The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Addison Shelley
Artwork by Addison Shelley

The Lonesome Poltergeist

Edward lies on the couch, staring blankly at the TV across the room. As wealthy as they are, it’s a rarity for the Constantine family to waste electricity. They spend every last penny sparingly. Edward is usually left daydreaming about venturing outside the mansion, so it’s nice to have something to do when the Constantine family is away. He yawns loudly as the Constantine family finally returns.

Augustine is wearing a tuxedo and a silver watch. His wife, Margarette, is wearing a black dress and a diamond necklace. Their son, Gabriel, is wearing a collared shirt that he is clearly uncomfortable in.

“I’m guessing you penguins didn’t go to Wood Grill dressed like that,” Edward shouts. “What happened? Did someone die?” The family seems to ignore him and Augustine notices that the TV is on.

“Gabriel, I told you not to leave the TV on,” Augustine complains.

“It was Margarette,” Edward jokes, tapping the bullet hole in the back of his skull.

“I didn’t!” Gabriel whines.

“See?” Edward says.

“Don’t you yell at me!” Augustine scolds. Gabriel runs upstairs and into his room. Edward follows. Leaning against the wall is a toy sword.

“I know there’s no way you’ll hear a ghost like me, but maybe your soul will,” Edward says as he leans against the wall next to the sword. “Just a wild guess. Really wild. Look, it’ll be alright. You won’t always be groveling at their feet. Just keep moving forward. No matter where you end up, at least it’ll be somewhere different,” Edward says, then stands up straight again. His foot kicks the toy sword. At first, he doesn’t expect it to move because nothing he has touched sense his death has moved. Then he hears it hit the floor. He and Gabriel jump at the noise at the same time. Edward looks over at Gabriel. He’s petrified, his eyes fixated on the sword. “How did I do that?” Edward wonders.

Gabriel finally moves, dashing out of the room. “Mom!” Gabriel shouts before repeating himself. He runs into Augustine and Margarette’s room and into Margarette’s arms. Edward follows, interested in seeing how this plays out.

“What is it?” Margarette asks in a comforting voice.

“The sword fell over on its own!” Gabriel cries. “It’s haunted!”

“Things like that happen, Gabriel,” Margarette explains. “It was probably just the air conditioning.”

“No!” Gabriel whines. “There isn’t a vent over there! Can I sleep with you tonight?”

“Of course,” Margarette says. Augustine stares at her in disappointment.

Later that night, Edward sits on the couch, looking at the reflection in the TV. The couch is in the reflection. The wall is in the reflection. The painting behind the couch on the wall is in the reflection. Edward isn’t. “Fitting,” Edward thinks to himself.

Suddenly, the TV flickers on, illuminating the previously pitch black room. Edward’s jaw drops. “Did I do that?” He stands up and approaches the TV.

“Your host, Steve Harvey!” the TV booms as Edward checks for anything that could have caused it to turn on. He might be over a century old, but spending enough time watching the Constantines, he has at least learned how the TV works. His shoulder bumps the flower pot beside the TV and pushes it off its table, shattering it. He freezes as the light in the hallway turns on and the Constantines barge into the room.

“What the —” Gabriel trails off.

“How did this happen?” Augustine wonders. He slowly approaches the mess while Edward watches. Edward realizes the power he now holds and circles around to the back of the TV. While Augustine continues to assess the situation, Edward wraps his fingers around one of the cables behind the TV. He pulls on it and successfully unplugs it, tossing it onto the floor. Augustine shrieks and jumps back. “Screw that. We’re moving.”

“What? We can’t move!” Margarette responds.

“Of course we can!” Augustine laughs nervously. “We’re rich!” He walks away, suddenly cracking up like a maniac while Edward watches.

“What have I done?” Augustine thinks to himself. For the rest of the week, Edward keeps his hands to himself, especially careful not to continue to frighten the Constantines, but it’s no use. By the time the week has ended, they are fully packed and on their way to moving. Edward sits on the couch, watching helplessly through the window as the movers carry the Constantines’ things onto trucks. Augustine strolls up to the window to watch as well, standing right beside Edward. Edward stares at him, wishing he wouldn’t leave. If he does, Edward will truly be alone. Edward looks back out the window when he notices that it’s fogging up. His eyes widen as he comes up with an idea.

Edward reaches up and presses his finger against the window. He drags it down, clearing out a line in the fog. Augustine steps back and watches as Edward continues to write the words, “My name is Edward” on the window. Augustine watches in awe and soon laughs, trying to decide what he should make of it. Then his expression straightens out.

“I’m Augustine Constantine III. You can call me August,” he says. Edward smiles as his eyes water with gratitude. He has finally made contact. Real contact. And August isn’t scared by the fact he has a poltergeist in the house. August steps back, reconsidering everything. Then he heads out the door to continue moving his belongings to the new house. While they’re gone, Edward paces back and forth, sweating.

“Are they leaving me?” he wonders. “Has he decided to stay? He just left. Why didn’t he say anything?” He soon finds himself lying on the couch once again, simply staring at the ceiling. The TV no longer interests him. He blinks. He sighs. He rolls his eyes. Then the lights flicker. Edward looks around. The TV screen flashes a static image as Edward stares at it, trying to make sense of what is before his eyes. He leans in and something happens. He doesn’t quite understand it, but in some way the static’s form changes.

Finally, August, Margarette, and Gabriel return. They enter cautiously, especially August. The TV flickers and shuts off before they notice it was on. Edward twirls his head back and forth, looking at the TV, then back at the Constantines, hoping they notice something is awry. They don’t notice anything, but Edward notices that August is holding an Ouija board under his arm.

“You idiot,” Edward thinks to himself. The Constantines set the board down on the kitchen table along with multiple candles and sit in a circle around it. Edward follows them, concerned. “You’re not doing this. This isn’t happening.” The Constantines lay their hands on the marker. “This IS happening,” Edward realizes.

“Is Edward in this room?” August asks. Edward leans against the wall, trying to ignore the utter stupidity in the room. If he doesn’t respond, maybe nothing bad will happen. August repeats himself and Edward erupts into nervous laughter. Then the marker begins to move. Edward stares at it, the smile wiping off his face. He watches as the marker moves across the board and over to the word “No”. He jumps over to the table and puts his hand on the marker to try to move it, but it won’t budge. “Who is talking?” The marker slides over to the letter “V” as Edward uses all of his strength to try to hold the marker back. It slides over to the letters “O”, “L”, “T”, “A”, and finally “K”.

“Voltak?” Edward thinks. The lights begin to flicker again as both the Constantines and Edward panic. Every light bulb in the mansion explodes, illuminating the room with flying sparks. In the blinding light, a behemoth appears. Zig-zagging horns extend from its head and its eyes glow with electric rage. Lightning bolts stretch from one side of the room to the other as the demon gains power.

As the Constantines sit petrified with fear, Edward finally pushes the marker on the board over to the letter “R”. Margarette slowly looks down at the board and grabs August’s attention. Edward pulls the marker over to the letter “U” as Voltak notices him. It raises its massive right arm, pulling on Edward with pure power. Summoning all of his strength to combat Voltak’s strength, Edward pulls the marker over to the letter “N”. The Constantines take this message seriously and dash out the door before Voltak can fully manifest.

Edward sprints in the other direction and leaps down the stairs and into the basement where the generator burns with impossible power. He grabs the switch and tries to shut it down and cut off Voltak’s power, but his strength is gone. Then August grabs the switch from behind.

“Edward, if you’re in here, give it everything you have!” August yells. Edward smiles briefly before pushing on the switch. With their combined might, Edward and August flip the switch. Voltak’s presence is immediately lifted from the room and the electricity in the air calms. With no strength left, Edward drops to his knees. August smiles. “Thank you, Edward. We owe our lives to you.” Edward looks up at August with a sense of accomplishment. A new era of his life has begun.

Throughout the next week, the Constantines move back in and Edward helps out when he can. Of course they don’t use electricity, living in the candle light instead. Eventually they hire a priest to exorcize Voltak for good. Edward and the Constantines might not be able to communicate traditionally, but they don’t have to.

They’re family now.

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