Lost Spirits – for the Giraffe Call (AuntVerse)

For an anonymous prompt.

In the same setting, 2 “generations” earlier, as Heirlooms and Old lace (Lj), and directly after Estate (LJ) – The Aunt’Verse.

Commenters: 4

It started with her late Aunt Tansy’s attic of mysteries.

The ghosts couldn’t, it seemed, be released from the objects Tansy had bound them into. What the woman had done, Ruan still didn’t know, but the ghosts were trapped. The best that could be done was to give them a one-mile “leash,” so that they could wander from their prison.

That led to an uncomfortable house full of disconsolate ghosts, however, and, with Ruan still trying to figure out the traps laid in the un-ghosted objects, they were a distraction she really didn’t need.

She called on her Aunt Elenora, who was willing to take one of the tethered ghosts – Imogene the mouthy, who settled in happily to a life as Auntie El’s hat. Elenora spoke to some of her friends, managing to contact a friend’s sister’s second daughter, who took the cranky banker in a tie tack off of Ruan’s hands.

The daughter knew of a guy who worked well with the otherworld, and he (Johias) was more than willing to help Ruan work on the mystery of her Aunt’s trapped objects. He was also willing to take Willard-the-cigarette-holder off her hands, and, she noted, was also very handsome, and not without his own charm.

Resolving not to introduce Johias to her sisters, Ruan arranged a number of “safe” meetings with him where they could discuss the matter of Tansy’s collection. He had some innovative ideas about the traps, and they worked on testing them and putting them into practice, but, now and then, another object in the attic would start screaming angrily, as, somewhere, someone died and was sucked into their own personalized ghost trap.

That meant more ghosts to place, or more ghosts wandering around the house throwing things and tantrums and refusing to admit that sulking did nothing to help the situation. Ruan spoke to her aunts, and her aunts’s friends, Johais spoke to his family and friends, both of them to former teachers and former associates.

Finally, having exhausted aunts, cousins, and three-times-removed relations, Ruan and Johias began advertising discreetly in certain publications that catered to a certain audience: Free to a good home: Lost spirits.

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17 thoughts on “Lost Spirits – for the Giraffe Call (AuntVerse)

  1. How, I wonder, are Ruan and Johias going to judge “good homes” for trapped (hardly lost) spirits? (What is Imogene doing as Elenora hat that she’s happy? Or is it just that she’s out and about instead of stuck in the attic, and the two of them get along well?) I suppose one doesn’t want to run the test, but what happens if one of these items is destroyed?

    • I don’t know! It’s going to be hard for them to figure out, I think. Gossiping, I think, in re. Imogene. And yeah… I had that thought too, but I bet it’s bad.

      • Oh, right, Imogene is a relatively recent death — gossiping would still be interesting and mostly current. 🙂 Perhaps they can be destroyed or disabled before they activate? Or the people they’re aimed at notified and allowed to decide for themselves what to do with the traps? How widely known and interacted-with are ghosts (and other things supernatural) in this ‘verse?

        • Heee, I <3 you. I believe this world has a class of people who deal with such things, and for most people they're rumour or speculation. More common-widespread than IRL, but not to the point where they're commonplace.

          • It means they won’t have any kids if they hook up. Or maybe something stranger, like his taking the kid(s) and running off or marrying someone else? Or can Aunts not even have kids they don’t raise themselves? In any case, if she’s giving Johias that sort of consideration, does *she* think she’s supposed to be that sort of Aunt?

            • hrrrm, that’s a good point. I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet if there’s a calling sort of thing or if it’s just the sister who gets stuck holding the bag.

              • Yeah, I was going to make the same point – that one can be an Aunt and married without being a Mother. That was my first thought, when I read your reply. Nothing wrong with a little romance. It might even be a somewhat tragic romance, if she really wants to be a Mother, but isn’t able to.

            • May be they can’t have children (‘Up’), maybe something happens to him (WWII), maybe he’s not interested in women in that way (Yngvi or Jay) or maybe he falls for someone else completely.

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