John was glad to be at the end of the winding, snowy drive. He made a mental note to himself to suggest to Dan a warmer location in 2011. His vehicle fishtailing down the driveway towards Dan’s cabin, John thought about the equipment he’d packed for the upcoming fishing trip. It appeared that was one part of the trip done well. He had certainly planned on being to the cabin before dark; that had not happened.
Parking his Navigator under the carport, he noticed Dan’s Escalade was missing. The cabin was lit, though, and if the door was locked, he had a key. Stomping the snow off his boots, he tried the door. When it opened, he walked into the cabin, calling Dan’s name. Getting no answer, he followed the aroma of spaghetti to the kitchen. A dirty plate was on the table, and a pan of spaghetti on the stove. John began to worry, because Dan was a neat freak, and would not have left the kitchen in disarray unless there was an emergency.
Searching the rooms and then the outside area around the cabin, John found no trace of Dan. The snow had stopped, and the warmer temperature was causing trees and lines to bend under the additional weight of the thick, wet snow.
Grabbing his overnight bag and laptop from his vehicle, John headed back into the cabin. As he sat down to eat spaghetti, there was a loud snap outside and the power went out. He lit one of the oil lamps Dan kept on the mantle, and headed outside to fire up the generator. That was futile, since it was out of diesel. “Hmmm,” he mused, “perhaps Dan left to get more diesel.” Carrying enough wood into the cabin to stay warm and provide light, he started a blaze in the fireplace.
Between the oil lamps, the fireplace, and the full moon, eerie shadows appeared, casting strange shapes around the yard and the walls inside the cabin. The wind began to moan outside, whistling spookily through branches.
A thumping, scratching noise sounded from the loft. Listening carefully, John heard it again. Hesitantly, he climbed the ladder to the loft, holding an oil lamp in one hand and balancing himself with the other. Staring at him defiantly was a sorrowful wraith. “Hello, John,” it keened sharply. “Please help me. Because of my actions during my life, I have been unable to enter the Hereafter. My wife is desperately ill and has no one to comfort her or reassure her about the wonderful life she is guaranteed to pass into. My spirit is committed to this cabin, where I can only appear on Halloween, to find any resident who might help me. I need someone to host my spirit so I can visit her and give her peace.”
Shaking his head in disbelief, John replied, “You exist in remorse between Hell, Earth, and Heaven, and yet you believe you can offer your wife hope?”
The wraith nodded. “It would bring me peace. I must find a host. I do not know what will happen should anyone accept my plea; the shock may even kill them when my spirit departs. Your friend Dan left without an answer.”
Understanding the wraith’s perplexity, John explained Dan’s strange behavior. “Dan is a werewolf. Every Halloween he and I visit a remote area where no innocent children will be, in case he is not able to control the vicious wolf side of his nature. He cannot host another.”
“Then what about you?” pleaded the wraith.
John shook his head no. “I am a mighty wizard. I will carry you to the hospital. I can use a spell to expand the barriers of the cabin. First, though, I must find Dan and place a peace and safety spell on and around him.” Together, John and the wraith, Joe, soared over the land. They both saw a transformed Dan at the same time, surrounded by red-eyed, foaming wolves. John extended his arm, hand facing palm downward, and chanted a spell. Confused, the pack of wolves searched for their prey, unable to locate Dan, who was safely asleep under the blanket of magic.
Hurtling through the air towards the hospital and Joe’s wife, the two arrived in less than a minute. Joe explained his situation to her, and added that he had spoken to many who had achieved Heaven, where she was headed. Regretfully he explained that he was caught somewhere in the middle, but would join her if he was ever allowed to do so. With a smile, she whispered “I love you” and closed her eyes in eternal sleep.
Back at the cabin in the blink of an eye, the wraith faded away as the morning sun came over the horizon. From the forest, Dan appeared, walking somewhat dazedly towards the cabin. Grinning at his friend, John called out, “Welcome back! Have I got a story to tell you!”
This story is the original work of the author 10-25-10.