Do you have one of those crazy relatives--the ones who you're convinced they're not quite all there? Now, imagine if that crazy relative sees ghosts?
And with that premise you have Ginger C. Mann's The Poltergeist and Aunt Betty.
I'm just over halfway through reviewing the entire Beyond the Wail anthology and each story has been consistent, not only in being true to the theme, but also in length. As I read Ginger's story and I was reaching what felt like the middle, I wondered, "where's the ghost?"
To be fair, the author is not completely void of ghostly elements, it's just she's created a character so charming and zany, that the woman might not be able to see ghosts at all--it could be her wild demeanor or the multiple prescription medications she's on.
This is one aspect I loved about the story. When we're faced with a situation where there could very well be a legitimate haunting, there are ways to explain away any oddities. "Sure, your home could be haunted, but it could be wind moving a loose shingle that makes it sound like someone is in the attic walking around." These kinds of thoughts went through my mind as I read this story, but I knew this was a ghost story so I expected a poltergeist to show up at some point.
And Ginger didn't disappoint.
I had to smile several times while I read this tale. The author definitely knows what it's like to have a house full of kids and the challenges found therein. Having raised four kids ourselves, it brought back many memories. Aunt Betty is a great character, as well. The story unfolds with Aunt Betty becoming more and more unpredictable. But are her actions solely the fault of her own, or are there other factors contributing to the madness?
You'll have to read it to find out! I'm glad I did.