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Shadows by K.I. Lynn (1)


CHAPTER 1

 

Seven years, three weeks, six days, fourteen hours, fifty-two minutes, and six seconds—the length of time I’ve been trapped here.

The length of time I’ve been dead.

Dead.

And it sucks.

Even now it sounds wrong, foreign. Killed in my prime by a damn disease; stupid cancer.

Strangely, I don’t look like I did when I died, but before it took over and ate me away. Maybe that’s my mind’s eye, remembering how I used to be: brown hair, hazel eyes, and my body no longer trying to do a skeleton impression. The afterlife is probably much better in this form than the one I died in. Not that anything in this afterlife is better than those last weeks.

I’m still trapped in one place, only it’s not my body that holds me, but my house.

I always thought when you died you went on to a better place: Angels and all that crap. But I’m still here.

There is no unfinished business from my life, so why haven’t the pearly gates opened? Where is the bright light for me to follow? What keeps me locked here in my house?

The years have flown by around me, and I’m still stuck. It’s annoying to watch people move in and out, abusing my home. Bought and sold three times over now, and the newest purchaser is due to move in today. I haven’t seen them; I was avoiding my newest possible roommate when they were showing it, hiding up in the attic.

Yes, I say roommate. This is my house as long as I’m still here. Odd how all the ghost horror movies always had the ghost talking about how it was their house. I never understood until I became one myself.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I could leave, go see the world. Instead, I wait for another intruder that makes me question everything all over again. My anger and frustration rise, and I lash out at the only thing left in the house. The blinds jostle as my hand rakes through them. Barely a fair reaction to my unseen outburst. A pale realization of my emotional tantrum.

I really wish there was something breakable, because the blinds swaying back and forth is pathetic.

I roll my eyes, watching as they swing. Through the small slats I see a moving van parked out front. I stretch my neck for a better view. A small figure moves toward the door, and so do I.

I’m angry, an almost tangible force, and I want to welcome them to my home. I want to scare them, because it’s the only thing I have left in my lonely existence.

The handle moves, the door creaking open, and just when I am ready to strike out at the intruder there is a yelp.

Suddenly there is a head full of long brown hair sprawled out on the floor at my feet. Her foot must have caught the door jamb and she tripped, falling to the hardwood below.

Surprise snuffs out my anger, and I stare down at her curiously as she groans and pulls her body from the ground. Her head tilts up, and I am met with large blue eyes staring up at me. Eyes that lock directly onto mine.

I stumble back in shock.

She’s looking directly at me. At me!

A voice calls out to her, drawing her attention away from me.

“Are you all right?” one of the movers asks.

“Fine, fine,” she says, turning to reassure them. Her head snaps back to me, a confused look on her face.  Her gaze darts around, but this time she doesn’t see me anymore.

Maybe she didn’t really see me, but something tells me she did. No one has seen me—not since I was living.

I retreat to the attic, watching from the window as they unload the truck and move everything inside. I tell myself I sit on this perch because I can’t stand to see another person move their stuff in, but really it’s because I can’t shake the feeling she saw me—actually saw me.