her "Post Fiona" best friend

-- Leah, who answered on the second ring.

"Kelly!  What's up?"

"Leah, hey," suddenly she felt like an ass.  What was she supposed to say?  That she had been stalked by some creep AND a childhood phantasm in one day?  Never mind the cryptic phone call a la Jason Bourne.

Maybe she could be vague, "I was hoping I could spend the night with you, maybe a couple of days."

"Are you in trouble, Kelly?"

"Uhhhh," so much for vague, "I'll tell you everything when I get there."

"Whatever you want chica.  Can I get you anything?"

"No.  I'll see you in a bit.  Thanks."

"No prob.  I gotta do something at two.  If you're not here by then I'll leave the door unlocked.  Okay?"

"Got it."

"Okay, bye."

"Thanks Leah.  We'll talk later."

Kelly removed the SD card from her computer as she rang off, then popped it back into her camera, which she slung over her shoulder.  She grabbed her gym back from under her bed and packed it with at least three days worth of clothes, so full she was unable to completely zip it.  This too she slung and then headed for the door.  She stopped.  There was something, something.

Something she forgot.

Kelly whirled around and gave her place a quick once-over with her eyes.  That nagging pecking at the back of her brain continued.  Had she forgotten something?


She raced into the bedroom and snatched it from the wall.  Jesus, she couldn't lose her phone.  She used it for everything from GPS to downloading recipes.  She stuffed it into her pocket and left.  She let the door close behind her but neglected to lock it... people already seemed to have far too much access to her private life anyway.

She threw her stuff into the back seat of her car before settling herself behind the wheel of the eight-year-old, silver Camry.  She pulled out into the empty street, her eyes watching her rearview mirror at the spot where Fiona had stood only a little while ago.

Kelly drove aimlessly around town for twenty minutes while her mind ran in Neutral.  She rolled down her windows to get a breath of fresh air.  The cool breeze tugged at her hair as she drove, but she certainly didn't feel refreshed.  Something ate at her from the inside.  The adrenaline burst from earlier was gone, and Kelly droned on with just enough awareness to watch the road ahead.  It was just too much for her brain to process; she was in overload.

She pulled over and rested her forehead on the steering wheel as the morning's events cascaded through her skull: someone inside her tent taking pictures of her while she slept, the strange yet forceful call, the odd incident at her front door, and of course...


God, the sight of her rattled Kelly to the bone.  As much as she tried to deny it, there really was no other answer.

Fiona had been at Kelly's place.  She was being stalked by a goddamned dead woman!

When at last Kelly picked her head from her crossed forearms on the wheel, she was finally able to focus for the first time since turning the key in the ignition.  She looked around, got her bearings.  It took a moment, but soon her heart sank.

She was in a graveyard.

Oh God, please don't be Applecrest Cemetery, she thought, but she already recognized where she was.  Two hundred feet to her right was the grave of one Fiona Lemb.  Kelly hadn't been there since the day Fiona's parents had put their little girl into the ground, over a decade ago.

Every conscious thought told her to get the hell out of there, and as much as she wanted to heed those warnings, she killed the engine and sighed mightily as she reached for the door handle, "I'm already here.  I suppose I should at least visit."

The End

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