February’s Touch

Posted: September 4, 2011 by writingsprint in Dream Girl, Fantasy, postaday2011, postaweek2011, Writing
Tags: , , , ,

Tom wasn’t the religious type, but he wasn’t surprised that Amy was a ghost, or that something ghostly was going on. The dream had felt too real. She had felt too real. He could still remember her fingertips wrapped around his as he fought to keep her from falling. The piercing scream as she begged him to save her was ringing in his ears. He appreciated Mr. B’s advice, but Tom was an atheist, and he couldn’t fake faith. That didn’t mean he couldn’t get some help from the other side.

Tom went to the library and picked up two books on paranormal investigation. One of them was a reference book. He had to sweet talk the librarian to get it, but it worked. If his soul didn’t wind up being eaten by a flying skull, he had a blind date with the librarian’s daughter next Saturday. Then he went to the nearest DVD rental store and picked up every episode of Ghost Hunters that they had in stock. Tom spent the afternoon taking a crash course on communicating with the dead.

Tom had two cassette radios laying around the apartment: one new, one that he hadn’t gotten around to sending to Goodwill. The place was just a studio, so he put them on opposite sides of the room. As the sun went down he started recording. Tom skipped the thermometers and EM sensors that the real ghost hunters used. He wanted to talk to Amy, not gather evidence that she existed. The scratches on his arm were enough proof of that already. The most unique idea that he read was to set up a mirror facing him, and see if any visions or flash images came into his mind. Tom bought a cheap one at a local hardware store.

He also read that, besides holy artifacts, silver and salt could protect him. He didn’t think Amy wanted to hurt him, but just the same… he remembered the skull, and the lamprey, and he shuddered. His salt shaker was in his pocket as the sun went down. He left the lights out, and waited.

It was a long night. Tom sat by the window and tried to read from the ambient light outside. It didn’t work very well. Tom was stuck with the headlines, sidebars and pictures of this month’s Sports Illustrated, and the dark gave him a headache. He could barely see the mirror.

Around 11 p.m., he felt a chill. It was there and it subsided. Tom gulped. He suddenly had to go to the bathroom. He cleared his throat, and asked, “Is there anyone here? Amy? Is it you?”

The chill came back. Buster’s hair stood up and he ran to the other side of the apartment. Tom felt an urge to keep watching the mirror. The shadows behind him looked like they were moving. In the mirror, he was only a silhouette, with a crescent moon slice of his face all that he could see. His skin prickled.

“I want to help you.” He wasn’t sure that he wanted to say he wanted to help her move on to the other side. In the dream, she said she didn’t want to die here. He thought of something. “Mr. B says hello. Uh… Wally. The door man.”

Warmth flowed into his cheeks. He felt like crying; he’d gotten this idea and it wasn’t sure his own. After a few moments the sensation passed. He felt cold again. In the mirror, the moving shadows reminded him of Amy’s dress dancing on his balcony.

“Look, if there’s anything I can do… give it some thought, okay?”

Nothing.

The shadows seemed to take on edges. Knife blades. Tom put his hand inside his pocket and found the round top of the salt shaker. His voice trembled. “Amy, is everything all right?” Goddamn it, get a hold of yourself. He sat up straighter. The mirror looked like it was getting foggy, or something. Tom couldn’t shake the feeling like there was something really wrong.

Buster hissed.

Blink: he saw Amy on the balcony, white on white, screaming and trying to pound her way through the window.

Blink: his head whipped to the window and he saw nothing there.

Tom didn’t know what to do. He started to stand up. The blood rushed to his head and sparkles of red and yellow went all over his vision. His throat burned. The air in the room felt thin. It didn’t feel cold now. Hell, it felt too hot. He went to pick up the mirror. The vertigo got worse. He lost his footing and fell back down. Tom didn’t even make it into the chair.

The air felt thicker than July when the air conditioning broke down. He couldn’t breathe. Tom’s eyes glazed over. Half dreaming, he saw Amy outside, fighting to get in. It felt like something in the room was sucking the breath out of his body.

Tom had an ‘oh, shit’ moment as he realized there were two ghosts: Amy, and the one that had killed her.

He popped the top off the salt shaker and threw the contents of the whole thing into the air above him. Air rushed into his lungs. The temperature in the room dropped for second. Tom got up and staggered toward the window. It came back worse. He coughed again. Every time he coughed, no air came back in. It felt like his eyes were going to pop.

He started to lose consciousness again. Amy was standing outside the window, crouched down, begging him. He yanked the window open and used his last breath to say: “Amy, get in here and help me!”

The wind that rushed past him felt like February’s touch. He heard growling and screams in his half conscious thoughts. The darkness that was sucking his life away faded. Tom passed out, sprawled in a pile of table salt. He felt a girl’s hands touch his face.

Sitting in the Dark is from Stoned-Gorilla at NewGrounds.

Dream Girl originally started based on a prompt from Inspiration Monday at Be Kind Rewrite.

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Comments
  1. […] continues the Dream Girl story and continues it further – without a prompt, but really, can any of us stop […]

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