Conversation with a Ghost

Posted: September 18, 2011 by writingsprint in Dream Girl, Fantasy, postaday2011, postaweek2011, Writing
Tags: , , , , , ,

“Don’t tempt me.” Emotions flickered across her face. He felt sad; it was coming from her. “I… sometimes I can’t help it. I don’t want to be like that thing.” She missed being alive. He could tell.

Ghost

I could hear you dreaming

“All right. All right.” There were only two things he wanted to know, other than “What are you doing Friday night?” With the bluntness that comes in dreams, Tom asked, “How can I help you? What is that thing?”

“I don’t know, and I don’t know. It steals breath. Ever since I… changed… I’ve watched it feed on people all over this building. Three of them died. It sucked the life out of a woman my mom’s age who smoked, an old man on a oxygen tank, and a poor little boy who had allergies.” Her voice broke.

Tom gulped. People sometimes said this was an old, “sick” building. The health department couldn’t prove anything. He remembered getting a chest infection a year ago, for no good reason. He thought it was a spring cold. He’d had no energy and he felt like he couldn’t sleep for weeks. She nodded. “I know what you’re thinking. Last year. That’s when it took a taste of you.”

“Jesus Christ. You watched it?”

“I was outside.” She tilted her head, thinking. Long strands of her hair brushed over her face. Tom felt himself breathing, and started to feel the breeze from the window. He was afraid he would wake up soon. “You changed over this past year. I don’t know what it is, but when I walked past your room the other night, I could hear you dreaming. It sounded like music.”

“Weird. I saw you dancing on the ledge.”

She half smiled and shook her head. “Dancing? No. Maybe we dreamed about each other.”

Something occurred to Tom. It made no sense, except in a dream. “Then it showed up, and that’s when you slipped.”

“And you held on, and wouldn’t let go.” He nodded. She did too. “Yup. That’s what I remember, too.”

He felt himself wanting to yawn. He was waking up. “What happens now?” he asked, slurring his words. In the fog of his sleep, her reply was muffled.

His eyes opened. He had salt in his hair and burning in his eyes. The room was quiet, except for the usual sounds from the street down below his window. The spot on his bed where Amy had been sitting looked strangely empty now.

He felt something in his gut, and in the way that things come together after a dream, he knew what she’d said: it was after both of them. Tom put his hand where she’d been sitting, and dug his fingers into the covers. “We’ll get this thing, Amy,” he said.

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

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