‘Lost and insecure, you found me… Just a little late, you found me.’
I flicked the kettle on and leant against the cool counter, one hand holding a phone to my ear and the other rested against my forehead.
“Yes, I’m fine, mum. Please stop worrying about me; I’m a big girl now. Enjoy your holiday. I love you too.” I pressed the button to hang up the phone and it gave off a shrill sound, which was not pleasant at all. I sighed and rubbed my aching head, and jumped when the kettle finally clicked to notify me that it had finished. Then I took my cup of tea to the living room, and left it on the coffee table as I looked for ibuprofen, which took a lot more effort than I had anticipated or wished. Once they were found, I popped two painkillers out of their packet and into my mouth, and swallowed them down with the hot drink, scalding my throat slowly as I swallowed. I had an eventful evening planned, involving lying on the couch and watching movies while I felt sorry for myself.
“Alright, what do we have here?” I asked myself. “Should we go for a franchise, or random films?” I sighed and stared at my rather large movie collection for ages, waiting for something to jump out and say ‘watch me’. “Spirited Away it is, then.” I took it from its place (in the ‘anime’ section. I was rather OCD about how my movies should be ordered) and put it into the DVD player, which had gone into standby-mode because I had taken so long.
Just as I had settled down, wrapped up in a blanket, and the movie had begun, I heard a huge crashing noise from outside. It was silent for a while, save for the sound of my panicked heart beating as fast as it could, until I heard a cacophony of noise outside. I turned off the lights and television so that I was in darkness, then I slowly crept over to the window and pulled the curtains back just enough so that I could see outside, but no-one could see me. People were running in the streets, stepping over the bodies of those already dead; their screams masked only by the sound of things being thrown, smashed and broken. Except there was no-one doing this damage. It was as if these inanimate objects were flinging themselves around. And then I saw something that I never thought possible; floating people, who didn’t look quite like those who they terrified. Some had visible injuries, and some wore strange clothes that you would see in a period drama or history textbook. They all had a semi-transparent look about them, and it took a while for it to sink in.
Surely there was no such thing as ghosts?
I jumped as I heard noise coming from somewhere in my house, and it took everything out of me not to scream. I tried really hard to listen for more, but all I could hear was the commotion outside. I felt cold down to the core. The light moved in front of the doorway so I squinted to see what it was, and saw what I thought might be the outline of a person.
“Is anyone there?” I called out, feeling only a tiny bit ridiculous in comparison to the fear and shock which took the majority of my ability to feel emotion.
“Yes.” A voice replied, and I think my heart actually stopped in terror. I swallowed laboriously.
“Are you one of them or one of us?” He didn’t answer for a while, obviously thinking of what to say.
“Do you want me to lie to make you feel better, or tell you the truth?” He asked, answering my question.
“Holy shit..!” I screeched, completely taken aback. My eyes had grown accustomed to the darkness, so I could see his outline a bit more clearly, and I saw him take a step towards me. I instantly backed up. “Stop right there! Don’t you come anywhere near me, I swear to God…”
“I’m not going to hurt you, Verinna…”
“HOW DO YOU KNOW MY NAME!?” I think that my voice was so high that it could only be heard by dogs at this point.
“Please calm down.”
“How dare you tell me to calm down! Get out of my house!”
“I need to talk to you. Would it help if I turned on the light?” I thought about it for a moment.
“Not if you’re gory or gruesome-looking or anything. That would probably end me right here.” I swear, he actually laughed at me.
“I’m not… at least in the sense you mean. Okay?” Self-deprecating humour from a dead guy? This day was just getting weirder and weirder. I nodded slowly, not sure if he could see me.
The light blinded me as it switched on, and I had to blink multiple times to get any sight back. Finally I got a good look of him, and took a step backwards in surprise.
“It’s you.” He did a sort of half smile and shrugged. It was the guy from the park, who had disappeared so quickly that I had believed that he didn’t exist. Silly me. He suddenly turned serious again; it was as if his emotions changed with a switch.
“Rinn.” I corrected.
“I prefer Rinn.”
“Rinn.” The blonde man repeated slowly. “I know that you probably have a lot of questions, but as you can probably see from what is happening outside…” He motioned towards the window, and I shuddered at the mere mention of it. “We have to leave.”
“Please, we don’t have the time; I will explain on the way, I promise. Just trust me.” I eyed him suspiciously. He was wearing brown trousers and a cream shirt with brown lines on it, which didn’t exactly pin-point a period of time for him to be from. He looked so normal, it was hard to believe that he was a ghost, or whatever those things outside were.
“Fine, I will do as you say. I suppose I have to trust you, as I don’t really have any other option at this moment in time, because those things out there look a hell of a lot scarier than you do. But only if I get to ask one question.”
“Yes?” He asked, looking a little impatient.
“What’s your name?” He looked at me with his head tilted to one side as if he was trying to work me out. He was obviously not expecting that question from me.