moved across the bed and then slid to the floor. The cold left with it. The little girl ghost had crawled onto the bed with me to take a nap too.
Convincing Thomas took a little longer. He brought a teddy bear, one of the grandkids' toys, to me while I was painting the dining room. "It flew over the second story railing and hit me in the head."
"I guess you should be glad she didn't find something heavier to throw."
"We do not have a ghost. It must have rolled out of the room we put the toys in."
I sighed, grabbed the bear, and marched up the stairs. Thomas trailed behind me. I pointed to the box labeled toys that was still taped shut. "Explain that, Einstein."
That shut his trap about not having a ghost.
Things are quieter now that we've finished with the remodeling. We put a small bed and lots of old fashioned dolls and stuffed animals in the grandkids' toy room. Sometimes we'll find the teddy bear that hit Thomas in another room. I don't hear her crying as often now, but when she does I wonder if we need to get a priest or medium or ghost hunter to help her. But most of all I think of the mother she's crying for. How could any woman leave her child behind?