A Standalone Haunting and Ghost Love Short Story
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PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED AS HAUNTED HOME RENOVATION
Copyright © 2017 by Darcy Danielle.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be used, reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form without the prior written consent of the author.
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, incidents and events are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Warning: This is a standalone supernatural paranormal romance novella which contains steamy love scenes and adult content. It is only appropriate for mature readers age 18+.
Mallory’s life had become so empty since her husband Rick died. Her psychologist said that it was because there hadn’t been any closer for the relationship. Rick’s heart had given out suddenly, his hard drinking and chain smoking lifestyle catching up with him in a sudden a fatal heart attack. Mallory remembered him most for being a talented poet with a good heart. But there had been a darker side to Rick. The depression he suffered from was the kind that came on suddenly with little to no warning, the kind that made people lock themselves in rooms for days at a time. Mallory had tried to be there for him, but now she wondered if she had tried hard enough.
She went through her day to day life with a fake smile on her face trying to think about all the positives things that were going on in her life. Her career was taking off, as an architect she was renowned commercially and revered among her peers. The sweeping landscapes she helped design for the Vatican’s mega-rich congregation were lucrative beyond her wildest dreams; she wanted for nothing, but her needs had become somewhat eccentric. After talking with her family for a while about it Mallory decided to take a few years away from the architecture field to find herself. Mallory worried that maybe it was too much like pseudo new age mysticism for her own liking, the whole idea that someone can become closer to themselves by dropping out of the rigors of whatever life they’d built for themselves. The idea was one that she yearned to explore, though, even with the anxiety that seemed to come from the idea.
The idea itself taking heat from Mallory’s shrink as she sits on his couch, reclined in the contrived prostrations people adapt to the point of cliché in mental health facilities. Mallory wasn’t crazy, she knew that much for sure. It was strange that the idea she might be somewhat losing it was even coming up in conversation with her doctor. Mallory knew that some of the combativeness stemmed from her own breach of etiquette when she showed up for the appointment fifteen minutes late, stoned. It also hadn’t helped when Mallory had accidentally called the young female professional, so very good looking in in her double breasted suite, a “shrink” out loud. Mallory had almost made the mistake before, but had been able to catch the word on the tip of her tongue before it leaped into the air. This time the weed she’d smoked had lowered her inhibitions to the point where she just didn’t think it mattered, at all, if she called the little twat a shrink instead of some flowery name they had printed at some school. Mallory didn’t give a fuck about any of that today. She was sick and tired of feeling like she’d been cheated out of the best years of her life that would have included her husband. Now, instead of having kids or adopting a small pack of dogs, Mallory found herself wildly successful and alone, being heart broke instead of rediscovering her love for her husband of however many years.
The shrink, the little twat in the tailored clothes and expensive heels, kept shifting around in her chair like the leather was hot. Mallory didn’t feel like anyone that couldn’t sit still for even a few seconds wasn’t really in the position to tell her that she was wrong for wanting to take a few years off and renovate her house. The shrink kept talking about how much it would set her back in the long run, and that there was a difference between grieving and being melodramatic.
“Mallory, I get that you have earned this professionally, and I also understand that you are a ‘Grown ass woman,’ as you so poignantly put it,” it was her shrink talking again. She was always talking.
“I’m glad that you ‘Get it,’” Mallory said, miming the quotation marks around “Get it,” in the air. “Because I’m going to do it whether you like it or not. You’re my shrink, not my lover. You don’t get to tell me what I get to do, or how I get to grieve. Do you understand that?”
p. The shrink rocked back in her desk and put her hands in front of her palms outward in a posture of defenselessness.
“Who, we’ve got a bad ass over here,” she said with her palms out.
“It’s not funny,” Mallory said. “How is this funny at all to you? How is this a joke?”
“I’m not making a joke of it,” the shrink said. “It’s just that you decide to walk in here and call me a term you know I hate because I am younger than you and it makes you feel better about yourself to bully people, and you follow this impulse instead of thinking about it critically for a second and maybe wondering if you should be figuring out your own shit. Like, I don’t know, maybe coming to terms with the fact that your husband died, and while it was tragic and ill timed, wasn’t some freak accident. Nor was it of the norm; it was just something that happens sometimes.”
Mallory’s eyes watered as she listened to her shrink talk.
“And my name is Sally, by the way,” her shrink said. “Sally. And it’s been Sally for the last three years.”
Mallory looked out the window and tried to ignore the hurt in the younger woman’s voice. It was one thing to take out her rage on commuters during rush hour in New York, but it was another to sit down in her shrink’s office and decide to be the biggest asshole she could manage to transform into.
“Maybe it has to do with you being the smartest person I come in contact with some days,” Mallory said. “Maybe it has something to do with the way I feel smart people should be in control of their lives like you seem to be in control of yours, even at such a young age. This is something I probably reflect back into myself as the ideal and fall short of.”
Sally sat behind her desk with a slack jaw.
“It could be that you remind me a lot of me, or maybe because it’s you remind me a lot of my mother. Or both,” Mallory went on. “Or maybe it’s just because I don’t like authority figures, or people that think they are smarter than me.”
p. Mallory paused for a second.
“I don’t know, maybe I am being a little melodramatic about the whole thing. I mean, I get that Rick died two years ago and it seems like a long time to grieve, two years, that is.” Mallory’s voiced slowed down as she realized she was going to start on a ramble.
“Well,” Sally said, “Go on your precious little rant. I know you want to. I know you are going to anyway. You can do it right now or you can wait I guess. How long will you wait though?”
The question was meant to be rhetorical but it now seemed like maybe it could have been a real question as it hung between them in the air. Mallory knew it wasn’t a question that needed an answer. Over the course of three years’ myriad times Mallory had put off a rant only to come back to it. Mallory knew, as well, that she would come back to the impending rant no matter what was said. She knew that no matter what went on she would want to get what was on her chest off of it, even though it wouldn’t be fair to the young women that was her shrink since Mallory wouldn’t listen to a single word the young woman said to try to change her mind. Mallory had made her mind up. What she was about to say made complete sense to her, even though she knew that really, it didn’t. Mallory knew that outside of her head the words she said needed to be able to withstands examination and what she was about to say would not pass muster. It would be found lacking in several capacities, one of which being the logic department. Large parts of what she was about didn’t make sense but she was going to say it anyway.
“I will rant if I want to,” Mallory started in again. “I fucking pay you, do you understand? I pay you to sit there and listen to me say this shit that doesn’t even fucking make sense sometimes. Do you understand?”
Mallory paused for a second to see if Sally wanted to chime in with her consent, but then quickly moved on when it became apparent that there would be no chiming in from Sally this time. Sally sat back to watch the oncoming shit show of delusion and repressed emotions.
“Because I really do feel him still,” Mallory said with a determined voice. “I feel both parts of him, the happy part and the darker part. And I don’t care if that sounds crazy. And I feel these feelings strongest when I’m back at our own place, so I’m going to take a few years off and go fix up the place, make it real nice. And in a few years if I still feel like living there, I will. But I’d like to sell it and move on after I really come to terms with what is going on.”
The room sat in silence for a second, but not the silence of a still night hung over waving prairie under a full moon, but the kind of carbonated silence full of tension and pressure.
“Comes to terms with what?” Sally said. “What exactly is going on is that your husband died two years ago and you’ve decided that you will now take some kind of time out that isn’t really making much sense to anyone who knows you. Did you that your mother calls me sometimes? Do you have any idea how inappropriate it is that you gave her my number? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. But anyway, your fucking mother calls me and bitches to me about how you are emotionally stunted now and having some kind of reoccurring delusions about being able to actually feel the hands of your dead husband. This doesn’t seem a little off to you?”
p. Mallory looked around the room as Sally’s voice faded out of her head. Mallory had a talent that came in useful when she didn’t want to listen to people that yacked on and on—she could just tune them out, like turning the dial on a radio or the channel on the television. Maybe it was more like being able to mute them out, but in any case, Mallory wasn’t stuck listening to someone just because they projected their voice into the air around her. So while Sally kept flapping her gums Mallory looked around the room. At the paintings that were cheap reproductions of old masters like Dali and Rembrandt. Then, next to the dollar store art, hung the young woman’s diploma from whatever second rate college she had gone to. Mallory new that for a fact, not just as an idle barb, that the education that Sally had gotten had much more to do with the money her family had put down than the young woman’s smarts. Mallory wasn’t sure if Sally had really come to terms with this yet, that she wasn’t nearly as smart as she thought herself to be and probably would never be as intellectual as she tried to put on for people. At some point Mallory almost found herself feeling bad for the young woman, but then she would glance over at Sally’s nice breasts and perfect legs and went right back to not giving a fuck about Sally’s eventual hard knocks. It was a hard knock life, better Sally learn it sooner than later.
“Mallory!” Sally shouted, getting Mallory’s attention again. “Are you even listening to me right now?
“No child,” Mallory said. “You know, I’m not sure why I keep booking time with you, especially since I blatantly have no intention of ever listening to a single God damn word you say.”
p. Mallory stood to leave, carefully pushing herself up from laying down on the couch.
“Even when you hiked up your rates after my husband passed and I was a wreck,” Mallory said, her voice softening. “But maybe that’s just how life works. People take from you when you are down. Even when you need them most.”
Sally sat speechlessly.
“That’s when I first felt my husband’s return,” Mallory said. “And you can’t take him away from me.”
Mallory stalked out of the office for what she told herself would be the last time, and maybe this time really would be the last. The walk outs and hollow promises to never return were getting to be a little like quitting smoking. Mallory half wondered if Sally would just tell her that she wasn’t welcome back at some point. It wouldn’t really have upset Mallory that much, she realized as she thought about it sliding behind her steering wheel and getting her car on the road headed home. Sally finally putting her foot down would be what Mallory had been hoping for deep down this whole time, although she hadn’t been able to be upfront with herself about it. Mallory felt slighted by the young woman, that she hadn’t taken more care with Mallory’s feelings after Rick passed. Sure, Sally had been kind on the surface, but Mallory knew that deep down Sally thought that Mallory was full of shit and just crying about her white people problems. Someone so young could never understand what it was like to lose a husband that Mallory had wanted to live with the rest of her life.
Life was a cruel bitch to take Rick away from her so soon. Or maybe it was God. Or maybe it didn’t matter. As Mallory pulled into her drive she settled on it not mattering at all. It was just one of those things that had happened, so suddenly. As she pulled slowly up her drive, waiting for a moment for the garage door to slowly open, the last dinner they had had where Rick had fallen to the floor clutching his chest slowly replayed in her head.
They’d gone out to one of those really nice places where the waiters barely speak English through thick French accents and treat all the American diners like dog shit. Rick had been stubborn about getting drunk before they left that night. Mallory had tried telling him to lay off the booze for a single night that the French waiters were going to try to get his goat once they got to the restaurant like they always did. Mallory got that part of going to the fancy spot with its month long wait for a reservation and its French wait staff with nostril high in the air was part reveling in Rick’s wealth but another part of it was Rick feeling validated that he could hold his own against the Frenchmen even when he was super drunk. Part of Mallory wondered if it wasn’t the heavy booze intake that made Rick be able to face his fears or if it was some part of his character. She scared herself when she wondered about such things; Rick’s drinking had gotten worse along with his smoking addiction. She didn’t want to sour the night so she’d stopped insisting that he stay fairly sober.
Fine, she’d thought,[_ If Rick wants to get fucked up, has to get fucked up, to go to the fancy pants place to eat and trade barbs with foreign waiters, then so be it. It’s his money after all. Just as long as he fucks me good when the night is over._]
Mallory is a lonely widow woman that is having some exceptionally interesting associations with her husband who passed away a long period previously. Perhaps it is because of her loneliness, or maybe it is the opportunity to be close to her husband for a second chance, but Mallory goes out on a limb is harmed badly when she has a terrible ordeal with the unexpected guest is a ghost. Turning to the one and only friend that will take her for real, Mallory has to investigate what is happening now in her home. Has her husband come back from the grave as an appearance of several phantoms or are there variant mystery forces alive in the house? Mallory knows much about her husband and herself as she cruises a world under siege by forces extreme out of her realm of experience. Eventually will Mallory discover her new love or will she be swept away by the forces of darkness? Author's Note: “Alpha Ghost” was previously published as “Haunted Home Renovation” under a pen name. This new edition has been revised and rewritten. This is a standalone supernatural paranormal romance novella which contains steamy love scenes and adult content. It is only appropriate for mature readers age 18+.