This does relate to my upcoming short story, The Three Keys. Consider this a teaser!
The Spirits of the House
I’m very familiar with the Spirits of the House. They never tell me their real names, but I’ve come to think of each one as a true friend. In reality, they are the only friends I have. The living never seems to understand life. It’s the souls of those who have already passed that find the true meaning of existence. The house is not only my home, but it is a dwelling for all spirits that have not found rest. My true purpose in the house is to guide these lost souls to a place of peace, but most of them don’t truly wish to leave. Instead, they have taken residence, and they have sworn their loyalty to me.
Several of the spirits can leave the house. Their souls may be tied to a necklace or ring, which I am able to wear and bring the bound soul on my daily journeys into town. I know they enjoy spending time in the fresh air, even though they don’t have lungs to breathe it. I will do anything to help my friends find their purpose and value again in their after-death lives.
Often, I will make a trip to the local antique shop. Many of the Spirits of the House join me in this outing because it is one of the few times they mingle with new souls and make friends. I will purchase any soul-bound object that my spirits are particularly fond of and return it to the house to welcome the new soul. In a way, I am a spirit collector. There are now over two hundred spirits in the house, and though to the living eye, the house is dark and hollow, to me, it is bustling with joy and laughter. This is my purpose, this is their haven.
But it is a frightful event when a spirit finds refuge in the house that does not please the others. While I aim to give the Spirits of the House peace, there is a reason they have not found it yet. Life after death can be more violent than the life of the living. The wails vibrate the house, the howl of misery echoes into my bones…. I often wonder what horrid acts the Spirits bestow on the damned, but I never wish to know. Though a rare occasion, I find myself too overwhelmed with the abhorrent pressure of the souls that I seek refuge elsewhere.
When I return to the house, I can feel the shattered and frayed fragments of the tortured. It is the only remaining energy of their existence. It’s in these moments that I wonder…. Have I created a place of peace and refuge? Or have I created Hell for the souls of the less fortunate?