The Ghost of Gallow House – by Lewis Wollington

A young woman in a red dress was stood all alone. She was pretty with soft brown hair in a 60’s inspired hair do. Lewis felt like she needed company and slipped away from the group to talk to her.
“Hi there, I’m Lewis. Are you… Are you here with someone?” He asked her, not wanting to look an idiot.
“No no, just… me” she laughed off. “Rachel Reid by the way, how d’ya do” she said shaking Lewis’ hand, a condolence he was still getting to get to grips with somehow.
“What brings you here then?” Lewis asked, curious if she was in a similar situation.
“I was invited.” She smiled feeling as if she was stating the obvious.
“Have you been here before?” He inquired.
“Yeah I have actually. Well, not like this, I actually came here to research the history of the house and… here I am having a dinner party!” she beamed.
Lewis pulled out an envelope; his invitation. “You received one of these then?” He asked suspiciously.
“Yeah. Well, Don’t… tell anyone else this but… I’m actually a bit worried to be honest with you.” She said quieter than normal, rubbing her left arm nervously.
Lewis recognised her situation.
“Oh yeah? How d’ya mean?” He asked not letting anything slip yet.
“Well, I received the invitation, only yesterday as it happens and, it had no address on it. Someone must know where I live…” She explained. Lewis grinned. “Same here! I hardly ever disclose where I live and I certainly didn’t when I was at Gallow House. Which means… someone must be spying on us.” He leaned in closer. “Keep this between you and me for now, okay?” Lewis whispered.
“Okay!” She nodded. Lewis gave a reassuring wink and a smile and rejoined the others again. Rachel, feeling more comfortable, followed Lewis over to where he, James and Shannon were talking to an odd looking man. She thought Lewis’ clothes were a little odd but this was beyond it, this was weird. He looked almost futuristic. She arrived at the group nervously and slotted into their mini circle discretely. Lewis turned his head and saw her.
“Ah Rachel, nice of you to join us! Everyone, this is Miss Rachel Reid; Miss Rachel Reid, this is everyone!”
Shannon smiled. “Hi, Shannon Brown” she said, shaking her hand.
“James Hardy.” James introduced himself, bored of introducing himself to seemingly everyone he ever meets these days. Rachel turned to the futuristic man. They stared into each other’s eyes in pure awe. He reached for her hands. Not wanting to look away from her beautiful eyes, he kissed her hand.
“Jolton Hines.” he introduced himself. Rachel just smiled, a little embarrassed.
“Nice to meet you, Jolton Hines.”
Lewis muttered into James’ ear, “Oh please.” Shannon, obviously enchanted by the moment, gave Lewis a death stare. He looked away and pulled is ‘oops, sorry not sorry face’.
“Look at their clothes.” James pointed out to Lewis. Shannon joined in.
“If we look at her, it’s like looking at a gorgeous girl from the sixties; then you look at him and goodness knows what era you’re looking at.” It suddenly dawned on James.
“Oh my god.” He quietly exclaimed.
“What is it?” Lewis asked.
“Rachel Reid.”
“That’s Rachel Reid!”
“Don’t you remember?” Lewis looked at him blankly. He made eye contact with Shannon who was stood behind James, she just shrugged. James explained.
“When we came to Gallow House, for the first time, remember? We went to see May in the retirement home; she kept hold off all those newspaper clippings. People going missing at Gallow House?” All three of them had similar flashbacks. They remembered.
“1962” Shannon muttered almost solemnly. “Rachel Reid disappeared, in 1962.” Lewis walked forward and grabbed Rachel’s arm firmly, taking her to one side. He whispered harshly in her ear, not letting go.
“Now I’m about to ask you a very serious question and you must answer properly. It’s very important and I need you to answer with no hesitation. Understood?” Rachel looked at him, scared and slightly concerned. She swallowed.
“What year do you think it is?”
“I’m sorry?”
“ANSWER… the question.” He calmed down.
“1962, now please, let go of me, what’s going on?” She demanded. He let go off her arm and sighed ashamedly.
“Sorry. I needed to know, like I said, it’s very important and, for now at least, please, you have to trust me.” Rachel was a little reluctant at first; until she remembered the envelope, the secrecy. A fellow investigator? She felt safe for now and nodded in approval. She smiled to reassure him. He did the same back.
“Jolton Hines, could I have a word please?” Lewis called out. Jolton saw Rachel by his side and walked over a little concerned.
“Is everything okay?” He asked, holding a drink in his left hand.
“No, not really.” He replied. “I’m about to ask you a serious question and I need you to stay serious and answer truthfully and honestly.”
“Okay?” He almost laughed.
“I’m serious!”
“Okay! What’s the question then?”
“What year do you think it is?”
“I’m sorry… What? Are you alright mate? Is it past your bed time or something? I did think you looked a little too young for this.”
“Mr Hines please, just answer the question! For his sake, your sake and mine.” Rachel pleaded, not exactly sure what the hell was going.
“Please, call me Jolton.” He inappropriately flirted.
“Mr Hines, answer the question!” She snapped.
“2105, alright!”


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