Elaina stood at the cliffs edge. To anyone who was watching or just passing by it would seem as though the young woman was about to jump, though this was not the case. Ever since her parents had died at the hands of a psychotic mass murderer, dreams had plagued the twenty-some year old constantly. The cliff was where the ghosts of her past could no longer reach her, as though the salty spray of the crashing ocean below kept the demons away.
Though it was the middle of the night, Elaina turned toward her house as though she could see perfectly in the darkness, shuddering as though there were dozens of eyes staring at her from the dirt streaked windows. Instead of escaping to the shelter the house was sure to provide, she turned back to the water she could not see, wrapping her arms around her shivering form. She was safe out here, near the holy water like protection of the Pacific. Her house, not home was forever freaking her out, whether it be by things moving around or sounds and sightings, and she preferred to spend as much time away from the paranormal infested place as possible.
It was not long before she looked down at the dimly lit screen of her digital watch and sighed. The watch told her it was three minutes till midnight, just enough time for her to make it back to the silhouetted building. Today was the one day Elaina forced herself to stay in the house the entire day, November seventeenth, the day of her parents' death. Each and every year since she was twelve, this day, at the stroke of midnight Elaina would be found humming sporadically, wandering the halls of the two story house she grew up in and inherited.
An audible gulp came from her throat as she stood in front of the neon purple door her dad said was inviting when he painted it. She hated this door, it was the door by which her mother's body was found, and her father only steps away. Entering the house Elaina closed her eyes tightly and made her way through the dusty kitchen and sitting room where the bodies of her late parents and their killer where found.
Finally the young adult came to a stop at the door to her room, carefully slipping inside to avoid disrupting the careful balance of clutter in the thirteen by fifteen rectangle. As soon as she turned on the light she realized something was out of place. When she had went out an hour previously the six dolls where not in an upside down pyramid as they were now, she didn't even know how one could do that with the fragile glass dolls. Instead of becoming hysterical as she would have in previous years, Elaina simply put the dolls back in order and after grabbing her iPod went out into the corridor.
She began to walk along the left side of the dark corridor, humming along with the soft tones of the classical music she was listening to, and thinking about this house. Ever since her aunt had moved in to care for her when she was twelve, Elaina thought that other then the horrible memories she associated with the house, a poltergeist plagued it as well. This, in her mind, explained why things shifted around, sounds where heard, and things were seen.
Her first stop in the house was her parents' old bedroom, still preserved from that very night thirteen years ago. The bed was still unmade, the clothes hamper overflowing, and a novel overturned on each of her deceased loved one's bedside table. Sitting carefully on the edge of the four posters, Elaina looked up at the textured ceiling as per her tradition, and spoke to her parents.
"Mom, Dad, it's Elaina, I really really miss you. I know, it's been thirteen years and everything, and that you'd want me to move on and be happy, but I…I just can't." she dropped her head into her hands and blinked away tears. "I love you guys. Always have, always will." She blew a kiss at the ceiling and walked out of the room, closing the door softly behind her.
Continuing on her trek through the house, she stopped at each door and remembered each wonderful and not so wonderful thing that happened in each room. The empty guest room where her daddy had taught her how to dance, the sewing room where her mom had taught her how to knit as she confessed her first crush to her, and the small linen closet she hid in as a child when things got to be too much for her to handle.
As daybreak neared at around five a.m. Elaina found herself nearing the place she spent the majority of her time on her November reminiscing, the basement. As a little kid the basement was her and her dad's play place, filled with games, toys, music, and other oddities; and it was still that way. She flicked on the light switch, watching the row of bare bulbs spark on one at a time. As soon as the mildew smelling room was bright enough to see in, she started slowly down the stairs, testing each one for rotting before putting her full weight on it. It didn't take long for her to make her way to the carpet covered concrete where she stood for a moment and looked around the room made to look like a fortress.
She slowly headed to the far right hand corner, brushing her hand lightly over the dusty tea set, dolls, and dress up props scattered around, eventually coming at a stop in front of a worn bean bag with most the stuffing missing. Taking out her ear buds, she sat cross-legged on the pouf and began humming a song she'd long forgotten the words to. Then she heard it.
"Finally I've got you." It was a very quiet voice that seemed to be coming from across the room. Elaina shook her head to clear her thoughts; she was always imagining things in the house. "It took me thirteen years but finally I'm strong enough to finish what I started." The quiet voice increased in volume as it spoke, and Elaina found herself humming louder to try and drown it out.
"Your parents were easy, but I didn't know about you…and tonight I'll get you just as easily as if you were twelve." A maniacal laugh sounded after the speech sending a shiver up the girls' spine.
"It's just the poltergeist screwing with you. It can't hurt you. It's time for you to realize you've been acting like a baby since you were a preteen. There's nothing in this house that can hurt you." The girl whispered to herself.
"You just keep believing I can't do anything to you. That makes it all the more easier to kill you."
"Nothing's going to hurt you. Nothing's going to hurt you…" Elaina repeated over and over as though the mantra would help.
"How shall I do this? Shall I do simple, or go with theatrics? What do you think my dear?" the voice was right next to her, so she looked up, stifling a scream. "Now now dear, let's not make a fuss, you've known I've been here for a very long time." The figure next to her smiled.
"You-you're dead!" she screamed. "I saw you! In the sitting room! H-how ca-can you be here?!" she started to laugh in a hysterical manner while pointing at him.
"Dear, we both know the answer to your question. Now, please don't repeat what your mother did and be all hysterical when I kill you." The ghost put a nearly transparent hand on her shoulder.
"Please, please don't do this. You're dead, you don't have to do this." She wailed.
"Dear, think of it this way, I'm going to hell anyway you decide to slice it, one more blood mark on my record won't do a damn thing. Now you just sit there like a good little victim while I go find my weapon."
"Please, please, please, please…" she rocked back and forth whispering the word over and over again. It only took a few moments for the ghost to return to her holding a long serrated knife loosely in one hand.
"Sorry Dear, I'd love to sit and bargain with your life and everything, but I never have been one to play around with my prey." He came closer to her shaking form. "You know, they'll think it's suicide, that you could handle the murders anymore, it's a great plan really." He carefully aligned the knife where he wanted it on the fear paralyzed girl and began to cut into her skin. As soon as the blade bit into her skin, Elaina began to thrash, trying to get away but to no avail. As the blade sunk deeper into her body her attempts to get away became weaker and weaker from the blood spilling out onto the carpet.
"There you go Dear. Now put your hand right here on the blade…" Elaina complied with the darkening figure. "Very good." He stepped back and waved at his last victim. The last thing she saw as a living being was the ghost of her murderer fading away into nothingness as she vision blurred and all life left her body.