Title: The Haunting of Springett Hall
Word Count: 69,000
Song: Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo
Pitch: Lucy's such an incompetent ghost that nobody notices she's haunting Springett Hall, but she's certain she died trying to rectify some terrible mistake—one she must remember and set right before oblivion reclaims her forever.
Light drew me back from the void of oblivion. The sun’s rays pooled around me through a crack in red velvet curtains and spilled across the floor. I stood blinking at the morning sunlight, my mind as still and dark as a well. Shimmering flecks of dust hovered in the air. I waved to stir them, and they floated through my palm.
I gasped and jerked my hand back, staring at it. Through it, really. Even when I covered my eyes, I could see the furniture on the other side of the room: a grandfather clock with its hands stopped, a mahogany side table and sofa, and a portrait draped in black.
Someone had died.
I turned my translucent hands back and forth. Yes. Someone had.
My eyes tingled, but no tears came. I raced to the curtains to fling them open, but my fingers passed through their thick folds. Whimpering, I wrapped my arms around myself and paced.
What had happened to me? I ran my fingers over my face, my hair, my bustled dress. No injuries marred my body. But do ghosts remain as they were when they died or return to some earlier state? How was I supposed to know? I couldn’t even remember my name.
A thought shone past my confusion like a paraffin lamp. There was something I needed to do, some important task left unfinished. That fit my notion of ghosts. Didn’t they—we—always have a purpose binding us to this world?