I tore my eyes away from the sight of my hideously hacked neck to glance around the darkening room. I knew it wasn't my room, but the ordeal of dying and so-forth must have messed with my memory a little bit. Which room was this, and why had I come in here?
Stretching, my new translucent form creaked. This surprised me. I thought ghosts, or spirits, or whatever it was I happened to be, were supposed to move smoothly. I twisted a few times and circled my arms and legs in such a way that, had I not been alone, would've been absolutely and embarrassingly ridiculous. Finally the kinks shook out and I tried walking across the room. As I attempted a step my mind felt like it did when I would walk, but what should've been my legs begged to differ. My feet barely touched the floor, so at first I slipped on nothing and did the supernatural equivalent of a faceplant, except I hovered about two inches off the floor.
I scrunched my face at the carpet in frustration. "Now, how am I supposed to get up?" I asked it. The carpet, perfectly content to leave me to figure it out, kept quiet. "Fine, be that way." Taking a deep breath I closed my eyes and went through the motions of placing my hands in line with my shoulders and pushing off the floor, hopping to a crouch in the process. Surprisingly this worked rather well. Looking down at my feet I realized why: I was touching the floor now. Hm, so I guess I could either float or not. I tilted my head, trying to lift myself again. I succeeded, with a little less effort this time. I lowered myself. Up, down, up, down, up, down. Hey, this wasn't too tough. Now to try walking again; I decided to stay on the floor for this one. I imagined I would have an eternity to figure out drift-walking anyway, so no rush.
Thankfully I had no more walking issues. I meandered around the room, taking in its details and trying to figure out where I was. Definitely my house, I recognized our peculiar crown moldings and furniture pieces; wasn't a room we used very often, the carpet and so-forth didn't looked used enough; wardrobe, writing desk, vanity, side table, so this was certainly a bedroom.
Nearly tripping over a quilt rack, it hit me: this used to be my grandmother's room! And, my grandmother being the timeless woman she was, I would've been looking for one of her necklaces to wear to the party tonight.
The party. Had I been alive what little color my face had would've drained. I'd been getting ready for the Wilson's party, the spectacle of the season. I was going to ride with my dear friends Sarah and Christopher. Stumbling I dashed to the window, which was pointless because it was already so dark. As if on cue, though, the bell sounded downstairs. That had to be them.
"Penny?" a faraway voice called from the entryway below. Oh dear, it was Sarah. "You ready, we're here." I could hear her tapping up the stairs.
"Penny?" she called again over a creaking door. She probably was checking my room. This one would be next on her list. For no reason I ducked behind the bookshelf as Sarah poked her nose in.
"Pen--" As her eyes fell on what was once me, with the addition of the gashes in my neck, her face positively blanched and her eyes practically fell out of her head. After gaping for a while she came to her senses and shrieked. I buried my head in my hands. It pained me to see my friend find me dead, but what could I do? I wasn't even sure if she could see me, and even if she could I don't think she would react well to seeing her now-dead friend's ghost.
She turn and bolted from the room. "Christopher!" she howled, tumbling down the stairs. "Christopher!"
"Great." I muttered, coming out from my corner and sitting on the bed. "What do I do now?"
I stared at the floor, trying to figure out what I would do when mobs of people would inevitably show up. First it'd be Christopher, then probably the police, the town inspector, the dreary coroner, and my parents... Oh Lord, my parents. I looked up to sigh, but the room had somehow dissolved into a soupy fog.
Wonderful. More confusion. Just the thing to compliment coming to terms with one's dead self. I stood up and looked around. A sort of stairway lay in front of me; I turned and beheld something that resembled my aunt's living room, except it went on beyond my line of sight at either end. A few wispy figures and creatures sat in the mismatched chairs, or standing around uncomfortably. Immediately before me, opposite the stairs, crouched what looked like a spun-sugar reception desk. The little man, spirit, creature, whatever he was behind the desk was waving me over. I decided to heed his summons before further wondering what was going on, I was afraid his greyish spectacles would tumble off his nose.
"Penelope Richards?" he asked in a squeaky voice, looking over an immense list that trailed off his desk before peering at me.
"Yes," I replied hesitantly. He checked over his list again, his brow furrowing comically.
"Hm. I believe you have some unfinished business to attend to, Miss Richards."