The Haunting, short story

The Haunting

Lisa stood in front of the fireplace. Her client told her that it was haunted. Nothing surprised Lisa anymore – she understood that spirits trapped between the realms of the living and dead craved form. But why a fireplace? 

“What has happened to make you think that it’s haunted?” she asked her client. The frail, elderly woman whispered, “It makes noises, loud noises like a knocking, then sometimes it sounds like it is laughing, and sometimes the fire starts itself, which is very annoying on a warm day.”

Lisa chuckled to herself, as she couldn’t help thinking of how useful it would be to have a fire that started itself on a cold day. 

Lisa pulled her thoughts back to the matter in hand. She asked the old lady to sit quietly for a few moments as she sought to communicate with whatever spirit was in the fireplace. 

Lisa concentrated. A Salamander, a fire elemental, came into her consciousness. “Why are you here?” Lisa gently asked. She asked again, but there was no response. “What can we do for you?” she asked. This question, a question with an offer of help, prompted a slow, halting answer. “I want to burn, but I am getting old and losing my ability to do so. This fireplace helps me to practice my burning.”

“I am happy you found a place to do that,” Lisa gently said. “But you are scaring this lady.”

“I didn’t mean to scare her,” the Salamander said. “I thought my fire would make her happy. Don’t old humans feel cold?”

Lisa gently said, “Yes, but not this old lady. How do we help you find another home?” 


The Haunting

a short story by
Nandini Gosine-Mayhroo


The Haunting, short story

The Haunting

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