Thursday, October 1, 2009

#fridayflash--The Chosen One

No one believed him. No matter what he said, no matter how much he swore he wasn't lying, they just wouldn't listen. And, really, who could blame them? His stories were a bit outlandish for most folks. But if someone had just paid him some mind, he might still be here.

Greg Jordan was your average, middle-class male, with a pretty wife and two point five kids. (Janice, his wife, was four months pregnant at the time.) The Jordans had left their dingy two-bedroom apartment and moved into their own home. Greg and Janice had fallen in love with the ranch-style home in its nice neighborhood. They tried to mask their interest so the sellers wouldn't peg them as easy marks, a tip provided by Janice's dad, but the owners were eager to sell. They agreed to the Jordan's first low-ball offer without negotiating. The Jordans, including little Timmy and Britney, couldn't have been happier.

Their first month was terrific, even if it did include a ton of hard work. Being pregnant, Janice mostly sat down and gave orders. She could have done more, but she was the boss and everyone knew it. The kids, bless their hearts, tried their best, but being five and three, Timmy and Britney often did more damage than good.

About that time, Greg felt a presence in the house. He claimed he heard footsteps, voices, and other weird sounds. He swore a strange man occasionally walked through their living room, and at times a young man, maybe a teenager, sat in the breakfast nook. Neither the kids nor Janice heard or saw any of these things. Everyone, including friends and relatives who heard the tales, began to wonder about him.

Greg wouldn't be dissuaded. He knew what he heard, saw, and felt. He'd lay awake at night, listening and watching. Whatever was going on, this was his house, and he wanted to know what he shared it with.

That's when the voices started. At first it was just small talk. "How are you, Greg?" "Wife thinks you're nuts, eh?" "Can you buy us some beer?" (Actually, that last one was those teenagers who loitered outside the liquor store. It all blended in.) Then the voices grew more persistent and, Greg wasn't afraid to say, scary. "Join us." "We need you." "Kill the non-believers."

He learned to ignore the voices, but that just pissed them off. They turned from simple murder whispers to full-blown poltergeists. At first Janice blamed the kids when she found her grandmother's knick-knacks shattered on the floor. Then Greg got the brunt of her fury. It was a dark week in the Jordan household. Mercifully, the poltergeist activity didn't last long. Janice must have scared the hell out of those ghosts because they never touched her stuff again.

The final showdown came one day after work. With Janice and the kids out running errands, Greg had to face the spirits on his own. They materialized on the staircase, and he finally got a good look at all four of them. He still had no idea who they were, but they weren't in a talking mood. Greg tried to run out the front door, but it was stuck. He even tried jumping through the plate glass window, but no matter how hard he threw his body at it, the glass wouldn't shatter. He had only one option; he turned and faced his destiny.

Janice and the kids came home an hour later. Timmy and Britney ran into the house as soon as their mom opened the front door, and when Janice walked in, two little kids rolling on the floor laughing hysterically greeted her. It seemed Daddy had taken off all his clothes right there in the front hall. "Even his nunderwear," little Britney said between howls. Janice didn't find it nearly as amusing. The three of them wandered through the house looking for the "necked daddy." When he didn't turn up, Janice drove around the neighborhood. The search proved futile. Greg had vanished.

Not long after, Greg Junior arrived. Janice had to get a second job, but she managed to keep the house and a relatively good lifestyle. She hated Greg for abandoning the family, but something changed her mind. Actually that something was Greg Junior. Not only were his first words "Daddy," but he had the oddest habit of looking at nothing, holding his arms out for a hug, and giggling wildly.