(A ghost story a bit too late for Halloween. Shut up, I know.)

They said that the woods were cursed, but Jules didn’t believe that one bit, and he’d gotten the five acres in the countryside at a steal. However, as the first summer wore on, even he had to admit that some strange things were happening, and that prompted him to at least look into the rumors that some of the long time residents liked to tell. Apparently, there had been a father and son who’d lived on the property years earlier, and the father had abandoned him. The son, unable to bear the thought of living without his father, had run off into the woods, and everyone assumed he’d died somewhere nearby, and haunted the property to this day, looking for his father.

Jules wasn’t sure what to make of that, but whenever he was outside, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he was being watched, and sometimes there would be a clear knock at the door, and he’d hear a young man’s voice calling for his Papa, but whenever he answered the door, there was no one there. Still, it was enough that Jules started to have some doubts, and was wondering if he was going a bit crazy. He decided that a vacation would probably do him some good, and so he made plans to spend a few weeks away from home.

However, as he started packing his things up, he started noticing that bags would spontaneously unpack themselves when he left rooms, and the knocking and voice was growing more insistent. A few times, outside, he’d catch a glimpse of a young, chubby man in overalls in the woods, but by the time he got there to investigate, he’d be gone. Still, Jules was leaving for a while–nothing was going to stop him.

The tickets were purchased, the taxi service was scheduled to arrive the next morning, and everything was finally packed, ghost or not, and the knocking wouldn’t stop. Jules was awake in the living room, scared out of his mind, and finally he went to the door and flung it open, and shouted at the woods, “I’m leaving, and there’s nothing you can do to stop me!”

“No Big Papa, you’re not leaving this time. You’re going to stay with me forever,” the voice said behind him, and he spun around, and there the young man was, feet away from him, and Jules let out a scream, and then all was still.

The taxi drove up the next morning, but there was apparently some sort of mix up. The man living there said he’d never planned on leaving for the airport–who would take care of his son? He couldn’t leave his son, not ever. In his mind, Jules tried to speak, tried to tell the cab driver that the ghost was keeping him captive, but it was too late. He was trapped–doomed to be the young ghost’s big papa for the rest of his life, and most likely in death too.

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