Midnight Red

The lodge looked like a huge log cabin, surrounded by fir trees and blinding white snow. The sun was setting in the background behind the lodge, and the way to the lodge was starting to light up from candles along the winding pathway. My best friend Becca grinned wide at me, and I grinned back as we walked down the path. There were older couples holding hands and little children getting a kick out of making a snowman before nighttime.

My family headed inside, where a fireplace from the other side of the room automatically made me feel like a toasted piece of bread. I sighed and sat down in one of the armchairs, and Becca sat on top of me. We both started to crack up laughing. My brothers sat by the fireplace, warming their hands. Becca pointed to the wall, where a portrait of a gentleman was hung. He had a frown on his older features and even looked a little sad.

"I wonder who that is," I remarked to Rebecca, standing up to take a closer look at the picture.

"He looks so depressed," she responded as we stared at it with sympathy.

We took our suitcases upstairs to our room, where I fell onto my feather mattress and fell asleep instantly.

I fell into dreams of soft laughter and kisses. I was holding hands with a brown-haired boy and staring at his shoulder as he hugged me tight to him. I let go and turned around for some reason. I jumped about ten feet into the air when a girl just appeared, her eyes full of anger and regret. She glared behind me at the boy and looked at me again.

"Leave. Do not go with him. He hurts people," she warned me seriously, not breaking a smile; otherwise, I would have thought that she was joking. I glanced between the two and let my stare linger on her.

"How did he hurt you?" I asked, afraid to ask but needing to know the answer.

"He killed me." I started to scream and jolted forward. I glanced around in the darkness and realized that I was in the lodge bedroom. I sighed in relief, knowing that it was just a dream, and pushed the covers away from my shivering body. I could not go back to sleep, so I took the spare room key and left the room, shrugging on my hoodie over my sleep shirt. I walked through the dimly lit hallway with apprehension and slight fear, but I pressed on. I felt an urge to start walking downstairs. Suddenly, a rolling fog settled in the hall.

"What the blazes?!" I asked aloud as I stopped. I could not see where i was going or my hand in front of me, the fog was so thick. I hear a whisper near my ear and try to shout, but a hand clamps over my mouth.

"Do you want to wake Her up?" a male voice asks behind me as he removed his hand. I turned as the fog slowly faded away.

"Wake who up?" I wanted to know, my legs shaking. I looked up to see the same boy from my dream, and I backed away from him. He apparently saw my look of terror and frowned even more.

"What's wrong?" he asked me as he walked towards me. I started to dash off, but his vise-like hand wrapped around my arm tightly. I struggled, but he grabbed me by the waist and picked me up, throwing me over his shoulder.

"Get off of me! Stop it! You're the one...from my dream! Let go!" I squealed as I yanked and threw my body as hard as I could against his to no avail.

"I don't know what you're talking about," he spoke in an innocent, monotone voice. Just then, a hard object hit the boy in the head, and he staggered back. He dropped me to the floor, but another person caught me in their arms before I hit the ground. I looked up to see another stranger. He put me down but held onto my hand, pulling me along.

"Where'd you come from?" I asked incredulously. He shook his head as we ran down the stairs together.

"Does it matter? You were about to be...who knows?" he answered as we kept running. "That guy can't really die, anyway."

"Uh..." I was horrified. "Why not?!" The boy stopped long enough to stare at me, checking for any injuries and to look straight into my face.

"Because he's already dead." The words hit me like a pound of cement, and I started to shiver even through my three layers of clothing. "I'm Richie."

"I-I'm..." I could not get the introduction out because my teeth were chattering so much. He took off his jacket and gave it to me to wear. "I'm Dianna," I greeted. He nodded with a warm gaze, and we continued our run. As soon as we hit the second floor down, we froze. The undead boy was floating there again. He looked beyond angry at both of us.

"How?" was all I could say. He sneered at me and started to walk silently towards us. He had a shiny object in his hand, and I took a few terrified steps back. Richie stood in front of me, willing to do anything to shield me. Suddenly, another person appeared out of thin air, causing a small scream out of me. She had a scarlet red dress on with white arm gloves and red high heels, but she looked anything but happy. She looked as if she wanted this guy gone for good, and I was not about to interfere with after death matters. Also, I was still in complete shock about the whole thing.

"Go," she ordered Richie and me as she glowered over at the other ghost. Richie did not hesitate and took my hand firmly. I did not protest as he dragged me away, but I stole one last look at the ghost girl who had saved my life. I heard a yelp of immense pain and smiled slightly in satisfaction. That guy, whoever he was, had what was coming to him. Richie escorted me back to my room and told me to keep his jacket. I asked him why, and he said that he'd tell me in the morning. I shut the door gently with a wide grin on my face and collapsed back onto my bed, eagerly waiting for tomorrow.