Is that real?

Hot springs in Rotorua, New Zealand 2003 © Tanya Clarke

Hot springs in Rotorua, New Zealand 2003 © Tanya Clarke

Writing Prompt No. 47

Green and pulsing the ectoplasm oozed out from her mouth.

The sulphurous odour caused the eyes of the people around the table to water and bleed. The seance wasn’t going quite how Mavis had expected. Usually, when her husband is away she has a jolly group of friends over and they play cards, smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol lifted from the cupboards of their homes. They are women frustrated by their lives in 1902. They have good brains, are more than capable to work, hold down a reputable career and raise a family if they so wish. But this? Mavis clasped her hands together weaving a lace handkerchief in between her fingers.

Dolores? she said.

Dolores did not look well. Her head lolled at an awkward angle. The ectoplasm continued to drip and bubble between her lips. Nobody said a word. Everyone wiped their eyes with the edges of the linen napkins each had at their place at the table. Tiny spots of blood seeped through the fabric.

Dolores snorted through her nose. The sound was so sudden everyone jumped and held their breath. Dolores’s eyes rolled back into her head. Mavis could just see the edge of each pale blue iris hiding behind dark full eyelashes.

What should we do? said Mavis looking around the table.

You wait. said a voice.

The voice came out from the mouth of Dolores, but it wasn’t Dolores’s voice. It was the voice of another. A deep voice that spoke with quiet intimidation. The skin on the back of Mavis’s neck began to cool, the fine hairs rising in a primitive arc of panic.

Run. she said.

Feeling brave? Want to share your own version? ‘Let it go’ in the comments below.