Welcome to Tuesday's Tales! This week, the prompt is the word "ghostly" - just in time for Halloween. Eric and his sweetie are staying at a haunted bed and breakfast, and they definitely get their money's worth.
To read the rest of the stories by some fine authors, visit the Tuesday's Tales Web Site.
Eric had planned a wonderful Halloween get-away for us at a bed and breakfast haunted by a pirate captain! Captain Samuel Black longed for his true love, but unlike Eric and I, he lost her to a tragic fate. Black took vengeance against Norwich, Massachusetts – where we were staying - when his true love's father refused their request to marry. Rather than live without him, she committed suicide while he was out at sea. Every time there was a Nor'easter, the ghost of Black's ship Prospero appeared offshore, terrorizing anyone who saw it. The B&B was his former home.
Our inviting and spacious room lulled me into a relaxed state, which was good since it was nearly midnight approaching Halloween, my favorite holiday. We had dined on turkey and roasted potatoes in the B&B's dining room, and now it was time to settle in for the night. A storm approached, and we were lucky to get inside before getting wet. This storm promised to be an impressive one. There was nothing as romantic as a storm at sea when staying in a bed and breakfast.
I love staying in hotels and B&Bs. There was something exciting and romantic at finding a home away from home. The brass four poster king-sized bed promised lots of lovemaking that night. We set up our computers on a large table with two chairs. I turned on some romantic piano music on iTunes. As I unpacked my bag, Eric plopped a duffel bag on the bed.
"What's that for?" I asked.
"It's a test of an old wives tale." He said as he pulled out a red taper candle, silver candlestick, a box of matches, an apple, and my favorite antique hairbrush. "I've wanted to find a woman to try this with since I was a kid. It'll be midnight in ten minutes, and then the spirits roam the earth on Halloween."
"You know I don't believe that nonsense."
"Neither do I, but this sounded like fun. Here's what you do: you stand in front of the mirror in the bathroom alone and light the candle. Make sure you can see your reflection in the mirror. At the stroke of midnight, stand in front of the mirror, eat the apple, and brush your hair. You should see the face of your future husband reflected in the mirror."
"Sounds like fun but there's one problem."
"What if I don't see you?"
"You'll have to describe him to me so I can track him down and kill him." He grinned, clearly taking none of this seriously.
"Do you really think I'll see anything?"
"Of course. I read about this on the internet so it must be true."
I laughed, enjoying Eric's fun mood. "Okay, let's get this set up. I want to see you over my shoulder looking all ghostly." We set the scene by placing the candlestick on top of the toilet with my brush and putting the apple in the sink. Five minutes before midnight, I lit the candle.
I heard a pop coming from the bedroom. Eric had opened a bottle of champagne and poured bubbly into two coupe glasses. "Let's celebrate your favorite holiday." He handed me a glass. "And let's hope we see Captain Hook tonight."
"His name is Captain Samuel Black. Don't piss him off. He might not be nice to us. You know his reputation." I sipped the champagne, which was delicious.
"I sure do. He's a surly sort."
"And Black haunts this B&B, which was his former home. Don't get on his bad side."
"It's one minute before midnight. Time to head to the bathroom." Eric said.
I raced to the bathroom and closed the door. As my eyes adjusted to the dark, I felt the gloom close in on me. The prickly things crept up and down my spine. This old wives tales stuff was nonsense but exciting nonetheless. Who would I see in the mirror? Hopefully, it would be Eric.
I stood in front of the mirror and picked up the apple. I held the brush in my hand and started at my reflection.
I laughed. Just get on with it and see what appears. A nibbled on the apple as I brushed my hair, staring at my reflection in the glass. As I stared, the edges of my face faded and my features distorted, as I expected them to do from gazing so intently. A fog arose around me and misted the glass. As I brushed and ate, I heard the distant sound of a foghorn, but it sounded as if it came from inside the bathroom rather than outside the balcony. The smell of ocean water and seaweed floated about me. The atmosphere of the B&B and the romance of both Black's story and the old wives tale did their jobs very well.
A shadow appeared over my shoulder. I attributed it to a trick of the light, of spots appearing in front of my eyes. I blinked away the spots but the shadow remained. It grew as the foghorn sounded and the ocean mist surrounded me.
I big hand rested on my shoulder. My heart raced at the touch, but I did not move. A thick, silver ring with a large black onyx at the center encircled the ring finger. Eric's hands were slimmer and he owned no such ring. I shivered, both from cold and sheer fright. The apple felt like a lump of wax in my dry mouth. I froze with the brush caught in my hair.
A face materialized next to mine, lips pressed close to my ear. "You are delicious," a deep voice whispered. "He's a lucky man." Intense black eyes captured my gaze. His thick black beard was well-manicured, but his entire animal nature overwhelmed me. This man was much more feral than Eric could ever think of being. I feared him but he fascinated me so much I forced myself to stay in the bathroom and not flee like a simpering little girl.
"Are you Captain Samuel Black?" I asked.
"Aye, and you're welcome in my home anytime, fair lady. I'll watch over you and keep you and your loved ones safe."
"Thank you." I couldn't muster more words, being in shock.
"Thank you for what?" Two hands tickled my waist, and I screamed. The apple and brush went flying, and I knocked over poor Eric as I ran from the room.
"You snuck up on me!" I cried, gasping for breath as I sat on the bed. "Don't do that!"
"Did you see anything?" Eric rose from the floor where I had shoved him.
I didn't answer.
"You did see something, didn't you?" He asked. "C'mon. Tell me. Was it me? If it wasn't that's okay. Just tell me what you saw."
"You'll never believe me. Not in a million years."
"I saw something…"
"I knew it. What did you see?"
"Captain Samuel Black."
Eric was stunned into silence for a few moments, which was totally unlike him. He was never at a loss for words. Seeing him dumbfounded brought me out of my stupor.
"Not only did I see the Captain, he spoke to me. I also heard a foghorn and I smelled the ocean in there, like the Prospero was docked right next to the toilet."
"What did he say?"
I smiled. "He said you're lucky to have me."
Eric grinned. "Tell me something I don't know."
"He said I'm welcome here anytime and he'd keep us safe."
"That's good to know since the storm is closing in on us." At that very moment, the lights went out as lightning forked across the sky. The thunderclap that followed it rumbled through the darkness.
"Well, we have no power. The computers are down and I bet we don't have cable." I said, feeling my way around the bed as my eyes adjusted to the dark.
"There's plenty else we can do. You brought your toys, right?" He followed me to the bed, and then pinched me on the ass. I swatted his hand away, giggling.
"My favorite ones. Batteries are fully recharged."
"So let's make use of them." He wrapped his arms around my waist. "So Captain Black is in this room, right now?"
"Yup. I suspect he is."
"Think he's a voyeur?" Eric pulled my sweater over my head. "Let's put on a show for him to thank him for keeping us safe during the blackout."
Eric and I made full use of that four-poster bed that night. Out of the corner of my eye, I could have sworn I saw Captain Samuel Black lurking on the balcony, but he disappeared quickly, giving us our privacy and keeping us safe from the storm.