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Flash Fiction: The Haunted House at 4309 Biscayne

MizBejabbers has been a professional writer/editor for all of her adult life. Before that, she was just a little girl storyteller.

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Irma couldn’t remember when she became an astral traveler. At first it was during dreams at nap time as a small child, then she discovered that while meditating, she could leave her body at will during waking hours. She didn’t realize that she was unique. By the time she was grown, she had racked up thousands of miles traveling around the world. During WWII, she even observed her fiancé in the trenches in France. Not knowing why, he often felt her presence with him. Perhaps that is why he came home unscathed.

After Steve Middleton returned home, he took advantage of new government programs for veterans. He finished his college education that had been interrupted by the war, and freshly married, he and Irma purchased a house in a new subdivision on his GI Bill. It was a small postwar bungalow, rather plain, but comfortable, and Irma had the knack to make it into a real home. She sewed curtains for the windows and planted flowers in the yard. At his job, Steve worked hard and hoped for a promotion. Things were looking good for the young couple.

Their Home Was Plain But Comfortable

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One day while astral traveling, she spotted a house that fascinated her. The house at 4309 Biscayne was a lovely Queen Ann cottage built around the turn of the century. Most homes of that style were tall and stately, but this one was a much smaller house in an older neighborhood. Only one story, the well-kept home was painted a soft green. The gingerbread trim was done in cream with touches of darker avocado. It was one of the few painted ladies that had not undergone the popular, but ghastly, all white paint treatment. Irma was hopelessly in love, although she knew they would never be able to afford such an adorable cottage.

The House of Her Dreams

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Each day Irma visited the house in her out-of-body travels. She took in the yard with its little rose garden in back, admiring the pink roses that climbed the trellis on the back porch. She sailed around to the romantic old fieldstone well in the back yard, and she saw that the house had been updated with a modern gas heating system.

One day she boldly ventured inside. She proceeded through the wall and roamed the rooms admiring the décor, especially the flowered wallpaper. Her favorite room was the parlor, and she especially liked the fireplace with the cherrywood mantle. No plain walls painted sandalwood or turquoise like in her own home, she longed for this house so badly, but it wasn’t for sale.

Addicted to her love of this home, she became bolder and frequently visited inside the house. Tiptoeing through the rooms, she giggled to herself. Why tiptoe, I’m not here in the physical body.

House For Sale

Then one day Irma noticed a “For Sale” sign out front. She flew back home into her body and excitedly called the agent who replied that she had just put out the sign that morning. And when she quoted the listing price, Irma couldn’t believe it. She asked why it was priced so low?”

The agent, Laura Downs, seemed hesitant to reply. “I have to disclose to your that the owner says the house is haunted. She wants a quick sale. It’s rumored that a murder occurred here back in the 20s, and the present owner wasn’t told about it. Laura was surprised when Irma seemed unbothered by the revelation.

Irma was ecstatic. Not only was the house possibly within their reach financially, it was haunted. If there was a troubled spirit still in the house, she believed she could direct that spirit into the light. If the spirit of the murder victim was still earthbound, Irma wanted to help.

She then called Steve and rattled off what she’d found, leaving out the haunted part. He wouldn’t believe it anyway. “Oh, Steve, I know we probably still can’t afford it, but could you go with me to look at it, please?”

“Darling, I have some good news for you, too,” he replied. The boss is impressed with my work and I’ve just been promoted to a division manager. I get a thirty percent raise starting next month. Get the agent to show it to you and make an offer. I know how badly you’ve been wanting that house. We may be able to go full price if we have to.”

At 3:00 pm that afternoon, Laura Downs, with Irma in tow, rang the doorbell. The owner, a widowed Mrs. Milford, came to the door. She greeted Laura with a smile and beckoned for them to come in, but when Irma stepped forward to enter, Mrs. Milford screamed and fainted, falling to the floor.

Surprised, the two women lifted up the unconscious Mrs. Milford and placed her on the couch. “Get some water, quickly,” ordered Laura.

Irma, being familiar with the house, ran straight for the kitchen and brought back a glass of water. Mrs. Milford was just regaining consciousness on the couch. Laura placed the glass to her lips, but the pale lady again spied Irma. She knocked the glass from Laura’s hand and before fainting a second time, screamed, “You! You can’t be here. You’re a ghost. You’re dead!”

The Plot Was Not Mine

This little story is pure fiction on my part, however, I can't take credit for the plot. I heard a very abbreviated version of the story, which I guess you could call a bare outline, when I was taking classes at the Little Rock Parapsychology Center (now defunct). Our instructor, the late Korra Deaver, told it to us as a true story during a class on astral travel, but it may be just an urban legend. I took her story and merely supplied the details, including the time period and the husband.

After I first published this, I remembered the song, Little Boxes, popular in the 1960s about the very type of subdivision in which this story takes place. Some of you may remember it. I'm sorry I can't find the version played on all the rock stations back then. I hope the folk version will do.

This Song Was Written in the 1960s About Subdivisions Like Theirs

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© 2018 Doris James MizBejabbers

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