The kitten let out a plaintive yowl. The blond sat up and swung his legs out of bed, scratching his ass as he stood up. He stopped, rooted to the spot. On the wall opposite the bed hung a portrait of Joshua, he knew he hadn’t hung it there. He approached the painting, it was exquisite, Joshua’s lips seemed almost to pulsate, bright sapphire eyes framed by thick black lashes stared back into his own cobalt orbs, pleading for love, begging him to stay. Justin tore his eyes away reluctantly forcing himself to look at the whole picture. Every strand of hair was visible as it curled and caressed his face. A voice echoed in his memory, is it you?’
“I don’t know Joshua,” he answered in a whisper. “I don’t know what to think, I don’t know what you want.”
The voice in his memory pleaded ‘Stay with me.’
Justin choked back a sob, “I don’t know if I can.” the young man closed his eyes as sad cords being played on the piano floated up the stairs, assaulting his ears, melancholy and heart wrenching. The curly haired man reached out a shaking hand and traced the line of Joshua’s face. “I’ll stay the two months,” he sighed. “I can’t promise more than that.” The music stopped, silence filling the house once more as Justin picked up his kitten and left the room.
The eyes of the painting followed the curly haired man as he left the room, taking the kitten with him. Joshua felt the pain of loneliness as it consumed him once more. A single tear rolled down the paintings face, freezing into the oil.
The phone engineer turned up a couple of hours later, rigging up a phone in the living room, one in his bedroom and one in the kitchen. Having the means of communicating with the outside world filled Justin with confidence.
A couple of hours after the phone engineer had left; a small army of electricians invaded him. Each taking a room they proceeded to chip into the walls laying cables, and installing switches. Joshua stood behind one of the men, watching in fascination as the rubber-covered wires were threaded through the brickwork. He watched open mouthed as the man flicked a switch and a light suspended from the ceiling sprang to life, flooding the room with artificial daylight. He melted through the wall and watched another man as he tightened some screws. The electrician put his screwdriver on the table next to him while he rooted round in his toolbox, looking for a screw the right size. Wickedness filled Joshua’s eyes. He reached out and lifted the small steel instrument, placing it down on a table on the other side of the room.
The middle-aged electrician stood upright and went to retrieve his tool, scratching his head when he couldn’t find it. Joshua let him look for it, smirking naughtily before he replaced it in its original place. The man scratched his head again and picked up the screwdriver, muttering under his breath.
The spectre felt a tingle run up his spine. Fading away he materialised behind another man who was installing electrics in the living room. He came up behind him close, as the man put his hand on the living room wall …. his wall. Memories he buried deep rushed at him, freezing him to the spot.
Joshua paced back and forth in the confines of his room; he paused at his window, squinting to look through the small cracks that were between the planks of wood that had been nailed up, covering the glass. How long had he been held prisoner? The days were rolling into one another. The only time the door to his room opened was to bring him food, or to empty his bucket.
He curled up on his bed and closed his eyes. Justin. Why hadn’t Justin come for him? They had sworn their undying love, they had sworn eternity. Joshua pulled his knees up to his chest and let the tears roll unchecked down his face. Sobbing silently, he let sleep envelope him.
He woke with a start, someone was standing over him. He opened his mouth to scream, but was silenced by a thick wad of ether soaked fabric being held tightly over his mouth and nose. He held his breath, fighting as hard as he could, but his attacker had time on his side, knowing eventually his victim would have to take a breath. Joshua went limp, and his father sighed sadly. “I love you Joshua, but you are unstable, I do this because I love you.” He lifted the slight young man in his arms and carried him down to the specially built room, laying him tenderly on the rickety wooden bed he kissed his son one last time. He backed out, and retrieving a trowel from the pile of bricks, he proceeded to wall the slender man into his tomb.
Joshua groaned, and struggled up the long ladder back to consciousness. He blinked, finding himself still covered in darkness. He sat up slowly, letting his eyes adjust to the darkness.
He reached out blindly, finding the small table next to the bed, feeling the objects laid out for him. Feeling the flint lighter under his fingers he flicked it. A single flame leaped from the silver casing, casting an eerie glow over the room. He groped for the oil lamp, lighting it. A sob tore from his throat. He threw himself at the walls of his prison, pushing each in turn , spinning round and round, looking for a way out, till he collapsed in a heap on the stone floor. “Daddy, don’t do this.” He begged aloud. “Don’t do this.” He pounded at the brickwork till his fists were covered in his blood. Pleading with his father to let him out. Eventually he crawled onto his bed, shrinking into a small pitiful ball, weeping unashamedly, terrified at what had befallen him.
Joshua came back to the present. The electrician had moved away from his tomb, and was chipping a small square shape into the opposite wall. Unable to take anymore Joshua returned to the remains of his body, encased in the living room wall.
Justin stayed out of the way while the small army took over his home. Silently praying that he wouldn’t be angering his ‘house guest’ with this invasion. It was dark when he eventually returned to the manor house, he groaned and stood staring at the house. Every light in the house was flashing on and off. He put his key in the door and went in. While he had been out his electrical appliances had been delivered and installed. Radio one bleared out from his stereo, the TV was on full blast and was flicking from channel to channel. His kitten was curled up on the sofa, washing himself purring contentedly, as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Justin turned off the TV sighing loudly when it flicked back on. He turned it down and Joshua turned it back up.
The young heir stood with his feet apart and his hands on his hips, now he was pissed.
“JOSHUA, STOP IT NOW!”
Everything went off, Justin rolled his eyes and flipped on the table lamp next to him.
“I’m sorry I shouted Joshua. I know its new to you, but please don’t do that again.” He felt stupid talking to thin air, but obviously there was something in the house, and it was easier to believe in the handsome young ghost, than not to.
He walked into the kitchen to get a drink, as he reached out to open the fridge, the door popped open, and a can of coke floated out and into his hand. “Oh boy this is too weird,” he muttered under his breath. A glass floated out of the cupboard and landed on the worktop next to him. Justin shivered reactively. “Thank you.” He almost hyperventilated as he felt a soft hand caress the side of his face, sending a chill through him. Kitty meowed up at him as he wrapped himself round invisible legs. Justin watched fascinated as the kitten reared up on his back legs arching into an unseen hand.
Curiously, reaching out before him, he tried to touch what his kitten could see, but his hand met nothing but air.
Joshua’s ears pricked up. Who was Justin talking to? He moved over to where the young man sat cross-legged on the chair, listening closely to the conversation Justin seemed to be having with a rather strange looking object.
“I’m missing you too mom. Hey can I ask you something? Do you believe in ghosts?” The blond listened, nodding in confirmation of what he already knew.
“So you are saying he’s trapped.” Justin picked up his pen scribbling furiously on a pad of paper, a lot of mm’s and aha’s were thrown into the mix, then Justin said “Thanks mom, you been a great help. Look I get out of here in 50 days, why don’t you come over and see the house, then we can go back to the states together. I decided I‘m not staying on.”
Joshua’s lip trembled, Justin was leaving him! He swiped the table clear in temper, then the fireplace. He hurled his painting on to the floor He was going to be alone again, how long this time? Another 70 years? Maybe longer?
Justin ducked as a vase came spinning towards his head. “I gotta go ma.” His words were cut off as the phone was wrenched from his grip and sent smashing against the wall. The TV exploded as a book struck the screen, shattering it into a million pieces, and the lights began to grow brighter and brighter as Joshua’s temper increased.
“STOP, or I will leave right now and never come back.”
Joshua paused in mid hurl, his fingers gripping the basketball trophy tightly.
“I mean it Joshua! I will go.” Justin watched as the brass object settled back in its rightful place. Soft sobs began to echo through the old house, startling the young blond, he had seen Joshua move things, he had even fancied that Joshua had whispered in his ear, but he had never heard him cry.
The ghost curled up in a ball next to the sofa, crying for the love he was about to lose again. “Please don’t leave me Justin.” his voice whispered, his pain filling the room. “I don’t want to be alone anymore.”
The American’s heart shattered at the emptiness in the spirits voice, the sheer desperation and loneliness it held. He walked over to the couch, slumping down in its soft un-sprung upholstery.
“I’m tired Joshua, I need to sleep and I need to think. I mean just how far do you think our relationship can go? You are dead Joshua, an entity that shouldn’t be here anymore, you should be in paradise or heaven or where ever the hell spirits are supposed to go. I’m a living, breathing man, I need to be able to touch, to see. I don’t want to hurt you sweetheart, but it can’t work. You can see that can’t you?” Justin waited hopefully for a reply, sighing sadly when he didn’t get one. “I’m going to bed Josh, goodnight angel.” He hauled himself up and walked slowly up the stairs, his shoulders drooping.
The entity watched the object of his affection make his way sadly up the stairs, before he drifted over to the piano and began to play. He had to think of a way to encourage Justin to stay with him, to let him see just how happy they could be together. As he played he began to formulate a plan, a wry smile lifted his lips, Justin wouldn’t know what hit him.
Justin slipped naked between the sheets; it was an unusually warm night for England. He tossed and turned as he let the simplistic melody being played on the piano wash over him. He had never seen the essence of Joshua so upset. He had to think. He turned on to his side, twisting his head so he could see the portrait of Joshua that hung in his room. The perfect features looked back at him sadly. Justin sat upright pushing the thin cotton sheets from him, gasping. Frozen in time on the lovely mans face was a single tear, how had he never noticed that before? Then he knew why; he had caused it.
“I never meant to make you cry Joshua. I wish I could be what you want me to be, but I can’t.” He settled back down on his bed, his head resting on his forearm, watching the painting through heavily hooded eyes. The painting seemed to stare back, Joshua’s beautiful face softened and blurred as sleep took Justin over.
In the darkness the air stirred. Kitty mewed and jumped from his comfortable position, curled in the crook of Justin’s leg. The kitten settled himself by the side of the fireplace and watched the entity as he floated over to the sleeping man, hovering horizontally over him. He reached out a ghostly hand, tracing Justin’s rosebud lips. Joshua leaned in brushing his lips over the tempting mouth, deepening his kiss, when Justin responded. He settled next to his soon to be lover, stroking his hand down the naked mans body.
“I can convince you to stay,” he breathed. “Will you let me?”
Justin shifted, his eyes flickering open. “Joshua!” he gasped.
“I don’t want you to go, always they go. I’m lonely Justin, stay with me. You will never regret it, I promise.” The entity that was once the living breathing man called Joshua, lowered his invisible lips to the rosebud mouth below his once more, sliding his ghostly tongue inside the sweet cavern, twirling and twisting it with the thick muscle that was Justin’s. The living man groaned as Joshua’s flavour filled his mouth. The entity started to solidify; pressing his body length down over his would be lover, still invisible, not knowing how to become visible. Justin moaned low in the back of his throat and writhed under him, gasping as cock touched cock.
“Joshua,” he breathed, “Sweet, gentle Joshua.”
A soft tongue licked up Justin’s chest, lapping at one nipple, making it pucker and harden under the icy-cold ministrations. Justin panted as the un-earthly mouth moved down his body, leaving a wet trail over his belly and circling his belly button, before dipping in, swirling round and lapping gently at the soft sensitive skin before continuing its journey southward. The icy mouth swallowed Justin’s hot cock without warning, causing the blond to buck his hips, screaming with pleasure as the talented ghost consumed him. Sucking hard, creating a vacuum, his shaft was licked and stroked by Joshua’s tongue as the entity worked as hard as he could to convince the man to stay with him. Justin’s eyes opened and he saw himself in the mirrored ceiling, his flesh was moving under Joshua’s hands as he writhed and thrashed in ecstasy. He watched himself fascinated, at the responses of his body, moaning low in his throat as icy cold fingers circled his opening.
A burning sensation shot through his ass, Joshua had entered him, Justin closed his eyes and thrust up to meet the entity’s thrusts, working in unison with his invisible lover, he howled in pleasure as the icy cock inside him brushed his prostate, then again as he exploded into orgasm. His eyes snapped open feeling Joshua shudder above him. Sapphire blue locked with cobalt. Joshua’s beautiful face looked down into his lovers, he lowered his lips to Justin’s, sliding them slickly together as Justin’s tongue filled his mouth.
“I can see you!” Justin exclaimed, “I can touch you!”
“I love you Justin. Stay with me.”
The living man reached up a hand and pushed the golden brown curls from Joshua’s lovely eyes. “How can I leave now? I can never leave now.” Justin lifted up claiming another kiss from Joshua’s soft pliant mouth. He pulled back and watched sadly as the lovely spirit faded away.
“I’m still here.” Just to prove his point the entity ran his hand down Justin’s torso, causing the young man to shiver from the icy touch. The bed sheets seemed to move of their own accord, covering the blond, warming him. Justin felt the welcome pressure of Joshua’s unearthly presence against him, spooning up before him. Justin groaned as his cock slipped into the cleft of Joshua’s ass, resting there as if they were made for each other.
He fell asleep his nose buried in the incense of Joshua’s hair and the sound of his sweet voice singing him a lullaby. “I love you too Josh,” he murmured just before sleep took him.
Dreams of Joshua filled the sleeping mans head. In them they were happy, rolling in the hay, laughing, playful touches escalating into passion filled caresses. Joshua’s long lean body sliding slickly over his, as he lowered himself onto the stiff cock protruding from Justin’s own groin. He moaned into the sleek mans hair, pulling his mouth down over his, muttering into the sweet cavern declarations of eternal love, as Joshua rode him expertly, encasing his cock with his hot, tight depths. The mood changed, and a cold wind blew over the lovers. Joshua was suddenly yanked backwards by his hair, dragged painfully from him. The brunette screamed in agony as he was struck savagely across the face.
Justin was hauled to his knees and his hands tied tightly behind his back. A rancid rag was thrust deeply into his mouth, making him gag as it was fastened into place. He could see Joshua being thrashed with a leather belt, screaming for mercy, as his attacker howled obscenities at the tearful young man.
Justin was stunned as Joshua pleaded. “Please daddy, stop.” The older man seized a handful of his son’s hair and dragged him back to where Justin knelt helplessly. He pushed Joshua’s face into his.
“Say goodbye Joshua.” It was a demand not a request.
Tears cascaded down his face as Joshua was dragged away. “Justin!” He screamed. “I’ll wait for you, I’ll never stop waiting for you.”
“Four strong unyielding hands grabbed Justin, and half dragged, half carried him to a boat, tossing him inside, the men climbing in themselves. They rowed him out to the middle of the lake, tying a weight to his feet.
Justin whimpered in fear as he was lifted and tossed overboard. Water roared in his ears as he sank into the dark, dirty depths, he kicked hard, trying to dislodge the bonds binding him to the weight dragging him down, failing. Joshua’s beautiful face flashed before his eyes, and he stared serenely into the sapphire blue of his lover’s eyes, as his life ebbed away.
“Eternity,” He whispered over in his mind …. Then there was black.
Justin threw himself upright panting in terror. The entity had gone, back to wherever he went. He got out of bed and went into his bathroom, running the cold water and splashing his face. He looked at himself in the mirror. The memory of the nightmare left him shaken as he went downstairs, Kitty, pouncing at his heels.
“Joshua,” he called the entity as he opened the fridge, pulling out some juice, drinking it straight from the carton. “Joshua, are you here? ”He asked again. Receiving no answer Justin picked up his car keys, “I’m just going out for a while I’ll be back soon.”
Joshua tried to shout for help, to shout a warning, but couldn’t because of the heavy hand clamped over his mouth. He slumped back against the solid body behind him and a harsh voice rasped in his ear. “I told you boy that you were never to see him again. Now I will have to dispose of him too.” Joshua’s father sealed him once more into his tomb, and settled down to wait for Justin’s return.
After inquiring in the village, Justin found out that the nearest library was in Tilbury. He set off research in mind. He’d been driving ten minutes when he spotted the lake, it was nestled on his own property, and he’d never noticed it before. Pulling up by the side of the pier, he got out of his Ferrari and walked down to the waters edge, staring into the dark water, jangling his keys in-between his fingers. Making a sudden decision he got back into his car and drove towards the town, heading not for the library as he originally planed but to the sports shop. He was going swimming.
Three hours later he was pulling on his wetsuit, he checked the air gauge on his tank and placed it in the small rowboat that was tethered to the piers end. He climbed in the old craft and manoeuvred the ores into place, throwing his strength against the wood he propelled himself out to the centre of the lake. He sat for a moment, calming himself, then he slipped his arms into the straps, securing his tank to his back. He pulled the mask over his face, and picking up his underwater torch he tumbled backwards into the murky depths.
Shining his torch before him he swam downwards, his eyes peeled, hoping desperately he wouldn’t find anything. A skeleton loomed suddenly out of the darkness, popping up almost in front of his face. He almost dropped the torch as he back paddled frantically, panicking, kicking for the surface. He broke in to the daylight, ripping the mask from his face, his heart pounding in fear. He hauled himself into the boat, falling back panting as he struggled to breath. Eventually he was calm enough to think, he rummaged around in his backpack finding his cell phone. He dialled 999.
A disembodied voice said “Emergency, what service do you require??”
Swallowing, Justin replied. “I found a body.”
Within 20 minutes the lake was swimming in frogmen as the Essex constabulary took over a small corner of Justin’s estate. Before long a body was brought up. Justin hung back not wanting to see too much, but suffering from car wreck syndrome, wanting to see, but not wanting to. The inspector approached the shock young American.
“How long has he been down there?” Justin asked.
The inspector flicked open his notebook. “The medical examiner seems to think over a hundred years, he was murdered, defiantly, he was bound hand and foot, gagged and weighted down, probably went into the water still alive, poor soul.”
Justin shuddered, suddenly feeling the need to be with Joshua. “I have to get home.”
“Do you want someone to go with you?” the inspector asked.
Justin shook his head, “No I’m fine.” Taking one last look at the body being zipped into a body bag, he climbed into his car. He had a lot of thinking to do. How did he know that the body was there? Why did he dream of the boy’s murder? Did he dream it? Justin began to shake, a cold sweat breaking out over his body as an unbidden thought came to his mind. Did he experience it? Was he Joshua’s Justin?
The house was unusually dark as he drove up. Caution warned him to be vigilant, since he had electricity put in Joshua always had a light on somewhere. The fact the house was in darkness alarmed him.
He ran up the steps and in through the door, opening it carefully, stepping inside, keeping his back pressed to the wall. “Joshua,” he called, “where are you?” the door slammed behind him, making him jump. “Josh?” he whispered. He switched the light on, only to have the bulb burst in a thousand pieces , showering him with glass. In the darkness he could hear Kitty, hissing and growling. “Josh?” he whispered again. Something hard hit him in the middle of his stomach, making him stagger forward, bent double as the wind was knocked out of him. Unseen hands gripped his hair, spinning him round and hurling him into the living room wall, smashing his head on the bricks, breaking the skin open and blinding him with pain. Justin leaned against the masonry, gasping to catch his breath.
“Justin.” he stiffened the sound of his ghostly lover’s voice crying from within the wall. “Justin, I can’t get out, help me!”
He placed his hands palm down against the bricks. “Joshua!” Again he was hurled across the room by the unseen force.
“KEEP YOUR DIRTY HANDS OFF MY SON!”
Justin scrambled away from the bellowing voice, this wasn’t the essence of his lover, this had to be Joshua’s father, the scowling, grizzled faced old man that he had seen so viciously attack Josh. Justin knew that the incensed spirit was going to kill him as surely as he had killed the first Justin, and as surely as he had murdered his own beautiful son.
‘How do you fight a ghost?’ he cried to himself as he sprinted for the door, tugging at the handle. He was yanked back and sent spinning back across the room, tumbling over the couch and hitting his stomach on the edge of the coffee table, agony ripped through his abused body. He shook his head to clear the stars from his vision. Justin’s body went flying through the air again, smashing back into the wall, which imprisoned his lover. He gasped, seeing for the first time the unusual thickness of the wall, ‘it shouldn’t be there’ he thought. His head struck the masonry again and he whimpered in pain.
“I KILLED YOU ONCE, I’LL KILL YOU AGAIN. ALREADY JOSHUA IS BACK IN HIS PRISON. YOU WILL NEVER HAVE HIM ….. NEVER.”
Justin was hurled through the air, landing on his back, in side him something broke, causing him to bleed internally and rupturing his spleen. Blood seeped from his mouth, as he coughed and used the sofa to pull himself back to his feet. His hands closed over the handle of a sledgehammer that one of the many workmen that had visited the house had left leaning against a table.
‘How do you stop a ghost?’ he asked himself again, the answer came to him in a flash. “With another ghost of course,” he yelled. Using every last ounce of strength he possessed he ran at the living room wall, smashing the solid hammerhead into the bricks. It cut through it like butter, opening up a hole.
Released Joshua’s essence rushed from his dark jail and he hurled himself at his fathers ghost, sinking inside him, and exploding outwards sending him back to hell.
Justin collapsed on the floor, his breathing laboured. Joshua rushed to his side, caressing his face. The injured man leaned on the invisible body of his lover, his hand seeking Joshua’s as he rasped, his breathing getting shallower and shallower. “ Please don’t leave me Joshua. I’m frightened.”
The entity took a solid form, fading slowly into the shape of a human. His sapphire eyes gazed lovingly into those of his barely breathing lover. “Don’t be afraid.” Joshua’s hand closed over Justin’s. “I’ll be waiting for you.” The blond man coughed, choking, blood ran from his lips, staining them red.
His eyes closed.
The lovers stood together, Justin’s arms wrapped round Joshua’s waist as the mortal men carried away the empty shell that was once Justin. The blond entity, kissed softly at the slender mans neck and sighed. He felt Joshua stiffen as one of the men looked through the hole in the wall.
“Jesus Christ. There’s a body in there!”
They watched as the wall was sent tumbling to the floor.
“He’d been buried alive in there, poor kid.”
Another policeman spoke. “I bet that’s Joshua, he disappeared about the same time as his lover did, and they fished him out of the lake earlier this after noon.
“Who killed the American then?” an ambulance man joined in the conversation, while he readied his gurney for the new body.
“We’ll never know, probably burglars. He was mega rich you know.” A small plaintive meow caught the men’s attention, and Kitty scampered over to them purring loudly. One of the men scooped him up.
“Hello there puss, your daddy has died hasn’t he, well you had better come home with me.”
The three men left taking the kitten and the remains of Joshua with them.
Joshua leaned back into the handsome man ,who had him encased in his arms. With tears rolling down his face he spoke softly.
“We were in the barn … Justin had just told me he loved me. We were making love for the first time, I can still feel him inside me … we swore eternity. Then father came, he was so angry … He beat me in front of Justin … made him watch. They tied him up and made me say goodbye to him. I promised I’d wait. The dragged me home and locked me in my room. The windows boarded so I couldn’t escape. I was sleeping when they took me. He laid me on the bed and bricked me into my tomb …. He left me to die. It took such a long time. Slowly suffocating in the darkness. I hammered the walls with my fists till they were wet with my blood, I begged and begged. He just left me. I never knew what happened to Justin … To you.”
Justin hid his face in Joshua’s shoulder then began to speak. “His henchmen dragged me to the lake, they tied me to a weight, I think it was an anvil, I can’t remember clearly, then they threw me into the water, leaving me to drown. All I could think of was you. I promised you eternity.
Joshua smiled and turned in Justin’s arms kissing him sweetly.
“And now we have it.” He breathed.
Michelle X Stories