I was seven years old when I started seeing ghosts, and the first time had been in the forest behind my house. I didn't realize what I had seen at first. Living in a heavily wooded part of Oregon, you tend to see things out in the dense fog. But this small figure moved quickly, skipping through the trees as if they were not even there. I dodged and weaved around the tall redwoods. My seven year old body stumbled over rocks and soft dirt but this presence seemed to glide past it all.
It had led me to the edge of a cliff, that I've never seen before. I would have never gone this far into the woods on my own. I could hear the ocean below splashing up onto the rocks, trying to break the earth down with its treacherous waves. It had only been a day since I had drowned in this same ocean.
A girl, around my age, appeared next to me.
"...kit..e" Her broken voice had caught me off guard. And she pointed past me, towards the cliffs edge.
I turned to look at what she was pointing at but could only see the ocean and the horizon were the sun was starting to set.
I shook my head and looked back at her, "I don't understand!" Suddenly, the girl glided past me walking effortlessly to the edge of the cliff, "Wait, my daddy says not to get too close!"
But she ignored me. Standing on the edge she pointed her index finger down towards the ocean.
"Ki...te" the girls voice whispered, and then she gave me a pleading look.
I went to cautiously step over next to the girl, but my fear of heights had gotten the better of me making me stop before I reached her. Though she didn't move, just kept her hand pointed and her experssion stayed the same. As I watched her more, I became anxious. So I lowered myself onto my hands and knees and crawled over to the edge to look down.
Trapped on a tree root that was jutting out was a worn down kite, the fabric of it caught on the wood.
"Kit.e" she repeated the word again, looking down at me.
I reached for it but my fingers only grazed it. Leaning at little bit farther toward the kite, I could feel the dirt under me start to shift, but I perserveed. I kept trying, but I still only grazed it. Glancing at the now dark water below me, I suddenly became scared.
"I can't get it" I exasperated to her and swung my head around to look at her, but she wasn't behind me anymore. I felt fingers lightly touch my extended arm.
Light swirled around me and I was sent back in time. I was at the samed cliff, but it was now day time. The girl was there, but when I tried to call out to her, she didn't hear me. She was laughing and skipping around pulling her kite along with her. The wind had the kite flying high above the girls head.
Intense arguing to my right caught my attention, and apparently the little girl's also.
A man and women were yelling at each other, the women had thrusted her finger onto the man's chest and then pointed into the direction of the girl. The man in return outstretched his arms toward the women in aggravation.
The girl frowned, and then turned her attention back to the kite, running closer along the cliff's edge. Suddenly, the wind yanked the kite out of the girl's hands and lifted it into the air. And I watched as it plummeted over the side of the cliff.
Then I realized what this was.
I was seeing how this girl died.
Panicking I screamed out to the couple, trying to get their attention. But of course they couldn't hear me. And they were too engrossed in their fight that they weren't even paying attention to the young girl.
When I looked back to the girl, she was already cautiously reaching her foot over the edge, trying to place her foot on the root. I tried to call out louder, warning her. But I couldn't even move... I couldn't do anything but watch. I watched her slip her other foot over the edge too, now she had half of her body over the ledge. I could see the struggle on the young girl's face as her feet swung around trying to make contact with the root. The wind blew harder against her, twisting her hair around and making her loose her grip slightly. I could see the dirt under her hands shifting. And silently I pleaded with her to come back.
I knew that she was too small and her foot would never reach.
But the moment she lost her balance, I could almost feel it.
Unlike anything I've ever encountered before. I felt the moment she lost her grip on the ground, and her foot slipping past the root. The once angelic face was full of panic, she became unimaginably pale and the realization she was going to die came to her eyes. I could feel her take in huge breath to scream, before she plummeted.
In a blink she was gone.
"No!" I screamed, my eyes burning from tears wasn't able to shed.
Light swirled again as I sat there on the ground, having been brought back to reality. Trying to catch my breath from the ordeal, I glazed down at the water below. She had died trying to get her kite back, and I don't understand why but I really wanted to get it back to her no matter what. Ignoring the scene I just witnessed, I pushed the idea of falling out of my mind and leaned one leg over the side and made immediate contact with the root. My legs were much longer than hers.
The root seemed unsteady as it slightly kinked under my weight. I stalled for a moment, feeling the slight dizziness I always get from being in high places but I quickly relaxed. Making sure to keep a grip on the ground, I threw my other leg over, onto the root. I took a huge breath to calm my racing heartbeat, and slowly reached down and pulled on the kite. The fabric of it torn as I released it from the root. I placed the kite on the dirt, and tried not to look down before grabbing onto the ledge again.
Climbing back up, Ihoisted myself onto the dirt, and immediately noticed her smiling.
She outstretched her arms toward the kite, and whispered,"...kite"
Carrying the kite over to her, I carefully placed the kite into her hands, not wanting to touch her again. She slowly pulled the kite into her chest.
Suddenly a bright light shined over from her, seemingly becoming brighter and brighter.
I quicky covered my eyes with my hand.
Just as quickly as the light showed up, it dissipated.
I didn't feel her presence anymore.
She was truely gone.
And the kite landed with a soft thud on the ground.
That was about twelve years ago. And I've had many encounters with ghosts since then and they are usually at the most inconvenient of times. Mainly when I am sleeping. But sometimes during class and sometimes during lunch, and one terrible moment while using the girl's bathroom. People soon started notice that I 'talked to myself'. You could say I wasn't the most liked in high school because of this. But it wasn't like I could tell them that I'm communicating with the dead. Much less could I stop the dead from communicating to me in public places. And oh, I've tried.
But I've learned to accept them. Though, I have one strict rule, and that is a ghost must never touch me. I figure, I don't need to see how they died to help them. And particularly I never wanted to see the face they made when they realize they're going to die. Ever again.
Just as you would expect, as the years went on I had gotten better at my abilities. Figuring out the ghost's problem became easier and easier, once you learn that every dead person has mostly the same problems when the pass away. Usually it involves telling a loved one a secert, or the occasionally hidden money under the floorboards of the loved ones' house. In which I would write a short letter, place it in thier mailbox and give myself a well deserved high five.
But sometimes ghosts can be tricky and demanding. These types of spirits have me either breaking into boarded up houses, researching into long lost relatives or digging in the dirt during midnight hours. Those cases are the worst.
Don't get me wrong, helping people move on makes me happy but it's a drag now and then. Much like playing a sport, there are days that you can't wait to get out there but there are also days that you would rather curl up in bed and sleep a whole Saturday like a regular teenager. And Oregon's ghosts flocked to me so much that I would reckon that they had a chat-line set up. When I helped one, two more came to me.
So couldn't wait to finally get to college in Pennsylvania. All the way across the country. It was a chance to start over, somewhere knew, and where people didn't know I had abilities.
"Alright kiddo, were here!" My dad's overly excited voice piercing my eardrums waking me up. He began telling me his usually speech, the same one he's been telling for weeks now. You know the one about how fun college will be for me and what to expect for living away from home. Rolling down the passenger window, I tune him out and focus on the beautiful green landscape. There were many trees making up the area around the dormitory, and I noticed two pristine red brick buildings with vines of colorful flower growing up against the sides. I had read in the brochure that these buildings were only a couple years old.
New students with their parents, hauling large boxes and pulling suit cases, caught my attention.
I smile to myself, and breathe a sigh of relieve at my beautiful new home. But my dad kept driving past it, going deeper into the trees. We ran into a clearing not to far down the smaller, deserted road.
"Well… this is your building." My dad parked in front of what looked like the oldest building of them all. The once red brick was now more of a brown and vines were creeping up the sides. Even the atomsphere seemed darker than the other two buildings. How is it that I manage to get the only oldest building here! I prayed that no ghosts occupied this building, I mean I had wanted a break from it, and my worst nightmare was staring me in the face.
Stepping out of the car, I took notice of the erie wooded area next to the building and made a mental note to not go in there.
"Hi and welcome to PSU!" An extremely cheery voice beside me interrupted my train of thought. The girl was wearing a 'welcome back' T-shirt . "I'm here to show you your room. Follow me."
I quickly pulled a box out of the back of the car, but as I leaned down to lift it I notice someone on the bench from the corner of my eye. As I turned to look at them, they were disappeared.
"Hurry up, Amber!" My dad's voice far away now calls me back. Increasing my pace, I try catch up with the girl and my dad before they enter the building. I ignore the need to look back at the vacant bench before stepping into the lobby.
I notice right way that the interior was much more appealing than the exterior. Inside it was newly renovated, with many tables and lounge chairs in the lobby.
"There is a library above us…" she points to the stairs to our left." And on the right is a breakfast bar. That's where you can get coffee in the morning before class. Also the laundry room is down this hall. Uh... what was your name agian?" She turned to me expectantly, looking down at the clipboard in her hand.
"Amber...Amber Spearit" I say, silently wishing there had been a mistake with the room arrangements, and I wouldn't be on the list. Though, of course I am not that lucky.
"Found it, your room is on the second floor!" The girl suddenly took off walking up the staircase on our right. She continued to rant about building but she was talking so fast I could barely keep up, "There are communal bathrooms on each side of the floor. And your room is right here!" She unlocks room 214. "My best friend had this dorm as a freshman." I ignored her random fact, lugging my box into the room.
My dad continued to ask questions about the campus to the girl as I stepped threw the threshold of my new room for the year. Immediately I spot the first side of the room was already made with orange and pink bedsheets and a collage of pictures in two large picture frames hung up above the dresser.
I guess my roommate is already here.
I hoiseted the box higher into my arms and move it to the other side of the room. Ready to place it on my bed, but with first glance at the head of the bed I drop my box in shock instead.
It hit the side of my bed and lands with a loud thud on the ground.
"Are you alright kiddo?" My dad said walking into the room, "Wow, it's more spacious then I had in college." My dad didn't say anything about the person on my bed, indicating that he wasn't alive.
"Ah… Dad can you go get the rest of the boxes please?" I ask, not bothering to look away from the aparition.
"Sure honey!" He places his hand on my shoulder. "I'll give you some alone time with the room." He says teasingly before leaving.
I listened to his quieting footsteps, still staring at my bed. As I wait for my father to be gain more distance from my room, I feel the agitation growing inside of me. I hadn't expected to be in this type of situation so soon.
Right now the ghost was just laying there with his eye closed. I realized it probably has already assumed it can't be seen, and is just doing whatever it wants.
I went through the possiblities here. I could ignore it and wait for it to move away on it's own. That way it'll never know my abilities, and in turn never telling any other ghost's about my abilities and I could go about my college life as normal as possible. Though what if it doesn't move! And I can't move it myself, I mean I could...but then I would probably see something horrible. Plus any normal person would go right through it, I've seen it happen. If I pushed it from my bed, it would definitely notice something was up. Eventually, it would have to move on it's own. Although, I don't have all day.
I mentally give myself the goal of 'freeing' this spirit before he could tell other ghosts, in the area, that someone alive can talk to the dead.
Sighing loudly with my decision made, I finally speak up.
"Get off my bed" I say in a calm but in a stern voice.
The lounging figure sits up suddenly, glancing around the room to find nobody else there, and then looks straight at me.
I feel my eyebrow raise as he still doesn't move from his spot on my bed, so I clear my throat to get my point across better.
The noise I make catches him of guard, "Wha...you can see me?" his mouth gaping open in disbelief.
"I'm not in the mood for this conversation…" I grumble to myself mostly, "Just get off the bed." I say, pointing to a non-specific area in the room from him to move to.
He ignores me though,"I have never… I can't believe this..." he says, siting in the middle of my bed now.
"Off!"I state louder hopefully breaking his train of thought, and getting him off my bed. Unfortunately, he continues to not coporate. I normally am level-headed but I could feel the frustration in me rising. I didn't want this to happen, this wasn't my type of fresh start.
"Do you know how many people I've seen…never once I have…" his thoughts trail off as he speaks them out loud.
"… been able to talk to someone alive. Yes, yes I get it." I finish his sentence for him, because honestly I have heard this same speech all before. Many times. Demanding that he'd move wasn't working so I tried to be kinder, "Now, please get off my bed." I say it through gritted teeth but still in a polite manner.
Though he continues to ignore my request and starts asking questions, "You see me? Can you only see me?... Are there others like you?"
I could feel the agitation build up in me even higher. Doing something completely unlike me, aka irrational, I reach my hand out pull him off myself. Although I stop myself before I touch him, remembering what I would see if I did. I hesitate. Leaving my arm stretch out towards him.
The expression he made, realizing I was about to touch him, would have been comedic at any other time. But it only causes me to curse myself for revealing something so important that should have been kept a secret.
Quickly I pull it away from him, and opt out for just giving him a malicious glare.
"Sorry, sorry I'll move… I just never..." he lifts his arms in surrender and finally leaves my bed. To only end up leaning against my dresser, "...I'm just stunned."
I ignore his apology.
Now that he was off my bed, I calm down and finally notice him. Mainly what he is wearing. He has on an open navy blue coat with gold trim on the edges, and underneath a plain white shirt meeting pants that were tucked into tall black boots.
"What in the hell are you wearing?" I look up at him, raising an eyebrow.
"Haven't you seen a soldier before?" He said pulling on his coat. He smirks, tilting his head slightly as if he were proud of himself. I had to admit he was good-looking, but I've seen good-looking ghost before.
"A soldier, yes…but you…from when?" He was looking quite ridiculous, and I've never seen a soldier like that before.
"I'm a Union solider. Have you not been taught about this in school yet?" He says appalled that I didn't know who he was.
"Buddy, you'd be surprised if I even paid attenion to one history class." The idea of sitting through a lecture about dead people was annoying in high schol, but it wasn't because the thought of dead people annoyed me. No. It was because when you say the name of someone dead, and they still haven't moved on, they come. Maybe in some form of entertainment for themselves, but they never talked just listened. Although, it was distracting. You know, trying to pretend not to see it as the spirit lingers over the teacher as they spoke.
"Um... who are you talking to?" A girl's voice questions from behind me. In the doorway was a petite brunette holding a large box and glancing around the room. I couldn't help but notice she was giving me a very weird look.
"Oh. I was just..." I look around at my barren side of the room for a excuse but find nothing, "...thinking outloud."
She didn't seem convinced but doesn't question me further. Dropping her box on the other bed, she turns to me smiling,"Well hi… I'm Bethany." She walks over to me leading with her hand for me to shake.
"Amber!" I gave my roommate the best smile I could muster up, and place my hand in hers. Even though I'm good at composing myself, all I could think about was him and how I needed to get rid of him quickly. I look behind me to find he was still leaning on my dresser, watching me greet my roomate.
The awkward silence between Bethany and I carried on. So I quickly thought up something to say, "I can't believe we ended up in the oldest building here! It's so creepy." I exasperated, mentally giving myself a pat on the back for coming up with friendly banter.
"I know, right!" Bethany smiles," I had heard the place is haunted." She glanced around the room maybe thinking to see the ghost, and I felt the slight irony of that statement; being that the haunting part of the building was standing right behind me. Bethany crosses her arms and sighes," I don't know whether I believe it or just don't want it to be true."
Bethany walks over to her bed, sitting on it she pulls out clothes from the box and begins folding them on the bed alongside her, "But maybe I'll have to invite some guys over to protect us from that scary ghost." She chuckles.
I sit down on my bed, and glance at him again. Half expecting to be bumbarded with his questions or him trying to talk to me while I was talking. Much like ghosts did back home. But he seemed to be nonchalantly watching and patiently waiting.
"What's the ghost story?"I ask her, acting casual. But really thinking that maybe I'll get some insight on this soldier boy here. The quicker I knew his story the faster it will be to get rid of him, and I can start my new life here. I realize I don't have a name for him. Well, he won't be here for too long, but I'll call him Soldier for now. I glance back at him to find him no longer by my dresser. Turning back to Bethany, I catch him on the other side of the room close to Bethany.
"Your interested in that kind of thing, Amber?" She pauses in her folding and asks, completely oblivious to the presence watching her.
"Say no, make her not tell you." Solider tells me, and looks at me seriously. I was a bit confused, but decide to ignore him. Now is a good time as ever to learn about him. Deciding to take advantage of the situation, I get more comfortable on my bed, ready to here all about him. Not really caring if he didn't want to be talked about.
"More like you made my curious now." I kept my voice in an excited state, answering Bethany's question. Although, keeping a weary eye on Solider.
"Okay so, I don't remember his name though... huh, what was it?" She thought to herself for a moment.
I peer at Soldier, again. His face showed deep furrows of anger towards me for ignoring his request. I was beginning to feel that anger in the room, the air was becoming thicker and more humid. I slightly shake my head at him, to tell him to quit it. But he doesn't.
"You don't know what your doing..." he states angerly.
I look over to Bethany, realizing she was still trying to think of the dead person's name.
"It's something, foreign... Felix Ackerman...something like that?" She gives up, and sighs, "ah whatever, he was some exchange student's little brother..."
Almost immediately after Bethany had said the name, the apparition appears. I could feel it standing in the middle of the room. Unable to completely see the little boy, I look at him from the corner of my eye. I do not want to look at him directly. I can't give away the knowledge of my abitilies to every ghost here! Keeping on that goal, I focus on Bethany, but couldn't help noticing the look Solider was giving me once the new spirit was in the room. He had caution written all over his face.
"Oh, I mean they didn't even realize he was missing, I guess because he was deaf…" Bethany continues to talk. But I was no longer listening because the spirit began to glide forward, coming closer to Bethany, catching my full attention.
That's when I realized why Soldier was so distressed about calling the ghost here. The aura around this spirit was dark, much darker than I had seen before. The young boy, probably around the age of nine, was keeping his head down, casting a slight shadow over his face. Even with his face shadowed I could tell how intently his eyes were set on Bethany as she spoke about him.
"Felix,...don't." Soldier says sternly, but the boy doesn't seem to hear him as he continues forward.
"Can you believe it only happened ten years ago?"she says, picking up her now folded clothes and places them in her dresser, unaware of this spirit watching her. The boy's eyes were following Bethany, twisting it's body toward her as she had been walking past it.
"…and they still haven't found his body." Bethany states, her back to me as moves her clothes around in the dresser trying to make them all fit nicely.
Suddenly, one of the large picture frames above her dresser startes shaking slightly.
I didn't know what to think. I've seen vengeful spirits before, but usually they go after a specific person who had caused their death, and are 'freed' by making that person atone for their guilt. Although, I have a huge feeling that Bethany has no relation to this boy. So never have I seen a spirit go after a person randomly. This small boy was on a whole different level of vengefulness.
I knew something bad was going to happen to Bethany if I didn't stop it right now.
Looking at Soldier, I figure he's probably thinking the same thing because his gaze is remains on the picture frame, which was now shaking even more violently. Just above Bethany, who was still messing with her dresser drawer.
"Beth..." I start but just before I could warn her to move, before I could make any logical decision...Soldier tackles the boy from around his waist pushing him onto the ground, and they both disappear.
The picture frame stops moving, and the atomsphere lightens all at once.
I pinch the bridge of my nose as I try to concentrate on what exactly just happened. Soldier knew the boy, he had pre-warned me about the boy, but that could only mean he knew the boy would try to hurt Bethany if she talked about him, right? I wonder if the boy always attacks people who unknowingly summon him. Also, this was the first time I knew ghosts' could touch each other, never the less, forcibly shift another.
Too many things were running through my mind.
Upon closing the drawer she catches me in my slight panic state, "Hey, you okay?"
I quickly regain composure, "Yeah I'm fine… I... just tired from the driving, I guess." Picking up the box, I had partially threw to the ground earlier, I place it on my bed.
Suddenly, I hear Bethany gasp.
I quickly turn thinking the ghost was back but… realize that she wouldn't be able to see it anyhow.
"Oh my gosh, that's right you're from Oregon!" She states enthusiastically, "That's really cool, I have never been anywhere except Pennsylvania. I really want to go out of state… maybe California one day. Have you ever been there?"
"I just went for a cousins wedding, nothing too special." I say humbly.
"Ah, I'm freakin' jealous!" Bethany squeals, completely ignorant of what had occured only a couple minutes ago.
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