“Oh for the love of…” his hand stung and rippled as he tried to shake the pain away.
“Come on Mort, it’s just a toy, it’s not made of salt. You can do this!” Carl was hovering behind him like any good haunt proctor would.
“You try it if you think it’s so easy!”
“Stay focused and you can get through this. If you lose your temper you’re liable to go all poltergeist and I’ll have to mark you down.”
Mort’s translucent face darkened as he forced the anger away but he couldn’t keep it fully contained. A shelf next to the girl’s bed shook and a snow globe fell to the carpet with a muffled thud.
“Focus? Seriously? Why don’t I just float through some incense or stick my fingers through a powerline to ‘recharge my chakras’ for all the good that would do?!”
Mort looked at the bed. The girl, his assignment, was still sleeping peacefully under her bedspread. She hugged a large blue dinosaur plush toy, its long neck pinned under her chin, its tail lost under the covers.
Mort forced himself to calm and reached out again. He felt the tingle and pushed harder. Drops of ectoplasm formed on his forehead and vanished into the either as he kept pushing. There was a crackling sound and his hand jerked. He shot forward and brushed against the plush toy.
Pure agony ripped through his body and he screamed.
Mort’s rage was a solid thing and he didn’t even bother holding it in. Phantasmal energy shot out as he went full poltergeist. There was a loud boom that only the dead could hear and both Mort and Carl were hurled away from the bed. Curls of ectoplasmic energy peeled from them to shimmer and fade against the walls.
“That’s enough ya gits!”
A deep scottish brogue cut through the room from direction of the sleeping child. Mort shook his head and looked at the bed. The plastic beads of the dinosaur’s eyes looked back. Its long neck had turned and the head was regarding them as their bodies healed.
“Did that toy just talk?” Carl’s voice was shaky as his face solidified.
“Get ye gone spirits or suffer my wrath,” the dinosaur’s voice was steady and radiated power but the toy’s mouth didn’t move.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Mort’s anger flowed back and his body rippled as the last drops of his substance reformed.
“I’m almost a licensed spook you sack of fluff! I’m gonna tear you apart!”
Mort’s body was glowing a sickly shade of green as he let the rage grow.
“Fair warning fairly given.”
The dinosaur started chanting.
“Specters and fiends, spirits and devils, get thee hence from this plane! By the power of Bronto Kittles, the third of that name, guardian of children, protector of the mortal realms, and scourge of evil! I command thee! BE GONE!”
The air shattered and both ghosts screamed as their spectral bodies were torn apart by a hellish wind coming from the toy. In seconds there was nothing left of them but the fading glow of Mort’s impotent rage.
“Bronto?” the girl’s eyes blinked open and she looked around the room, lids still heavy from sleep. All was silent, dark, and peaceful. She shivered and hugged her dinosaur close. It felt warm. Comforting. Safe. In time she fell back into her dream, a princess saving her dinosaur from idiotic monsters.
I sometimes haunt (forgive the pun) the Writing Prompts subreddit looking for inspiration. I rarely seem to find it but the other day one lept out at me. Sadly I can’t link directly to it as it seems to have vanished but here’s what inspired the above flash piece.
“Everyone knows that salt repels ghosts because people believe it should. Now a ghost has been assigned to the toughest job of its career: To haunt a child with a plush dinosaur.”