Ghost hunters: early Christmas edition   1 comment

Eva flicked the lightswitch. Nothing happened. She frowned and clicked it again, several times. “No electricity, like they said.”

“That’s why we brought flashlights,” Claire said.

They scanned their flashlights around the church corridor. The wreaths and tinsel lining the doors and walls made the whole place shimmer. They walked carefully, taking care with each step, as if the floor might crumble beneath them.

“This place is creepy,” Andy said.

“They always are, when it’s not mass,” said Eva. “I’ve been to a lot of churches at weird times, they always feel weird.”

“Weird how?” Claire asked.

“I don’t know,” Eva said. “It’s indescribable. You get scared to touch things.”

There seemed to be nothing to add to that. They plodded forward in silence. They reached a door. The reflections of the light against the glass panes and the tinselly wreath made Eva and Andy wince. Claire simply opened the door and led the way through. They found themselves at the intersection of another hallway, this one with several doors. It appeared to be of newer construction than the area they had left behind. The door shut behind them. They stood where they were.

“Where’s the sanctuary?” Andy asked. Then, after a moment of no response, she asked, “Where’s the breaker box? We should find the breaker box, right? That seems to be the best response to a power outage, right? Someone answer me. This place is creepy.”

Eva looked at Claire, who was thinking hard.

“No seriously, someone make a sound,” Andy said. “I am seriously creeped out.”

Eva’s flashlight hit a homemade-looking tapestry, which depicted an angel hovering over the Holy Family. There seemed to be a fair amount of glitter over the whole thing. Beneath the manger were the words O Holy Night.

Eva began to sing.

O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and e’er pining
‘Til he appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

She sucked in a breath, and then belted it out.

FAAAAAAALL

The hallway suddenly seemed lighter than it had been. Andy looked at Claire, who had clearly noticed. She was looking all around. Andy looked around as well, but had no idea what Claire was looking for.

On your knees
Oh hear the angel voices

Claire and Andy looked straight at each other, as they realized, suddenly, that Eva was not the only one singing. They looked at Eva, but Eva’s eyes were closed, focused on singing.

Oh night divine!
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh niiiiiight

The hallway wasn’t evenly lit; it seemed to shimmer with all sorts of different lights, all around them. Claire frowned at them, but Andy was fairly enchanted with the scene.

DiVIIIIIIIINE

Eva not only hit the note, but almost seemed to dance with it, play with it. Her voice was absolutely gorgeous, completely like nothing Claire and Andy had ever heard. Claire stared at her. Andy grinned, living completely in the moment. She could hear the other voices, too, humming in background to Eva. It was absolutely lovely.

Eva ended the song quietly. The lights began fading.

Oh night, oh night divine

The song ended, and the lights went away with her. Eva opened her eyes and winced at Claire’s flashlight pointed at her face.

“Do that again,” Claire said.

“That was amazing,” Andy said.

“How do you feel?” Claire asked.

Eva shrugged. “My throat hurts a bit. I shouldn’t have hit that high note without warming up a bit.”

“You sounded great,” said Andy. Eva smiled a bit.

“Sing again,” Claire said. “Please.”

“Yes, please,” Andy said.

Eva shrugged and sang the first song that came to mind.

God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas-

“No, no, something pretty,” Claire said.

Claire,” Andy hissed.

Here we are a-wassailing among the leaves so-

“Something pretty,” Claire said.

“That is pretty,” Eva said.

“Claire, let her sing what she wants,” Andy said.

Eva simply smiled. Claire stared at her. Normally Eva would be completely embarrassed about being the center of attention. She would fuss and shrug and avoid giving any opinion at all. This was the happiest she had ever Eva. She actually was rather pretty when she smiled. And that voice…

Something was very wrong.

“Try again,” Claire said.

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains

But Eva stopped. She looked around in the dim light of the flashlights. Andy and Claire looked around, but saw nothing.

Silent night, holy night

The hallway began to glow again.

All is calm, all is bright

The light broke into a thousand different lights all around, and they all seemed to have voices behind them. Andy had to admit that it was sort of creepy, now that she knew it was — supernatural? She looked at Claire, who was again staring at Eva.

Roun’ yon virgin, mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peeeeaaaaace

The room was suddenly dark, lit only by their flashlights. Eva finished the last line alone.

Sleeeeeeep in heavenly peace

The ceiling lights flickered and then turned on all the way. Somewhere far away, the building’s heating unit hummed to life.

“They’re gone,” Eva grinned. “I did it again.”

“Yes,” said Claire. “That voice — it was unearthly.”

“Thank you,” Eva smiled.

Her smiled faded as Claire gave her a searching look.

“Your throat doesn’t hurt? You feel fine?”

“A little lightheaded, a little sore,” Eva said, touching her throat. “Nothing unusual. I feel less lightheaded now.” She seemed to be shrinking back into her usual self.

“Do you sing a lot?” Claire asked. “I’ve never heard you sing.”

“You should sing more,” Andy said.

“I used to,” Eva said, shrugging. “Maybe we should go outside?”

“Yes,” Claire said. “Yes, let’s go outside.”

Claire led the way out, walking in brisk, hurried steps. Andy was able to keep up easily, but Eva had to jog to keep up with her. Down the hallway, through the coffee hall, and out the back door. The Church leaders were keeping warm in the minivan of the youth minister. Andy started to walk towards the minivan, but Claire walked towards the parking lot’s entrance/exit. Andy waved at the church leaders and followed Claire and Eva. The minivan was shut off, and the church leaders began leaving the minivan.

The three girls crossed the street and in stood front of a house.

“Sing Oh Holy Night,” Claire said to Eva.

“What’s going on?” Andy asked.

Claire looked at Eva, eyebrows up, waiting for her to sing. Eva was slumped over, looking through her bangs between Andy and Claire. She looked more like herself than she had in the church.

“You can’t just order her around,” Andy said. “What is going on? What the — what are you doing? What do you expect to happen?”

“Have you always been that good at singing?” Claire asked.

“Yeah,” said Eva. It was a simple statement. It was a fact.

Always?

“Claire,” Andy said.

“Well I guess technically I haven’t always had a good voice,” Eva said. “My music teacher in elementary school said that I had perfect pitch, so I started voice lessons when I was in third grade. I stopped taking lessons when…” She shrugged.

Andy, knowing very little of Eva’s history, wondered what the end of the sentence was. She looked at Claire, who was staring at Eva. She looked at Eva, who was staring at the ground.

“When what?” Andy asked.

“What’s going on?” the pastor asked. “We saw the lights come back on. We were hoping you would have a report for us. Did you see any ghosts?”

“Oh, yes,” Andy said. “It was pretty cool, actually.”

“Eva,” Claire said, “Will you please sing O Holy Night for us?”

Eva sighed.

O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and e’er pining
‘Til he appeared and the soul felt its worth

A window opened in the house they were standing in front of. Andy watched to see if someone would complain about the noise, but heard nothing. Eva’s voice was beautiful still.

A thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

FAAAAAAAAAALLL on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night, when Christ was born
Oh night DIVIIIIIIIINE

Again, Eva hit the high note perfectly.

Oh night divine

The church leaders applauded. Andy heard an applause from the open window. Once again, Eva’s voice had been absolutely outstanding. Eva smiled and curtsied a bit. Only Claire was frowning.

“Oh, Eva,” she said. “You didn’t come back quite right, did you?”

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Posted November 4, 2014 by agentksilver in writing

Tagged with , ,

One response to “Ghost hunters: early Christmas edition

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  1. Well that’s ominous …

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