The Best Idea (Short Story)

“And why am I never told what occurs in my house?” Kyla demanded in a loud voice. She stomped across the hardwood floors, feeling ridiculous in her form fitted suit and stiletto heels. It was absurd that a professional woman should have to resort to throwing a fit, but she didn’t know what else to do. 

She heard the tittering as she slammed her purse down on the entryway table, “EXCUSE ME?” She yelled, turning around on her heels and staring at everyone in the room. Their faces were all solemn, not one hint of laughter on any of their faces. “That’s more like it. You know you all should be thankful that I even let you stay here!”

She saw that her housemates were feeling properly chagrined and she sighed, crossing her arms in front of her. “You guys, we had a deal. You can’t just do whatever you like. I’m trying to run a business here! You all agreed that you would stay out of my way and let the guests come and go without harassing or bothering them! How do you expect me to keep up this old, enormous house without having paying guests?” She could tell her voice was getting shrill, but for Heaven’s sake. Why should she have to have this talk every single week? The people standing in front of her in the parlor were all staring at their toes. They knew they had done wrong, but they knew it every week and yet nothing ever changed.

“We’re sorry, Ms Mitchell. We really are.” Of course it was Betsy who spoke up first. She was always the first to apologize in this house. Too bad the rest of the group wasn’t so apologetic. She saw Tom shuffling his feet and she could tell he wanted to argue.

Everything in nature moves. Rocks shift. The Earth spins. The wind blows. And of course, ghosts haunt. Kyla knew this like she knew the back of her own hand. She sighed as she looked over her ghostly housemates. She shook her head and smiled at them all. She’d known that it was going to be a chore to renovate this house and turn it into a B&B, but she hadn’t counted on all of the permanent ‘guests’ coming along for the ride. She didn’t mind them at all, as a matter of fact, she kind of loved them all in her own way. They were like the family she’d never had.

However, the strain was getting to her. She had sank every penny of her savings into this house and these ghosts were terrifying every guest she had. She was at the end of her money, the end of her rope and the end of her patience. She simply had to get through to them. All of them. They had to learn to stay away from her guests.

She paced along the carpet runner as she tried to think of yet another way to get her point across. Little BethAnne stepped out right in front of her. Kyla hadn’t been expecting it and nearly tripped before walking right through BethAnne.

“Oh! BethAnne, I’m so sorry!”

BethAnne flickered for a moment and then came back to full view. “Oh, it’s all right Miss Kyla. You didn’t mean it, not at all.” She held her hand up like she was going to whisper. Kyla leaned down and waited. BethAnne walked right up and spoke quietly into her ear, “I have an idea that might help.”

“Oh,” Said Kyla, admitting to herself that this little Victorian girl was probably her favorite inhabitant in the whole old mansion. “What is your idea?”

BethAnne smiled her shy smile, “Well, Miss Kyla, I heard from the last girl that was here, she wasn’t scared of me at all. Not one wee bit! She said she wished that she could bring her friends here for a haunted party and get to meet all the ghosties.” BethAnne stood back, looking supremely proud of herself.

Kyla felt the wheels turning in her mind. It was a fact that there were plenty of people in this day and age that were intrigued by ghosts.

Maybe BethAnne had a point. Maybe she was going about this all wrong. She looked over the ragtag group of spirits in the room. Frank, the butcher was wiping an enormous, scary looking blade on his bloody apron. She always wondered how he’d died, but he would always get side tracked talking about his work and how knife cleaning was such a tedious process. Kyla wasn’t afraid of ghosts, but Frank was a little creepy. She pictured leading a group of ghost seekers through the kitchen to meet Frank. She looked over at Darby. He was quite the ham and loved to play tricks. Maybe he’d like to do his headless trick alongside of Frank with the gruesome looking knives.

She looked around and saw that the ghosts were starting to get excited as well. Mrs. Potter was chattering with her little tea party about how they could entertain and do a ‘haunted tea’ every afternoon. Promptly at 3:50, of course.

Hatty the nanny could offer her services to watch the children of the ghost seekers.

Kyla smiled as she listened to the excitement fill the room. She was off in her own mind, thinking about the new marketing materials she would work up in her little office. Yes, this could really work, she thought. A Haunted B&B. She could call it “Boo Ha Ha Bed & Breakfast” and it would be fantastic! She whirled around to head for her office, plans and logos already whirling through her creative brain. This was going to be perfect and the ghosts would be the best part. “We will ALL be happy!” Kyla thought as she walked into her office and turned on the computer.

This is my Weekend Freewrite, thanks to @mariannewest at steemit.

Oh! and by the way, in case you missed it, I reached 50,000 words on my NaNoWriMo novel on Friday! I ended with 56,434 words last night!