Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 1 Book of Thunder – Chapter 33 Haunting at Midnight
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 33 Haunting at Midnight
“First things first, we’re not going for fun,” I warned him. “It’s an exorcism, you need to be fully alert!”
Bai side-eyed me. “When did you become the boss?”
“Since Wen Jiubo’s not here, I’m obviously the boss.”
“Who said so?”
“Then do you know to perform an exorcism?”
“Um, about that…”
The three of us went back to the old residence. As per Wen Jiubo’s instructions, we found several charms to ward off evil on the desk in his room and also discovered a yellowing canine tooth in the drawer. With those items in hand, we set off for that eerie box-like structure again.
When we started off, it was in the afternoon with the sun still high in the sky, keeping our surroundings bright. But by the time we got off the bus and got close to the box-like house, the area around us had also gotten darker.
“The sun must be hidden by clouds…” I mumbled quietly, but I knew in my heart that I was only trying to reassure myself.
“Is this the house you guys spoke of?” It was Shi Yitong’s first time seeing it. He pointed at it, having a hard time finding his words. “This is a little… Is there really someone willing to live in a place like this?”
The structure was smothered in darkness, like a stern old man. The black walls seemed to be almost ready to devour any person close enough to walk past.
“Let’s go,” I said quietly. We walked to the door and knocked. Not long after, someone opened it.
It was the woman who had been in the kitchen cooking last time. She looked close to forty, with an unhealthy yellowish complexion. She looked at us without saying a word. Instead, she wiped her hands on the dirty looking apron tied around her waist and then opened the door wide.
“Sorry for the intrusion…” I said softly, but she utterly ignored me, retreating back into the house. After a beat, her voice floated out to us.
“Xiaoying is in her room.”
I let out a breath of relief and thanked her. Grabbing Shi Yitong, we hurriedly made our way into the hallway.
“That woman is quite scary,” Shi Yitong said with trepidation. “If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought I accidentally fell into hell.”
“Don’t say that,” I couldn’t help but say. “You haven’t seen her husband, that guy is ten times as scary.”
“This place gives me the creeps,” Shi Yitong mumbled.
I knocked on the door of the room at the end of the hallway, pitching my voice as gently as I could, “Xiaoying? Are you there?”
Shortly after, the door opened. Xiaoying stood in the doorway shyly, eyes red as if she had just been crying. When she saw us, a hint of hope lit up in her eyes.
“Big brothers!” I knelt down before Xiaoying, smiling gently. “Can you let us in?”
Xiaoying nodded vigorously and opened the door wider.
It looked the same as the other day. Her room walls were painted entirely pink. There was a small study desk, a small wooden bed and a mirror by the bedside. The decor of the room seemed to be better than the rest of the other rooms. No matter how you looked at it, it didn’t seem like it was haunted.
I looked at Xiaoying’s swollen eyes, my heart hurting. I could never bear to see small children cry, so I silently promised myself that no matter what sort of ghost it was, I would destroy it. I couldn’t forgive it for making such a cute little girl cry.
Bai jumped down from my shoulder, going over to Xiaoying to lick the back of her hand.
“Did you see the ghost again last night?” I asked.
Xiaoying nodded sadly. “There was someone in my room, a really large black shadow. It was too dark to see clearly, but it was really scary!”
“What sort of shadow was it?”
“Um… I couldn’t see clearly, but it was tall and thin. I remember last night when I was sleeping, I got woken up by a sudden gust of wind. When I opened my eyes, a black shadow was very close to me. I was so frightened and didn’t want to make a sound. Then the shadow just…. Leaned closer.”
I swallowed. “Leaned closer?”
“Leaned really close and then touched my face.” Xiaoying’s voice sounded tearful. “I got so scared that I couldn’t help myself from crying out, then that shadow ran out through the door.”
“Is that so?” I couldn’t help asking, “What happened after that?”
“I was scared, so I didn’t dare chase after it.” Xiaoying shook her head, biting her lower lip. “And then… I fell asleep.”
“I see.” I breathed a sigh of relief. It seemed like this ghost wasn’t such a big deal if all it did was scare children.
“Okay, then let’s begin.” I stood up and clapped my hands. From my bag, I brought out the prepared items. Shi Yitong and I stuck up the charms that Wen Jiubo had drawn on all four walls. The mirror by the bedside was also possibly the reason for the haunting, so I walked over to it and placed the mirror face down on the desk, putting the dog tooth on top of it.
“All good now,” I said, pleased.
“Is it all done now?” Xiaoying looked at us curiously, probably not understanding what we were doing at all.
“If all goes well, tonight you should be able to have a peaceful night.” I bent over to ruffle her hair. I thought for a moment. “If you see the shadow again tonight though, spitting on it should work too.”
“I see. Okay! I got it!” Xiaoying confidently shook her fists.
“You’re really quite good at pretending to know everything.” Shi Yitong said, teasingly.
Bai also added his two cents. “You’re obviously only copying what you see Mr. Wen do.”
“….Will the both of you die if you don’t talk?”
After finishing up, I then walked to the window and opened up the curtains. Even though it wasn’t very bright outside, it still brought some life into the room.
“Though, to think of it, why does your family live in a house like this? There’s no one around and transportation is inconvenient right?”
Even though I knew Xiaoying might not know, I couldn’t help but ask anyway.
Xiaoying tilted her head. “I don’t know… But Uncle Wang said that this house used to belong to someone else. We’re just borrowing it for the moment.”
Was it a rental place? But renting this sort of house was really quite weird. Though, instead of weird, it seemed as if this place wasn’t a residential building in the first place. It must’ve been renovated to forcibly seem like one.
Thinking about it in this way, it seemed my original conclusion that this family was rich was incorrect. As a matter of fact, they must’ve picked this house to rent because of how cheap it was.
“Your Uncle Wang is your stepfather right?” I continued asking.
“What about your birth father?”