1127 Castleridge DrivebyStardog Champion©
It was cliché, but the past three years had been the best and the worst of times for Pearl Atkinson. At 57, she had been widowed for three years, but somehow she had managed to keep herself together.
One of Portland's most accomplished real estate agents for the past few decades, Pearl had put her career into overdrive as a way of distracting herself from the loss of her Husband. Even though there was a fairly steady stream of men that would occasionally ask her out once the polite period for grieving was complete, many of which were divorcees from her huge circle of friends and business contacts and Pearl just couldn't see herself making space for those types of feelings for anyone else ever again, especially knowing how many of those men came to be divorced in the first place. It was a poor analogy, but Pearl had increasingly decided to become married to her career and didn't have the time or patience to tolerate any of the baggage that came with new suitors in her life. Pearl's grand plan was to work as hard as she could and make every dollar on the table for another 5 years or so, then retire and become a full time Grandma for her four Grandchildren.
To be honest, the lucrative wave of home sales was too good to step off of anytime soon. Between Nike headquarters and all the dot-comers and hippie-rich in the area, with all the goodwill and connections Pearl had built up over her 30 years in the Portland market, she was smiling all the way to the bank.
Finances were far from being a problem, between her Husband's life insurance policy and their accumulated nest egg, Pearl knew she'd never have to worry about another dollar for the rest of her life. Like an athlete measuring their stats against another's however, Pearl was ultra competitive and that feeling of closing a million dollar deal, as much as anything, fueled her passion to keep working. It helped as well fund the trips she'd been able to take to Italy and Australia over the past year and the one to Cabo she was planning around New Years when business usually slowed.
Pearl had upwards of a dozen homes around the greater Portland area that she was currently showing. A couple of first home/ fixer upper types, a couple of seven digit show pieces, and a few in-betweens. Steering her Chevy Suburban towards the west end of town, she prepared her presentation in her head as she drove to meet a couple to look at a house that went on the market just days earlier.
The current owners had hurriedly left town, to Vancouver Pearl re-called, to visit family with strict instructions to sell the house as quickly as possible. Pearl had set the price for the home around 10% less than what other homes in the neighborhood were going for and even though the inventory around town was skewing high, she was sure it would sell in short order.
Easing up to the curb, Pearl parked her SUV in front of the house at 1127 Castleridge Drive, directly behind the car of the young married couple that had called to be the first to see the new listing.
"Hi there, how are you?" Pearl beamed as she hopped out of her vehicle and greeted the newlyweds.
"Good morning, I'm David and this is my wife Melissa," the man smiled.
"Pleased to meet you," his wife offered and everyone shook hands.
The three continued to exchange pleasantries as they strode up the walkway to the front door. These moments had become bittersweet for Pearl since her Husband died. Anytime she showed a house, to a young couple especially, she always harkened back in her mind to the first house they'd bought a year or so after getting married over 30 years ago. She couldn't help seeing a little of her and Jack in each young couple, knowing the ups and downs that would inevitably be waiting for them in the new home, and often Pearl had to swallow hard and soldier on just to finish the tour.
"We're a little stunned by the asking price," David said, a little sheepishly, a few minutes into the tour.
"Yeah, we figured there had to be a hole in the roof or a wall or two collapsed in the basement to see a price that low in this neighborhood," his wife added.
"Yes, it shouldn't stay on the market for long," Pearl agreed. "I don't know all the details, but the current owners had a sudden family emergency out of the country, so they needed a quick turnaround I'm guessing."
"I'm already about to say let's pull the trigger... ," David started to say just before a sharp, bone chilling breeze squealed down the hallway where the three were standing.
"There must be an open window in one of the guest rooms," Pearl thought, a quizzical look spreading across her face, knowing she'd double-checked all the windows before inviting prospective buyers over.
Before Pearl could even muster a response, three doors slammed in succession, making it sound as if automatic gunfire was echoing through the spacious home.
"OOOHHH," Melissa gasped, clutching closer to her Husband beside her.
Pearl was stunned and at a loss, her professional poise for the moment rendered useless. The look of anticipation and excitement over potentially buying a new home on the newlywed's faces had been replaced by an unsettled mask of dread.
"Maybe its just a storm coming through and I forgot to close a window in one of the rooms," Pearl grasped at straws, sensing the couple's unsteadiness as well as her own, knowing it was a picture perfect morning sky outside just minutes earlier when they walked in.
Composing herself the best she could, Pearl tried gallantly to continue with the tour. The mood was obviously changed and no one seemingly wanted to speak as they made their way back to front foyer however. The lure of such a nice house, in a great neighborhood, and at a cut rate price was certainly a temptation for the young couple, but their caution was compounded when they reached the front door only to see it opened as if inviting them to leave.
All three distinctly remembered Pearl closing it behind them when they walked inside and now it stood wide open with the gentle warm breeze from outside coating their suddenly cold, clammy skin. Not a word was spoken as each anxiously crossed the threshold, exiting the house.
After fumbling to lock up, Pearl turned to offer the newlyweds a chance to look at some of the other houses she had in her inventory around town, but they were already halfway to their car.
"We'll get back to you, Pearl," David said from the street, with all the friendliness he could manage, before getting into his car and quickly driving off with his wife.
"What just happened in there?" Pearl was left to wonder as she surveyed the other houses around her.
Taking one last look at the home with a "For Sale" sign with her name on it staked into the lawn of the yard in front of her, Pearl shook her head and meekly crawled up into her oversized vehicle before driving away as well.
Two months passed before Pearl had the courage to step foot back in that house, much less set up another viewing. She'd tried several times to get in touch with the current owners and the only reply she got back on her voice mail from them was to get it sold at whatever price she could get.
When she did finally make the decision to set up an appointment with someone to see 1127 Castleridge, Pearl decided to stop by the place a few hours before the meeting just to make sure all the doors were shut and windows were locked. Once there at the house however, Pearl sat in her Suburban with the ignition off for a good 10 minutes, waiting and watching, for what she wasn't sure.
"There aren't any Ghostbusters in the phone book... maybe I can set up a séance before the next people come to look at the place," Pearl tried joking to herself even though it did little to calm her unsettled mood.
Finally, with resolute determination Pearl slid out of her SUV, eased up the walk and put her realtor code into the lock then took a few steps inside the musty, stale aired home. Taking a cautious tour of every room upstairs and down, Pearl saw everything was as she'd left it over a month earlier.
The only sounds in the sealed house were Pearl's breathing and the faint rubbing sound of her pleated skirt and blouse as she walked. Still, Pearl felt her inner dread and discomfort grow with each passing step and something either real or deeply embedded in her primal psyche told her she wasn't alone.
"WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?" she screamed, surprising even herself as her voice carrying to every corner of the large house.
She yelled the question twice more only to be met with the same stagnant silence she'd encountered when she walked in.
There was a fair amount of frustration for Pearl as she stood there, trying to confront whatever had caused her all that exasperation and now she could feel her slow-to-start anger beginning to build when whatever it was there wouldn't step forward and meet her on her terms.
"Maybe its just something inside you... not the house?" she openly wondered as she began to ease around the living room once again, even though she could never quite shake the feeling of being watched.
"This house isn't haunted... that's just stupid... plain stupid. I'm going to go through with that appointment I made for later today and everything's going to be just fine," she muttered resolutely.
Pearl did in fact show the house that day, and a handful of times over the subsequent weeks without incident. She even decided to raise the asking price back up a little just to keep potential buyers from asking, "Why is a nice house in this neighborhood so cheap... what's wrong with the place?"
Despite only lukewarm interest from most of the potential buyers, Pearl couldn't help but feel a wave of giddy relief wash through her each time she completed a tour without a door opening or closing when it wasn't suppose to or any rush of wind blowing through a hallway when no windows were open anywhere in the house.
Driving to 1127 Castleridge late on a Friday to show the place to a couple who'd just got off from work, Pearl thought to herself about the options she had with the property. Even though several of the people who had looked at the place had said they'd call later with an offer for the house, from experience Pearl could sense none of them were hot leads. She really wished she could call the couple that had looked at the place right after it went on the market, but after their ill-fated tour, Pearl knew that ship had sailed. She had grown comfortable enough with the property now where she even entertained the idea of having an Open House perhaps if no one made a serious offer soon.
After the couple had took the tour and left, Pearl stayed behind, organizing several things in her dayplanner and doing some paperwork on her laptop on the bar that separated the kitchen from the living room.
"I think this might finally be it, they have their finances in order and the house just seems to suit them," she thought to herself, making sure she had all the necessary forms ready to print out if they did in fact decide to pull the trigger in a day or two.
All alone in the house once again, Pearl couldn't help feeling a little queasy still even though nothing out of sorts had happened while she'd been there in several visits.
"Leave it alone," her conscience begged. "It won't be your problem much longer anyway... hopefully."
Stepping away from the bar once her work was done, Pearl slung her purse over one shoulder and picked up her laptop to leave. The clicking echo of her high heels on the hardwood floor drifted through the house each time she took a step towards the door. She got within six feet of it when her life changed forever.
Just before Pearl extended her hand to reach for the door, a sudden and certain grip clamped down on her right thigh. Thinking for a moment that one of her 3 inch heels had broken and caused her leg to buckle, Pearl quickly looked down and saw they were still intact. What she did see however was her knee length skirt pulled back and stretched tight against her thigh and an invisible claw gripping her by the leg and refusing to let go.
Dropping her laptop with a thud to the floor, Pearl prepared to swing her purse around at whatever had clung itself to her. Before she could get the purse off her shoulder however, whatever had grabbed her by the leg pushed her backwards until her shoulders were pinned flush against the living room wall.
Her chest heaving, Pearl was too startled to speak. Looking down she could see her laptop resting on its side and the contents of her purse scattered all the way across the floor as the strap of it hung loosely, upside down from her elbow. Flat against the wall, at that instant Pearl didn't feel the presence on her body as she stared at the door. Pearl guesstimated it to be about 15 feet away and she thought she could make it outside if she kicked off her heels and made a dash for it. Unfortunately, her muscles wouldn't respond in time.
"So this is where your life starts passing before your eyes I guess," Pearl reckoned, feeling the presence in the room fanning out in a crescent shaped aura in front of her.
"I'll go... just let me go... you can have the house... just let me go," Pearl begged softly to the otherwise empty room.
The only answer to her plea came when the bottom button of her bright yellow blazer popped open. Pearl could feel a gentle pressure, like the palm of a hand, resting just below her belly button as she shifted her back on the wall and sucked in her stomach.
"Just let me go... please... ," she started again, her voice cutting off when she felt something press between her legs, forcing the hem of her skirt up until her crotch had seemingly become grounded on something she couldn't see.
Flailing her hands straight ahead, Pearl tried to grab whatever was there, to no avail. All she wound up accomplishing was grinding so hard against the wall behind her that her neatly pressed and tailored blouse and blazer were now cockeyed and wrinkled. It was then she felt something warm and smooth, almost like kisses, trailing across her décolletage.
"OHHH... GOD," Pearl cried to her attacker, as one by one, the buttons of her cream colored blouse popped undone, leaving her lacy brassiere exposed all the way to her waist.
Just as Pearl was about to snap, the presence seemed to step away, almost as if surveying her before moving back in. When it did, Pearl whimpered and groaned. Feeling its grip tighten around each side of her waist, Pearl was ripped away from the wall, dragged forward and deposited in the center of the room. Before she'd even steadied herself, she felt a warm and chilly breeze rush up her skirt and coat the soft inner flesh of her thighs before latching itself to her panty clad cunt.
"Should have worn my hose today," Pearl grumbled, hating the fact that it had such easy access to its ultimate goal.
Her dizzy eyes spinning, Pearl could feel her entire body being lifted up from the floor by whatever was cupping her vagina.
To anyone who might have stumbled into the room, it appeared Pearl was levitating on her own in mid-air, her feet swaying several inches off the floor as the arch of her crotch rested in the caress of some invisible entity. Her pussy now supporting her entire weight, it wasn't long before an immense, warm glow began to burn through her flesh.
"AAHHH... AAHHHH," she bellowed repeatedly when its digits, or tentacles, slipped under her panties and worked their way inside her.
She could feel her vagina expand and moisten, clutching instantly to the invading limb as it slid deeper into her sex. Her eyelids fluttering, she could feel warm breath washing across her chest once again as whatever it was freely fondled her long ignored quim. It felt like an entire hand, if not a whole arm itself, had nestled it way inside her.
"It's going to rape me," she thought with horror even though her hips and crotch were now rocking forward of their own free will.
Looking up, Pearl's disorientation was further heightened when she realized just how close she was to the ceiling as her body began gyrating in rhythmic waves from the wicked sensations being unleashed inside it. Tilting her gaze back down, Pearl could see her left breast was now exposed and hanging over the front of her brassiere and she shuddered when the swirl of something warm and determined enveloped it.
Still in fear of being dropped at any moment, the rustling under her skirt only quickened and she swung her legs out and wrapped them around whatever was there. Reaching up with her hands, Pearl dug each of them roughly into her collarbones and howled with haunted passion as the spirit of a long departed resident of the home infiltrated her.
Suddenly, she began to feel her body shift in mid-air. Flailing helplessly, Pearl looked behind her and could see she was being carried towards the stairway. The embedded pressure inside her vagina never relented as step after step whisked by beneath her. Reaching out to try and grab the handrail, Pearl felt the invisible presence grab each of her hands and place them behind her back until she was all the way up on the landing.
"It could just toss me right back down the steps if it wanted," Pearl knew, vertigo now sweeping through her.
Allowing her to dangle there, almost as if either savoring her mortal fear or trying to build her trust, the presence finally lead Pearl to the right, straight for the master bedroom. Swinging her legs together out of sheer instinct around the thing buried between them, Pearl could feel the musky dew of her own arousal slick against her thighs as it carried her towards the bed.
"Please God... let him... or it... just lay me down," she prayed to the cross that hung from the chain around her neck.
Whatever it had planned for her, Pearl was prepared to deal with, but like a stow-away lost at sea, she needed desperately to feel solid ground beneath her. Her focus still shaky as she scanned the room, Pearl could feel the snap on the rear of her skirt loosen and the stuffy air of the bedroom caress her bare legs as the presence controlling her gradually pulled her dress, along with her panties, all the way down leaving her in nothing but her ripped open blouse and tattered brassiere.
The unrelenting force inside Pearl's vagina never ceased, and the already matted pelt of her pubic hair only dampened with each passing second as the thing continued to toy with her. It felt as if every nerve and neuron, not to mention every single one of her sexual portals, were being seduced by the invisible thing that held her in its possession.
With each of her breasts now draped shamefully over the front of her brassiere, Pearl tried in vain to reach down and massage them but in a blurry and fantastic rush, she became inverted in the ghostly hands of her captor. It all happened so fast for Pearl, she couldn't fathom what was occurring until her back slammed with a thud on the ceiling above the bed. Tremors lurched through her body as she cowered 10 feet above the floor and against her better judgment, Pearl opened her eyes and looked down.
"OOOHHH... GOD," she cried, her unsteadiness growing into full blown paranoia knowing the thing that was holding her up could also drop her anytime it pleased.
The only thing that prevented Pearl from falling face first down to the mattress below at that moment was the transparent appendage that had speared her downstairs and continued to bore relentlessly into her quivering vaginal fissure. Her shoulder blades flush against the ceiling, Pearl's legs dangled, and in either an attempt to hold on for dear life or to keep whatever it was deep inside her, Pearl wrapped her legs around the presence there and savagely dug the soles of her bare feet into it.