Chapter 2 - Elsa's Warning
(December 24th, 2020: 10:50pm)
Bonnie made sure to send off most of the servants and butlers, along with all the other employees that were within the grounds of her mansion to leave her for the next day, with the exception of Tightlips, plus a gathering of 10 of her servants and butlers to guide her to her Christmas presents, since that was going to be the extent of her Christmas.
She was all alone in her expensive bedroom, complete with the finest of amenities money has to offer. Her bedroom was completely pink with pink walls, pink carpets, pink chandeliers, and a three-story walk-in closet to store all her clothes. She had also locked the doors for maximum privacy. The room itself was completely dark, save for the roaring fire of the fireplace.
Bonnie herself was in pink cashmere pajama crop top and bottoms from Country Club Banana. The pajama bottoms, like she always preferred, showed off the rim of her yellow CCB boxers.
She knew that all she needed was to be shown of her gifts for Christmas, and that would be all.
She sat in her great chair next to the fireplace, sipping on a glass of red wine.
"Ugh...those damn wretches in the world!" Bonnie muttered to herself bitterly. "I tried to humiliate Possible for years, and she's STILL with the blonde-haired doofus and the two hellspawns that they both have! Damn it!"
The brunette sighed and took another sip of wine before she heard bells at her door.
"You can't come in!" Bonnie scowled, putting away her wineglass, "The door is locked!"
But then, she heard the rattling of chains, even though the walls were a foot thick. She was startled by the noise.
The name sounded again!
Bonnie looked in fear, her left hand nearing the red button to issue the help of Tightlips.
"What the hell is this?!" she exclaimed, standing up from her expensive hair and staring at the door.
And there stood the ghostly figure of a woman in her mid 40s, weighed down by chains, walking through the locked door without any effort. Her formerly black hair was now a ghostly white. She was in a tattered purple dress up to her kneecap. The chains were wrapped around her body and they were connected to various camera parts dragging along the ground.
Bonnie could not believe what she was seeing. The thing that struck her the most was the folded kerchief bound on her head and chin, which wrapper she had not observed before. She was still incredulous, and fought against her senses.
"What the Hell now?" Bonnie said, cold as ever, "What the Hell do you want with me?!"
"Much!" came the voice of the ghost.
"Who are you?" Bonnie asked to the spirit.
"Ask me who I was!" the ghost replied.
"Who were you then?" Bonnie then asked. "You're particular...for a shade."
The ghost identified herself. "In life, I was the partner who help found the tabloids and popularized the KimStyle around the globe...for two weeks...Elsa Cleeg!"
"Can you...can you sit down?" Bonnie asked, looking doubtfully at her.
"I can." Elsa replied.
"Do it then!" Bonnie commanded.
Bonnie asked the question because she didn't know whether a ghost so transparent might find herself to take a seat in a chair, and felt that it was impossible to do so. But the ghost Elsa sat down on the chair at the opposite end of the fireplace with no issue.
"You don't believe in me?" the ghostly Elsa observed.
"I don't..." Bonnie replied.
"What evidence would you have of my reality beyond that of your senses?" Elsa then asked.
"I don't...know..." Bonnie said.
"Why do you doubt your senses?"
Bonnie replied "It could've been the alcohol that I have had today! I had two glasses of red wine!"
Bonnie was not in the habit of cracking any jokes. The truth of the matter is that she tried to be smart and keeping down her terror and her reluctance to call in Tightlips for the ghost Elsa's voice trembled the marrow in her bones. There was something very awful, too, in the specter being provided with an infernal atmosphere of its own. The Elsa ghost stat perfectly still.
Bonnie then took a hundred dollar bill from her wallet.
"You see this Benjamin?" Bonnie asked. She wanted to take charge, even if only for a second, to divert Elsa's gaze from herself.
"I do!" Elsa replied.
"You are not looking at it!" Bonnie exclaimed, still holding the $100 bill.
"But I see it!" Elsa said, "Notwithstanding!"
"Well..." Bonnie replied, "I'll have to return this to my wallet and be for the rest of my days persecuted by a legion of freako losers! All my own creation! Humbug, I tell you! Humbug!"
At this, Elsa raised a frightful cry and shook her chains with such a dismal and appalling noise. Bonnie held on tight to her chair to save herself. But to her greater horror, Elsa removed her bandage from her head, her lower jaw dropped.
Bonnie fell upon her knees and clasped her hands before her face.
"Mercy!" the brunette pleaded, "Dreadful apparition who used to be my founding partner in a multi-million dollar supermarket tabloid business! Why do you trouble me?"
"I'll say this once but I will not say it again!" the ghost of Elsa replied, "Do you believe in me or not!"
"I do!" Bonnie cried, "I must. But why do spirits walk the Earth and why do they come to me?"
"Duh! It's required for every person on this planet!" the ghost of Elsa explained, "The spirit should walk with them and travel far and wide. If that spirit does not go forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness!"
Again, Elsa raised a cry, and shook her chains of heavy VHS camera and paparazzi camera parts, and wrung her shadowy hands.
"You are fettered!" Bonnie said trembling, "Tell me why?"
"I wear the chains of all the celebrities we humiliated together!" Elsa replied, "I made it link by link and yard by yard! I made it on my own free will and I have to wear it on my free will? Is its patterns strange to you, Miss Rockwaller?"
Bonnie trembled more and more.
"Or would you know..." Elsa pursued "...the weight and length of the strong chains you bear yourself? It was full as heavy and as long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago when I plowed into that 18-wheeler! You have labored on it since, especially when you have a rap sheet yourself, i.e. the felony tax evasion that you spent 21 months in the federal pen! "
Bonnie glanced on her pink carpet with the expectation that her chains would be at least 300 feet long, but she could see nothing!
"Elsa!" she exclaimed imploringly, "Good Elsa Clique, tell me more! Speak comfort to me, Elsa!"
"I have none to give!" Elsa replied, "It comes from other places, Bonnie Rockwaller! And I can't tell you that I would. Only a sliver more is all that is I am allowed to give. I cannot rest! I cannot stay! I cannot linger anywhere! My spirit never walked beyond the four walls of your multi-million dollar mansion. Even though I traveled around the globe, it was always here that we both contrived ideas to catch celebrities in their most embarrassing moments!"
One of the habits Bonnie had was that whenever she had a thought, she would put her hands in her pockets of whatever pants she was wearing, most notably her bib-down overalls.
Pondering on what Elsa had said, she did the above habit now, but without lifting her teal eyes or getting off her knees.
"You must have been very slow about it, Elsa!" Bonnie observed.
"Slow!" Elsa repeated.
"Seven years dead since you decided to text and drive while going 85 miles an hour on Interstate 70!" Bonnie added.
"While trying to put on makeup for that meeting, if I might add, before ramming into that tractor trailer." Elsa sighed.
"And you travelled all the time?" Bonnie asked.
"The whole time in this place." Elsa said, "No rest, no peace. Incessant torture of remorse."
"You travel that fast over my mansion?" Bonnie asked again.
"On the wings of wind." Elsa repled.
"You must've covered a great quantity of ground of my entire estate over those seven years!" Bonnie exclaimed.
Elsa, on hearing this, cried even louder and clanked her chain so hideously in the dead silence of night that Bonnie covered her ears.
"Elsa, can you keep it down?" Bonnie seethed, "People are trying to sleep in this place!"
"Oh! Captive, bound, and double-ironed," cried Elsa. "Not to know, that ages of incessant labor by immortal creatures, for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunities misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!"
"But, Elsa, you were a good woman of business!" Bonnie exclaimed, "We set up the supermarket tabloid business together.
"Business!" cried Elsa, wringing her hands, "Humiliating celebrities for money was my business. The moment where a celebrity goes to rehab, gets arrested, or has a stormy divorce were all my business! Do you not recall the first tabloid we published together, back in 2010?"
"I remember that one!" Bonnie recalled, "Britina had that meltdown shaving her head and then showed off her lady parts all in the same night! She was placed on conservatorship the next day!"
"Oh yeah!" the brunette laughed, "That issue made us millions!"
But Elsa wasn't laughing. She held up her chain at arm's length, as if that were the cause of all her unavailing grief, and flung it heavily upon the ground again.
"It may be a laugh then, but it was Britina who had the last laugh! Her conservatorship just ended a week ago and her career has taken off again!" Elsa bemoaned. "At this time of the year, I suffer the most! Why do I always walk through crowds with no homes to welcome me in!"
Bonnie was dismayed to see Elsa go on at this rate and began to quake in her body.
"Hear me!" Elsa exclaimed, "My time is nearly gone!"
"I will," Bonnie replied. "But don't be hard upon me, Elsa!"
Elsa replied, "How it is that I appear before you in a shape that you can see, I may not tell. I have sat invisible beside you day after day, even in those boring-ass board meetings!"
It was not an agreeable idea. Bonnie shivered, and wiped the perspiration from her brow.
"It's the least detestable part of my penance," Elsa replied, "I am here tonight to warn you, that you have a slight chance and hope of escaping my fate. A chance and hope of my procuring, Bonnie!"
"You were always a good friend to me, even though we've known each other only for four years prior to your car crash!" Bonnie replied, "Thank you!"
"You will be haunted..." Elsa resumed, "...by three spirits!"
Bonnie's countenance fell almost as low as the Ghost's had done.
"Is that the chance and hope you mentioned, Elsa?" she demanded, in a faltering voice.
"It is!" came Elsa reply.
"I...I think I'd rather not." Bonnie said
"Without their visits..." Elsa said, "...you cannot hope to shun the path I read. Expect the first tomorrow, when the bell tolls one!"
Bonnie got out her smartphone from her cashmere pajama pants pocket.
"Couldn't they all appear to me at once and get it over with, Elsa?" hinted Bonnie.
Elsa ignored Bonnie's plea and continued. "Expect the second on the next night at the same hour. The third upon the next night when the last stroke of 12 has ceased to vibrate. Look to see me no more and look that, for your own sake, you remember what has passed between us!"
When she had said these words, the ghost took her wrapper from the table and bound it around her head as before. Bonnie knew this by the smart sound its teeth made when the jaws were brought together by the bandage.
The ghost of Elsa walked backward from her and at every step it took, the window raised itself a little so that when the ghost reached it, it was wide open. She beckoned Bonnie to approach, which she did.
When they were five feet of each other, the ghost of Elsa raised her hand, warning her to come no nearer. Bonnie stopped.
Not so much in obedience, as in surprise and fear: for on the raising of the hand, she became sensible of confused noises in the air; incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret; wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory. The ghost of Elsa floated out of the window into the dark and bleak night.
Bonnie followed to the large window, curious to see on what the sounds were all about.
The cold Colorado air was filled with ghosts, wandering everywhere and moaning as they went. Every one wore chains like with Elsa. Whether these created faded into mist, she couldn't tell. But they and their spirit voices faded together.
Bonnie closed the window and remarked to herself, "I gotta stop drinking at night!"
She examined the bedroom to her door and it was double-locked and the bolts were undisturbed.
Without saying another word, Bonnie went straight to bed and fell asleep.