Greetings everyone and welcome to another installment of the WE ARE INFINITE stories and giveaway! I'm so grateful to be able to do this and to share stories that remind us all of connection and our intrinsic worth.
Now, before we dive into today's tale, let's have a quick refresher on what's happenin' 'round here:
1. Contest is simple: you send me (email@example.com) your INFINITE STORIES and I post 'em. I also promote them, so if you want to include a link to a novel you wrote, an etsy shop, or other such awesomeness, then by all means, include that in your entry! I want to share the love!
2. INFINITE STORIES are tales that remind us of connection: ghost stories, past lives, prophetic dreams, a moment that changed your life, how you found faith, how you found love, how you recovered from heartache, a friend who saved your life, a dog that meant the world, a cat that knew too much, a feeling that spared you or a loved one from pain, a feeling that hooked up a pair of friends for marriage, kids, and life. Anything and everything goes!
All the details about what I'm looking for and how to play are found HERE.
3. Each story enters you for the grand prize. What is it, you ask? Well it's Amazon cash, artwork, and a book!
4. Don't have a story you want to share? No problem! Sharing information about the contest also constitutes an entry for the grand prize! More details about that are right HERE.
5. More questions? Check out the FAQ or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And last but not least, don't forget to check out the always-accumulating-ever-impressive-oh-so-powerful WE ARE INFINITE STORIES INDEX, where all the contest entries will be linked for you to peruse anytime you need a reminder that you are never, ever alone!
Today's entry is one of mine. I love the chance to be publicly grateful for all the incredible ways the people in my life and the Universe at large has helped me out over the years.
I'll be posting my entries mixed in with others as the contest rolls on.
Deadline for all entries is FEBRUARY 8, 2015!
Much love, many thanks, and light and love to you and yours.
Mind the Dead Guy Part II
I might have thought I was losing my mind rather than dealing with a ghost if my experiences in my apartment in college were unique. However, in that building, mine was not the only haunted apartment. My boyfriend's roommates had regaled me with stories for years about the strange shit that happened in their place at night. Doors that opened and closed. Lights that went on and off without human assistance. That was actually one of the strangest. It was an old building, so the light switches weren't normal easy-flip switches. You had to throw those suckers, and the CLICK when they shifted positions was audible throughout an entire two bedroom apartment. One of my boyfriend's roommates swore that a ghost amused itself by doing nothing but throwing one of those switches all night, to the point that they replaced the bulb directly over the front door with a blue bulb. Otherwise, the glaring white light kept waking everybody up.
If it had only been my boyfriend's roommates with stories to tell, I might have thought they were pulling my leg. But the tales didn't stop there. My neighbor across the hall said he'd seen some odd things; had his belongings moved around, heard voices when nobody was home, that sort of thing. He chalked it up to nosy roommates and open windows, mostly, and I could see his points. But still, I wondered...
About two months and two weeks into my third year of school and second year at the haunted apartment, I started waking up in the middle of the night, swearing that I'd heard somebody or sensed someone moving around. Now, again, it was a very small space. From my elevated perch in my loft bed, I could see all of the apartment except for the four square feet in front of the gas stove in the kitchen and the similarly tiny spot right next to the tub in the bathroom, so long as the bathroom door was open.
It was the same sensation that came in the shower, only now it was happening while I slept. I tried closing the door to the changing room, thus blocking my view of the bathroom. I'd wake up, and that door would have fallen open. I started closing the door to the bathroom as well as the door to the changing room, and then both damned doors would be open when I flailed to consciousness and sat up to scan the room in a half panic.
Thinking it was stress, as I'm a slow learner, I started spending some nights at the boyfriend's place. I figured even if there was a ghost there, too, at least I'd have witnesses to make me feel less insane.
One night, very late, I was sitting on the couch with the boyfriend listening to music. We were there alone, had just finished up a movie, and were stalling a little before surrendering to the idea of sleep. The blue light over the main door was on, casting a cool glow on the room. From where we sat, we could see the dining nook and one of the two doors leading into their kitchen. The other door opened onto a hallway leading back toward the bedrooms, and that doorway was around a corner.
I was half asleep, dozing to the peaceful tunes, when I heard it: a telltale CLICK signaling that a light had been turned on or off. I glanced at my boyfriend, and clearly he'd heard the sound, too. The entry light remained on, and we both leaned to the left in a comically coordinated slow-motion maneuver so we could see down the hallway.
The light in the back bedroom was now on.
I did mention we were home alone, right?
We both sat up, and while we remained stock-still, both disbelieving of what we were hearing, we heard a door creek open. Slowly. The boyfriend and I looked at one another, eyes bulging, and after a couple of minutes, the refrigerator clicked open. We heard bottles clink. The boyfriend and I then leaned to the right, again in sync, to confirm that yes, that was indeed the glow from the fridge's light. A second later, and the fridge shut quietly. A few more seconds later, the bedroom door closed. A heartbeat or two more, and the light clicked off.
"Somebody's here," I said, breathlessly.
"Just us," the boyfriend said, whispering.
"Clearly not just us."
"No really, it's just us."
"One of your roommates must be home."
He had two roommates at the time. "They're both out."
"I swear, way."
"YOU go check."
"Fine." I gritted my teeth, stood up, and my boyfriend let me get halfway down the hall before testosterone kicked in, and he trotted after me to make sure I didn't get hit over the head with the empty beer bottle some ghost had just finished draining. The back room belonged to both the other roommates, who were a couple, and I knocked, calling their names softly. I didn't get an answer. Without glancing back at the boyfriend, I turned the knob and slowly opened the door.
After that, I figured I needed to arm myself with knowledge about what the hell we were dealing with. I mean, ghosts that tidied up apartments and made late-night fridge runs? What in the hell?
With my sleuth hat on, I discovered that the building had been constructed in the 1930s. It'd been married student housing, privately owned apartments, then dorms, then dorm apartments, then back to private apartments. Ownership had changed hands often enough to make me think it was a poor investment, and the current owners had only been in possession of the property for about ten years. They'd not made any improvements, so far as I could tell, which made me wonder if the security guard's casual statement about how the owners were waiting for it to catch on fire and burn down was truer than I'd like to think it was.
Especially since the building had a tendency to catch on fire.
You might even say it was a bloody trend.
The place had burned numerous times over the years. Since it was solidly constructed of concrete and brick, an entire floor could burn up, leaving the walls scorched but still standing. That certainly explained all the paint.
My floor had burned one year when it'd been college dorms. There were three exits out of the building: one at each end of the short sides and one in the middle of the longest side. All the sides were without windows. If a fire had started in one of the hallways, then everybody would be well and truly trapped.
Which is exactly what had happened.
The gruesome imagined images of students suffocating to death in their dorm rooms haunted me as surely as my personal ghost did. So I did what any considerate, sympathetic living resident sharing space with a ghostly being would do: I tried to make his living area nicer. I hung up peaceful paintings in the bathroom. I even put up a copy of the Lord's Prayer, as I was unable to find a local priest willing to do an exorcism. I didn't know about sage and cleansing at the time, but I wish I had.
Despite all my best efforts, the feeling that I was not wanted at night persisted. I wasn't sleeping well, and in addition to my showers, I started taking long naps during the day. I made it through midterms and prepared for finals working around my invisible roommate, but one day two weeks from the end of term, I guess the guy had enough.
My loveseat was against the wall next to the door leading into the changing room. So when I was lying down, all I could see was the edge of the door frame, then my little table and kitchen cart on the other side of the doorway against the same wall. I never slept with my head near the doorway, because I wanted to be able to lie down and see the main door into my apartment.
I'd been taking a rather long nap, and the apartment was pleasantly warm. My notes were strewn everywhere, and I was floating in that place that's not quite sleep but definitely not quite awake, either. A happy medium.
I heard a rustling sound like slow feet on carpet, and I opened my eyes. I had to keep them narrow because the light was dazzling. Another rustle and then a sort of THUMP, and while I rested there and watched, I saw a bony, burnt-black finger hook around the edge of the doorway leading into the changing room.
My heart dropped into my guts, my throat closed, and my eyes flew open wide. I was paralyzed with fear and fascination, and slowly, one by one, the other three fingers joined the first to get a good grip. Another set of fingers appeared, higher and also hooking with care. The top of a head appeared. Followed by a forehead. A hollow space where there had once been a nose. A mouth that was missing its lips. And a chin that still had some un-blackened flesh attached.
His eyes were brown. His face was half scorched. His right shoulder was charred meat, his left shoulder relatively normal. He leaned out and looked at me, not four feet away, and we stared at one another for what seemed like ten years. He didn't screech, he didn't yell. Maybe he was just trying to say hello. Maybe he felt cozy with me after all this time. Maybe he wanted to thank me for the pictures on the walls; for trying to brighten up the joint.
I don't know, because I didn't ask.
I got up, scrambled to the main door, and bolted down the hallway. I beat on my boyfriend's door until my hand was bruised. It took a solid hour for me to get the story out. It took me a full day even to think about returning home.
But my notes were in there. Not to mention my clothes, my computer, my shoes, and everything else. I couldn't very well let a deceased burn victim chase me off the premises two weeks before finals.
So I went back. My boyfriend and his roommates waited in the hallway outside my apartment, as I instructed them. I shut myself into the room, walked to the middle, and took a breath. I could feel myself being watched, but I could see no one.
"I'll be gone in two weeks," I said. "I'm going to move out. All my stuff will be gone. I don't know who will move in after me or even if anybody will, but if you let me stay here in peace for two more weeks, you can have at least the entire summer to yourself."
No answer, of course. Thank God.
"I'm sorry for what happened. I'm sorry this building sucks. But you stay out of my way, and I will do my best to stay out of yours."
Silence still held.
I showered at my boyfriend's for the rest of the time I was in that apartment. I had no other incidents or issues, and I moved out, just as I had promised. The next place wasn't haunted, though it was unfortunately close to a water treatment plant. At night, sometimes, you'd catch a whiff of dirty diaper.
Home crap home, indeed.
Much love and bundles of sage,Kelly
Kelly Wyre enjoys reading and writing all manner of fiction, ranging from horror to romance. She used to work in advertising but is now happily chained to her writing desk and laptop. She believes she's here to tell stories and to connect people with them. She's written several novels, novellas, and short stories and has no plans on stopping anytime soon.
Kelly relishes the soft and cuddly and the sharp and bloody with equal amounts of enthusiasm. She's a coffee addict, an avid movie lover, a chronic night owl, and she loves a good thunderstorm. Currently Kelly resides in the southeastern United States.
Meet Me at the Gates by Kelly Wyre
Outer Banks bookstore owner Hyacinth Silver Fox has a secret millennia in the making: her soul was magically entwined with another, and at night she dreams of every lifetime they've ever spent together. The rules of their magic are simple: Hydee always knows her lover, but he, or she, doesn't remember her. It's up to Hydee to find and make her soulmate see they are destined for each other, and this lifetime is no different, but there's one problem: her soulmate is Theo Monk, heartthrob actor and Hollywood's sometime-infamous badboy. Hydee's hope of reuniting is wearing thin, but she has no idea how dire the situation really is.
Because meanwhile in California, Theo Monk is losing his mind. Anxiety and paranoia rule his life, along with his on-again-off-again girlfriend and her entourage. When fear and frustration push him to an edge, Theo cuts and runs as far from his problems as he can without knowing Fate's giving him one last shot to unite with the only person who can help him. Hydee and Theo must save one another before hope runs out and Hydee's despair and Theo's fear keep them apart forever.