Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Bonus: A Visit with Henry

 I originally wrote this to amuse myself (and Rhonda Jones, Henry's biggest fan), but I can't resist sharing it here as well, as a little stocking stuffer for anyone who's read and enjoyed Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator. Enjoy this little holiday visit with the ghostly custodian Violet originally encountered in Spookygirl's first chapter.

A Visit with Henry ('Twas the Night Before Christmas)

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the school
Not a spirit was stirring, no ghost and no ghoul.
I walked past the mural displayed in the hall –
A misshapen Trojan assured to appall.

The tiles underfoot were in need of a clean,
A layer of grime over yellow and green.
The trophy case covered in handprints unclear,
Obscuring its contents (so lame yet so dear).

My Gothlings stayed close, all poised for a spectre,
With cameras, recorders, an EMF detector.
The numbers went crazy, gone right off the scale!
And the air here grew colder with each sharp inhale.

When down near the gym there arose such a fuss –
A grumpy old voice, a gripe and a cuss –
I shouldered my bag – a comforting weight –
And headed on down to investigate.

As I approached, I soon caught the sight
Of a grouchy old phantom who worked through the night
Just cleaning and mopping and scrubbing the place
With lead in his step and a scowl on his face. 

"Missy!" he said when he saw me so near. 
"Look at these smudges of dirt – right down here." 
He pointed and snarled at a place on the floor. 
"Did you track that in when you walked through the door?" 

Before I could answer, he tossed me a frown
And went back to mopping the hall, up and down.
'Twas the very same job he’d done all his life
(And he still did it now to avoid his dead wife).

Oh, how he worked! And oh, how he tried!
It was never an issue before he had died –
But now that had changed. Though he put in the time,
A ghost can’t do much against flesh-and-blood grime. 

"Henry," I said, "I've brought you some aid.
I'm here to be Palmetto High's merry maid.
It's the night before Christmas, you silly old dude,
So quit your complaining. No need to be rude." 

With that we brought forth the supplies we'd amassed –
My friends and I cleaned, and we did it all fast.
We polished the trophy case, swept up the floor,
And sent all the dirt right back out the front door.

The hallway, it sparkled, so overly clean,
Even ol' Henry couldn’t bear to be mean.
He surveyed the place, and he let out a sigh,
And hurriedly blinked a stray tear from his eye.

"Missy," he said, "this I wasn't expecting.
I thought you were just here for spirit detecting.
Can't clean like I used to, which makes me quite blue.
It pains me to say it, but . . . Thanks. All of you."

"No problem," I said, suppressing a scoff. 
 "Just have a good evening. Enjoy your night off." 
And I heard Henry say as he faded from sight, 
"Spooky Christmas to all, and to all a good night."


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone! And of course, it wouldn't be a properly spooky Christmas without some creepy decorations, so here are a few of my favorites: