Haunted city, p.1
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       Haunted City, p.1
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           Sarah Spelbring
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Haunted City
Haunted City

  By Sarah Spelbring

  Copyright 2012 Sarah Spelbring

  "Mommy? Daddy?" I walked all over and I can't find them. Maybe if I yell louder they can hear me. "Mommy! Daddy!" No one is even looking at me. What's going on?

  There's Mommy, over by the cemetary. Dad's there too. I finally found them. "Mommy? Why are you crying? I didn't get my dress dirty. Look." I show off my clean yellow Sunday dress. My shoes are muddy, I have dirt across the toes.

  "Daddy why is Mommy crying?" Neither of them appear to hear me. Let me talk louder, these other people are talking too. Maybe they just can't hear me.

  "Mommy! Daddy!" I looked at both of them. Daddy is hugging Mommy and not even looking. "Come on Lucy, maybe Uncle Patrick will talk to us." I hug my doll tightly and look around for Uncle.

  He's over by the church talking to someone. Maybe I can get his attention by pulling on his hand. "Uncle Patrick?" I reach up to take his hand, but my hand doesn't touch his.

  I look at my hand then I look back at his. Uncle Patrick is shaking the other man's hand. The other man is leaving. I try to take Uncle's hand again. It doesn't work, I can't hold onto his hand.

  I wonder why Uncle is shaking the hand I just tried to touch. Is something wrong with Uncle Patrick's hand? Is that why I can't touch it?

  "Uncle Patrick are you ok?"

  I hear some clapping and turn to find out who did that. Pastor Adams is standing on the stairs of the church. "Thank you for coming out today. The weather is beautiful, I like to think it's God's way of telling us that little Alice is safe and happy with him in heaven and not to worry anymore."

  The Pastor continued on with a verse from the bible, but I had stopped listening. With God? In Heaven? "I'm right here! I'm here! Can't you see me?" I shout. Wait, they think I died? "I'm here! I'm not dead!"

  I can see and hear and feel and think. I can't be dead. Lucy's here too, she's not dead. I'm still standing next to Uncle Patrick. "I'm here Uncle Patrick, you can see me right?" I reach for his hand again, but this time he jerks it away.

  I run over to Mommy and Daddy. "Tell them I'm not dead! I'm here! It's your little Alice! Daddy tell them!" I look at the both of them. Mommy is still crying on Daddy's shoulder. "Mommy, stop crying. I'm not dead. If I was dead could I do cartwheels?"

  I back up and take a running start. I stretch my hands out and fall over halfway through the cartwheel. "Oof. See? Dead people can't do cartwheels." I look up at them again. Mommy is still holding Daddy but she's not crying.

  She's talking to Daddy now. "She was only five years old. That's far too young Mark. Why her?" Daddy patted her back.

  "I don't know what to tell you Sherri. I hardly know myself." Daddy held Mommy tighter. I reach up and try to grab a corner of Mommy's skirt.

  "I'm right here! Can't you see me? Mommy?" My hand can't grab her skirt. Its the same skirt Mommy sometimes wears to work. I've grabbed it lots of times. I look at my hand and try again. I watch my fingers disappear and reappear. "Mommy?"

  They ignore me, so I go back to Uncle Patrick. He's standing by himself now. His arms are folded across his chest so I look up at him. He's wearing a pair of black jeans and black button shirt with a pair of sneakers. "Uncle, tell them I'm here!" Patrick says nothing and I feel tears forming in my eyes. I hold Lucy close to my chest.

  The tears start falling. I sit down on the grass at Uncle Patrick's feet. He takes a step back as I sob onto my doll. Her pretty pink dress is soon soaked with my tears.

  "I don't want to be dead. I don't remember being dead." I say between sobs. I continue crying for a little while longer. When I'm done I wipe my nose on my arm and look up. Uncle Patrick is gone.

  I look around for Mommy and Daddy. They can't hear me so I don't shout for them. They aren't where I left them. I look around some more and I can't find them. Their car is gone.

  I blink back fresh tears and spy Uncle Patrick next to his car. The door is open while he talks to a woman that sometimes babysat me. I jump in the car while he talks to her.

  "It's such shame, she was so young. Well, I'd better get going. Take care of yourself Patrick." The woman waved goodbye and Patrick gets into the car and drives off with me in the passenger's seat.

  I follow Uncle Patrick closely as he walks through his apartment building and up to his place. Once inside I curl up on his sofa bed and look around. On my left are some cupboards with a sink, a tiny fridge and an oven. On my right Uncle is sitting in front of a desk with a computer. It looks bigger than the one Daddy has.

  In front of me is a door, I think I can see a bathtub inside. I watch Uncle for awhile, but he doesn't notice and keeps looking at his computer, like Daddy does.

  "Just us now Lucy." I hold my doll in front of me. Her blonde pigtails are held with pink ribbons. Lucy's lopsided smile makes me smile, so I do. "I'm glad I have you."

  There's a window next to Uncle Patrick and I notice that it is dark outside. I don't feel sleepy at all. I didn't want to go to bed anyway. Uncle Patrick yawns and turns his computer off. I watch him go into the bathroom and come out again wearing his pajamas.

  He looks a bit silly in blue bottoms with a white top. Uncle comes around to my side of the bed so I move across. He lays down and tries to get comfortable.

  I watch him roll around and pull the blankets over him. Uncle finally rolls over and shows me his back. Then he tries to scratch the middle of his back. I reach over to help.

  My hand still won't work right. I can't scratch Uncle's back, but he wiggles his back and stops scratching. Soon his breathing evens out and I know Uncle is asleep.

  It's boring waiting for Uncle to wake up so I get down from the bed and go check out the bathroom. His bathroom is tiny, there's barely enough room for me to sit down. I tuck my skirt up like Mommy showed me and I sit.

  I hold Lucy up so she can look around. "What do you think Lucy?" I turn Lucy around so she can look at me. "I think if I can shut the door we can play here without waking up Uncle." I nod at Lucy and stand up. I sit Lucy in the middle of the floor so she doesn't get hurt and go up to the door. It's only a little bit open, barely wide enough for me to squeeze through.

  I rest my hands on the door. It feels solid and so do my hands. I look back at Lucy and then I push, but the door doesn't move. Instead I fall forward into the apartment. I'm not hurt so I get off the floor and look around. The door is still slightly open, it doesn't look like I closed it at all.

  "How did I get here?" I go back to get Lucy and sit down in the bathroom again. I hold her and look at the door. "Lucy, I think I went through the door."

  I remember watching Casper the Friendly Ghost. He was dead, wasn't he? I'm dead too. "I want to try that again." I take Lucy with me this time and walk up to the door.

  I close my eyes and take a few steps forward, then I open them again. I'm in the main room. I grin at Lucy. "Let's play hide and seek. You hide and I'll seek." I giggle and run out of the apartment.

  I play hide and seek through out the apartment building until I notice the people are waking up. I find Lucy and take her back to Uncle Patrick's apartment.

  Uncle isn't on the bed anymore but I can hear him in the bathroom. I sit on the sofa and wait for him. While I wait I think about Casper again. I can go through walls, and he can go through walls. He can talk to people, but I can't. He can touch others, but I can't.

  Maybe I have to do something to talk to Uncle Patrick. But what? Uncle Patrick comes out of the bathroom and starts making breakfast. I'm not hungry so I just watch. "Uncle Patrick?" I try to get his atention. "Uncle?"

  He continues making breakfast and then carries it over to his computer and turns it on. I frown. When Daddy is on the computer it's hard to talk to him.

  I sigh loudly. Uncle Patrick l
ooks up and checks the window, then goes back to eating. Maybe I need to be louder, I'm talking too quietly. Mommy always told me to use my inside voice, but maybe it's ok to use my outside voice.

  "Uncle Patrick!" I shout. He jumps out of his chair and looks around the room. He looks scared and almost knocks his glasses off. I giggle because he looks funny.

  Uncle Patrick is still looking around the room, so he can't see me. I'm pretty sure he heard me, so I try again. This time I put all my energy into it and scream his name. "Uncle Patrick!"

  The lights in the apartment flicker and Uncle Patrick backs up against the wall and looks around again. When the lights stop flickering he's staring at me. He looks like he wants to be sick, his skin is very white.

  I wave at him and giggle. "Hi." Several minutes pass while he looks at me. Uncle takes a few deep breaths and opens and closes his eyes several times. Then he takes his glasses
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