I opened my eyes and sat up in bed tiredly. My eyes strayed to the clock on my dresser. 12:34 A.M. How long had it been since I'd gotten a peaceful nights sleep? I couldn't even remember anymore. For so long I'd been waking up between the hours of Twelve A.M. and Two A.M. I heaved a sigh and rose from the warm covers. Maybe some water would help me fall back asleep.
I slid my slippers over my bare feet and made my way slowly to the small room I called my kitchen. I reached for the fridge and glanced over my shoulder. Behind me was the form of a body. I lifted my eyebrows and turned back to the fridge in front of me. "Hello again..." I murmured. My mind had become quite accustomed to seeing such things in my household. It had become a daily ordeal...Seeing these figures.
"By the smell of roses in the air...I'm guessing you're Loni." I leaned against the counter and took a sip of the water I now held. The figure merely shivered. Normally I took that as a yes...Though I could never really tell what the figures were saying or doing. They were never anything more than a black shadow. I had chosen names for each of the different scents they had. Though whether they were male or female, and what their real names truly were, were still mysteries to me. Thus, I chose names that would fit for either gender.
"I'd offer you a drink...but uh...yeah." I laughed nervously at my attempt of humor. The figure shivered and shifted once more. I wished I could understand what they were saying. There had only been a few times that I had seen them as actual people. And those were merely out of my peripheral vision. I hated how I could never actually catch them in their forms. Though I hoped that one day I would.
I finished the last of my glass of water and looked at the clock mounted on the wall. "Well..." I adjusted my baggy pajama pants and looked at the figure. "Night Loni." I made my way back to my room quietly, my slipped scuffing the floor slightly. I pulled the covers back on my bed and slid beneath them lazily. My eyes drooped and I felt sleep returning. Finally... I was so very very weary of being up each night at the same time. I closed my eyes and allowed the sleep to take me...
I lifted my head from the pillow drowsily at the sound of a bird pecking on my window. Why would there be a bird pecking on my window. I huffed and rose from the bed, still half in a sleeping state. A crow, black as night, stood perched on the sill outside my window. "What are you doing little guy?" I ran a hand through my hair and leaned down to be eye level with the feathered being.
The bird tilted it's head, it beady black eyes locked on me. Despite my better judgment I merely stood and turned away from the glass. There was no point in worrying over some bird. I pulled on my robe and made my way out into the hall. A figure moved out of the corner of my eye, causing me to look over quickly. "Hn?" I followed it's trail and caught sight of a head full of blonde hair. I quietly wondered which of my little presences was in the room. The scent of a rose wafted to me from the room.
"Loni?" The figure stopped in its tracks and turned to face me. The bright blue eyes of a young man locked on to mine.
"My...name...is...Collin." The boy's voice wavered as he took a step away from me.
"Okay Collin." I smiled and nodded. "What are you exactly?"
"Are you a ghost or a spirit or what?"
"I...I'm...Nothing." The boy faded and left me to stare at the spot where he once stood.
"Okay...?" I frowned and made my way to the kitchen. My eyes examined the food in the fridge. There wasn't much to eat. Perhaps toast was the best route. I would have to take a thirty minute drive to town if I chose a different meal. I dropped the toast in the toaster and pressed the button silently. It was really rather quiet in the house. Without even thinking about it I began humming a tune. I looked around the small room as I waited for the toast. It was actually kind of warm in the house. My hands lifted to my robe and untied it slowly. I pulled it off and slung it over the back of a chair. It wasn't like anyone would see me in nothing by a pair of pajama pants anyways. At least not anyone who hadn't already. Sometimes living thirty minutes away from civilization was rather good. My toast popped and I wasted little time grabbing the pieces to put butter on them. I opened the fridge quickly and happily. My smile immediately fell and my hands let go of the door. "Of course there's no fucking butter." I muttered.
I decided I may as well just eat the toast as it was and made my way to my computer room. I sat in front of the monitor and pressed the power button lazily. I waited patiently as the screen started up. My hand brought a piece of toast to my lips and I took a bite of it quietly. My eyes watched the screen quietly as I continued eating. I reached a hand out and grabbed the mouse. Without much thought my hand clicked on the internet. Despite having other things to do on the computer, I decided subconsciously to search something. That boy said his name was Collin. My mind wallowed the name then typed into a search engine "Murders in Millstone" I leaned back as the page loaded. Whether it was boredom or something else I wanted to know...
The first headline read "Teenage love story ends in murder". Out of sheer curiosity I clicked the link and leaned closer to the monitor. I was intrigued already by the title.
Teenage Love Story Ends in Murder
On the cold, somewhat dreary night of January 14, 2005 tragedy struck on the outside of Millstone. The body of 17 year old Collin Anderson was found in the woods on the outskirts of the small town. The parents of the young teen had called him in missing on January 12, and claimed he had gone with friends to see a movie.
The body was discovered by a young couple who had gone for an early morning stroll through the wood's well-known paths.
The press spoke with a young teen who had been one of the friends in question. She claimed that the boy had never arrived at the theater, though was supposed to be riding with his girlfriend at the time. When questioned the girl said to be his girlfriend refused to comment on the matter. It seemed all fingers pointed to the girlfriend. However, no evidence was ever found pointing in any directions. The murder by then had begun adapting the name "The Tragic Teenage Love Story".
Details remain sketchy and police are still baffled by why the teen was murdered, and who had done it.
Collin Anderson...? I lifted my eyes and rescanned the name. Was that...? I looked about the room, as if I had expected him to be there somewhere. Of course he wasn't. I reread the article one last time then looked out the window. There had to be more to the story than what the public knew. It happened so many years ago though. It was 2011 now. If they hadn't found the murderer by now it would be likely that they would never find him or her. But...I wanted to try.
I leaned back again and grabbed a piece of paper out of my nearby notebooks. I sifted through the drawers and found a pen. Anything I could learn about this would be better. I wanted to snoop around...I wanted to learn what happened. I began writing details: His age, his name, the year he died. Maybe there was more information in the town's library. I finished my toast in one final bite and looked went to check my email. As I was about to open an unread message from work the phone in the other room rang. I heaved a sigh and rose to my feet quickly. Who would be calling me and why?
My feet carried me to the receiver and I picked it up in a quick notion. "Hello?"
"Hey Oliver!" A female voice nearly shouted in my ear.
"Hey Julia." I let out my breath and cleared my throat. "I was about to head to town..."
"What's it like out there in the sticks?"
"Well, I might come out to visit soon okay? Don't forget your friends when you're out there having the time of your life."
"Yeah because you know. Living thirty minutes from town is definitely full of thrill." I laughed and picked at the edge of my nail.
"Yeah, well you know, sometimes things can get exciting out there. Those places are always full of urban legends aren't they?"
"Yeah, something like that I guess."
"So have you met anyone out there yet?"
"Other than my employer, not really."
"Oh, so you're all alone up there in that big house?"
"Yeah..." For the most part. I looked at the room where I had seen Collin. Things were calm and quiet.
"You need to find yourself a woman, or a man...Whatever you're into."
"Haha. Very funny."
The girl's cheeky laugh sound on the other end of the line. "Well, I never know anymore. You never told me what you really were."
"Let's not worry about that right now." I laughed softly. I glanced over, catching a blur of blonde hair. That looked like Collin's hair... "Listen, I'm going to head to town. I need to restock my fridge and go to the library."
"Alright book nerd, I'll call back later then."
"Thanks. Talk to you later Julia." I hung up the receiver after hearing her muffled goodbye. I followed the tuft of blonde and watched the boy inside the room quietly. He merely stood at a window, watching some distant point. I watched him for a few moments then turned away. I didn't want to disturb him, he looked deep in though...
I made my way back to the computer room quietly. I needed to check that email then go to town. I sat back in my seat and leaned close to the monitor to read the email. I really needed to get my glasses from town today too. I almost forgot about those. I read the lines of the email slowly then replied and closed the internet browser and shut the computer down.
My feet carried me to my room and I began unclothing. What would I wear? I examined my closet then grabbed a shirt and jeans carelessly. It didn't really matter much anyways. I pulled the clothes on and ran a brush through my hair quickly. It seemed to be warm outside so I left the jacket hanging over the back of my cabinet. I made my way to the car and climbed in quietly. It was so calm in the middle of nowhere...It really was.
I pulled out of the driveway and began the journey to town. Thought the music in the car blared through the speakers, pounding to the beat of an unknown song, Only one thing was on my mind as I drove...Collin Anderson...