He would stare out the window... seeing spirits gone from life through his icy glass viewpoint.
He would sit there, just watching and watching... as the ghosts of the past lived like they were still breathing... alive.
It was like a time capsule of periods long ago passed.
He jumped up nervously when he heard his bedroom door open, and his mother peek in through the gap.
"Dale, come away from the cold window."
"..." he didn't respond straight away, but when he saw her worried expression, he sighed and nodded, "Okay, mum."
He left the icy cold to enter into the warm living room.
It was snowing outside, and the crispy air was felt throughout the house.
He sat down on the couch and closed his eyes.
When he opened them, he saw a ghost family surrounding the fire as they let the heat penetrate their foggy spirit bodies.
They were dressed in olden wear, looking like they were from a couple of hundred years ago.
He got up, and slowly approached them.
They were whispering to one another and he could only make out small parts of their frozen words.
"It's going to be a cold night, tonight." The father said to his wife and kids, "So we need more blankets and to cuddle up together,"
They vanished after those words, their cold foggy souls dispersing into the air.
Dale could hear footsteps on the ground, though there was no living thing there. He followed the sound to his parents' room and saw the ghost parents laying there... their eyes wide awake, as death had chilled them in the night.
They had died.
"Dale," his mother called for him, and he shut his eyes, a teardrop slipping down his cheek.
"Yes, mum..." he whispered and walked away from the room.
He could hear spirits of children running passed him as he walked through the hall. Icy breezes whooshed across his body and he looked at his mother, smiling sadly to her.
"What were you doing, hun?" she asked with a soft smile.
"Looking at the dead... not even knowing they're gone."
She sighed, looking at him disappointed, "I don't want to hear that kinda melancholic talk."
She smiled softly at him and continued to work around the house.
Dale sighed heavily and went to open the front door, to leave his mother and cross the road to the graveyard full of ghosts and lost souls.
When he reached the wall to the cemetery, he touched the cold stone with his hands. He climbed over the low wall and dropped his feet to the other side.
The memory of seeing that dead body haunted his mind... of the woman hanging from a loose... her life gone.
Why did she have to do it? Couldn't she have held on, for him?
He may have only been eleven, but it was a torture he lived with every day since she had passed.
He walked over to the tombstone of the woman and sat down before it... tears in his eyes.
"Why did you do it?" he asked, tears running down his cheeks, "Why did you have to?"
The ghosts passed him by, some stepping through him while others re-enacted their lives as if they were still going... still living.
He picked up a flower and placed it on the woman's tomb.
"See you soon...mum."
He stood up and gazed at his house in the distance... the foggy body of his mother watching him from the kitchen window.
He smiled back at her, waving his hand gently, and she smiled, her own ghostly hand waving back.
He heard a beep from the distance, and walked out of the graveyard, seeing his father had come home.
He wouldn't tell him that she was still here, his father thinking he was a loon.
But sometimes, it was so hard to keep it in.
He came to his father as the man got out of his car and opened the house door.
"What were you doing today, Dale?"
"..." He didn't say.
"Oh, Dale..." his father said, disappointed, "Please stay away from those delusions."
"But... they're real..."
"To you... but to no one else." the man said, and came inside.
Dale watched him, wiping his tears with a sleeve.
The image of his mother hanging from the loose entered his mind.
And he couldn't get rid of it... no matter hard he tried.
His reality one he couldn't escape from alive.
His mother unknowingly taking away his life... the night she died.