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THE CARETAKER

By Richard David Bach All Rights Reserved ©

Humor / Horror

Chapter 1

People swear that this house is haunted. I don’t know why they’d say that — I’ve been here since 1841 and I’d never seen a ghost. Until yesterday. Oh, there were a few frightenings on occasion, like the time in 1863 when I chased off a company of Virginia Irregulars who wanted to set up a field headquarters in a move that was sure to get this place burned to the ground, or when I scared the bejabbers out of The Right Reverend Chester Fowles in 1912 as he tried to take advantage of his cleaning lady’s simple teenage daughter. But all my acts were righteous and performed in a manner that, upon retrospective examination, could be attributed to natural causes.

And then yesterday she showed up - erupting out of the bloodstained body sprawled on the porch with an anguished shriek that rattled the shutters and threw open the front door. I could actually feel the force of her anger and it startled me. The first time I’d experienced a physical impact in 172 years. Her essence paused for a moment, hovering over the remains, and then with another shriek even more piercing than the first, she dissipated, expanding into the entire house and penetrating all of its corners. Uh, oh, I thought. But at least it was quiet.

Not for long. She coalesced about an hour later in the master bedroom where I was trying to take a nap before what I expected to be a long night. The owners were out of town and their teenage kids were planning on hosting a kegger. It was my job to be alert to any unwanted shenanigans and be prepared to keep the dumber ones from any serious stupidity.

She was good looking and had a great body — assuming that she was materializing in the factory issued size and shape. But the hatred in her eyes immediately squelched any thoughts of a possible connection.

“Why are you here,” she demanded.

“I don’t know. I just am.” I truly didn’t know. Something bound me here, but it gave me something to do, something to protect.

“Then leave. Get out.” She flared and faded and flared again, before settling down into a cool glow. “Please. Go away and leave me alone.”

“I can’t. No more than I suspect you can. I died here, and so did you. I think we’re stuck here together.”

She exploded again, this time in a burst that blew open every window in the house and knocked every picture askew. Double uh, oh!

I didn’t see her again until about midnight, long after the coroner had collected her body and the police had removed the yellow crime-scene tape, when the beer party was in full swing and the kids were beginning to get a little rowdy. I had just rattled a doorknob to rattle a couple of sixteen year-olds who were getting carried away, when she showed up. With a face and body inspired by Medusa and showcased in every sci-fi horror flick ever produced with the aid of computers and mind-altering drugs, she swept through the party and very effectively shut down the festivities.

Afterwards it was assumed someone had slipped some LSD into the lager, but no one could explain the banshee wails that came from the house all night long, or the lights that kept flashing on and off at random until the sun came up. And then, this afternoon, Ghostbusters drove up to the house in that ridiculous hearse they drive.

Nothing has been the same since.


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Kayresia A. Bass: Loved it. Author did some insane research to bring this story to life. A little short for my taste, but an awesome story nonetheless. A few missing periods, and a few missing ending quotation marks, but not enough to take away from the story.Keep going. Add more detail to your future stories and ...

Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...

EnigmaticGeek: I have only read one chapter and so far I'm loving it! It's an amazing book. I usually lose interest in books easily, but this one captivated me. I am loving the writing style..........it's not melodramatic. It's simple..but very interesting. I am loving the characters. The author deserves a thu...

Aditya Harikrish: It had me on tenterhooks since the very first page. Excllently developed plot and characters. You've done an amazing job of building a fantasy world from scratch. Hats off to you!A sequel is a must.

CandyEmms: This book is nicely written.It creates a vivid image of what's happening in the story.The plot,the story,I think is fantastic and it grips you so that you want to read it further.It's the story of a tom-boyish girl who decides to do a secret exchange and go to a boys' boarding school instead of ...

Sammy Styles: It is one of those stories that keeps you on the hook till the last moment. A roll of pictures were piling up and with continuous moving, it was like I was watching a film. The scenes were dramatic with a bit of every emotion. The story contains every essence of mystery, romance and adventur...

Allyssa: Omg, please give us more! Pretty sure I've seen this particular book on Inkitt Exclusive Reads, so congratulations on being published. The story is nearly perfect, very well written and perfectly executed. The plot is spot on, and the prose is good as well. I have to commend the author on how fla...

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Nishant Jain: I felt as if i am watching a movie,not reading a book. The story was definitely interesting. It was more of action than horror for me. There are a few grammatical and spelling errors I came across and at times I found it difficult to imagine some things which the author is trying to convey, but o...

jaydenmatheny: it I absolutely amazing on if the best books I have personally read❤ I highly recommend this to anyone 13+ back to my point I love this book and there should definitely be a second I would most likely but this book if I ever saw it in a store

AryaTara: Very fresh and interesting read. I couldn't keep it down for later. I enjoyed the way the story flowed seamlessly. Keep up the good work

debmart6901: I could not put this story down. I stayed up reading when I should have been in bed. could not get enough, could not wait to find how it ended. Great story telling. Great detail. Loved it. The characters were very vivid.

C.K. Bachman: Just read the first chapter. Love how the main character thinks and is conflicted over his wife and the trickery he uses on her.

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