Chapter 12:

Fennel and the Haunted House - III

I Can Hear You

It’s weird to find yourself in a situation where you find an actual death level threat, not like a person would actually like to find something like that during their lifetime, or at least I know that it isn’t something that I was actively looking for, it just happened, Amaris feels like that death threat, that thing that everyone would like to avoid forever.

Out of the house, and after finally escaping from my, hopefully, once-in-a-lifetime death threat experience, I found myself in front of this man, Prescott, Prescott Lamponne as he presents himself, the father, the husband, the missing piece for Amaris and her children.

It was bizarre, to say the least, this started as what everyone thought was no more than a joke, a call that no one wanted to answer because they knew it wouldn’t end well, and look at me now, trying to avoid looking like a crazy person while talking to a ghost out of his haunted house, with my co-worker is looking at me with a face that shows how much I’ll have to explain after this to avoid being considered either a crazy person or a weirdo to talks to thin air.

“Why are you here?” – Prescott changed his usual relaxed demeanor to a rough attitude akin to that of actual demon-like creatures, like his wife or Abraham when he gets mad.

Prescott was quite a normal-looking man, nothing out of the ordinary, short black hair, brown eyes, glasses to add to how monotone his expressions and mannerisms looked, but he had an instantly noticeable trait, he was tall, and I mean like really tall, I’m a fairly tall man myself, even Fennel looks quite taller than the usual girl you would see while walking down the street, but Prescott was on a whole other league, a league that could give someone like Michael Jordan himself a run for his money.

“Tell me, why are you here boy?”

“I work at a hospital, we received a call from this direction, we came to help”

“Oh, so it’s that time of the year again…”

“That time of the year? You mean that you do know about the calls that we receive every year”

“Yes, I’ve heard about it from the people that come around this time, medics, police, and even some random citizens that happen to get the same call”

“Do you mean that our hospital isn’t the only place where that has happened?”

“A lot of places had similar experiences, your hospital just happens to be a specific place where every call has been received. Also, by “our” do you mean you and someone else? Because there’s no one with you”

“Wait, where did Fennel go? You saw her alongside me, right?”

“Yes, I saw a girl, but I didn’t realize that she wasn’t there anymore, I think I was a bit too concentrated on the fact that finally, someone can see me, it’s been a while since the last time”

“That’s the usual response from most people when they realize that I can see them”

“Can’t blame them, it’s quite a weird experience, even if it feels pleasant to be treated as a normal person once again”

My first impression about Prescott varied from a normal person without any hope, and then he almost felt like a frightening creature, not at the same level that Amaris reached, but still scarier than other experiences, but after talking a bit with him I realized that he was just a normal man who happened to also be a ghost, is reasonable that he wouldn’t be the best to socialize. At least thanks to that I could be sure that he didn’t do anything to Fennel, she must’ve gone home after that horrible experience, which as bad as it can be to remember, is better for me to just go and talk with the ghosts, without being seen as a crazy man.

“So, what’s your name, boy?”

Prescott’s voice started showing a bit more of “life”, way better than how he presented himself, but nowhere near as lively as how Carlo or Zack interacted, it was still a bit depressing to hear him talk, but at least he didn’t seem to be hostile towards me anymore.

“Adam Forte, that’s my name”

“And what brings you around here Adam? Most people come to our house just for the curiosity of what may happen around here, but you don’t seem like the usual person, well, you aren’t if you can see all of us”

“Mainly curiosity, and well, I’m not the kind of man who would reject an invitation from a co-worker, so the fact that the girl who was with me invited me and I couldn’t allow me to let her come together, meant that I needed to come here”

“So you aren’t going to help us”

“I never said that, my whole life over the last weeks or months has been just treating with spirits who need help, you and your family will not be an exception”

“Then I must thank you, I’ll do whatever you need, but I assume that you already have an idea of how you could help us, right?”

“No, I don’t have any idea of how I could help you, let’s not even talk about stopping your wife’s crazy behavior, but Brooke and Oakley helped me, and I must help them now”

“What’s even the point of believing that you can help us if you don’t have any idea of what you could do?”

And then Prescott’s livelier voice was lost again, he didn’t seem like a bad person, but talking with such a depressing person, even if it was just for a few seconds or minutes, felt really tiresome, especially if he was going to be just a voice questioning everything that I do or say.

“Well, it’s not like I know everything about you or my power, but I’m sure that I must be the first chance to end this stupid cycle, at least the first in years, am I right?”

“*Humph* You’re right to some degree, I can’t deny that, but you should accept that offering your help and not having any idea of what you will do to help us feels weird”

“I can’t say that you are on the wrong track, but I promise you, I will help you, no matter the cost, no matter the risk, I will do it, not for you or for me, but for your children”

Brooke and Oakley looked so young, Oakley didn’t even manage to look like a teen, while Brooke was barely over that age, but not older than fifteen or sixteen; the sole idea of thinking that these two have been dead for years and still stopped to help someone like me, the fact that they have been all this time in that house with such a bizarre situation and without going crazy makes them even cooler, they deserve my respect, they deserve to be helped, but over any other thing, they deserve to finally being allowed to rest.

“I like your attitude Adam, I can’t deny that I will not put all my hopes on you, but at least if tell me that my children believe in you, it means that you are better than just a crazy boy who can see things like me”

“Thank you, Prescott, it’s reassuring to know that you trust me as well”

Prescott didn’t say anything, but his face couldn’t hide a little grin once I told him that I would help him, I guess that even he still had a hopeful light inside his soul, it couldn’t be in any other way when even Amaris still had a bit of hope, she hoped to be more than the demonic creature that she has become.

“Prescott, as you already know, I met your children while I was inside the house, they told me that I should come for you to help them, so shouldn’t we go in?”

“Uh, so that was your idea…”

“Well, yeah, are you scared to go inside or something like that?”

“No, is nothing like that, but… well…”

“Tell me, if you’re not scared, then what’s your problem with going inside?”

“The problem is that I’m unable to enter the house”

“You’re joking, you must be joking”

“I’m not, is impossible for me to enter that house”

“That’s so stupid, but then why did they believe that you would help them?”

“The most reasonable option would be that they thought that I would be able to calm her, their mom, we love each other more than anything after all”

“Then we’re doomed, completely doomed, if you’re out of the question as an option, then it will be too hard to come with another plan”

“I’m sorry, but that’s the reality, I’m completely unable to go inside, and believe, no one suffers this more than me”

“So I assume that you tried to go in before”

“Yes, I tried, but every time I have tried to go inside, something pushes me back, almost like a force field existed around my house, and it’s completely impossible to go through”

“I see, but it feels so absurd to think that you’re standing here in front of me, your family is just some steps away, not being able to go and being with them, at least for one second, it feels almost macabre…”

“That’s how life treats us some times, there’s nothing that we can do, is not like we’re some kind of supermen that can save everyone”

“But I will find something to help you!”

“Stop it, if you need me to go inside the house and stop Amaris, but I can’t go inside, then there’s no way, you should go home, boy”

“Uh, but why? I told you that I will help your family, I don’t want them to be trapped in that house forever, I don’t want those kids to be for all eternity without their father”

“Look, I know that your heart will suffer if you don’t help us, it will be hard for you to avoid this if we don’t rest in peace, but at least try to understand, you can’t do everything just because you’re able to see a spirit, it’s not your fault that we are like this, so just go away and be happy, I will still be grateful, all of us will be, we will never forget that you actually wanted to help us”

I never thought about a situation where I wasn’t able to help, up until now nothing has been more than talking to someone, going somewhere, or looking for something, but living a situation where you need to do something that seems impossible to do is a totally different experience, it feels almost like me heart could shatter at any moment just by thinking that Prescott is right, I should go home and stop worrying, there’s nothing that I can do for them, I’m powerless…

After giving some thought to the idea, I had decided to go home, it wasn’t heroic by any means, it didn’t even feel like the correct answer, but at least I knew that it was better than just standing there talking to a guy who wasn’t even a part of the same world as me anymore. I was almost turning back, almost taking the first step out of this story, but then my brain finally started working, there must be something that I can do, I am Adam Forte, I never had a doubt in my ability to help people, there’s always something that I can do, surrendering should never be accepted as the right way, or at least it would never be my way, I promised that before, to Sara, Zack, Carlo, all of their loved ones, and now to this family, Oakley, Brooke, Amaris, Prescott, I will try to find a way… no, actually, I promise that I will find a way!

At that exact moment, when I managed to regain my hopes, I had an idea, if I couldn’t find a way at first sight to the situation, then I must be missing a part of the puzzle, there was something more to this context.

“Prescott, have you ever gone inside since you died?”

“No, I’ve never been able to go in”

“It must be hard, so you have never seen your family since you died?”

“Oh no, I’ve seen them, or at least I used to see them, I always watched them while they were still alive…”

“Wait, did you say “while they were alive”? I thought all of you died around the same time”

“We didn’t, I was the first one to go, then they died some months after I did”

“So they did die together”

“That’s right, my children and my beautiful wife, all of them died the same day, today is the anniversary of that day”

I see, so the calls happened all the same day, it means that they’ve been calling every anniversary since their death, or during most of them, at least that works to explain why these calls happened exactly every year, the same day and the same month.

“And they’re also unable to go out?”

“That’s also right, but at least during the first days I was able to see my children from the windows, I even managed to talk with them once! But my wife was another story…”

“What do you mean by that? She has always been this corrupted kind of spirit?”

“Well, Adam, this may take some time, but would you like to know about it?”

“What do you mean?”

“Adam, I’m about to tell you our story about how my family became these haunting ghosts, the story of how my family died…”