The Last Evidence
I tried to forgive them. Virginia Hampstead made it impossible. I can’t be blamed for what happened.
It’s not easy being a poltergeist, you know. Most of us are angry, raging spirits because we’re stuck for centuries in one spot. There’s no going out to the opera, no visiting Mt. Rushmore, and no fishing trips to Miami. No living human could stay sane in such circumstances. Why would poltergeists be any different?
Evangeline and I weren’t like the poltergeists popularized in the movie. Oh, we scared the periodic inhabitants of Worthington House occasionally, but only to keep up appearances among neighboring poltergeists. We weren’t angry at anyone. Didn’t have a reason to be. After 222 years, we were still madly in love with each other.
I first met Evangeline in 1792 when I was 12 and she 13. No one seemed to mind if the son of Ezekiel Worthington spent all his time with the servant’s daughter. We were so young, no one could imagine the powerful love affair that grew between us. Some say that at such an age nothing more than “puppy love” is possible. For us it was so much more. Our bond gained such strength it would ultimately defeat death itself.
In the summer of Evangeline’s 14th year, she blossomed. Full hips bloomed from her slender waist and her strawberry-blond hair danced like a willow tree’s branches in the crevice between her swelling breasts. The lights dancing in her eyes blazed much brighter ‘neath the boughs of Mathilda the oak. Evenings in the ancient tree’s shelter became less about flying higher on the swing, and more about exploring the changes in our bodies.
That year, my father took his third wife. A widower from two previous wives, it took years before I would learn the horrific fate of Ezekial’s previous and “unrepentant” spouses. The third, Hypatia Morgan, proved to possess the proper degree of religious zealotry though only the barest spark of human compassion. It was she who found us together in the tiny shack which passed as quarters for Evangeline’s family. It was Hypatia who locked all the doors and set fire to the hovel, damning us to Hell as we burned.
I’m not angry about it, to be honest. It simply meant that the love Evangeline and I shared survived centuries longer than expected. What’s wrong with that? It created some difficulties to be sure. Poltergeists must inhabit a certain item and forever after stay close to it. During the day, Evangeline lived in her ornate oriental vase. In the evenings, we wandered out together and danced in the moonlight beneath the eternal branches of Mathilda.
Neither of us worried too much when the Hampsteads purchased Worthington House. Another in a string of wealthy elite who bought the house for status rather than love, we expected the Hampsteads would pay as little attention to it as the previous owners. It was not to be.
It must have been difficult for a woman as vain as Virginia Hampstead to own a false eye. She tried to cover it up with ostentatious hairdos, layers of makeup and glitter, and scandalous clothing barely covering 50-year old flesh. She displayed herself at parties for rich friends in dresses better described as negliges. This woman, begging for the adoration she received as a high-school cheerleader, only gleaned derision in the private rooms of the mansion.
Appearances ever dominated the mind of Virgina. Perhaps that’s why she moved the oldest and dustiest household artifacts into the disused East wing. Evangeline and I didn’t mind our banishment. We only cared about our evenings together. It was easy to forgive Virginia’s narcissism. However her discovery that Evangeline’s vase would significantly expand the Hampstead’s rapidly diminishing wealth changed everything.
A quick sale on e-bay ripped my eternal love from me forever, and that I could not forgive. I became another vengeful poltergeist.
The blood was cleaned away when the police arrived in the East wing. There was one last piece of evidence to destroy, one last action to take with the object I animated, but I dared not move lest I be discovered. The last evidence was in my possession yet I could do nothing in the presence of the police.
“Anyone else been in here, Mark?” said Detective Latherton, looking at me.
“Nope,” said Sergeant Witherspoon. “I secured it myself.”
“These must be some sick people.”
“Who else would put a false eye in the mouth of this stuffed Mountain Lion?”
Written for the Speakeasy. This week, the first line must be, “I tried to forgive them.” The media prompt may be found below. Look here for more stories based upon this prompt: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/fiction-writing-challenge-182-open/