Banshee (Complete Short Story)
Here is a little tale of horror I wrote back in 2012. Please respect my copyright.
BansheeBy Joel M. Andre
© 2012 by Joel M. Andre All rights reserved.
With nothing more than soft candle light by her bed, Abbey O’Farrell shivered in the cool night air. It was there and she could feel the evil coming from it as it slowly covered her. She wanted to get up and rush from the bedroom, but the warm comforter on her bed gave her a sense of security and instead, she pulled it closer to her face and prayed silently.
Her hazel eyes were closed as the soft candle light danced across her face. It was deeply wrinkled from smoking and her hair had started to thin and turn white as she aged. It seemed to her that these things changed overnight. In fact, she could still recall the days of her youth and the kids that used to be there for her.
That was until the death of their father. Granted, she was content with the fact that his corpse was rotting beneath the ground, but they blamed her for it. He died at 50 from a heart attack and weighed a good 320 pounds at the time of his death. The popular opinion was that she should have spent more time taking care of him and less time complaining about the emotional turmoil he put her through.
Some people believe that in death comes forgiveness. But it was Abbey’s belief that it was just another way for people to try to reduce the guilt they felt. There was no forgiveness and the dead still sought out revenge for the pain and agony they felt in life.
Well, that was her belief anyway. She knew this ghost was not her late husband. No, the son of a bitch died back in Dublin on vacation and his corpse was shipped off to Gorey to be buried next to his beloved mother. Thankfully, there was no plot next to his that she would have to worry about filling when she died. Instead, she would be buried in New bridge in one of the plots that her family owned. At least, she would be surrounded by all the people who loved her then.
Outside, lightning flashed across the sky, lighting up the little room she was in. In the corner, she noticed the fireplace had just a few soft red embers left and the smoke was just slightly curling up the chimney to the cool December night. Some nights, as she would lie in bed, she would imagine it was the lost souls in this place finally finding a way to escape the cursed walls of this building.
Abbey looked around the room from her three point bed. The anxiety she was feeling had her heart pounding heavily in her chest. Twisting and turning, she tried to make herself comfortable in the bed. Her breathing grew heavy as she sat, waiting for something to finally happen. It was just a matter of time before it appeared.
The rug on the dark maple wooden floors caught her eye for a second. It had definitely seen better days. Holes and frayed edges appeared over the years of wear. It was only a matter of time before it had to be discarded and replaced with a new one. Unfortunately, the recent economy hadn’t helped her financial matters and it took everything she had just to survive.
Across the room, the red velvet curtains shifted softly as the lightning beyond the window cracked. It lit the room and she could see a soft white cloud move closer to her bed. Pushing her feet back on the bed, she pressed her back hard against the backboard. She knew what it was, but she tried to convince herself she was seeing things.
Slowly, it rolled almost like fog across the hardwood floor below. It didn’t stop until it reached the edge of the bed. Then, the white smoky presence started swirling softly through the room. It grew strange, long stringy hair that floated on an unseen breeze. Beneath the hair, a long head slowly with grey wrinkled skin and closed eyes formed.
Outside, the wind seemed to howl in pain as rain slammed against the windowpanes. In the room, the rest of the female figure appeared and opened her black soulless eyes. Her stare was cold and transfixed on Abbey.
Abbey shook her head, trying to break free of the intense glare coming from this entity. Her mind told her to run, but her body lay frozen in the bed. She was dripping cold sweat as she trembled.
“Please, there is no need to harm me.” The old woman pleaded. “I have done nothing to disturb you.”
There was no response, just the burning feeling on her skin as the apparition’s gaze bored into her. Her skin felt tight on her bones. Suddenly, Abbey felt the air being ripped from her lungs. Struggling with the sheets, she clawed at her throat, trying to get rid the deadly grasp.
Her nails ripped through her flesh and caused blood to ooze from the gashes. Her mouth formed silent screams. Her once white sheets were smeared with the blood freely flowed from her.
Thrashing around, Abbey flailed her hands, trying to free herself from the evil grasp that had her. She knew the banshee was in control, but she wasn’t about to let it claim her soul.
With her nails broken and bloody, she groped for the candle that flickered ominously next to her.
Wrapping her frail hands around it, she weakly lifted it and flung it at the spirit. The candle crashed to the ground sputtered out, leaving her in darkness.
The lightning again flashed outside and the additional light made the spirit only fade slightly. But the intensity of the force that it put on the old woman grew stronger.
Praying softly, Abbey knew it would soon be over. She could feel the burning sensation in her lungs slowly give way as the pain in her neck consumed her world. She no longer struggled to breathe. Her gaze was fixed on the specter over her as it hovered motionlessly, waiting to claim her soul.
As she lay dying, her only thought was that she would not be able to spend time with her only granddaughter who had moved to the United States with her parents when she was a little girl.
Around her, she could feel the world slowly pulling away as the sound of a woman wailing in pain echoed in her ears. The sound was tragic and painful. It crushed her heart and for a just a second, took her away from her own pain. She knew this was the sad song of the banshee and in a way, she felt comforted because she knew in that moment of death, something, at least, would mourn her passing.