The Backyard



Disclaimer: All Mine!

"Whose idea was this?" Amanda questioned while carefully traipsing around a crooked tombstone.

"Yours," Kate and Bess supplied helpfully while Deryn closed the remaining distance with reverent strides.

"I swear, one of these days my ideas will kill me," the only blonde in the bunch muttered, much to the others' amusement.

"Alright, so we're here," Kate said, coming to a stop next to her sister who she was going to strangle later for popping the genius suggestion of spending Christmas Eve in a haunted graveyard. "Now what?"

Bess turned to Deryn, who had yet to speak. "We can call out. See if there are any spirits here that want to communicate."

Kate scoffed, "You really have watched too much television," being only half serious as she had just yesterday reluctantly admitted to her secret obsession with the television show they were now imitating.

Ignoring her, Bess waited patiently for Deryn's approval. The two had known each other for years but it was only recently that she had learned of her friend's apparent psychic abilities. The information had been shared in the strictest of confidences, but Bess being Bess, had soon leaked too everyone in her paranormal group and practically squealed in excitement over them now having their very own medium.

Deryn had been sparse with words since then.

"Call out?" Amanda looked confused. Only visiting for the holidays, she had unwillingly been bestowed the honor of being the group's historian and still had to learn the terminology of the trade.

"You know, ask if there're any ghosties with us," Kate answered.

"Oh." Amanda nodded. Great! She scanned the long since disused cemetery, briefly wondering who in their right mind would put one in their back yard. Putting on a brave face and nodding, after all, there are no such things as ghosts, she addressed Deryn.

"You should do it. They'll listen better to a believer, right?"

"Actually they may find you more interesting since you don't think they exist."

Amanda searched the others' faces for a way out but fell short. Stupid logic…She decided that declaring her unease wasn't wise if she was to convince anyone that she was a 'skeptic'.

"Okay… I have no idea what I'm doing but here goes…" she started, bracing herself for looking nothing but a fool. She studied the eerie tombstones and cleared her throat.

"Is there anyone there?"

She felt heat cover her face and thanked the darkness that the others couldn't see her. This is ridiculous!

They listened as the wind rustled some dry leaves around them. Other than that, they were surrounded by silence.

"Go on, ask again!" Bess whispered, nudging her in the back.

Amanda looked around again, missing her flashlight, and took a deep breath.

"If there's anyone here, can you show yourself to us?" she asked. If you do, I'll faint…

"What do you know," Bess chuckled, elbowing Kate in the ribs. "She's a natural!"

Amanda did her best to overlook the delight her sister was getting from this. "Katie…" she warned.

"Mandie," came the teasing reply.

She looked over to where Deryn was standing, mentally noting that so far she had not done much of anything medium-y at all.

"Over there," Deryn said, as if on cue, pointing toward what looked like a bush, causing the others to spin around on the spot, and Amanda to lose her footing on the wet grass. With an easy swoop of her arm, she caught the shorter blonde effortlessly before she even came close to hitting the ground.

Kate and Bess clung to each other, babbling senselessly about calming down as their imaginations had already run wild with them. Amanda, still with Deryn's arm tucked safely around her, found herself not too uncomfortable with the situation until the woman behind her actually spoke.

"There's a man there," she said gently, reinforcing her hold on the blonde as she suddenly tried to get loose. "Stay still."

Kate and Bess had quieted down with the news and now stood stock-still facing the bush, only letting their eyes travel back to Deryn.

"What did you just say?!" Kate hissed.

"A spirit man," Deryn repeated. "Not a nice soul. He's watching us."

Bess looked back and forth between the medium and dark foliage, calming as rationality sank in. "You're shitting me!"

Amanda strained to see anything at all, but all that was before her was darkness, vague shadows of her sister and Bess and the ghastly outlines of headstones. Beginning to feel quite comfortable, still leaning against Deryn, she forgot the apprehension the mention of a ghost normally set in her and gave a short thought on how to stay right where she was.

"What's he look like?"

She felt a shoulder shrug behind her and Deryn's head moving slightly, stirring her hair with her breath as she spoke. "Like a monk." Her voice was low and level. "But he's not a monk... He's a…"

The words were cut off by a loud crashing coming from the front of the house. Everyone turned, instantly forgetting the apparent spirit Deryn had picked up on. The crash was followed by more noise and distant voices echoed through the still night air.

Recognizing one of them as that of her boyfriend's, Kate stomped off in the direction of the commotion. "If they wrecked my car they're dead!" she yelled to no one in particular, causing Bess to quickly fall in line, should she be needed as peacemaker.

Sobering up her sure to be imaginative mind, Amanda told herself she no longer required a safe haven from evil spirits. Wordlessly she slipped out of Deryn's embrace.

"Can he wait till later?" she asked jokingly, surer than ever this was some prank being played on her. She pointed her thumb to the bush and started to follow the others back to the house. She saw Deryn shrug somewhat indifferently before turning and jogging off, but failed to hear her say, "He won't."

~ End


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