Saturday, September 12, 2015

Of Questions and Apparitions

     What were my options? I needed money, needed to satisfy my burning curiosity about the drowned girl, needed a human friend. I paced my living room again and again, thoughts churning my mind. Off days were nice, but the time alone with my thoughts could be very unsettling. I need to get out. I'd been holed up in Room 666 since I got home after work yesterday. 24 hours. I need someone. Freija rubbed against my leg. I reached down to scratch her behind the ears, her purrs making my entire being feel warm. I need to know what happened to that girl. I glanced at the flyers on my table. I had to find a reason to leave the apartment or I was going to go completely batshit. fundraiser for the drowned girl's funeral. Too sad. Dog festival. Too much of a crazy cat lady. I sighed, and decided to lurk around town until dark. I had nothing better to do. 
     Where could I go? The time on my phone read 2:04 PM. Several hours until dusk. I walked to the lake, though summoning the drowned girl in broad daylight seemed inadvisable, if it would even work. Nighttime seemed so much more appropriate for the morbid task. I shuffled along the overgrown path, the small, algae covered lake oddly peaceful. "Okay, what do I need for this?" I muttered. Footsteps. I began to recite what I would need for the difficult spell. I knew full well that finances were more important, but as was my habit, I decided to let even more broke future me deal with that. Crunch, crunch. I was so absorbed in my monologue that I didn't notice a large man come up beside me. I barely held in a scream. He told me in an all-too-excited manner that the dog park would probably be closed for the day. I froze, not knowing what to say. I nodded and walked away quickly, annoyance crossing my brow. Fuck. How am I still so damn awkward at 19? I resumed my list, adding now where I would get each item.
     Who was she? I crouched by the lake. It was nearly 9 in the evening. The sun was long gone. I had set up a candle behind some small bushes near the dead end of baker street, burning flowers and the like in the tiny flame, talking softly into the air. I wanted so badly for this one spell to work. My hopes seemed to be in vain as I finished the chant and nothing happened. And then I was flattened by a bright magical shockwave. 
     Why didn't it work? I sat up slowly, my heart pounding, my right cheek stinging. I put a hand up to the area and it came away covered in blood. I pulled out my phone and flipped it open, looking at the ground where I had fallen in its dim light. Something shiny and sharp stuck up out of the ground. It looked like a fragment of a beer bottle. I looked around, no ghosts in sight. I tasted blood now, and to make things worse, the stupid spell hadn't even worked. My head spun, but I dragged myself to my feet, gathered my things and walked home, sneaking in to my own apartment building through the parking area and the back stairs.
     How did I even do that to myself? I looked in the mirror in my bathroom, inspecting the wound. A slash right under my cheekbone, bleeding still. Even without the cut I would have looked pretty awful. I had sticks and leaves in my hair, dirt smudges everywhere, a few bruises forming. This would be interesting to explain. I began the long process of cleaning myself up enough to go to bed.
     What the hell was that?! I stood against the bathroom door in horror. Something had made a noise in the kitchen. No. No fucking way. My heart pounded like it was going to burst out. I tiptoed out of the bathroom, sharply aware of how much noise my flannel pajamas were making. Clink. I froze just outside the doorway, shaking violently. Finally, I mustered every bit of courage I had and peeked around the doorframe. I screamed, loudly and shrilly enough to probably wake the neighbors. There, in my kitchen, was a person. A very grey and translucent person. A person who evaporated into nothing before I could even comprehend their form.
     Where did I go wrong?