by C.M. Eaton
Michael is haunted by his dead psycho ex-girlfriend.
|This is a rough draft.
“Bryn, it's like she's still here,” Michael said as he ran his hand nervously through his hair. “The bedroom smells like her perfume. Things keep getting moved, and I swear, sometimes I think I hear her.” He blew out a frustrated breath, “I don't know, maybe I am crazy.”
Bryn looked at her friend with sad eyes. She had been witness to Michael's downward spiral since his former girlfriend, Lila, died a year ago. The bags under his eyes told her that he hadn't been sleeping well. His clothes were wrinkled, and it looked like he hadn't bothered to shave in weeks. “Michael, you aren't crazy. You are just going through a difficult time. I think you feel guilty about Lila. She's gone, Michael. Dead. Stop letting her continue to have power over you,” she pleaded. “Look, I know this therapist, she's really good and I think she can help you.”
“A therapist? Are you serious Bryn?”
“Yes, I think talking to a professional would help you move past this.”
Michael turned away from Bryn and started walking toward the kitchen. Bryn wasn't sure whether to follow him or just leave. A metallic-sounding pop of a can came from the kitchen. Oh great, now he's drinking, she thought to herself. Bryn silently cursed Lila for what she had done to Michael. Bryn knew he was verging on the edge of a mental breakdown. If she didn't find him some help soon, she didn't want to think about what would become of him. Another sound coming from the kitchen pulled Bryn away from her thoughts. The sound of laughter.
Bryn approached the kitchen and came to an abrupt halt just inside the doorway when Michael came into view. He was sitting at the table laughing hysterically. His upper body hunched over and his slightly-longer-than-normal, brown hair concealed his face from view. As his shoulders shook, the beer clutched between his hands sloshed across the table. She could feel the coldness coming from the kitchen. She instinctively folded her arms to protect herself from the frigid air. The atmosphere of the kitchen was dramatically different from where she had been standing in the living room. “Michael?”, she called out with fear lining her voice, her breath pooled in wispy fog in front of her.
At the sound of Bryn's voice, Michael snapped back to reality, and the laughter that welled up within him instantly died. He hadn't even realized he was laughing. He released the crumpled beer can, shook the splatter from his trembling hands, and pushed his chair back a few inches from the table. He raised his head and looked toward the door. Bryn stared back at him wide-eyed and looked more frightened than he'd ever seen her. Hell, he was scared, too.
Michael sat quietly for another minute to slow his pounding heart and control his breathing before answering. “I didn't mean to scare you, Bryn. I...”, he paused not sure what to say. “I don't know what just happened.”
When Michael looked up at her after she called his name, it was like all the cold air had been sucked out of the room. It happened so quickly Bryn could have sworn it even had a sound to it. The air in the room was warm now. She wondered if she could have just imagined it, but she didn't think so. She had seen her breath forming clouds as if she had been standing outside in the middle of winter.
As hard as it was for her to admit it, something had been in the kitchen with Michael. Something she couldn't see, but she definitely felt it. Bryn had never believed in ghosts. She wasn't sure if she even believed in Heaven and Hell or God and Satan. She didn't grow up in a religious household. But what if? she asked herself.
Bryn forced her feet to move toward Michael and took a seat across the table. She reached out to lightly touch his hand with hers. “Michael, I don't think you need a therapist.” She took a long breath and raised her eyes to meet his, “I think you need an exorcist.”
Michael stared at Bryn as if she had grown another head, “An exorcist?”. He withdrew from her touch, “No, that's insane.”.
“Michael, what's insane is what I just witnessed. There is obviously something happening here. With you, with this house. I felt it.” She pleaded with him, “You need help.”.
“I won't deny I need help, but no exorcist. They get rid of demons, not dead, psycho ex-girlfriends.”
“So, what do you suggest we do?”, Bryn inquired.
Michael thought for a minute, “The Internet!” he said pointing to the laptop on the counter. “You can find everything online.”
Bryn, still a bit shaken, said, “Okay, but not here. Get the computer and we'll go back to my place. I don't want to stay here a minute longer than I have to.”
Chapter 2 coming soon...