by Toni Stauffer
“Are you sure this is okay?” Bob asked, looking around.
“Yes, my sister said it’s been on the market for a long time. She also said if we like it she can get us a great deal.”
They walked through the door and Bob closed it, standing for a moment to take in the living room as he imagined what it might be like to walk through this doorway every day after a hard day on the job. He watched his wife as she ran a hand over the mantel and smiled.
“I’ve always wanted a fireplace. What do you think? Wouldn’t it be nice to have romantic evenings by the fire?”
Bob grinned, “I wouldn’t mind a fireplace, but you’ll have to fetch the wood. That’s woman’s work.”
Tracey rolled her eyes at him and stopped to examine the wall by the stairs. There was some sort of stain.
“Bob, honey, look at this. Is it rust?”
He leaned close for a look. “No, it’s splattered. Besides, I’ve never heard of dry wall rusting. It’s probably just someone’s poor attempt at decorating.”
Looking down, Tracey moved to the side and pointed down at the floor. “What about this weird chalky outline of a body? If that’s decorating, someone has a sick sense of humor.”
“Hmmm. Now that I like. It gives off a Hitchcock ambience.”
“Oh, be serious. Dani didn’t say anything about a murder. No wonder the house is such a deal. What if it’s haunted?”
Bob kissed his wife, “I’m not scared of a ghost. I’m sure we can handle anything like that. You know, call a priest or something. Maybe the ghost will do dishes.”
Tracey sighed, “You are always joking, but I think you’re right. I really do like this house and we have been looking for so long.”
She giggled and closed her eyes as Bob kissed her, whispering what he wanted to do with her in the master bedroom. Neither of them saw the chalky outline as it rose from the floor and stood behind them.
Toni Stauffer has published numerous stories in various horror anthologies and other publications. She lives in Columbus, Georgia with her two cats Xander and Ramses.