MY BROTHER’S KEEPER
Print Length: short story, 82 pages
Genre: Contemporary paranormal/haunted romance, autumn season
Rated: PG, for all audiences
Release: November 21, 2011
When firefighter, Ben Murphy, loses his younger brother, Chris, in a warehouse blaze, he’s ordered to get out of his apartment and move into an old Victorian mansion. To recover from the shock, Ben is on vacation…whether he likes it or not. And he definitely doesn’t like it!
Once he’s moved in, Ben finds there’s something creepy about his new home. There’s an apparition present claiming to be his dead brother, Chris. To make matters worse, a demanding social worker named Kate Donahue just won’t leave him the hell alone.
Ben thinks he’s going crazy. Kate thinks Ben is already past that point, and Chris…Well, Chris is just trying to haunt his brother into getting on with life.
The brisk autumn wind blew around the house stirring leaves and whirling them about the drive in colorful, circular patterns. An old gas lamp at the bottom of the front steps couldn’t compete with the glow from above. Clouds hovered around a full, radiant moon. It was midnight. The grandfather clock at the foot of the stairs chimed the hour.
“Ben, wake up.”
Ben rolled over, reached for a large pillow and pulled it beneath his head.
“Dammit Chris! It’s not time to get up. Our shift doesn’t start ’til morning.”
“We’re not at the station, Ben. You’re not on duty. Wake up and look around.”
Slowly, Ben opened his eyes and stared into the darkness. His head was reeling. Even in his half-drunken stupor, he could tell he wasn’t anyplace he’d ever been before. He quickly sat up and peered into the darkness. “Where the hell am I?”
The wind whistled around the house and turned into an eerie moan.
“It’s okay, Ben. You’re not alone. I’m here.”
Every nerve in every part of his body came alive. Goose bumps rose on Ben’s flesh and he sat absolutely still. There was no sound except the ticking of the grandfather clock downstairs and the wind rolling around the back of the house. He was dreaming. That was it. And he was letting his imagination get the better of him, but who wouldn’t? He was sleeping in a house that could rival any of those in the old vampire flicks he and Chris used to watch when they were off duty.
“That’s what I get for drinking too much. Or what I get for not drinking enough,” Ben wrongly reasoned. There was no response to his voice, but why would there be? There wasn’t anybody there but him. Or…there had better not be.