by John Michael Osborne
During the spring break of Lonny Clark’s sophomore year, he skipped his usual vacation.
Normally he liked to travel from Atlanta to Florida for the break. His classmate, and business partner, Mia Basra, also skipped
her vacation. Ever since Brianna’s late uncle Nathan willed her his mansion
and a magical journal to her, neither one had any desire to leave Georgia. Her uncle’s journal told of his psychic powers and how he learned to increase them. Brianna, a psychic, couldn’t put the journal down, while Lonny found her uncle’s mansion proved to be a journey in itself.
Brianna untied her long black locks and sat on the black leather
couch reading the journal in her uncle’s living room while Lonny sat down on a blue recliner in front
of a coffee table. A couple of shelves full of books in the living room filled the home with the musty smell of old literature.
Lonny popped open a Coke and set his PC on the table. He and Brianna
just created a website, the Atlanta Paranormal Group, for ghost hunting. He sipped his soda while he waited for his computer
to warm up. The soda quenched his thirst on a warm afternoon. Brianna told him she thought it was amazing he could suck down
all that soda and never put on a pound to his tall, lanky frame.
When Lonny and Brianna first visited the mansion two days ago, the
uncle’s spirit passed
through her. Ever since her psychic powers have increased. She still
felt exhausted from the
encounter. She rubbed her stomach when Lonny made a quick call on
his cell phone. He groaned. He couldn’t believe it. They finally got their first potential client,
Jeff and Paula
Anderson, and he didn’t want to help this family. He didn’t want to return to that house.
and I are frantic,” Jeff pleaded. He sounded exhausted, weary, and hoarse,
like he’d been fighting a cold. “Can you come tonight?”
Reluctantly Lonny said okay. “We’ll be over right away.”
Lonny hung up and rubbed his aching neck muscles as he sat at his
computer. He strained it at the gym. It felt as though he slept on his back with his face in the pillow. He could barely turn
his head to the left. Brianna saw him rubbing his neck.
She set her uncle’s journal down. “What’s wrong?”
Lonny turned around in his chair so he could see her. “I’ve got a really sore neck. I got careless on the bench and lifted too much weight. Now I can barely move my neck.”
Brianna brushed his long brown dreadlocks aside and touched his neck
and shoulder. “I bet I can help with that.”
won’t work. I’ve done
this to myself before, and it takes about a week for the pain to go away.”
“I’m not going to give you a backrub. I found out that when my uncle’s spirit passed through me, I now have the power to heal.”
Brianna only held his neck for a few minutes and the pain vanished.
Lonny was stunned. He could move his shoulder above his head and turn his head again. He leapt from the chair.
aren’t kidding! This feels great. How did you know you could do that?”
“I had a
stomach ache. I touched my tummy, the pain and cramps went away.”
Lonny stretched out more. “Thank you, sweetie. That’s just what I needed.”
Brianna glanced at Loony’s computer screen. “Did
someone e-mail us looking for help?”
just called a couple who contacted us through our website. They live up in northern Atlanta in Fulton County.”
“Isn’t that where you grew up?”
“Yeah,” Lonny said weakly. “They want us
to come out tonight. Are you up for it?”
still feel a little weak, but I feel better since my stomach settled.”
Lonny really didn’t care to talk about that place. “I know about that house. It’s definitely haunted.”
you never told me about that.”
He stood up and gazed out the window. The late afternoon sun felt
warm against his face. He looked north, the direction of that house. “I had an aunt and uncle lived there. I did sleepovers with my cousins
back when I was a kid.”
“You’ve actually been in the house? Did you see anything?”
Lonny chuckled bitterly. “You bet your sweet ass I saw something.”
“What? Tell me. What did you see?”
He wandered away from the window and sat back down. Remembering that
one frightful night still sent shivers down his back. “The house was built by that crazy old architect-artist, Dr. Domorio Abacus. Have you
heard of him?”
Brianna sat down. “Yes, of course. He’s
built many buildings and homes around Atlanta. He went to the University of Georgia. One of his paintings hangs in the student
center. What’s that got to do with this house?”
I’ve seen them. He was also heavily into black magic. Ultimately he went
mad and hung himself in that house.”
Brianna gasped, “I never knew that.”
“When I was five years old, I slept in the room of my cousins, Ron and Danny.
I woke up
in the middle of the night and saw Abacus. He looked ghastly white.
His stringy, gray hair hung to his shoulders. He was really skinny. He stood next to the bed. He whispered something to me,
but I couldn’t make it out. I screamed. He disappeared.”
either of your cousins see him?”
least not that night. My scream woke them up. Abacus had already disappeared. I never spent the night in that home again.”
think Abacus was trying to communicate with you?”
That’s what I’ve always
wondered, he thought. “I don’t know. What always bothered me about that night was I became aware of my psychic abilities. And my aunt and uncle
started complaining about paranormal activity in their house after that.”
“You don’t believe that’s a coincidence?”
it isn’t. I don’t know
if his presence turned on my abilities or if my dormant abilities somehow acted as a beacon and brought him back to that home,
and he somehow turned on my psychic powers.”
Brianna set her uncle’s large black journal down. “Don’t tell me you feel guilty.”
Lonny fidgeted in his chair. He gulped his soda his to relieve his
dry mouth. “They had no problems in that home before I spent the night there. A lot of bad things happened there. My cousin, Ron,
was thrown down a flight of stairs. He got a concussion. He could’ve died.”
“That wasn’t your fault. Abacus chose to do that, not you.”
Lonny set his empty can down. “I still wish I never spent the night in that
afraid to go back there?”
“Yes. It’s what always made me interested in paranormal activity. It’s also what has made me afraid of haunted places.”
I try to go this alone?”
We’re a team. We put this ghost hunting service together. I need to do
tell them we’d come?”
said we’d drive over there tonight.”
“Then let’s go.”
They loaded up Lonny’s black van
full of their cameras and audio equipment and took off.
During the ten minute drive the city in the pines, Brianna read more
of her uncle’s journal. When they drove into Fulton County, where the Andersons lived, she asked, “Did you ever tell anyone about what you saw?”
told my mother. She slapped my face and told me the Devil was trying to get my soul.”
Brianna chuckled bitterly. “It sounds like your parents weren’t very different from mine.”
“They weren’t. Needless to say, I didn’t have
much to do with my old lady after that.”
did your aunt and uncle stay in the house?”
Lonny parked the van in the street in front of the Anderson home.
moved when I was in grade school.”
“Yeah.” Lonny gazed at the house, a reddish-brown monster on the end of the street. The forest
was its back yard. The sun crept down behind the trees. When Lonny hears the word, “horror,” this house always comes to mind. It looked surreal seeing
the thing after all this time. Lonny’s hand trembled before he rang the doorbell. They heard chimes.
feel it, can’t you?”
Brianna whispered. “It’s
Domorio Abacus. He’s inside.”
I can feel him out here.”
Jeff and Paula Anderson answered the door. Dark circles hung under
their eyes. Jeff looked
like he worked out, but he wasn’t very tall. Paula was the same height as her husband. Long
blond hair cascaded over her shoulders. Soft delicate cheek bones
and thin lips completed her face. They both had round, large eyes. They looked a couple more built for organizing an animal
shelter rather than a paranormal war.
“We’re so glad you could come,” Jeff said.
Their little boy, Evan, stood at their feet, coughing ferociously.
He said hello. His voice sounded shrill, as if he’d been coughing all day.
Paula picked him up. She closed her eyes for a moment and hugged
him. “We’re at our wits end. We feel like we’re
Lonny asked them what was going on in their home, even though he
The Andersons gave them a tour of the home. All the furniture was
different and nothing but the shape of the rooms looked the same, but the home still gave Lonny the chills. He felt Domorio’s presence skulking in the basement.
The aroma of beef roast filled the air like the family just finished
their dinner. The living room was beautifully arranged, a black leather sectional, two red cloth recliners, two gold lamps,
a couple of dark blue, hand crafted vases, large landscape paintings looked like an artist like Abacus could’ve been their decorator. A grandfather clock in the corner ticked loudly.
a figure walking around downstairs here at night,” Jeff explained. “We hear groans and screams as we try to go to sleep.”
“We’ve seen a head of a man floating down the hall,” Paula said. “One of those recliners rocks by itself. Doors slam
at night. Their covers are thrown from their bed as we sleep.”
The couple led them back to the stairs.
“I was shoved
down these stairs,” Jeff said.
was in the kitchen I was kicked and punched in the stomach by an unseen force,”
“We won’t even go into the basement,” Paula
said. “It’s really bad
Their paranormal activity was always bad down in the basement. It
was the same thing Lonny heard from his cousins before they moved.
Lonny noticed three suitcases beside the front door. “Are you planning to leave
“Yes,” they said.
Paula put her boy down. “We’re staying with
relatives in Atlanta tonight. We need to take Evan to the doctor.”
Brianna kneeled down to him. “Oh? What’s wrong with this dear, adorable boy?”
“He’s caught a cold,” Paula explained.
“And he has cystic fibrosis.”
Brianna tickled his pudgy belly. “Oh, I’m sorry,” she said quietly. “You don’t need to tell me about that. I have cousin who has that.
I know how dangerous a cold can be for people with CF, especially the little ones.” She closed her eyes and touched his chest.
Evan stopped coughing.
“Yes,” Jeff said. “We can’t stay here anymore. But all of our money has been invested in this house. We don’t know what to do.”
think you can get rid of this spirit?” Paula asked.
Normally Lonny would tell them first they needed to determine if
there really was paranormal activity in their home. But this time he didn’t see any need in saying that. “We’ll try.”
Brianna opened her eyes and stood up. “If what we do here doesn’t work, we can call a friend who’s a priest to bless the house.”
Lonny stepped to the entrance of the living room. “If that doesn’t work, we have
friends who are psychic, and we can do a type of psychic cleansing.”
“We’re getting pretty good at this,”
Brianna said. “Just be patient.”
Evan danced around the kitchen like a possessed Jack-in-the-box who
has broken free of his confined space.
you settle down?” her mother demanded. “You’re sick.”
“But I feel
fine now, Mommy!”
The Andersons told them to do whatever they could. Paula picked up
Even. Jerry glanced at the home before he picked up the suitcases. They left.
Lonny put his hands on his hips and sighed heavily. “I guess we better get set
“You don’t want to do this, do you?”
“No. What’s the point? I already know this house is haunted.”
Lonny set up a camera in the bedroom where, as a boy, he saw the
ghost of Dr. Domorio Abacus. And he set up a camera in the basement where a lot of paranormal activity took place.
While Lonny did that, Brianna grabbed her tape recorder to try to
capture electronic voice phenomena or EVPs in the bedroom.
Abacus, are you here?”
Brianna waited for a response before asking her next question, “Don’t you like these people living in your old home?”
Brianna reversed the tape.
Lonny stopped setting up the camera. After she hit play, he felt
a cold wave ripple through his body when he heard a male voice growl, “No, you stupid bitch! Get out! This is my home!”
Lonny could use his psychic power to force the doctor’s spirit out and
finally rid this house of Abacus. “That does it,” he said.
“I’m sick of being bullied by my old memory. I don’t need to set up my cameras to know Dr. Abacus is here. I want to finally confront that old bastard.”
you going to do?”
“I’m going to astral project.” Lonny lied down on the sectional in the living room. He concentrated
on lifting from his body. Lonny saw psychedelic colors before they gave to a purer white light. He bolted from his body and
flew downstairs. The air was thick and heavy. The basement looked filthy. Many large spiders wove thick webs in the corners.
Dead bugs clung to them. Old toys, bikes, boxes, and other junk cluttered the floor as if the Andersons just threw stuff down
there from the stairs. The smell of turpentine filled the basement.
For the first time in fifteen years, he saw the ghost of Dr. Abacus.
He sat behind his studio desk working on some sort of infernal architectural plans. Abacus looked stunned when he saw Lonny’s astral form.
Lonny concentrated on seeing a window, like a spiritual vortex. A
small sphere of pale blue light formed in front of him. It grew bigger as it spun faster. “Go, Dr. Abacus. “You’re dead now. This is no longer your home. It’s time for you to move on.”
“I know you, boy,” Dr. Abacus hissed. “I seen you when you were just a small child, didn’t I?”
go. Now do it!”
“You were sleeping in my old bedroom. I
knew you had power. I wanted you to develop it.”
Now Lonny knew it wasn’t Abacus who gave him his psychic ability. He felt better knowing that
mad soul didn’t
give him his powers. He also no longer feared Abacus. He looked like a pathetic wretch to be pitied for creating a prison
of his own here in the astral plane.
Lonny heard laughter behind him. He heard that mocking, throaty laugh
before. “Join me,
Doctor, and I will show you the power you seek to build.”
Lonny whirled around. He sensed the presence of another entity in
a mirror in the corner. Its name came slowly to him. He saw those two haunting black eyes of Baltar, a spirit he wasn’t familiar with, but he
need to be to know it was malevolent.
Lonny started to chase Dr. Abacus to the vortex grabbed the papers
from desk and flew to the vortex.
Brianna screamed, “Lonny, no!”
Lonny lost his concentration of the vortex. It shrank Dr. Abacus
shot through the mirror. Baltar laughed as his eyes faded from the glass. Lonny’s vortex faded
as his blood ran cold. He knew what was wrong with Brianna.
Lonny flew upstairs. He found Andrew Dorian, the former pupil of
late uncle, the one her uncle condemned his soul as black and cut him off from his psychic teachings, held a knife to the
throat of Lonny’s
Black Andrew, the monster with his blue-black hair tied back and
athletic physique, looked pale since the last time they saw him, like he battled a serious illness. Why was he here and what
did he want now?
“Heal, me,” Black Andrew thrust the knife to Brianna’s throat. “You just healed that little boy of his CF. Now heal
get up here!”
Brianna touched his chest. She closed her eyes. Black Andrew breathed
deep and grinned. Brianna jerked her hands away. He threw down the knife and laughed hysterically. He shoved Brianna aside.
was some use from you after all, bitch.”
Lonny’s astral spirit stood in front of the front door of the Anderson’s home.
Black Andrew ran right through Lonny and out of the house. For a
moment Lonny was
inside his body. He read the thoughts of Black Andrew. He caught
something about now being
able to start some sort of architectural plans. Lonny returned to
Brianna ran to Lonny. “Lonny, I’m sorry,” she cried. “I couldn’t even feel him enter the house. His psychic power must be getting stronger. He’s able to block it so I can’t feel
him when he’s near.”
Lonny held her. “It’s okay, baby.
You did good. You did what you had to do.”
He told her. “I got rid of Dr. Abacus from this home. But now I fear I’ve created an unholy trinity.”
The Anderson family was able to return to their home. After a few
days Jeff and Paula were
amazed to find Evan’s CF had mysteriously
vanished. They reported no more paranormal occurrences in the house.
The afternoon Lonny grabbed a soda for and one for Brianna and sat
down on the couch in her uncle’s house. “Nothing good can come from that alliance between Black
Andrew, Baltar, and Dr. Abacus.”
Brianna collapsed onto the couch beside him and cracked open her
journal. “But there’s
nothing we can do about it now. I gave Black Andrew what he wanted. I cured him of his cancer. I’m sure we’ll never see them ever again. Good riddance to all those
Lonny hoped she was right. But he feared they hadn’t seen the last of that
Copyright © John Michael Osborne 2011
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