Author's Note: Homework this week on the writeblr-monthly Discord channel was about monsters and legends. I chose option three: placing monsters in 2019. True, the setting is never specifically mentioned, but it's supposed to be 2019.
This is less a short story and more a… dialogue… conversation… black comedy thing. It's an experiment in a different sort of story-telling than I normally use. Hopefully it doesn't turn out too badly :)
The Tour Guide
"Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! Thank you for joining us on our tour of the haunted castle. Please don't be frightened if you see any ghosts. They're as curious about you as you are about them."
"Speak for yourself!"
"If you'll please follow me, we can begin the tour."
"Oh great. Yet more brats running all over our castle. And you! You should be helping us scare them away like any respectable ghost would! Instead you're acting as their tour guide!"
"You might notice how the top of this staircase has wood of the different colour to the rest of the bannister. This is because of a tragic accident in the late nineteenth century. One of the housemaids tripped and fell against the bannister. It broke under her weight and she fell to her death. Legend says she still haunts the castle."
"Legend says, my foot. That was you!"
"Down this hall and off to the right is the room where the first earl's younger daughter committed suicide."
"Don't you dare bring me into this!"
"The circumstances are still unclear, but it's believed she was forbidden from marrying the man she loved."
"Of all the base slanders. What did I ever do to deserve this?"
"Now, this nursery was the scene of a most mysterious crime. The seventh earl's twins were asleep here one night with their nursemaid watching over them. When the household awoke the next morning, the nursemaid's body was hanging from the rafter – that one there – and the twins were gone. No one has ever been able to understand what happened."
"What do you mean, no one understands what happened? You were there! You gave the murderer such a fright that he almost died!"
"I'm sorry, what did you say, sir? You thought you heard a voice? Many people have said that in this room."
"How I wish they could hear me clearly. I'd let them know exactly what I think of them invading our home like this."
"And now, if you'll follow me, I'll show you the library."
"No! Not the library!"
"It's said to be the only room in the house that no one has died in."
"Is nothing sacred now? Are you going to let these brats get their grubby paws all over my precious books?"
"Be sure to examine the books; there are many very rare volumes here."
"What was that? Oh, only the wind. This way, please."
"This is payback for my interfering with your stupid tour, isn't it."
"And you simply must look at these portraits. They show many of the people who are now supposedly haunting the castle. Yes, ma'am, I must agree the first earl's daughter was rather odd-looking."
"Excuse me while I test whether or not a ghost can commit suicide."