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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A girl witnesses a man fall to his death and then begins to see people living in her neighborhood she hadn't before - including a man living in her house.

Submitted: December 13, 2011

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 13, 2011



It was a nice day. It wasn’t too cold, but it wasn’t overly warm. It was the kind of weather that you needed a jacket for, but had the sleeves rolled up so you weren’t too hot. The kind of weather where if you took off your jacket, you were too cold, but roll down the sleeves, and you’re too hot. The sun was hiding behind the clouds that covered the sky, making it a dull grey colour. There was the threat of rain later on, but when I looked up to the sky, it didn’t seem dark enough for rain. The streets were deserted. There wasn’t a car, nor a person in sight. It was the perfect day.

I heard the voices before I saw the people. At first, I had thought there was no-one around, but apparently I wasn’t alone. I looked around for the source of the voices, but found no-one near me. I listened harder and found that the voices weren’t coming from the street level, but rather from the roof of a nearby house. I paid them no attention and just kept walking by.

‘Hey, be careful,’ I heard one of the guys say. I turned around to look briefly to see what was going on and saw that one of the men was climbing down one side of the house.

‘Yeah, I know, mate,’ he said as he descended. ‘How long have I been doing this?’

‘I know, but still. Be careful.’

‘Don’t worry, I –’ There was a scream and I stopped in my tracks. I turned back around just in time to see the man who was walking down the side of the house loose his footing and slip. His foot got caught in the gutter of the house and he fell, head first, into the concrete. I froze. I didn’t know what to do. I searched my pockets frantically for my phone, my hands shaking like crazy. I took steady steps toward the house where the men had been working. The man who had fallen had split his head open, and there was a fair bit of blood spilling out. The other man climbed down the ladder to see what had happened, and when he saw his friend, he walked over to the bushes and doubled over.

‘Call an ambulance,’ he managed to say before doubling over in the bushes again.

I dialled the number and spoke to the operator, requesting an ambulance to the address where we were. The lady on the other end told me that the emergency services were on the way. She then asked me a series of questions. Is there any blood? Yes. Is the man conscious? No. Can you find a pulse? I held the phone between my shoulder and my ear and picked up the man’s arm. The way I was taught in school, I held two of my fingers to his wrist and pressed gently. I moved them around several times searching for a pulse, but found nothing.

‘I can’t find a pulse,’ I told the lady with a shaking voice.

‘Okay, stay with him. Emergency services aren’t too far away,’ the lady on the phone replied.

After I hung up, it was only about five minutes before the ambulance arrived. They got to work immediately on the man, and one of them walked over to me to ask a few questions. I answered honestly, telling them that I was no relation to him, that I was walking past when he fell, and that the man throwing his guts up in the bushes works with him and probably knows more than I do. I stayed with them until they were finished working on the man, at which point they stood up, looked down at him and said that they were too late. He’d broken his neck when he fell, and had lost a lot of blood. There was no way they could help him, and I was free to go.

I left, watching them question the man in the bushes, probably asking about family and how to reach them. I walked the rest of the way down the street, the death of the man haunting my thoughts until I reached home an hour later with an arm full of shopping. I searched for my keys, and looked around the almost empty neighbourhood as my hand searched my bag. A young girl walked past my house and stared at me. She was dressed in pale colours, all greys and whites, with a white bag over her shoulder. I smiled at her but she frowned at me and continued on her way past. I thought that maybe it was how I looked. I was dressed in black jeans and a dark blue shirt. I had a nose ring and short black hair that had thick streaks of pink through it. I also had a tattoo on the inside of my right wrist, but I doubted that she saw it. They know the labels, and they’re always pasted all over me.

I got inside my house and put the shopping on the bench in the kitchen. I had only just begun putting everything away when someone walked into the kitchen. It was a young man with light brown hair cut short. He was tall and fit-looking, not as if he played a strenuous sport like football or soccer, but more like he preferred the skate park and going for walks with a large dog. He, too, was dressed in pale clothes, grey trousers and a white shirt. Only this shirt had a large red stain in the side of it. It wasn’t the fact that there was a stain in his shirt that startled me; it was the fact that I lived alone, and there was a man in my house.

‘Um, excuse me, what are you doing in my house?’ I tried to keep my voice calm, and it took everything I had not to pick up something heavy and hit him with it until he left.

He stared at me with a confused look on his face. ‘I live here?’ He said it like a question.

‘No,’ I said, ‘I live here. I have for nearly three years, and I’ve never met you before. I wasn’t asking for roommates, so there’s no reason for you to be here.’

‘Well, sorry, but I don’t exactly have anywhere else to go, and I’ve been here for quite a while. You’ve never had a problem with me before.’

‘Because I’ve never seen you before!’ My voice was raising a little bit now. He seemed harmless enough, but that didn’t mean that I wanted him in my house. I sighed and looked back at the stain on his shirt. ‘Are you okay?’

He looked down at his own shirt and then back at me. ‘Yeah,’ he said.

‘You’re bleeding.’

He laughed. ‘Not anymore I’m not.’ At my frown, he continued with, ‘This is the shirt that I died in.’

‘That you died in,’ I repeated.

He nodded. ‘Yeah, would you like me to change?’

I shrugged and resumed unpacking the shopping, deciding that he could stay for a little while at least. ‘So how long have you been living here then?’ I asked, wondering why I had never seen this attractive man before.

He thought for a second. ‘It must be coming up to twenty years almost.’ He paused. ‘Yeah, twenty years in November. November 25th, if I remember correctly. I’ve been here since I died. What’s your name?’

I tried to process all of this. Twenty years. Since I died. Surely he was playing games with me. After a moment, I realised that he has asked me a question. I asked him to repeat it, and he did.

‘Josie,’ I said and held out my hand for him to shake. ‘What’s yours?’

‘Rory,’ he said and held his hand out to shake mine. Only, when our hands connected, they didn’t actually connect. His hand passed straight through mine. He passed it through again and again, looking down at our hands with confusion. Then realisation washed across his face.

‘You’re alive,’ Rory said.

‘Yeah, aren’t you?’ My voice had raised several octaves now.

He shook his head. ‘No, I told you before, I’m dead. I’ve been a ghost for almost twenty years.’

© Copyright 2018 Sherry Helps. All rights reserved.

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