"Eruit te Komen" - Jacob Turner
“The man inhabiting in this room was crushed under an avalanche of dead bodies,” I began. “He passed out from the hot weather and malnutrition. When the soldiers came around to clean bodies from the yard, they just threw him in the pile. He woke up screaming at the bottom, but no one could hear them.”
Thank God no one asked me how I knew he was screaming. Most of this tour is bologna anyway. Ghosts? Really? Like they exist. I’ve been doing this tour for years and not once have I seen a single ghost. After a while it really bummed me out.
And then Halloween came along.
I had a Dutch woman in my tour group. She didn’t speak a lick of English. She also didn’t understand when I asked her to stay with the group.
The tour was getting so boring, so I decided to spice it up. I led a group of tourists every night through a dark tunnel below a castle in Edinburgh. Decent gig. The maze was freaky enough. If the lights went out, you were dead. Well not really dead, but that would suck.
There was a strict path I had to take. You didn’t want to go down different pathways. Who knows what could be down there? Ghosts? It wouldn’t hurt to check it out. It’s not like I’ve had a ghost before. So I began to go off-script to entertain the audience.
“In this corner lies a ghost of a very grumpy old–” I thought of the woman who couldn’t understand me. “Dutch king. He hated his people and wanted to be left alone. His people obeyed. One of his enemies broke into his house and stabbed him with a rusty dagger, and when he cried for help, nobody came because he wanted to be left alone. He vowed to haunt his people for the rest of his life if they dare to disturb his tomb again!”
“What’s that boxy thing in the corner?” asked one of my tourists, shining a flashlight at a gold vase.
“Let me show you,” I said, thinking of a story I could make up.
The Dutch woman screamed.
“What’s wrong?” I shouted, rushing to her aid.
She screamed again, wincing in pain.
“Somebody call for help!” I called.
“You call for help!” sassed one of my tourists.
She screamed again. “Eruit te komen!” she said, writhing on the floor, wincing like a stale piece of bread being whipped into edibility.
“I have cell phone reception,” said one of my kinder tourists. “I’m calling 911!”
“Bitch, my phone doesn’t even turn on down here!” said another tourist.
The woman passed out from the pain, mumbling “eruit te komen.”
When the ambulance found us in the tunnel, they turned her over. Her back was soaking red. They lifted up her shirt. On her back, carved with what looked like a rusty dagger: “GET OUT!”
My tour was closed down, and for good reason. I hope that ghost doesn’t find out my dad was from Dutchland.
Jacob Turner is a student at UW-Madison pursing a BA with Honors, Majors in Communication Arts (Radio/TV/Film) and International Studies, and Certificates in European Studies and Digital Media Studies. A writer of all sorts, you can find his book at http://www.amazon.com/Fantasmajoria-Real-Live-Fiction-ebook/dp/B005GLJTVO and his play at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0Cm8yu1QSU for more examples of his work. He works as a Peer Advisor for the Letters and Science Honors Program at UW-Madison and an Associate Director of Publications for the Wisconsin Union Directorate. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys the company of human critters, traveling, reading, movies, theatre, TV, snuggling fluffy animals, and sharing as many laughs as possible.