“I’m scared,” I whisper to my empty room. The muscles in my shoulders hurt from being tense for so long. “You scare me. Go away.” She’s here again. They all are. But they’re always here.
Even though the blankets are pulled over my head and my eyes are closed, I know she’s here. I don’t want to see her. She’s getting worse. Every time I see her, she appears less and less like herself. I wish I had the courage to run out of my bedroom. The silence becomes cold and heavy.
She’s standing over me.
Why can’t I scream? I have forgotten how to use every muscle in my body.
“Liiil. . . liiii,” she whispers. The warm blankets slide off my head, down to my shoulders. I am powerless to stop it.
My heartbeat quickens, thumping so hard against my chest I can hear it.
“Don’t be scared, Lili.” Her whisper seems to come from my walls. I’m surrounded by each word.
I see without looking. She forces me to. My bladder lets go. As the warm, almost comforting urine pools around my waist, I try to force the corpse’s image from my mind, and open my eyes. She stands there, beside my bed — not alone — in the darkness of my room.
Her cheek bones jut out; her jaw dangles by her neck, ripped open and holding the few black teeth she has left. Her grey, opaque eyes are sad and scared as mine. And my ghost – the tall beautiful man, that never leaves the shadows - stands behind her, blotting out the street light’s light.
I fight back tears, the tip of my nose so cold it hurts. Crystal is my neighbour. Was my neighbour. We haven’t played together for a while now. Something very bad happened to her. The ball of tears and vomit in my throat grows as she leans down and puts her face next to mine.
“Find me, Lili. I need to show you something.”
With a sharp intake of breath, I will myself to sit up. I’m going to run. Past Crystal, past the dark man blocking my window, past all the other whispers. My feet never reach the floor. I’m thrown back onto my pillow.