Oh my, what a crazy day. I’m actually posting this on day 7, as I have managed to drop behind schedule. I failed to make my word count goal for the day, thanks to my full time job and I was just so wiped out tired. My idea from the beginning has been to complete a chapter every day. It is a very lofty plan I admit, but I’m trying to stay as close to it as I can. So anyway, I finished up chapter 6 this morning, and have charged right into chapter 7. If i can complete the chapter and push out 2000 words today i can be back on track, so wish me luck!Okay, so here’s what i wrote yesterday on day 6, and finished up this morning. Hope you like 🙂
PS If there’s anyone reading this that is also doing NaNoWriMo this year, feel free to add me as a writing buddy if you want. 🙂
All right, here we go…
Time Of Our Death
As we walked along, I noticed the others were taking in their surroundings, as if looking for anything unusual or out of place. I myself was very aware that things had changed for us now. Not only were our body physics reacting different, but I think we were beginning to think different as well. For me, as soon as I realized we were dead, things got a little disorienting. Walking brought me a sense of vertigo. I had ditched my remaining shoe, thinking that was the cause, but it didn’t help. I thought that once my foot came out of it, it would just vanish like mist, no longer having any ties to me. But that was not the case. It just lay there in the road where I left it, causing me to wonder if another spirit or ghost could come along and pick it up, or was it just visible to me? Eventually, that vertigo feeling passed, and I felt like I was more on balance. Perhaps it was similar to the feeling an alcoholic has when they sober up after a long night. I wouldn’t know. My stomach couldn’t handle liquor or beer. I did okay with weed, but really didn’t mess with it much. After all, I didn’t want to escape my life into another realm of consciousness . Ironically though, you could say that’s what happened when we died. We knew we were still here in some way, but it was like we were on a whole different level than anyone or anything else.
Lori lived three blocks over from Donald. Her house lay at the end of a dead end street, no pun intended. We entered through the basement. She explained she never went through the front door. I can only assume she didn’t like making grand entrances. The basement was half finished, divided by a wall into two sections. The walls were concrete and wood paneling. On the paneled walls were posters of The Cure, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Depeche Mode, and Nightmare On Elm Street. In one corner, bed sheets had been hung from the ceiling, creating a makeshift bedroom. Within this, I could see a bed and small dresser.
Seeing her meager room, Brian laughed. It wasn’t that he was making fun of her room, but the fact for all her goth leanings, the bedsheets on the mattress were Care Bears.
“Your mom tries to decorate your room for you too, huh?” I said. “Mine used to do that.”
Brian shook his head. “But Care Bears? Do you have a Strawberry Shortcake toothbrush, too?”
Kelly punched his arm, and she must have done it with some emotion behind it, because it was a solid blow. “I like Strawberry Shortcake,” she said.
“So sorry for you. We need to break up now.” He laughed, as she hit him again.
Donald had slid past the hanging sheets and went into her makeshift room. Lori noticed this, and went in after him. “What the hell are you doing?” She asked.
“Wow, did you do these?”
I followed them in and saw scores of photographs taped to the wall beside her bed. Scenes from school events, people on the smoking block, flowers and trees from neighborhood yards, as well as random shots of unsuspecting people in the park and at school. They were all composed perfectly. It was easy to see why she took pictures for the school newspaper.
“Those are good!” Donald was saying. “You going to be a photographer?”
I looked closer at the photographs, and saw one that caught my eye. It was me before my long hair attempts at cool. I was standing with Donald and several other ‘uncool’ people. We hadn’t known our photo was being taken. Instead we were engaged in conversation. I was wearing a Masters Of The Universe t-shirt. Donald’s was Miami Vice.
“Oh man, that was a great shirt, “ Donald said. “Mom messed it up in the wash and had to throw it away.”
My memories of that time wasn’t as fond. I wasn’t smiling. In fact, if you followed my gaze in the picture you would see I was staring at Abby Hayes. It was right before she broke up with me in front of the whole school.
“She wasn’t on the bus,” Donald said. “We could go see her.”
“No thanks.” I turned to look at Lori. “Why did you take this?”
She wouldn’t look at either Donald or I. “No reason.” She pushed the bedsheets aside and went back out into the main room. “Come on, let’s check on my mom.”
In another corner of the basement, a wooden staircase led upstairs, and we all followed her up. At the top she hesitated, and then opened the door. If the basement was Lori’s gloomy dark dungeon, the floor above was lost in heavenly happiness. Bright, cheery colors nearly blinded us. The hallway was painted an almost neon shade of blue. On the walls were paintings of circus scenes, sunshine filled outdoor landscapes, Christ with children on his lap. At any moment I expected to see a glowing sign complete with arrow pointing up that read , “this way to Jesus.”
“Now you know why I live downstairs,” Lori said. She walked down the hall, heading towards the living room. She called out for her mom, then realized if anyone were even here, they wouldn’t hear her anyway. In the empty living room, there was no sign of anybody. The house itself was just as still as if it were two AM.
“Hello,” Brian called out. “Calling all self absorbed fruit loop family members!” He walked by the television and it came on. We all jumped from the sudden sound of the TV at full volume. “What the hell?!”
“How did that happen?” Kelly asked.
“I didn’t even touch it,” he replied.
“Maybe our spirit form messes with electronics,” Lori suggested.
“It didn’t happen at Donald’s.”
“We don’t have a TV in my living room,” Don answered.
“Too damn freaky,” Brian said. “At least it’s not on soap operas.”
The television instead was showing a game show. And then as we all gathered around it, it changed channels on us. Switching to the local public broadcasting system channel, words were now scrolling across the screen: River road closed. Traffic accident on Bay Bridge has closed both lanes. Divers and rescue workers on the scene. Tune to your local news for more info.
“I would if we could figure how to change the channel,” Brian said.
“That’s not much information,” Kelly added.
“Well, at least we know it’s hit the news. If we could find a TV on the right channel we’d be set.”
“This is bullshit,” Brian exclaimed, stepping closer to the television. He reached down and turned the knob on the TV. It changed channels. “Whoa!” He jumped back in disbelief. I guess he’d forgotten how easily I had moved the magnets around at Donald’s house.
He flipped through several stations until we found one with the news. Sure enough, they were talking about us. We all watched as the reporter conveyed what they knew.
“This morning, a traffic accident sent a school bus carrying students from Murray Senior High School into the Upper Murray River. The accident which occurred on Bay Bridge has left authorities with little answers at this point, but it has been confirmed that several dozen students have been pulled from the river and are being treated at a local area location. Sheriff’s office has not held a press conference as of yet, but they have released a statement saying at least three students were declared dead at the scene. No word on who they were, as families have not been notified. Divers have just arrived on the scene to search the river for survivors. Because of the depths of the Upper River the bus itself is completely submerged and cannot be seen from the ground. We’ll let you know more details as they arrive. In other news, area residents are buckling down for what is being called the storm of the year, due to hit the area later this evening…”
“They haven’t found us,” Donald said.
“They said three were dead,” replied Kelly.
“That doesn’t mean any of them were us.”
“Well, we just left Donald’s and his mom hadn’t been notified,” I said. “So, he’s not one of the three. And it doesn’t look like Lori’s mom is here, so we can’t know if she was one.”
“Mom is probably at the library. She spends a lot of time there in the morning researching her book.”
“Your mom is writing a book?”
She nodded. “Yeah, she’s been researching and writing a book for six months.”
“Cool. I think being a writer would be awesome.”
She shrugged. “I want to check the bedrooms to make sure no one is here. You guys stay here in case people are indecent.”
“I like indecent,” Brian said.
“Not my mom or my little sister you don’t.”
“Especially if they’re like you,” he shot back.
She rolled her eyes, and went back into the hall. “I’ll come with you,” I said. When she sot me a look, I added, “I’ll wait outside the rooms.”
“It’s not like I can stop you from following me.”
We went down the hallway, and stopped in front of a door. She started to reach for the doorknob, and then stopped. She gave me a look that said, what if someone is inside. The door creaking open will freak them out. So instead, she walked through the closed door, just like ghosts are expected to do. When I realized no one was there, I followed behind.
Inside the room, it was apparent this was her little sister’s domain. Done up in pinks and pastel blues, with posters of E.T., Jem and The Holograms, and Saved By The Bell ,this was no place for a self respecting rocker.
“Why did you really follow me?” Lori asked. “You could have waited back there with the rest. I wasn’t going far.”
“Well shoot, I guess I’m busted.” I grinned, but she barely returned a smile. “I was hoping you would tell me about the dream.”
She shrugged. “It wasn’t a big deal. I have them all the time.”
“Well it could be a big deal if you dreamed about the accident or us being dead.”
“I dream stuff all the time.” She wandered over to a nightstand, and I noticed there was a Smurfs alarm clock sitting on it. I could have mentioned then I had one just like it, but it was too embarrassing. She picked something up from the stand. It was a slap bracelet with the phrase, “gag me with a spoon” written across it. She smiled. “Dawn thinks she’s a valley girl.”
“Oh no,” I replied, with a smirk.
“Oh, she’s so funny. And pretty. And smart. Im going to miss her most, I think.”
“How old is she?”
She set the slap bracelet down and walked past me back out into the hallway. Across from her sister’s room was another door, and she passed through it, leaving me stand there. I waited a moment, then approached the door she went through.
“Is it okay if I come in?”
“Yes,” she replied weakly.
When I stepped through the door into another empty bedroom, I saw she was sitting on her mom’s unmade bed. She looked up at me, and I saw tears rimming her eyes.
“I don’t want to be fifteen forever,” she said. “I always thought I wanted to die, but now I want to grow up. I wish all this was just a dream.”
I sat down beside her. “I wish it was, too.” I looked at her. “But it’s not. This what we are now. This is what we have for however long. I just want to know why. That’s why I wanted to know about the dream. Guess I thought it had the answer.”
“I was drowning,” she said. “I don’t think I was in a bus or anything; I was just flapping around in the water, trying to get to the surface. Other people were there, but I couldn’t tell who they were. I could feel their arms and legs hit me as they tried to get to the surface too. I reached out trying to grab hold of someone. I guess I thought they could pull me out of it. I opened my mouth to call for help, and instead of water filling my lungs, it was bugs.”
“Ugh, that’s not a dream, that’s a nightmare.”
“The bugs had a strange taste. Not that I’ve ever tasted bugs, but they tasted , I don’t know like I imagine cleaning chemicals or something would. Really weird. I started trying to cough them up, but the only thing that came up was flower petals. Then someone grabbed my arms, began to haul me up. I looked up at them. It was Brian and Donald. Then I woke up.”
“Now you know why I wasn’t in a hurry to tell anyone.”
“Yeah, for sure. But maybe there’s some symbolism there we are missing. Are your normal dreams prophetic in any way? I mean, it appears something from your dream came true. The drowning. So….do you dream true stuff?”
She looked over at me, as if wondering if she wanted to answer or not. “Yes,” she replied. “Not all the time, but enough to know its not normal. When my grandmother died, I dreamed it two days before. My dad lost his wallet and I dreamed where he left it. Stuff like that.”
I nodded, trying to turn it all over in my head. Her dreams, especially her latest, had to mean something. Maybe she was just one of those who were gifted in that way. I had read about people who had been prophets. I think the term used was clairvoyant. Perhaps she had tapped into a window looking in on time, yet she didn’t what time she was looking at. She was just slightly off, and then days after her dream came true.
“You think I’m weird, don’t you?”
I looked at her and smiled. “Yes, I do.” I got up from the bed and held out my hand. “But what do I know? I’m a ghost.”
She got up, but didn’t take my hand. “You’re weird too.”
I raised an eyebrow, and tossed my head back. “Oh yeah? How’s that?”
She pointed at my sweatshirt. “Come on, really? Bon Jovi?””
I looked at my ‘Slippery When Wet’ tour shirt. “What?”