Clack. Clack. Clack.
The sound of something hitting the coldmidnight ground echoed throughout Dante's House.
Dante's house isn't really what the house is called. It originally belonged to Mr. Earl T. Gerald. But no one had ever seen ever since he disappeared in the January of 1825.
Tommy MacAdams, a young teenager of 16 living on Meadow, and his friends Ian and Frank walked down the sidewalk. Frank had a cigarette in his mouth, with a lighter in his right hand.
"Yeah," agreed Ian. "I've seen prettier chicks in our school yearbook!"
Frank dropped his cigarette on the sidewalk and smothered it with his foot. "Where do you wanna go now? It's only eleven," said Ian.
"How about that new bar?" suggested Ian.
The three of them groaned. "Being 16 sucks," Frank muttered.
Suddenly, a shadow was cast over Frank. " . . . the hell?" Frank grumbled as he turned around.
"What the hell!" he screeched.
Tommy curled his hand into a fist. "Beat it, old man," he threatened.
"You're time? When's that, when FDR was president?" Ian joked.
"What! How old are you?" questioned Tommy, scowling.
"You don't know how old you are?" shouted Frank in surprise.
"You lunatic!" Ian yelled. "Who are you, anyway?"
Tommy laughed scornfully. "No way! Mr. Gerald's been dead for over 180 years!"
Tommy stopped laughing. "You're lying, old man," he accused.
Tommy narrowed his eyes as he scanned the back of the golden watch. Then, his eyes widened.
"To my dear Earl Timothy," Tommy read in shock, "whom rises my sun, sets my moon, and makes the rest of my universe work. Love . . ."
"Love Yolanda E. Richardson, your soon to be partner in love," Tommy finished, dazed.
"No," whispered Tommy, his eyes wide, his face white. "All of Gerald's stuff was buried with him when he died. And his grave was cemented shut. He's said to have never shown that watch to anyone, either."
"That's right," said the man. "But I'm a what?"
"Ghost!" screamed Tommy. He turned and ran down the sidewalk, not even waiting for his friends.
* * *
He walked slowly down his staircase. "Morning, Mom," he said.
Tommy saw his mother, on the couch, staring at the screen of their television. Her face was stained with tears, her cheeks red and her hands and lips quivering violently.
Mrs. MacAdams turned to her eldest son, hot tears streaming down her face like waterfalls.
"What?" he asked, shaking her shoulders. "What about them?"
"They were found dead, in the forest, nearMeadow Street." She started to sob.
And then Tommy fell back, his heart's beating and circulation gone all together.