“This is where I belong now. This is where dejected women go,” Chelsea flung her sleeping bag dramatically onto the porch of Delphine mansion, spreading her arms like Jesus on the cross.
“I think you mean like, rejected. Trevor rejected you. So, like, you’re a rejected women,” Britney replied.
“Oh my god that’s so insensitive Brit!” Juliet shrieked.
“I was rejected and now I’m dejected, and I’ve resigned myself to my fate. If Trevor wants to go to homecoming, our very first homecoming and therefor the most important, with Cindy Stevens and her big fake Sophomore boobs WHAT DO I CARE. Everyone knows whoever wins freshmen attendant eventually gets elected prom queen, but OH WELL. I’ll live in this abandoned mansion with the lady in white, and we’ll be buds, and we don’t need no man.” Chelsea collapsed onto the porch and began to sob.
Juliet sat down next to her and rubbed her back. “Ok, first of all Cindy Stevens is sixteen and I don’t even think you can legally get a boob job at sixteen. You can’t hate someone for having big naturals.”
“YES I CAN,” Chelsea cried. “You’re taking her side.”
“I’m not taking her side,” Juliet replied. “I just think you should be blaming the person who’s really responsible.”
“The media, for their unrealistic portrayal of female beauty?” Chelsea wept.
“Oh,” she wiped her nose on her sleeve, “right…I guess it is Trevor’s fault. But I still love him so much. I can’t enjoy anything since we broke up. All food tastes like my grandma’s super dry thanksgiving turkey. Memes bring me no joy. Even my favorite cartoon characters aren’t adorable anymore. I’ll never feel better. Nothing will help.”
Britney cleared her throat. “Guys, I don’t know if this, like, helps, or whatever, but I grabbed a couple of bottles of my dads weird basement hooch. He makes it from fermented apples. I thought maybe we could all get drunk and forget about Trevor,” She produced two forty ounce brown bottles from her backpack. “Well, I kind of always thought Trevor was a dick so I don’t need to forget about him, but you know, for Chelsea.”
“That...might help,” Chelsea conceded.
Soon all three girls were huddled inside the decaying living room of the Delphine mansion taking turns sipping the extremely strong and only vaguely apple flavored liquor.
“This place is a real dump,” Britney observed as she picked at a piece of moldy wallpaper.
“Yeah can you imagine spending all of eternity here because some guy dumped you,” Juliet snickered.
“Hey!” Chelsea replied.
“I obviously wasn’t talking about you. I meant the lady in white.”
“Oh, I’ve never heard why she’s stuck here. Juliet, tell it!” Britney begged.
“I’ll do it!” Chelsea said dramatically. “As we are kindred spirits now.” She handed the bottle back to Britney and somberly began. Delphine DeLaurier was the most beautiful woman in all of Crane City. Every guy in town wanted to put a ring on that shit, but she was only interested in Henry Crane, the son of the towns founder.”
“Her parents were wealthy merchants. Her great grandfather had been one of the earliest French fur-trappers in the United States. The match seemed to be perfect. Both parties were young, rich, and attractive. That literally almost never happened back then, pretty much everyone had to marry old fat dudes like King Henry, of whatever.”
Britney nodded in agreement and handed the bottle of liquor to Juliet enraptured by the story. “So, on her wedding day everything is going great. The cake was perfect, the flowers were pretty and junk, Delphine is wearing an impeccable hand embroidered wedding dress made of French silk.” Chelsea was obviously vamping at this point, to build the suspense. “The entire town was there, and the groom was standing at the end of the aisle looking as handsome as ever.”
“Then it gets to the part of the ceremony where the priest says, does anyone object to this union, or whatever, and five prostitutes in varying stages of pregnancy stand up.”
“No!” Britney squealed
“Yes! And normally that would be a scandal but no big deal, whatever, it’s the eighteen hundreds. It happens. Delphine was still prepared to marry him…except” Juliet passed the bottle to the cold hand of the person next to her.
“Except he didn’t want to,” said the ghost of Delphine DeLaurier before taking a long swing of hooch that splashed on the rotting floorboards beneath her. She glowed with an otherworldly light, and her hair floated around her like Ariel in The Little Mermaid Or, like Sally ride in space, because that was what Ariel’s hair was based on. Anyway you can pick your metaphor. Either way she had ghost hair and it was creepy as hell. “He humiliated me in the front of the entire town and then he left me, a broken woman, at the alter, of his own volition.”
Her voice seemed not to be coming from her mouth but from the very air that surrounded them. “So I threw myself from the roof of the manor into the nothingness below. My spirit was doomed to roam the woods on misty evenings, just like tonight.”
There was a long pause before Chelsea stood, and with a slight slur in her voice announced. “I get you girl. I get you so hard. Girl, I am you. We’re the same.”
Delphine’s hair ceased it’s creepy floating. “You’re a jilted woman as well?”
“Yeah, Trevor. He totally dumped me.”
“You are a young woman though. I waited for Henry until I was an old maid of seventeen. No upstanding man in town would even look at me at such an age. You must surely have one, maybe two more marrying years ahead of you.”
“Hey, don’t lessen my trauma ghost. I loved Trevor.” Britney and Juliet huddled together in fear behind Chelsea.
“Maybe we don’t yell at the ghost,” Juliet suggested.
“I yell at who I want!” Chelsea screamed. “Nothing matters anymore. I hate you all.” She began to sob again.
“I hate everyone as well!” Delphine gasped.
“Yes everything. Perhaps you do understand me. I’ve never met someone who understood my suffering as you do. I must admit this does provide me with this some comfort in my eternal torment.”
“Yeah, I…I think I feel better too,” Chelsea sniffled.I'm not so sad anymore. Now I'm angry." Unsure what to do with this new emotion she acted on impulse and ran to the closest wall, kicking it like David Beckham, if David Beckham were a 15 year old girl with limited leg strength. Luckily, since the house was quiet old the wall did buckle with a satisfying crunch. A grin bloomed across Chelsea's face.
"Angry! I love Angry. I'm like, always angry!" Britany chirped.
"Let's kick things!" Delphine cried. She punch a nearby window and it shattered. Britney picked up a fireplace poker and slammed it repeatedly against the wall. Juliet hesitated but feeling the moment eventually began to punch the floor.
When the already decaying living room was pretty thoroughly wrecked the girls stood amongst the wreckage breathing heavily.
"That felt AMAZING!" Chelsea screamed. The agreement was echoed by the other girls, and the ghost of Delphine DeLaurier. "How about we take this party into town and smash up some mailboxes or something. Maybe one particular mailbox. Trevor's mailbox. Ooo, or his car."
"I don't know if that..." Juliet started but was quickly interrupted by Delphine.
"Yes, let's break more things! I haven't felt this good in 100 years." Juliet felt bad for the woman. 100 years of morning for some asshole. She couldn't imagine. If anyone deserved a night of fucking shit up it was this ghost. So, the girls walked down the hill from the DeLaurier mansion and descended upon the town armed with the fire place poker, a dislodged piece of living room wall, one empty bottle of hooch, and one half full one.
They came down the hill with the wind. The older residents of Crane City felt a chill in their spine, brought in their dogs, and locked their doors tight. If there's any force on earth stronger and more terrifying than four angry teenage girls, I've never ran into it. "Trevor!" Chelsea screamed and deep inside a Pizza Hut five miles away Trevor's nose started to bleed for no reason. His date was not impressed.
They stopped by Britney's farm at the bottom of the hill to pick up some gasoline and spray paint. There was an old pile of bicycles at the edge of the farm that Britney had always hated. They set it on fire just to watch it burn.
Continuing into town Chelsea spotted a rickety bridge just off the highway that led to God's Acre, the old cemetery. It was the perfect spot to spray paint, "Trevor is a butt." Many people would see its bright red lettering and be warned of Trevor before even setting foot in Crane City.
At the bridge Delphine paused and read the sign for God's Acre. "This is the road to the cemetery?" She asked.
"The old cemetery," Juliet replied. "There's a new one across town. Everyone who died up until the late 50's was buried out there."
"Henry must be there." Delphine said, seeming to suddenly slip back into her old grief. "Oh, Henry. Henry left me."
"Hey! Focus, Delphine." Chelsea demanded. "Henry was a dick. Henry...can eat a dick." She was pretty drunk and increasingly less eloquent.
"What's a dick?" Delphine asked, causing the others girls to break into a fit of giggles.
"Oh my God, I love her!" Britney squealed.
"You need to express your anger," said Chelsea. "We're going to find Henry's grave so you can yell at it, and maybe kick it too!"
"Yeah!" Britney and Chelsea replied.
"But I love Henry. I don't want to kick his grave."
"Yes, you do. I know what you want Delphine. I know what's in your soul. I'm going to help you." With that Chelsea took off toward the cemetery, forcing everyone else to follow behind.
It was an overgrown cemetery, sparsely maintain, not gated, and unlit at night. Using the light on their cellphones the girls searched the graves. Juliet found it and called her friends over. Though Henry Crane had been a rich man, his grave was plain by modern standards. It read Henry Archibald Crane, husband, father, businessman, fantastic card player.
"He lived to be nearly sixty!" Delphine exclaimed. "He must have been the oldest man in town! And he married..."
"WORDS!" Chelsea yelled. "No more words. I'm pissing on his grave."
"Nooooo Chelsea, no no no," Juliet cried.
"Haha, yup, I'm into it." Britney laughed. Juliet moved to stop her but in one swift motion Chelsea had her skirt up, her panties down, and she was crouching over the grave. It was too late to stop it. They watched in horror was Chelsea relieved herself on the final resting place of Henry Crane.
The wind picked up sending dead leaves rustling across the cemetery. Lightening struck in the cloudless sky. Chelsea quickly pulled her panties up and stumbled off the grave. The ground began to shake and from the grave stone a white vapor slowly leaked into the air. The girls screamed as the ghost of Henry Crane assembled himself before them. He wore a top hat and tails, even though he was over sixty years old there was still a hint of handsome mischievousness about him.
"Who has made dirty water on my grave!" He demanded. Britney and Juliet were no snitches but these were dire circumstances, they both pointed to Chelsea. Henry floated to within an inch of her face. "Thank you my child," he said, wrapping his arms around her in a phantom approximation of a hug.
"I have been waiting decades for someone to give me what I deserve. You see, when I was a young man I was foolish. I left a wonderful woman at the alter because I wasn't ready to give up my freedom and because of this she took her own life. I was a terrible drunk in those days, and an opium addict to boot. Her father found me in a opium den near death a few months after I left her and cursed my name. He said he would wait for me to die and send someone once a year to piss on my grave, and I knew I deserved it."
"Yet, I cleaned up my act and lived to be an old man. Eventually, when I was ready I did marry, and led a long and happy life. I never faced punishment for the wrong I had done to Delphine so, I waited here for Mr. DeLaurier to send someone to piss on my grave, but no one ever came. So thank you, thank you little girl. By pissing on my grave you have freed me from my earthly bonds. I may now descent into what I can only assume will be heaven, my soul is free." With that he simply evaporated into the night.
"Are you fucking kidding me." Chelsea whispered.
"Where did Delphine go?" Juliet asked. For indeed, Delphine had missed her chance to confront her long lost love completely.
The girls returned to DeLaurier mansion a little worse for the wear. The basement hooch beginning to turn sour in their stomachs, and the wave of anger they had been riding beginning to recede. They searched every inch of the manor grounds, and even tried saying things that generally make ghosts appear like, "I don't believe in ghosts.” But, Delphine was nowhere to be found.
A week later Chelsea wandered the dark stacks in the back of library when a gentile breeze knocked a large print edition of The Tempest into her path. She bent to pick it up and as she rose Delphine materialized in front of her.
"Boo!" Delphine exclaimed playfully.
"Oh, my God! What are you doing here!" She tried unsuccessfully to hug her friends spectral body. "We looked all over the place for you that night but you were gone. Brittany said sometimes the hooch makes people hallucinate so Juliet thinks you weren't even real."
"When we arrived at Henry's grave I felt...better. I didn't want to see Henry. Not because I was nervous but because I genuinely didn't care what he was up to. I was finally completely over him. My unfinished business was finished and I could finally move on. I saw a tunnel and a bright light and all that, but I was just like, no thanks Jesus I want to hang out for a while."
"You blew off Jesus?"
"Just for a little bit, and he was pretty cool about it. I died so young, I missed so much life! I've been at this library reading all week. Have you heard of cars? That shit is crazy." Chelsea nodded. Cars are pretty crazy. "I'm glad I ran into you. I'm thinking I'm going to hit the road soon. Catch a bus to Washington DC, see the monuments, maybe the Smithsonian. I always thought Abraham Lincoln was kind of cute, maybe I'll run into his ghost!"
"Good for you girl." Chelsea said.
"How are you doing without Travis?" Delphine asked.
"Trevor? Oh, we actually got back together." Chelsea replied.
Delphine rolled her eyes and disappeared forever.