'Is anybody there? Make yourself known. Rattle something, touch someone - make some kind of noise, please.'
Jock, a middle aged man in his early fifties, spun round and looked anxiously round his lounge.
'Where the hell is the voice coming from?' he thought to himself. It was spooky. It seemed to be somewhere in the room, but he couldn't see anyone, and he knew his wife Emily was not in the house.
She had probably gone to visit her sister, Janice, after doing her shopping, although to suddenly disappear without telling him was not like her at all.
The whole situation was beyond his comprehension.
Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye he noticed some rather odd looking white lights that were moving about the room.
'Dear God,' he thought in alarm, 'the place must be haunted, although I've never experienced anything like it before. What the hell is going on?'
'Come on,' the strange voice urged, 'show yourself. Give us the evidence that you are here. Throw something.'
'I bloody well will,' fumed Jock, and picking up a nearby fork that had lain on the table, he aimed it at one of the strange lights.
He was greeted with a high-pitched scream.
'Someone threw something at me,' the voice shrieked.
'Well you did invite it to,' replied another strange voice. 'At least it shows that there is someone here.'
'Who the hell are you,' yelled Jock, 'and what the devil are you doing in my house? Clear off, both of you.'
There was no response. It seemed that they hadn't heard him.
'Throw something else,' the voice invited. 'We need evidence to show that there is someone here.'
'Who are you?' yelled Jock, who was getting angrier by the minute.
'What the blazers are you doing in my house? Get out the pair of you or I'll set my dogs on you.'
Again there was no response. The whole situation was so infuriating, and where the hell was Emily? She should have been home long ago.
Again, spurred on by the voice, Jock picked up another fork and threw it in the general direction of the voice, and to his delight was again rewarded by a high-pitched scream.
'There is someone here, Tommy,' the voice went on. 'Perhaps we could conduct a sance. It would make marvellous viewing for the programme, and we could then learn more about who is still haunting this place.'
'We'll get the crew in position, and then Benny our spiritualist medium can join us and a few other crew members to see if we are able to make contact.'
Jock listened in amazement at the conversation. There seemed to be several people in his home that he couldn't see, who appeared to be making a programme, whatever that meant.
He looked down at his watch. Where the dickens had Emily got to? She always told him what time she expected to return, but to judge by the clock, the shops had long since closed, and there was still no sign of her.
He sat in his favourite rocking chair and lit his pipe. She was bound to turn up sooner or later. Perhaps she had dropped in on her sister, Janice, and they'd got so involved in their gossip that they had forgotten the time. That was it. That was the answer. Any time now Emily would walk through the door and apologise for being so late.
Janice was a widow, having lost her husband in the Great War a few years ago, and she enjoyed Emily's company. It helped her forget her own pain.
It was a lovely day. The curtains fluttered in the breeze through the partly opened window. He looked round. This was a peach of a house. They'd always kept it beautifully decorated, and after getting married had lived here with Emily's parents until their death, and had then continued to do so afterwards.
The sun shone brightly and after placing his pipe on a nearby table, Jock closed his eyes and fell asleep.
Suddenly he again heard voices, and when he opened his eyes, he was horrified to see people sitting round a table in his lounge, cables draped across his floor, and others with strange contraptions balanced on their shoulders. There was someone else with earphones holding a strange looking hairy thing on the end of a long pole.
'Is there anybody here?' one of the strangers was asking. 'Please talk to us. Tell us who you are and why you are still here. Use our combined energies to communicate.'
'Spell out your name, please. We aren't here to harm you or in any way be disrespectful. We would like to help you. Use our combined energy to move the glass and talk to us, please.'
Jock rubbed his eyes. He had to be dreaming. The house appeared to be his, but on looking closer, he could see it was dirty and covered in cobwebs. One of the living room doors was open, and he could see that his once immaculate kitchen was filthy.
A strange thought entered his mind. This house hadn't been lived in for years, so what was going on?
'Please tell us who you are,' the voice pleaded. 'We want to try to help you, that is if you feel you need help.'
Jock moved nearer the small table. It was one he'd never seen before.
'I can feel a draught by my shoulder,' he heard one of the voices say, 'and my left hand has gone icy cold.'
'I can feel it too,' one of the other strangers said.
'I feel we have a male presence in the room,' replied Benny, 'he's middle-aged and from what my guide, Gordon, is saying, he's a Scot.'
'What time period would you say he comes from?' asked one of the others.
'About the 1920s, I should say,' Benny replied.
Jock was stunned. He had to be dreaming. This couldn't possibly be true. A few minutes ago he was sitting in his lounge asleep in his favourite chair. His house was immaculate and utterly beautiful. He and Emily had taken a great deal of pride in looking after it over the years, and now the place looked dirty and neglected, and there were strangers sitting round a table asking him to move a glass.
He rubbed his eyes, and was aware of the rough skin of his hands. He had to be awake. In fact he knew now that he was awake, and on looking round his once familiar room, saw that it was completely empty apart from the table where the group of strangers were sitting.
Where was Emily? What had happened? Why was his lovely house looking so awful? He suddenly felt a terrible sense of fear.
Perhaps the strangers held the answer.
He summoned up his courage and approached the table. He noticed that they all had their fingers on the glass, and that round their hands and bodies were streams of energy flowing toward him.
He put his own finger on the glass and pushed it toward the letter 'J', and finding it comparatively easy, commenced to spell out his name.
'What is your surname?' one of the strangers asked.
He was just about to push the glass toward the letter 'T' when he saw Emily at his shoulder, and behind her a beautiful white light.
'Don't worry about them,' she said, holding out her hand. 'Come with me and meet all our friends.'
'I don't understand,' said Jock. 'What is happening? I thought you had gone shopping then dropped in on Janice on the way back which made you late.'
'I'm so confused,' he continued. 'The last thing I remember is going to sleep, and then when I woke up there were these strangers in the room asking me to speak to them, and when I looked round, the house looked dirty and neglected.'
'And then to make matters worse,' he said, 'I couldn't understand where you were. Where've you been?'
'Don't you remember? The day I left to visit Janice, I was about to cross the road, and accidentally stepped in front of a tram. I was killed instantly, so I didn't get the chance to let you know what had happened.'
'Why didn't someone let me know,' Jock urged. 'Surely you were taken to hospital. Someone could have got in touch.'
'I think from what I learned later, they did,' replied Emily, 'but you refused to accept that I'd gone. I think that the shock was too much for you.'
'I'm so glad you're back with me,' replied Jock, 'but who the hell are these strangers, and what has happened to our beautiful house?'
'Time has moved on, dear,' Emily remarked gently, 'it is now 2005, and these people are trying to prove that life continues after death.'
'Are you trying to tell me that I'm dead too?' Jock asked anxiously.
'But don't you worry about that,' she said firmly. 'We'll both go over to the table and spell out the word, 'Goodbye!' then leave them to it.'
'Come over here to the light,' she continued, 'there's so many friends waiting to see us and I'll explain everything else to you later.'
Taking him by the hand they both stood in the middle of the white light and felt themselves surrounded by a loving energy that gently took them away from the earth and everything they had previously known.
'Cut and wrap! That's great everyone. Well done!' shouted Jonathon Whitchurch, the film director, grinning broadly and springing off his chair onto the set.
'Congratulations, that was marvellous! We'll be filming scene four tomorrow morning. See you all then.'
He turned to Peter, his assistant, a puzzled look on his face. 'I thought that James and Kate were unable to make it. In fact I had decided to shoot a different scene then spotted them on set.'
'But at least they were able to get here and as usual, played Jock and Emily's part to perfection.' he continued thankfully.
'But it doesn't make sense,' replied Peter. 'You see whilst you were filming their scene, the hospital got in touch to say they'd been involved in a fatal car accident on the way here, and were already dead when the ambulance arrived.'
' But they couldn't have been killed,' the director insisted. 'I saw them. They were here!' M/f
'I know, I saw them too,' Peter replied.
'You mean that at the time they were on set, they had both died? Two of my dearest friends?' asked Jonathon.
'But James and Kate would never let you down, come hell or high water,' replied Peter. 'They knew it was crucial that they completed their final scene otherwise the film would have had to have been scrapped, costing millions and throwing us all out of work.'
'Good Lord!' Jonathon paused thoughtfully. 'Then there truly is life after death, and these two dear people..........' He choked on the words and took a deep breath in an effort to control his feelings.
'Whatever the answer, even if I never understand how they did it, I shall always be grateful to them', he continued, fighting his tears.
'Talk about making a spooky movie. Wait until I tell the papers. What publicity! I couldn't have asked for more. The film will be a smash hit with the box office. Everyone will want to see it!'
He looked heavenwards with a grateful smile.
'Thanks kids, wherever you are. I love you and will miss you terribly, but you really saved my bacon. Thanks once again.'