War Of The Lights

Submitted into Contest #119 in response to: Start your story with an unusual sound being heard.... view prompt


Horror Mystery Science Fiction

                  War of the Lights

The paranormal team had stepped through the front door, into the hallway, thankfully taking shelter in the manor house from a heavy downpour and blustery wind. Suddenly there was a terrible metallic sound of a ship’s bell ringing, vibrating throughout the Cotswolds 18th century Courtly Manor, shaking the whole building to its foundations. Upon hearing the menacing din everyone instantly dropped their luggage and equipment to cover their ears, protecting them from the excruciating pain resonating through their eardrums. Mersively it only lasted about thirty seconds. Shortly after, the team heard an evil sound of loud laughter -- “ha!ha!ha!”

The investigators had been allowed to stay at Courtly Manor for a month, hoping to have done a thorough investigation into its paranormal activities, before repairs were underway. Courtly Manor is only second to the most haunted building in Britain, Borley Rectory. 

“It’s a shame we hadn’t put out our sound and measuring instruments, It would've been invaluable if we could’ve recorded that phenomenon!” Said Dr Andrew Gibson, psychologist and head of the paranormal team.

The six members grabbed their luggage and equipment, wondering what or who was responsible for the extraordinary sound.

“Before we get our equipment out I suggest we all find our beds upstairs and then have something to eat.” 

“Yes, a good idea Dr Gibson I’m famished!” Replied Indira Patel, an expert in sound and lighting.

The group sat by the ornate, Georgian fireplace in the drawing-room getting warm as they ate sandwiches and drank hot tea and coffee. They listened to Dr Gibson as he put out his hands in front of the fireplace to warm up his hands as the fires orange flames crackled and popped.

“Now I suggest we all get some sleep, it’s past midnight. Meet here in the drawing-room at 9 o’clock in the morning after breakfast. We’ll then plan what we are going to do tomorrow.” Said the Doctor, smoking his pipe. 

“Yes, I feel quite tired after that journey from Oxford.”Yawned Jemma, historian to the team. She knows her way around Courtly Manor like the back of her hand. Having done extensive research on the Manor and has been going there regularly for ten years now.

Morning came and everyone sat in the drawing-room listening to Dr Gibson as he gave each member their particular role for the day. 

“Now I will let Jemma talk about her paranormal experiences at Courtly Manor."

“Yes, one morning I awoke in bed feeling as if someone had sat down at the end of my bed. Another time I caught sight of a misty figure in the kitchen as I sat down to eat something. That’s just a few of my many experiences here!” Recalled Jemma.

“Now, we have a very busy schedule to get through. So, William, I want you to place a camera in every room in the manor,” asked the Doctor. 

“Right you are!” said William, an expert in photo and videography. 

A couple of hours had passed when finally the team were ready. Every room was covered with sound recording equipment, lighting, still and video cameras, motion sensors, walkie-talkies and all the paraphernalia needed for monitoring a haunted house. But it wasn’t only inside the manor that was haunted, people had witnessed strange shadowy and also misty figures in its grounds; in particular the rose garden and the large greenhouse. To make sure everywhere was monitored William and other members of the team set up cameras and other equipment outside in the grounds to catch any paranormal activity.

Finally, a bank of tv screens with recording equipment was set up in the library to monitor all the rooms and grounds in Courtly Manor. It would be here that Dr Gibson would coordinate and monitor everything. 

“So, everyone can I have your attention please?” Said Dr Gibson, as all the team sat in the drawing-room, warming up by the fire.

“ Tonight at 9p.m we start our investigations of Courtly Manor.” Now you all know where you're stationed, three of us will be upstairs and three on the ground floor. 

“ Hello, everyone, it's all systems go now, good luck, and happy haunting!”Said Dr Gibson talking in his walkie-talkie.

Some two hours had passed with no paranormal activity when --

“William! William!”Shouted Indira down her walkie-talkie, her heart thumping hard. “A blue orb the size of a football has just passed through the master bedroom window.” She said excitedly.

“Where is it now, Indira?” William replied in his walkie-talkie. 

“It's hovering about two feet over the bed.” 

“Hang in there,” said William as he rushed out of the smaller bedroom next door. Being careful not to disturb the orb, he slowly turned the doorknob and opened the master bedroom door. William saw Indira looking petrified, having fallen onto the four-poster bed. He could see the blue orb had increased in size to that of a large shadowy figure hovering just inches above Indira. He grabbed his camera flash and dived onto the bed, firing the flash rapidly just a foot away to frighten the figure off! The figure abruptly turned and gave an almighty growl then formed into a deep blue orb the size of a football again. Thereafter, it speedily glided out through the bedroom window.

“Are you okay Indira?”

“Yes, I think so!” Indira replied slowly sitting up on the bed.

“What’s that smell?” Said, William. 

“Yes, It’s like rotten eggs - It’s sulphur!” Said Indira.

“That’s interesting, we better log this down in our journals.” Said, William.

“Well done, we have lift off!” Said the Doctor as he listened to Indira and William give their account of what had just happened, over their walkie-talkies. “Strange, I saw nothing on my monitors?”

“Nothing from the others yet, still there’s plenty of time.” The Doctor continued.

Just then there was interference on the tv screens causing them to suddenly cut off. 

“Blast! What the devil is wrong with these screens?” Shouted Dr Gibson as he played with the connections. He checked everyone’s walkie-talkies were working okay. The whole team was still in contact. Just then a voice echoed throughout the building -- ”Beware they are above you and are coming in their lights!” The voice continued, “They are not with us!”

“What was that all about?” Said Amanda Bellingham the team’s physicist to Arthur Edwards the Psychic. Both were downstairs in the drawing-room, checking their cameras and other equipment.

“I don’t know Amanda, but It sounds ominous!” 

“ I think we should speak to the Doctor,” Arthur said seriously.

“No, nothing to worry about Arthur, It’s just scare tactics to try and frighten us.” Said Dr Gibson. 

“By the way have you been in touch with Jemma, she doesn’t answer her walkie-talkie, can you go and check on her?” 

“Amanda, do you want to come with me upstairs to check on Jemma?”

“Yer, I may as well take this chance to stretch my legs.” 

As they both climbed the old, 18th Century, wooden stairs they both jumped simultaneously, being startled by the Grandfather clock in the hallway as it struck midnight.

“Right, this is the bedroom Jemma is in.” Said Arthur as he knocked on the door. 

“Hello, Jemma It’s Arthur and Amanda, are you alright?”

Arthur opened the door. 

“She’s not here.” 

“Maybe she went to the bathroom?” Said Amanda. 

Arthur thought for a few seconds and closed his eyes. 

“No, she didn't go to the bathroom!”

“Or maybe she got peckish and went downstairs to the kitchen?” Said Amanda.

“I’m afraid it’s not as simple as that, Amanda!”

“What do you mean?” She said nervously.

“Well it’s like this she isn’t here but she is!” Replied Arthur. 

“What the heck are you on about?” Amanda shouted, getting increasingly irritated.

“She is in another dimension!” He tried to explain.

“Whaat! No way. I’m going to tell the Doctor right now!” Screamed Amanda --“you're now scaring me!”

“Do you believe what Arthur has said, Doctor?”

“At the moment Amanda, I don’t know what to believe. One thing is for certain, Jemma is nowhere to be seen.” ” So until she is found, all paranormal investigations, for the time being, have to stop.” 

 Back in the drawing-room, the five paranormal investigators discussed the mysterious disappearance of Jemma.

“Dr Gibson checked his watch. Let's see, it’s 2a.m now so I suggest we all call it a day and contact the police later in the morning.”

 Everyone agreed to go to bed, what with, what had been quite a night of paranormal goings-on, and with Jemma going missing, it was a tiring night for the team. Just as all the party had reached the top of the stairs, except for the Doctor who was lighting his pipe they heard a knock! knock! at the front door.

“Who could that be at this hour?” Said the Doctor looking up at the team as they looked down at him, surprised. 

“It’s okay Dr Gibson, you'll find it’s Jemma!” Said Arthur in a matter of fact way.

“How could you possibly know that!” Shouted Amanda. 

The Doctor gingerly opened the door. His eyes widened as he saw a drenched Jemma looking dazed. 

“OMG! He's right.” Shouted Indira, it is Jemma.

“How did I get here?” Jemma inquired, looking mystified. 

Everyone rushed down the stairs to see Jemma. 

“Come and sit down in the drawing-room!” Said Dr Gibson holding Jemma around her waist, as he escorted her to a chair next to the newly lit fire William had started.

“You sit yourself down there dear, get nice and warm, and someone will make you a nice hot cup of tea!”The Doctor said.

“It’s alright I’ll make it!” Volunteered Indira. 

“I’ll come and help, I’m sure we could all do with a cup of tea,” said Amanda. 

As Jemma sipped her tea she sat answering a bombardment of questions.

“Jemma, can you remember anything that happened?” Dr Gibson asked. 

“All I remember was standing by the window looking out into the grounds when I saw this light appear in the sky. The next thing I remember lying down on a couch, feeling drowsy.”

“Did you see anyone there?” said the Doctor, lighting his pipe. 

“I could hear someone coming up to me then I heard an almighty row.” I heard a voice say: “ No you are not taking her!” 

“What happened then?”Cut in Arthur.

“Well, the next thing was I saw a purple light lit up the whole room. Then I recall being outside in the grounds, getting soaked and windblown.” 

“Very interesting, it seems you experienced teleportation!” Said Arthur, standing by the fire. 

“Do you think you know what happened to Jemma, Arthur?” The Doctor enquired. 

“I’m sorry to say I think I do, Dr Gibson, but I need more time to think this through. Maybe tomorrow I will have the answer!”

“William, I will need your help in the morning to help me sort out the tv monitor problem.” 

“Okay Doctor.”

“Jemma, maybe you could use some support tonight staying with one of the girls in their bedroom, what do you say?” Said Dr Gibson.

“Yes, Jemma can stay with me tonight.” Said Indira.

“Thanks, I would like that!” Said Jemma.

As the early hours drew on the wind increased blowing the garden trees so hard that some trees were uprooted, and the rain became heavier and heavier!

By now everyone was fast asleep. 

“The poor souls no not what danger they are in.” A disembodied voice spoke from one of the two purple orbs hovering and gliding across all the bedrooms one by one, looking at the paranormal investigators now sleeping. The disembodied voices continued:

“They must be warned before it is too late!” 

“Yes, the evil ones from the lights are getting closer!”

“Right, now the tv monitors are fixed William let’s see what we’ve recorded last night!” Dr Gibson pressed the play button. 

“Yes, we’ve got something in Indira’s room: a blue orb and a beam of white light coming from it, that seems to force her over the bed. But no sign of that shadowy figure.” 

“Doctor, let’s go to Jemma’s room, she is by the window as she stated.” 

“Wait, look there, can you see William, a blue orb on the ceiling. Now a beam of white light from it is hitting Jemma, making her paralysed.”  

“Now it’s forcing her to walk forward and the orb has turned into a portal she’s gone through, and it’s taken her away!” Said, William.  

“William, we better show these recordings to everyone after breakfast.”

“Doctor, come quickly we can’t get out the front door, a big tree has fallen in front of it!” Shouted Amanda.

“That’s no problem, we don't plan on going for a few weeks yet anyway, and besides we can always get out the back door when we’re ready to leave!”The Doctor said.

Amanda had checked the back door: “Sorry Dr Gibson, coincidently, the wind has blown another tree, blocking the back door too!” Just then Arthur came and tried to climb over the tree, but unsuccessfully.

“Alright, one tree being blown over, blocking the front door is unfortunate but another tree being blown over blocking the back door is in my mind more than just a coincidence, don’t you think so Doctor?” Said, Arthur.

“What are you trying to say, Arthur?”

 “I'm saying someone or something doesn’t want us to leave!” 

“That’s preposterous, It’s just the damn weather that did this nothing else!” shouted Dr Gibson.

“Please Arthur, no more scaremongering!”

“Amanda, can you please tell the rest of the team to meet me in the library after breakfast at 10 o’clock?”

“Yes, Doctor.”

“So, after only a couple of days, we have had extraordinary paranormal activities and collected tons of data with fantastic photos and especially, video evidence you have just seen on the camera monitors!” Said Dr Gibson.

“Doctor, William and I have tried to budge the trees at the front and back doors but even though the doors easily open there’s no way we can clamber over the tree trunks! Said, Arthur. 

“What is really odd is both these yew trees were some hundred meters away from the house. Jemma told me from her many visits here that she remembers these trees well, and that she would see them by the entrance as she would drive through the gates to Courtly Manor’s grounds!” Arthur continued.

“There must have been a phenomenal force to have blown those trees all the way here!” Remarked William. 

“Yes, I agree!” Said Amanda, “being a physicist I can appreciate just how much energy would be required to move those trees here!”

“Alright, It is strange I admit, but we’re not leaving here for a few weeks yet anyway!” “Look if It makes you all happy contact the fire service or, whoever, and let them move the damn trees!” Shouted the Doctor.

“I’ll do it!” Volunteered Amanda. “Hello, yes it’s an emergency can I have…. Suddenly a high pitched sound blew into Amanda’s ear, “argh!” She screamed as she felt an electrical current run through her hand, forcing her to drop the phone.

“Are you okay, Amanda, what happened?”William shouted as he rushed out of the library.  

“I’m okay, I was about to call the fire service when an awful sound blew in my ear and I got an electric shock through my hand!” 

“Let me try,” said William. “That’s funny my phone is dead, I only charged it this morning!”

Just then, Indira and Jemma came down the stairs. 

“Can you both check your phones?” Said, William. Both their phones were dead too. 

“Amanda ask if the Doctor and Arthur’s phones are working, please?” 

“No, their phones are dead too!” Shouted Amanda.

“That’s it, we’re trapped!” said Arthur. “I was afraid this would happen!” 

“What are you babbling about?”Said the Doctor.

“Alright, time to work now, all of you get to your rooms.”

This time the teams worked in twos. Dr Gibson said.

Hours passed without any paranormal activity,

when all the lights suddenly went out.  

“Brilliant a power cut!” shouted the Doctor, in the library.

“Not exactly, this was deliberate!” Arthur said.

“Hold on to your hat, things are going to get rough!” Shouted Arthur.

“More scaremongering, Arthur?” Said the Doctor.

“Amanda, my walkie-talkie’s not working!” 

“Nor is mine, William, at Least our torches work!” 

“Look a blue orb over the bed!” Shouted Amanda

“It’s moving closer!” William pointed. Their hearts pounding.

Jemma and Indira were also seeing a blue orb in their bedroom appearing through the ceiling. 

“It’s getting larger and closer!” Said Indira.

“ keep your torch on it!” Screamed Jemma.

“Doctor the blue orb is heading for us!” Shouted Arthur pointing his torch at the object in the library.

“Just typical when all our equipment is malfunctioning!”The Doctor said. 

Just then a beam of light emanated from the orbs and hit everyone in their rooms simultaneously, paralysing them. 

The orbs now approached, ready to engulf each member of the paranormal team.

“Be gone star people, we are too strong for you!” A disembodied voice bellowed out. 

A now purple light smothered the blue orbs in every room making them shake violently and finally forcing them to let go of their grip, and then they dematerialised, releasing all the paranormal party. All of them now fell to the floor, slowly they awakened from their hypnotic trance.

Again a disembodied voice spoke: 

“You are safe now people, us spirits were too powerful for those evil star beings, they have gone back to where they came from!”

“Arthur, tell your friends they can now leave, we have dealt with the trees! Go home and rest and when you are ready come back to Courtly Manor and resume your investigations. We will impart much more knowledge about spirit life to you, to help mankind grow when you revisit us again!” 


November 12, 2021 21:33

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