“What?” Lizzy furrowed her eyebrows. Mr Pringleberry simply nodded.
“Yup,” he assured gravely. “We most certainly have a possession in the house.”
Mr Greensly huffed and threw the paper on the table. “What sort of nonsense is this? Who is this Miss Brown?”
“A woman who checked in the day before you did,” Mr Pringleberry explained. “Yesterday she was fine, but now…”
“Oh this is foolish,” Mr Greensly stood. “I’m going back to my room.”
“No!” Mr Pringleberry leapt forward and pushed him back. “You’re room is right next to hers. It’s not safe.”
“Get out of my way,” Mr Greensly insisted. The two began arguing as Timmothy sat scared, not sure what possession was but knew it couldn’t be good. Lizzy sat thinking hard, trying to sort out if she even believed in possession.
As if in answer a cry of pain came from the other side of the door, subsiding into uncontrollable weeping. The four fell silent at the sound. Mr Greensly angrily said a few hush words to Mr Pringleberry before shoving him aside. Lizzy and Timmothy held their breath as he pushed open the door, tentatively despite his steely insistence.
Early morning light shown through the windows of the lobby, casting what should have been a halo of cheery light but instead seemed an eerie dark glow. In the center of the room huddled a female figure, a stranger to the group save Mr Pringleberry. “Miss Brown?” Mr Greensly called. Straightening his suit her confidently walked forward as the remaining three clung to the door frame, fearful of what could come next. Despite himself Mr Greensly shivered, cold upon entering the room. The crying seemed to come from the walls themselves, echoing off the high ceiling, rather than the small woman before him. As he neared her he slowed his walk, a sudden reluctance pulling him back. “Miss Brown?” Near enough, Mr Greensly reached out a hand.
Miss Brown reacted swiftly, grabbing Mr Greensly’s wrist so tightly he gasped in pain. Slowly her head turned towards Mr Greensly, looking up at him. His shallow breath caught in his throat. Though he had never seen Miss Brown before, he was sure something was wrong. Her features were contorted in such a way he questioned whether she still looked human. She smiled at him before lunging; an awful scream accompanied strings of profanity and threats as the woman clawed at Mr Greensly as he fell back in fear.
Lizzy, quick of mind, sprung into action. Leaving the two boys behind she ran into the lobby and grabbed the closest thing at hand: a lamp. Thinking small but effective ran to the attack and raised it over her head to bring down upon Miss Brown.
“No!” Mr Pringleberry shouted from the doorway. “I bought that in Paris!”
Miss Brown’s head turned to look at Lizzy. “I’ll suck your soul,” she said in a voice more grave than a ten day old corpse.
Sweat made her hands slippery. The lamp fell from Lizzy’s hands, hitting Miss Brown between the eyes. Her limp body fell to the wayside, revealing Mr Greensly’s bloody and bruised face. Quickly the two retreated, quickly joined by Timmothy and Mr Pringleberry.
“Now do you believe me?” He whispered. “We have a Class A possession on our hands.”
“Let’s say I believe you,” Mr Greensly panted, wiping the blood from his face with the back of his hand. “What are we supposed to do about it?”
“Tie her up,” Lizzy said, shuddering. “Tie her up and… call somebody.”
“Tie her up,” Timmothy echoed.
“We have a possession in the house,” Mr Pringleberry said. “How exciting.”