‘A Frightening Experience’ by Bhanyasinee Leelerdphan
Rose sat down heavily on the canopied bed. It swayed a little, stirring the crisp, cold air that lay atop the castle. The movement sent dust flying, causing Rose to sneeze softly.
She’d come on a field trip many miles from civilization. Everything had gone smoothly in the morning, the sun splashing the courtyard and rooms with golden puddles of light. The birds had merrily chirped their songs. Until Rose had wandered off all alone and forgotten to check the time, all was good. The sun had set by the time she’d looked up, casting blood-red rays on the walls.
The portcullis had been lifted, trapping Rose inside the sinister castle, shadowed by its towering keep. Rose now hated that keep. It looked like it was keeping a really close eye on her.
“Little girl…” Was that a voice? The curtains by the bed rustled. Was someone there? She must be going crazy.
The wind whipped the quilt up, bringing along a stench of sulfur and rotten eggs to assault Rose’s nostrils.
Suddenly, a translucent, green and wigged head flashed into existence before her. Rose screamed.
“BOO,” said the ornate head. Rose tumbled off the bed and brandished what she could get her hands on first. In this case, she’d scored an unlit torch.
“Mademoiselle,” said the ghost of some random French king Rose couldn’t identify in a slick, slow voice. “It is most impolite to point sticks at the French monarchy.”
More green vapor swirled into a vague shape on the floor: feet, legs, torso and arms, shoulders and… a stump where the head should have been.
“AAAAAAH!!” shrieked Rose. “You haven’t got a head!!”
“Hein? Non, little girl…” purred a deeper rumbling voice. “I’ve got it right here.” He lifted his arm, and on the end of it dangled a sneering severed head, held by its oily dark hair. Its mouth unleashed green vapor that reeked of blood and decay.
Rose got up and ran. Down the halls, up the stairs.
“Sstay, little girl,” hissed the spectres as they slithered after her. “It’s been ssooo long since our last proper haunting.”
Rose threw the unlit torch down and hid. The ghosts’ heads snapped to attention. Almost morning. Hang on. Suddenly, a bodiless head rolled to a stop at her feet. Rose’s heart flew out of her chest.