Richard, the Ghost

 By this time in his exhausting but otherwise happy existence, Richard was a family man and lifer in the Navy going for the twenty year mark. A quiet, unassuming electronics tech, Richard knew his way around Navy circuitry all over the place. His specialty was AWACS radar systems. He worked on the systems on the flight deck of a carrier, at home as well as at sea. Richard had confidence and pride in his work, and he should have. Richard was good at his job.

He understood how to keep his systems operational.

Richard had been studying electronics all his life, from well back through much of his childhood. Richard’s early interest in electronics was how he got involved in ham radio operation so early on. He’d been a preteen when he first pursued his studies in electronics. His CO, as well as his supervisor understood Richard was a valuable man. Richard wasn’t a man to do much talking, unless he was on his ham radio. His first wife became disgruntle enough with the man, and devised a means for his elimination from her world, as well as the worlds of those little ones of theirs.

Now, there was a time Beverly was not the slightest bit disgruntled with anything about Richard. Didn’t she insist upon calling the chat number to get on the phone live with the disk jockey at a certain popular radio station she’d been listening to? Wasn’t it she who deliberately and compulsively battered that chat line, with her repeated phone calls, until she was regularly talking to Richard, personally, the disk jockey himself, every night he worked an obscure radio station, to win him over to marriage in the first place?

Didn’t she deliberately give him children, two boys and one girl, one after the other, not permitting a working man his evening’s surcease whenever it was he finally got home from a hard day’s work? Oh, she was a vixen that one. Beverly would not give the poor man any peace, until they tied the knot and he joined the Navy to support his beloved wife. Thereafter, she would take no confidence in her husband’s fidelity when a man’s got to work to support his family. She was a malcontent. Oh, that evil woman wanted a fortune, together with a comfortable couch potato, and all those things her loving husband could not deliver to a demanding, conniving, ungrateful wife.

That woman would never be content with a devoted husband who worshiped the very ground she walked upon. Beverly lied to herself, imagining all sorts of stories and scenarios, until she found one diabolical enough to not only believe in, but enact. She had no evidence, no proof against Richard. She couldn’t divorce the man, but her mind had embraced a tale long enough that Richard was no longer safe in his own home. He was like his father, she thought, and she’d work herself up into her tangent once again, loathing and plotting until she needed to get arrested. Beverly kept the germ of her complaint secret, rehearsing it silently while she schemed and hated with no rational complaint.

Beverly taught three growing children to leave a certain beverage for their father to drink alone. Beverly told them emphatically, when Richard was on duty, until all three children understood that a certain pitcher in the frig was off limits to them, and to understand why. “That’s Daddy’s drink,” she taught them, until they all understood. Richard was directed to that same pitcher in the frig, “for your refreshment.” There was poison in that pitcher, and Beverly was encouraging Richard to drink it until, hopefully for her, Richard would slump over dead.

Beverly wasn’t really a very bright hillbilly woman. She was brought up in a house trailer, for heaven’s sake. Her memory and understanding of medical data were not very reliable, to say the least. Beverly was dosing Richard with antifreeze on a daily basis, only because she figured it would eventually catch up with him. It did catch up to him. Richard’s general feeling of health and well-being was eroding, day by day. He hated to do it, but Richard began taking sick leave from his job.

He had no specific complaint, and refused to show up at any of the local hospitals, because it was a Navy town. The all powerful Navy would find out about whatever it was he’d taken. There could be financial consequences to such a discovery, Richard was certain. He was unwilling for he and his family to absorb any penalties the Navy might level against them, whatever they were going to be. There came a time Richard didn’t seem to understand things very well any longer.

As Richard began to call into work sick, against his better attendance record, his health was only deteriorating, mysteriously. His strength and energy were eroding until Richard was no good to anyone. He’d either stay in bed, or languish on the couch, wondering what the hell could have possibly happened to him. At the end of a few weeks, Beverly received one of the irrational desires she’d harbored for the past year. There was Richard, alone in their marriage bed, during mid day, dead.

At first, Beverly was dealing with some serious panic. She questioned herself whether she was about to be caught and taken to prison, forgetting for the moment, her many precautions to the contrary. Beverly was careful throughout the dosing with the unlikelihood of antifreeze, of all things she’d put her husband through, she would avoid talking to any of her friends on the telephone about what she was doing, and therefore had little solid information about what she had done. Coming to herself somewhat, the murderess decided to avoid the telephone until she collected herself better.

Absentminded, Beverly wandered into their bedroom, where Richard’s remains lay in their bed. She became noticeably distracted and fidgety, not knowing where to turn. Beverly, after the fact, after all was said and done, was rather upset that Richard was gone. She couldn’t seem to get her mind around the idea that that her own murder plot had worked. Beverly was riveted to the floor, standing over her late husband, staring at his corps.

Soon, the children would be home from school, to inquire about their sick father. The murderess would have to tell them something. It’s a significant moment in a person’s life when one’s father passes away, and in one’s own childhood, especially. Beverly had an idea. She could tell the children their father was still not feeling well, and was asleep in Mom and Dads room. Please don’t disturb your father while you’re packing your clothing.

We’re going to Popop and Momom’s house for a few days. Won’t it be fun to see Popop and Momom? If they were to ask about their father, the murderess could simply poo poo her children’s fears and lie to them some more, if only to manipulate and control the momentary behavior of vulnerable children. Unwittingly, those children of hers became a significant disinformation about their father, and necessity for mental manipulation. Beverly determined to get those children out of that house and into her car. She would take them and leave, before any of them had any realization of their father’s untimely death.

Beverly would get out of Dodge.

Unexpectedly, their daughter went back into the house without asking, after the family was already getting into the car. The girl had been forgetful. Ashley called over her shoulder, as she skipped toward the door, that she had forgotten her dolls, and with that, the front door of the house closed behind her. There was positively nothing her conniving, murderous mother could do to stop her. Beverly realized, all of a sudden, that whatever happened to Ashley inside that house was just what was going to happen.

It was truly out of Beverly’s control.

Why couldn’t Beverly have been that optimistic with her husband, while he was at work? What did she have to go and kill him for? Oh, she’d made a terrible mess of things. Suppose she had to go to prison? What would she tell her children, her parents? Beverly started beating up on herself and couldn’t stop. That rascal woman couldn’t turn off her self-recrimination, same as earlier. She could not control her own emotions.

Beverly realized Ashley had not reappeared.

Meanwhile, Ashley could not resist saying goodbye to her father before she went to see Popop, regardless of what her mother said. It’s Daddy’s girls and Mama’s boys in this world, and that instinctual magnetism was not going to evaporate, based on what her mother said. Ashley opened her parents’ bedroom door, and there lay the body of Richard. Ashley was not emotionally prepared to deal with what she found.

It was the lifeless, dead body of her father, laying in that double bed.

Overcome with mourning and grief, Ashley sat down next to her father, sobbing, trembling like the child she was. At that moment, Beverly had beaten herself up emotionally long enough. She got up out of the car, and burst into the front door of the house, that she and Richard still owed a part of a mortgage on, as if she was breaking and entering. There she found the spiritual image of Richard, rushing to block the doorway of the marriage bedroom, to protect Ashley, with a Sound and a Fury.

Immediately, Beverly was confronted with the rage of Richard in spiritual form. Beverly understood all to well that the situation was originating with the her. All sorts of flying objects from all over their house were knocking into her, and glancing off of her, while Richard’s spiritual essence stood there, still and implacable, blocking the way to their bed and personal chamber, defending their daughter behind him.

Richard’s spirit understood who Beverly is.

Ashley started in screaming, just as soon as her mother bust so violently entered into the house. When most of the couple’s possessions began pelting Beverly, as Beverly lay horrified at the threshold, with the front door wide open for all the world to see. Beverly started into screaming, along with their daughter, Ashley.

The day of reckoning, for Beverly herself, presented itself with every ounce of rage with a distraught spirit confronting his killer. Dead men know no lies, Richard thought, as he propelled all those objects at Beverly. He may have been going to a grave yard, and he may not, but Beverly was on her way to jail, and Richard’s spirit would see to it.

Very soon, Beverly began watching the arrival other spirits, whose identities she could not recognize, arriving from their marriage bed room area, in spirit form. Beverly was in such a state, she could not have said where Ashley was, although she heard the child a few moments earlier. Beverly screamed and screamed, as the spirits multiplied around her, vindictively, in her very living room. Eventually, the spirits of the dead succeeded in filling their living room, and Richard’s spirit was standing accusaciously, over the head of the woman he once loved, pointing the essence of his index finger downward.

Beverly had, for some reason, remained essentially prone at the threshold of the open front door, through the entire ordeal. Just then, there were sirens and Police cars pulling up, blocking the street, with emergency lights flashing. The spirits disappeared, including Richard’s. Police were standing in front of their house with weapons drawn. Since there were several Officers, two of them ushered Beverly to a Police car, and guarded her there, where she sat in the back seat, handcuffed. Other Officers came out of the house and quietly reported the death inside the house.

CSI identified the antifreeze in a drinking picture. The Coroner also identified antifreeze from the contents of the stomach of the deceased. The children, after a very brief stay at the Police station, were turned over to Child Protective Services. Because of the finger prints on the drinking pitcher, and latent evident associated with the deceased and Beverly; Beverly became a first time felon, eventually convicted of first degree murder. Beverly was sentenced to twenty years in the State Pen, without parole. The children were applied for by the grandparents, who were denied custody.

Richard and Beverly’s children spent the remainder of their childhood in foster homes.

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About geostan51

I'm a wordsmith and a craftsman. I've been known to hand crochet just about anything escept granny squares. I've got about twenty titles in my name on the Kindle Store at Amazon.com.
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