I’ve been babysitting a puppy at my boyfriend’s Mum’s home this bank holiday and for some reason my brain created this…
The garden was a good size and she had made it welcoming, with just a patchy lawn and a small patio to work with. A trellised area created two separate spaces, the one closest to the door that lead into the living room was where people could sit and enjoy the sunshine, while behind the trellis a myriad of bird tables and hedgehog hides worked to entertain and support the local wildlife.
The lawn was still patchy, but the reason for this was most likely the six month old puppy that had just joined the family and the fact the grass had been recently cut while the ground was still wet from a week’s worth of miserable weather.
Around the edges of the garden were border plants, mainly easy to manage shrubs, and the soil was covered in a layer of bark, to prevent weeds from rearing their heads through the dirt. The puppy loved to take pieces of this bark and carry it around with her like a trophy, but of course you had to intervene when she settled down on the carpet, holding the bark with her two front paws and using her new back teeth to chew on it.
‘I’d like to plant trees.’ The lady who owned the house told me. ‘But I just don’t have the room.’
We were sat outside in this garden and I was trying not to shiver, even though I had tried to convince her it wasn’t quite al fresco dining weather. She was pushing a piece of tomato around her plate, she had told me her appetite had diminished since the hauntings started.
Looking out onto the garden, I never would have believed this property could be experiencing such a violent haunting. I watched a bee visit a hanging basket that hung just above the patio door, its gentle buzzing as it went from flower to flower distracted me from watching her play with her food.
The puppy was lying on the grass in the sun, her small pink tongue poking out from her small mouth and her rib cage rose and fell with each sighing breath she took. A cool breeze entered through the gap in the back gate behind us and this time I involuntarily shivered.
‘I don’t want to go back inside. Ever.’ The lady said, noticing my discomfort. ‘That’s why I wanted to sit out here.’
‘It’s fine.’ I said. I hugged my mug of tea closer to me. ‘Is there nowhere else you can stay?’
She shook her head, watching the puppy sleep with its long, gangly legs sprawled out on the green and its pointed ears twitching with each breeze that toyed with the sensitive hairs on them. It was dreaming, and its legs would jolt every now and then and its nose would wrinkle up.
‘All she does is sleep.’ The lady said. ‘Sleep and eat bark.’
‘What breed is she?’ I asked. The lady put down her fork.
‘Alsatian, mainly. I think. But I was told there’s also husky in her. She’s still very small though.’ As if it knew we were talking about her, the puppy’s eyes opened and she sat up. But she didn’t move towards us, instead she looked up towards the bedroom window and stared intently.
‘It’s there.’ The lady said. ‘look.’
I wasn’t sure I wanted to, but my boss told me I needed more experience before I could obtain my full license. A cowardly ghost hunter he called me, he told me this was my last chance. I was going to confront this thing (from the safety of the brightly lit garden).
I stood and walked towards the puppy, who was still staring intently at the upstairs window, her eyes narrowed and the fur along her back slightly raised. The lady was also staring but instead intently at her salad, frozen with fear and unable to support me. I took a deep breath, turned and looked towards the window.
At first I could see nothing, just the glare of the sun as it hit the clear glass, but as my eyes adjusted they registered a figure standing just behind the curtain. I was unable to see exactly what it was but it was unnaturally tall, dark and standing perfectly still, looking down at me and the small dog in the garden and my stomach felt like that moment on an airplane when you hit an air pocket and fall a few feet. Its face was featureless, except for a large open mouth and its head rose up to a strange point at the back.
I stepped back, unable to take my eyes from this shadow standing in the window, and I watched, frozen, as it lifted an arm to place an elongated fingered hand on the pane of glass. Each extended finger looked stretched to double the length of a normal human hand and reached out to me. I saw talons on each of them, pressing against the window. When it removed its hand it left an imprint for a moment and then it stepped back into the gloom of the bedroom.
‘That is not an ordinary ghost.’ I said out loud.
The lady finally looked up. ‘Then what is it then?’
‘A demon.’ I said as I recoiled, taking stumbling backwards steps away from the house and the puppy started barking manically as we both watched in horror as it pressed its featureless face up against the patio door behind her.