Curious name, Richard Hayward. When I was a boy I found a book that contained my father’s family tree. That specific name sounds increasingly familiar…who are you, really?
I am who I say am. I’d be more worried about my ex-wife Maureen if I were you. She could return back to this house at any giving moment.
So I suggest you get out of here with your finger intact. I’m in no mood to scare a live relative to possible death.
Meredith knocked on a wooden beam and surveyed the house. “Structurally it’s fine. And.. Oh, that’s good. You know my full name. So this is a dream,” she mused looking down at her hands. Boldness was allowed now she figured. If it was a dream, the only bad thing that would happen was some mental damage. She could deal with that.
“I’ve seen a picture of my grandmother, by the way,” she smiled politely. “My mother looks more like her than I do. I tended to take after my father… I think. At least it seems that way.”
She thought this was a dream? Oh now he was in trouble. He had to actually scare his grand-daughter, though he was against it, it felt like the only choice he had. He didn’t want her to be discovered by Maureen. Not with her fragile, young mind at prey. “It’s not the structure that’s the problem.” He closed his eyes and focused, focused hard, changing his form as the image of him flickered.
“It might be hard to believe,” he said as he took another step towards her, closing the distance between them, “but this isn’t a dream.” He had become his younger self, and his image solidified. He still held his cigarette but the lighting flickered in the room and he knew she must be watching…waiting for the opportune moment. “I’m Richard, Richard Hayward. I doubt you’ve heard about me. Your father probably keeps everything very hush hush about his parents, and I don’t blame him.”
Richard was doing a horrible job at scaring her, and he was most likely only fueling the flame of curiosity but he had to try…he had to try and save her, before it was too late. The smell of his cigarette was a very prominant smell of blood, blood and bleach. There was a line around his neck that seemed to be lighter than the rest of his skin, like a seam in a piece of clothing, as if it were keeping his head and body together.
At the sound of the broken glass and the ruckus coming from downstairs, Richard lifted himself up straight, turning around swiftly. Unlike Maureen, he didn’t screech or come down the stair or through the walls hollering, he just appeared. The teenage boys jumped a little a the sight of him, wondering where he came from.
They asked questions that Richard didn’t answer, he didn’t even speak to them, he just gave them a long hard stare. He was beginning to weird them out, so much that on guy tried to shove him, only to see his arms go through Richard’s torso, and then get stuck before he could pull them out.
The feeling the tall block-headed jock would’ve felt during time would be between the sudden feeling of Richard’s ribcage going through the middle of his arms, the cold icy feeling of Richard’s blood trickling around them, and finally when Richard saw the other two run out the door, fearing for their lives, he let the other have some room to pull out. Only to make the boy see his arms bare…to the bone.
It was a trick of course, one that Richard had been meaning to try, but never had the chance to since Maureen was so diligent with those that raided her house. When the young man looked up, Richard pouted his lips giving him a wink. The boy tripped out of the house, yelling out to the others that had long gone. Once the peace had been restored Richard stepped into the halfway, flickering a little, that trick had needed considerable focus and he was feeling a little weary from it, “You’re welcome.” He muttered as he leaned his form against the wall, folding his arms against his chest. Everything was getting old and being in his younger form made it easier for him.
It detached him from Maureen in a way he hadn’t even imagined, it also made him think back, before this house, the boys, and her…back when he could’ve done other things…better things. It wasn’t the first time his thoughts went this way and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.
Maybe this was a dream. It wasn’t one of her worst, at least not initially, and so she began to relax as his image solidified. Her dreams, especially the nightmares, had always been unusually vivid in detail. The product of an over-active mind. It didn’t surprise her when she couldn’t smell the smoke. She’d always had trouble with scents.
“James Moriarty,” she answered, looking around the room to get an idea of her surroundings. Her dreams had never had this much detail, and it dawned on her that she could smell the dust and damp wood of the old house. “He grew up in this house,” she continued cautious again. “Lauren Hooper… If she’s the same Lauren Hooper, then she’s my grandmother… I look like her?”
That confirmed it…this girl was his grand-daughter. “You’re an exact image of her, except for your eyes…you have your father’s eyes.” He stood back up and walked over to the girl, slowly of course. He didn’t want to frighten her more than he already had but he needed to get her out of this place, before Maureen found her.
“This may come as a shock Meredith Annabelle Hooper but you need to get out of this house for your own good. It isn’t safe.” He said her name for effect, he had heard it from Sherlock and John…though she wouldn’t understand how, and he couldn’t explain it to her, it would get her attention.
“My.. my father.” She took a step back, for once in her life being careful but ignoring the figure’s suggestion to leave. As the man’s image kept flickering she studied what little she could see. There was something familiar, in the face, the eyes maybe. “Who didn’t have dark eyes?” She asked, looking around nervously and tried to figure out what was going on. A projection of some sort? That didn’t make sense, but ghosts did not exist.
Richard stopped in his tracks, long enough for his image to solidify. He sat down and let out a sigh, “Lauren Hooper… she was my fiancé once.” He smoked a cigarette, pretending that breathing mattered as he stared into space, remembering the arranged marriage and how better off he could’ve been if it hadn’t been called off. If he hadn’t been so in love with Maureen at the time, if he hadn’t had…wait had he heard correctly?
“Who is your father?”
Oh, well, seems like someone woke up on the WRONG SIDE OF THE BED THIS MORNING! She shrieked at him knowing her voice would carry throughout the household. Her old games with him didn’t work anymore, and over the past 24 years, she hadn’t taken the time to build new ones.
Her focus had been on their eldest and building her strength up. Richard’s death had been fun to instigate, but that was the most attention she had given him in quite some time. Things were starting to build now; she could leave the house farther than she ever could. Not just to the cemetary. There were times when she managed to focus enough that she was in Jim’s flat.
Maureen was never there for long—a day or too at the most; it took too much concentration to go and stay, but damage could be done, and that was a positive. So, now, M could return to being a doting wife to her ex-husband. She knew he still longed for her. She saw it in his eyes—those young, beautiful eyes. Eyes that he most assuredly was tempting her with…
Because he was beginning to catch up. Beginning to be aware. He had suspected; it was why they were divorced. He had known that there was something off about her, and he escaped it for as long as he could.
But now he was here, and now he was hers again. Because he could never leave the House for long, no matter how hard he pushed at his boundaries—at best, he could rest at his remains for half a day, and at worst, he was there for only three hours. Either his stamina didn’t match hers (at 10 years in Death, she had done that and more), or he was tied to more than just the House…
And if he was, what was he tied to?
Hearing her shrieks yet again made his center shudder. Being connected to her like this was endless torture. Sure she had more power than him and she didn’t hide it at all, but it would be nice for once to be in the same place with her without having her blow up at him.
It was a hopeless case. So he just used the little time he had alone in the house to connect with the few visitors that missed out on Maureen scare show. He had recently been dealing with the fact that this Sherlock man and John were discussing more and more about his eldest in well…a way that Maureen would hate them for.
They complimented his genius but brought Jim down by how…wrong he was. How he had to be stopped…Richard agreed. His own son was a lost case…just like Maureen. They were both impossible to get through, at least to Richard that was the case.
He sat in Jeremy’s bedroom, looking over the poetry and books that were still here. He wondered if he’d ever see his youngest…the one that got away from it all..the survivor…the favourite. He let out a long groan of aching pains at the thought of how he let Maureen touch him. He wished he could change things…and maybe, if he was cautious enough…maybe he could.
Well, what do we have here…?
She reached over and stroked his lapel, glancing up at him softly. You could always find out, Richard…
He closed his eyes as she said his name…properly. He trailed his hands up her arms lightly before gripping her wrists tight, wanting to crush them but knowing it was impossible. He hated her, every part of her. That smile, that tone of voice, the feel of her skin underneath his fingers. He loathed her to the very core. He extremely hated how she was now…being so playful as it were. He wouldn’t stand for it. She wasn’t interested in him. She was only interested in getting vengeance while he just longed for a freedom he could never have.
He opened his eyes and spoke in a deadpan tone, “You swine. I’d rather be killed again by both of our sons in cold blood than touch you.” He shoved her out of his grip and faded into thin air. His cold and commemorative presence fading from the kitchen.
She quirked an eyebrow, unsure of the man’s emotional state. Honesty, she decided, was the better policy in this case.
“Living and dead spirits certainly have their differences, considering that ghosts are simultaneously so exposed and so hidden away. As for the possibilities of spirits, that’s never been for me to decide. The dead have to clear up all their own messes, submit all their own proposals. The countless afterlife options all depend on how long the spirit has been around and if it knows how to ask the right questions.”
He folded his arms and let his fingers dance upon his sides, as he played Rondo Alla Turca Allegretto, his right hand running up his side while the other twiddled in one place. Half listening to her explain what he had already assumed. No dice then, he was stuck until him and Maureen sorted things out. He wasn’t going to tell her about the other, she most likely already knew about her. If not, she soon would.
He stood up and unfolded his arms, his pale fingers still rapidly moving as the piece continued to play. In the distance a piano could be heard in the parlor down the hall. “Well then, let me see. How can one spirit, who let’s just say has been here for about twelve years? Over power another that has been around for…let’s see, approximately…twenty two?” He tilted his head as he circled her, his shoes clicking on the worn down hardwood floors.
Our eldest may not give a damn about this house, but it is Home. Years in Death have nothing to do with this. I simply cannot extend myself to encounter and threaten them all at the same time. You could do us a favor and do some cheap parlor tricks for the easy marks, but if you insist on doing nothing, I’ll continue the endeavor alone.
Maureen disapparated, leaving a pool of water on the kitchen floor, grumbling as she disappeared.
He laughed maniacally as he ran hands through his hair. One after the to her, and the other and other…until what seemed like forever the laughter ended.
She wants cheap parlor tricks? Fine, the next time someone entered the house.
They wouldn’t see him, they would see…young Richard.
He looked up was his appearance changed, his face became softer and much more relaxed, but the monster inside was still there.
Oh? Oh! Forgive me for my directness dear lady but you have yet to tell me your name or your current state of being, let alone your profession.
Don’t worry about it. My name is Remy, and I’m in a near-constant state of flux between being alive and dead. I’m a medium.
But I did graduate college with a math/theology degree.
I would say it’s a pleasure but I doubt it. So you can’t decide to see me or not? That’s a shame, but you’re a college graduate with a combined degree. Not bad. Haven’t done anything with it yet have you?