“I don’t know if I should be messing with magic like that,” you say, your eyes darting down a page covered in latin, pentagrams, and pierced skeletons.
Claremont frowns a moment before tossing the book to the mantle. “’Twas only a passing thought. Forget I even mentioned it.”
You reach to catch his hand, finding that you can see yours through his lightening skin. “We still have this dance,” you say, pulling Claremont closer.
He smiles and tips his head to the side. “Indeed so,” his voice is wistful, the timbre rumbling under your skin like a train in the distance. But a tender touch brushes back the last of your fallen hair. Taking your body in his arms, Claremont glides the two of you in a circle, your feet barely touching the ground.
“Why can you only come out for one night?” you ask, your heart throbbing from your choice. The ramifications of dooming the ghost back to his grave weigh upon you, but it’s already been done. No going back now.
Claremont pulls you closer so his chin nestles against your forehead. The full of your chest presses to his, but the entrancing hips have slowed to a melancholy sway. “The rules of the grave, I’m afraid. We all have but one night to dance among mortals. It’s the only aspect of my rotten existence I cannot blame the witch for.”
“A witch…?” You lean back, hoping to catch his eye, but his face is fading. You stare through him to find the burned painting hanging behind his head.
Shaking his head, Claremont says, “So little time remains, the last I wish is to waste it speaking of her. I wish I could know more of you. The wonders of the changes in the world I see only glimpses from through the graveyard trees.”
“I’m sorry…” you say, when a cool finger presses to your lips.
“Do not be sorrowful, my lady. You’ve given me a gift I thought impossible. One night is a treasure I will hold onto for eternity.”
His eyes beam only on you, his lips parted as if they hold a thousand secrets he’s about to share. Launching forward, you catch his lips in a sensual kiss. They tenderly sweep across yours, Claremont guiding your chin so you fall perfectly into his embrace.
The tingle sweeps through you, like a bracing breeze off the sea. You part your mouth, hoping to taste his tongue, but find only dusty air. Opening your eyes, dawn’s light strains through the grimy window. It lands upon nothing before you, only an empty parlor where the last strains of a forgotten song echo on the walls.
A voice, not even loud enough to be a whisper, curls through your ear. You’d swear it was your name. But as you turn, you find only the creaking of an abandoned house in the woods.
Cold and alone, you trek back to your car through the forest path and find a signal on your phone. There is no sign of another soul inside the woods circling the haunted mansion.
Every Halloween you try to find the lost manor home of Claremont, but no matter how many times you return, the gate is swallowed up by the forest’s grasp. You never see it or Claremont again.
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I found the charming ghost in Ellen Mint’s Choose Your Own Reverse Harem Halloween Adventure. How far can you get? https://ellenmint.blog/ellen-mints-halloween-harem-adventure/Tweet
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