The Birthday Present , a short story by PeterDSheen . Date added: 2011-04-29. Times viewed: 2344.
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- Intro: ***SPOILER ALERT*** This is the sequel to to Fear of to Poltergeist.So don't read this till you've read The Fear of the Poltergeist. This could be seen by some,as ploy to get people to read The Fear of the Poltergeist...AND!
England somewhere in the Midlands
It was a dark November evening Mary Jane a fair headed woman with fair skin to match who looked in her mid twenties sat in a strange almost quite local pub waiting. She wore a gray trouser suit with a white blouse underneath.
Her blue eyes watched the bubbles go up the up the glass of her gin and tonic that sat in front of her. A large scotch on the rocks at the other side of the table as it waited for her accomplice. She had sat there for ten minutes and she knows he was deliberately going out of his way of being late.
A thunder storm started outside the small number that were in the pub was taken by surprise as it wasn’t forecast for this mild winter’s night. Domesticated Dogs in a five mile radius howled at the moon like wolfs for no reason, echoing around the urban area.
As lighting flashed across the night skies, the lights in the pub had started to flitter the fruit machine dropped the jackpot without any being there. Before anyone could collect the free dropped jackpot the landlord put his foot down to stop his regulars from freeloading it.
In the corner of the pub the unused pool table’s balls automatically dropped. A couple of the light bulbs exploded. The landlord and the few regulars that were in his pub slowly started to panic.
A smirk came to Mary Jane's face when she heard one of the regulars haft joked to the landlord telling him he want to get an exorcist in here. Her sixth sense opened up she sensed him getting closer, the one that her colleagues calls the mischievous imp, the cocky rouge, Satan’s nightmare and she the poor misfortunate soul who has to keep an eye on him.
The thunder storm had stopped and the dogs stopped howling. He was leaning against the opened pub doorway with not a drop of rain on him standing there in his sixties styled casual clothes the creamy white shirt with sky-blue flowery design on it, the dark blue bellbottom jeans and black leather Beatle-boots on his feet. With his curly shoulder length hair with thick pork chops sideburns and battered black leather box jacket.
“Hello my little sweetie, I hear you got a job for me?” Jasper Hawks the upstart of the League of the Dead, her apprentice said with a grin and walked into the pub and sat down facing Mary Jane. Mary Jane had learned a long time ago to ignore his insolences.
“I take it, that’s mine?” Jasper said picking up the glass of scotch and drinking it off and placing the glass down before she could answer.
“Was it any need for the dramatic entrance, you always do need to make a meal of everything?” Mary Jane said shaking her head with a smirk on her face.
“My mother, used to say to me when I was a child I made enough racket to wake the dead, now that I’m old and dead I like to do the same to the living. What’s the point of having supernatural powers Mary Jane, if don’t have fun with them?” Jasper answered and laughed.
Mary Jane shrugged her shoulders and smiled. “Anyway, Happy birthday!” Mary Jane said to Jasper razing her glass and continued. “You’re not a bad looking man for sixty-five and considering you been dead for forty three of the years.” Mary Jane joked. “I wouldn’t know I haven’t seen my reflection for the same amount of years, I can’t look that great considering I’m dressed in the same clothes that I wore that many years ago, is there any chance I could dress for this period.” Jasper asked again as his cloths were now fused to him and now part of his body. “As we said to you before no, till you learn how to control your vanity, then we decide. You should thing yourself lucky that we removed the vomit that was caked across your face and cloths when we found you.” Mary Jane said grinning.
“Anyway why should we meet in this pub? Or am I not suppose to recognise it, and don’t say you didn’t know.” Jasper asked. “We may as well meet here; it is as good as any other, since the assignment is in the area. I thought it might make you feel at home since it is after all your birthday.” Mary Jane answered. “Or making me regret at what I missed out on. Today I could be retiring; I could have been a father, a grandfather and getting old gracefully. Isn’t that’s why you brought me here to remind me, to punish me again?” Jasper asked. “No, that wasn’t my intentions; you always seen to think forget I was in the same boat as you. I’m sick of telling you I’m here to help you if you let me, like I always say the first fifty years are the hardest. ” Mary Jane replied. “You know this is the first pub I had my legal pint in on my eighteenth birthday. It was also the first pub I had my first illegal pint when was fifteen.” Jasper said making Mary Anne smile.
“So then what’s the assignment?” Jasper said changing the subject. “A ninety year old, nice dear old lady has died three weeks ago around this area she is wondering around lost and confused.” Mary Jane said. “A ninety year old lady, you speak about her with the respect you give an old person, she’s a kid compared to you.” Jasper said trying to provoke Mary Jane. “Not a truer word Jasper, perhaps you should remind yourself of that fact when you undress me with your eyes.” Mary Jane said smiling. “I’ve always had a thing for older woman.” Jasper said grinning and continued. “So another dozy old bat that doesn’t realise she’s dead. She been wondering around for three weeks you say, I’m positive people get stupider when they die. ” Jasper said seriously. “Choose your words wisely Jasper before you may regret them. The lady in question had spent the last few years in a nursing home suffering from senile dementia.” Mary Jane said as she drank off her gin and tonic and getting up to get Jasper and herself another. “It’s custom for the man to go to bar for the drinks.” Jasper snapped. “Well maybe it was in our day, but didn’t you hear there has been a sexual revolution since then Jasper, and besides you got no money.” Mary Jane answered. “Perhaps if you allow me some, like you are.” Jasper replied. “Oh Jasper, my dear, decimalisation would only confuse you.” Mary Jane said rubbing her hand through Jasper’s hair in a patronising manner as she stepped by him to go over to the bar.
Mary Jane came back with the drinks and sat back down. “So tell me why you’ve dragged me from my grave and sending me? Couldn’t you have done it; after all you are in the area.” Jasper quizzically asked. “It a birthday present from me, Japer why do see every assignment as a chore.” Mary Jane said as Jasper saw the disappointment her eyes and realised she was telling the truth.
He didn’t mention it Mary Jane but from the corner of his eye, Jasper had recognised someone from long ago it couldn’t be he thought was it one of it was one of his old friends he was forty odd year older but that was definitely him. Still drinking in the same pub after all these years Jasper thought.
Mary Jane told Jasper where to find the old lady. Jasper drank off his drink and got up to leave.
Tommy Bright the pubs oldest regular stood over the bar drinking his pint and enjoying his own company, jasper walked by him and winked at him. A cold shiver went down his spine It felt like someone walked over his grave as he looked at the young man who looked and dressed the same way as his dead friend did all those years ago, he told himself it was just coincidence and kept it to himself and just watched Jasper leave the pub through the main door.
Mary Jane sat and watch Jasper leave the pub when she finished her drink she herself leaves. As Japer walked down the street from the pub, Jasper’s sixth sense opened up to sense out the lost soul and turned in himself in his spirit form so only the dead and other member of the spirit world could see him.
He found the old lady and he realised why Mary Jane has given him the job he know the old lady long ago but to him she looked like she was just like the last day he saw her. Dame you Mary Jane you could of warned me. He thought to himself holding back the tears in his eyes and smiled.
“Jasper is that you.” The old lady came to him and hugged and kissed him on the cheek and on the brow. “It good to see you to I’m so sorry what I put you threw. I’m so sorry.” Jasper said as they both cradled each other in their arms. “You do know you’re...” He continued with tears in his eyes and getting interrupted. “I know now Jasper seeing you I realise I’m dead.” She said.
He showed her the gateway it opened up a bright gleaming golden light shone as warmth came from it. “What about you Jasper are you not coming?” She said. “Do remember you once said in a tempter to me that day you threw me out, I’ll burn in hell.” Jasper said. “Oh Jasper you don’t how much I regret saying that to you.” She said softly with deep sorrow in her eyes. “Well you were wrong hell wouldn’t have me.” Jasper smiled at the old lady. “So why are you not coming.” She asked. “You used say I was lazy and wouldn’t hold down a proper which you were in some ways right, well I guess you got your wish I’m an apprentice what you could call a gatekeeper. It a very long apprenticeship, but one day I’ll be with you.” Jasper said smiling at the old lady. “This is how far I can go at the moment, so this is goodbye for now mum.” Jasper smiled as tears came down his cheeks as his disappeared into the light.
Mary Jane walked up to him. “Are you all right?” She said seeing Jasper in a highly emotional state. “You cow you could have warned me!” Jasper said smiling at Mary Jane putting and wiping his eyes turning himself solid and visible to the land of the living. “And spoil the surprise, one day Jasper and it won’t be long; everyone you once know will be dead and no one will remember you and you’ll have no connection with the living. So enjoy the connection when you can.” Mary Jane said soberly. “You were right it wasn’t a chore, it was a lovely birthday present, the beast one I’d had for a long time thanks.” Jasper said and continued. “She did have a happy life didn’t she?” Jasper said soberly. “Yes, I believe so, apart from the tragedy of losing her only son she was happily married till her husband died fifteen years back she was a grandmother and a great-grandmother through her two daughters.” Mary Jane said soberly and again Jasper realising what he had missed out on.
“You were saying one day no one will remember me, unlike you of course, I’ve been trying to find the right time to tell you, I found out recently who you were and I like tell you that I’m so sorry what had happened.” Jasper said softly changing subject and putting his hand Mary Jane’s shoulder. “It was me who told Richard to tell you. I thought it was time you should know, and please don’t pity me one bit, it was a long time ago.” Mary Jane said. “So why didn’t you tell me earlier, why all the secrecy?” Jasper asked. “Well you did know I was murdered in the east end of London in 1888 couldn’t you not work it out yourself? And if I did tell you straight out would you have shown me the same respect if you known that I was once a common hoe?” Mary Jane asked. “Be fair I show no one in authority any respect, beside you weren’t just a common hoe were you, you’re in the bloody history books.” Jasper said. “For all the wrong reasons Jasper.” Mary Jane replied humbly.
“So did you not want to take revenge?” Jasper asked. “Revenge on whom?” Mary Jane replied knowing full well who Jasper was talking about. “Well you know on the man who...well you know.” Jasper said uneasily for once. “You can say his name Jasper; after all I’m a footnote with the rest of the list of his murders in the history books. And would I’ve likened of taken revenge on him, as you should know we are not here or allowed to take revenge on those who have wronged us who in our past live.” Mary Jane said boldly and then smirked and continued. “And if you must know for a man who was supposed to send the From Hell letter to the police it turns out old Jack doesn’t seem to like the place one bit.”
“Sometime Mary Jane you scare the shit out of me.” Jasper said. “I know!” She said sharply and smiled. “So then, who was he?” Jasper asked curiously. “That’ll be a story I’ll tell you another time, my dear apprentice.” Mary Jane Kelly smiled at Jasper as she and Jasper disappeared into winter night air.
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