A girl stood in the middle of a completely average room. A twin sized bed pushed in the corner, light pouring in from the large window onto a game console and tv. A nearly unlivable mess coating the floor, desk, and closet. It was unmistakably the room of a teenager. The girl looked around, walked over to the desk, and began playing with several of the small trinkets littered around it. The two or three blocks of legos randomly pieced together ceased to amuse her after but a moment so she drew circles of varying size with a compass. This entertained her for a little longer, the way circles would interact if you drew them in certain ways. The math behind it interested her, it wasn’t normally something people of her age and… unique qualities enjoyed but it interested her immensely. After the intricacies compass and protractor, mysteries faded from her mind and it just became her drawing a bunch of very pretty circles she grew irritated with the subject. The same held true for every last corner of her room, nothing was able to hold her attention and everything caused her inner irritation to grow.
“What on earth is up with me today” echoed through her mind
“Maybe I'm hungry”
“Yeah, I'm definitely hungry”
She flopped to the ground so angrily it was as if the ground had caused her to miss her favorite tv show for weeks and flopping on the ground would really teach it a lesson. The ground, being an unmoving, unthinking object that had not caused her to miss her favorite tv show for weeks, remained motionless except for the small tumbling noise that came from her flop. Her mood curdled and she decided to lay down, in the middle of all the junk, angry. She decided it was her new method of therapy which she would charge tons for when it made it big. The thought of being hungry once again occurred to her but the concept of moving to get any sort of food would just take too much effort. Finally, in a surge of anger, she burst out “No you know what, I’m done with this stupid moodiness. I’m getting answers, no matter what” and jumped through the wall to the outdoors, phasing through it to her destination.
She let her body fall a little to the ground, then kicked off the ground with such force that it cracks spread throughout its surface, though it was erased instantly afterward. “Can't lose cover like that, that would be stupid”
The jump gave her a little more height than she intended and she missed the hook-shaped cloud she was aiming for. She was planning on grabbing on and swinging off of it, instead, she had to settle for a low-lying island, it wouldn’t be as fast but it would have to do. She could always just actually fly in a pinch. As she hit the cloud the outer layer reflexively bundled in, her brow furrowed in concentration as she unwove nature’s laws around that one cloud, making it elastic in a way it should never be. She crept to a crawl and for one moment was still, her inertia holding the clouds newfound elasticity at bay. Then there was an explosion of movement, and she shot off the cloud away from the house. Nature's laws returned to the cloud, which quickly descended into a mist of haze, the water droplets having been rattled from her jump. Air streamed past her face as she descended to her chosen target, a seemingly innocuous looking house with some mild growth from weeds. She was aiming for the front yard of the house, planning to seal up the inevitable crater. But realized she was off course, it looked like she was gonna hit the ceiling first.
“Oh,” she thought
“This isn't good”
The door to the English room opened, 5 or so high schoolers rushed in, moving desks together to form tables, crumpling up papers left by distracted students and throwing them into a trash back held by the main student. He shouted, “alright, that's good for now.”
The group paused and walked away to the central table, a few scavenging news articles as they walk, a few others pause to tinker with a modified camera while chattering vibrantly. A knock on the door woke up the leader of the club, who was sleeping in an attempt to preserve his insanity. “That's odd, we usually don't have any visitors” he murmured
He got up from his desk and stumbled over to the door, pulling it open and managing to brighten up his face. He opened the door and said, “Hello, what do you want?”
“Um… is this the occult club?”
“Yes it is, I’m the president, Charlie. Your name is?”
“Just call me Michael, and there’s something I’d like you guys to do”
“It better be related to the occult”
“It is... I think I’m being haunted”
Charlie paused for a moment, scanning Michael from head to toe. Looking him over for any sign of deceit or confusion, some sign that what he was saying wasn’t true. He found none from the figure before him. Still, there was one more thing he wanted to do before they went poking around the house.
“Grant, get me the camera”
“We need it?”
“We need it”
“Um… excuse me” Michael shyly interrupted “but what do you mean by the camera?”
“Do you want to explain Grant?”
“Yes, I do, go grab the camera for me”
Grant sat down at one of the desks and motioned for Michael to also take a seat, he grabbed a chair and looked at Grant inquisitively. “We’re not quite sure what ghosts are actually made of, or even if they’re actually dead people, all we know is that they usually exist in some section of the electromagnetic spectrum, we think they can change which part of the spectrum they are on, going from radio to visible or something similar. All the camera does is quickly switch between varying filters, then take the outputs of each which go to a microcomputer. The microcomputer will switch to whatever one follows some certain rules; if there is a large quantity of whatever that is right next to each other, it switches to that filter and displays it. There's a button you can press to start the scanning process again in case someone switches or there's a false signal the first time.” Grant said, pride evident in his voice.
“That’s smart. I’m guessing you built it?”
“Yes, it took forever, but it's done, and it works”
“Okay, I’ve got it, this thing is so powerful it can often detect if someone has been around a ghost leaking energy, we’re gonna fire it up and take a look at you,” Charlie said, “Do you want to do the honors, Grant?”
“Sure, give me a moment”
Grant spent nearly a minute mounting the camera, nervously checking over various gear mechanisms which swap the filters, with one breath of anticipation, he turned the amalgam of parts on. “It takes roughly 45 seconds for it to decide which spectrum to display, please stand still Michael”
The camera whirred and clicked for 45 seconds, then without pause switched to the radio spectrum. “My god, Charlie, come look at this”
Charlie walked over and looked at the display. Michael was washed in pure white, it was impossible to discern anything but the whitewashing from Michael.
“I’ve never seen anything like this, you’ve got to be around an incredibly powerful spirit constantly to be like this” Grant said
“Michael,” Charlie said
“We’re going to your house after school”
The roof buckled as she fell on it, the timbers nearly cracking under her force, she had to stay outside of the house, or they would know she was here, even with the timbers supporting the roof nearly shattered, she made sure no sound would be made. She’d be ashamed of herself if she couldn't stop a little noise! She also went ahead and repaired the damage her rough descent had caused to the roof. Despite her small mistake in placement she, it looked like the house had not noticed her escapade. She had to concentrate to maintain this low of a presence though; it would be best to end this quickly. Keeping the amount of energy she leaked as low as an average human, straining all the while to do so. She entered the building, staggering in.
Upon seeing her, the hundreds of spirits newly haunting this building awoke like bats in a cave. Shrieking about in numbers so that there was no speck of the house she could see. The massive surge of energy combined with keeping her leaking power in check left her nauseous. She was waiting for the strongest one to show itself, the alpha who had claimed control over this entire domain. They would begin to make themselves evident shortly, whoever they are.
A gap appeared in the seemingly unpassable swarm appeared, pushing itself to take up the entire back wall of the room. A shadow somehow grew fangs and claws, pushing off the wall and into the air. Looming over her, it spoke. “Impressive, to stay alive for so long, you must have some natural talent. Now you have come to your end, human, let your soul be mine”
“Did you just assume my humanity?”
The living shadow seemed surprised; they usually didn't get cheek before devouring a soul.Their anger caused them to push their minion spirits even further, disintegrating a few. The small bursts of energy stoked the shadow to greater bloodlust. “This girl will not stand a chance,” he thought
“You do not stand a chance!” he shouted. This spirit wasn’t the most creative
“You were done?” the girl asked
“Oh I am through with you!” the spirit deafened
“Okay you’re done”
The shadowy fangs descended upon her, closing in upon her skull. An inch before her skull would rupture before the impact, any of the shadows across an invisible line some feet from her body vanished.
“Huh?” the shadow questioned
“We’re done here,” The girl said
With a flick of her wrist, a cage of light surrounded the house, trapping the spirits inside. She started to glow and vanished from the visible spectrum, the shadow began materializing and dematerializing around her as she dashed up to where his arm would be, several small spirits were nearly destroyed by the outskirts of her attack. The radius of dematerialization shut off as she reappeared to both the average human and spirit’s eyes, her hand seized the shadows throat. “Get me the oldest and wisest spirit among your sorry hold, right now, the rest of you better go compact yourselves into whatever corner you spend your time in the sunlight, I don't think any of you can take ordinary radiation that comes from the sun,” she growled
The spirits drifted away into a wispy mist, leaving only one feeble and shriveling ghost. “I have a question for you” her formerly harsh voice drifting into a softer tone
“For one so strong at such a young age,I will be happy to”
“So normally I would be feeding off of positive emotions from a human right?”
“That is a way for a spirit to maintain energy”
“But for some reason, whenever I try to feed off of a certain person, no matter how hard I can try, and they definitely have nothing setting them apart from any other normal human, I can’t feed off of them”
“Can you describe the person for me?”
“They have black hair, dreamy brown eyes, some cute freckles, and…. That's about it”
The spirit paused, the answer instantly materializing itself in his head, something so obvious that it was incredible she didn't already know the answer. Was it possible she didn't know? “You have a crush on him,” he said bluntly, disregarding any sense of tact that would be normal
“I… I am?”
“Yes, how you didn't realize it is beyond me”
“That can happen to ghosts?”
She drifted out of the building, slowly back to the place which she had made her home
“Okay, do this is my house” Michael gestured to the quaint house at the end of the road
“Are your parents home?” Charlie asked
“Good, let’s move”
The three opened the door to the house and made their way to Michael’s room, tripod and camera in hand. They setup the camera in the room and without a second thought flicked the camera on, the customary whirrs and clicks accompanying it. After the customary weight time, the display flicked on.
“Perfect, now let's see who we're dealing with,” Grant said
All the screen displayed was residual background noise.
“huh, is the spirit not here?” Michael asked
The girl was approaching her area where she rested, enjoying the feeling of the sun on her back. As she drifted up to the window she saw three people in the room. “That's odd,” she thought “Michael usually isn't home this early, and I’ve never seen those two before. What is that camera… son of a -!”
She quickly alternated between every part of the spectrum she could think of, she couldn't let that camera pick her up, they’d probably call an exorcist and she’d have to leave or face that nauseous feeling in her stomach that all exorcisms gave her. If she knew what spectrum she couldn't be on, she could just pick anything but that part of the spectrum to hide in. But without knowing the best she could do is flicker between them. That would give them a slight flicker periodically. She would just have to eavesdrop until then.
“You don't see anything?” Charlie asked
“I think I might see a slight flicker right now, but let's just go ahead and scan again,” Michael said
“Perfect,” thought the girl
“Actually, I’ve been working on a new ‘continuous scan’ mode; Let's try that” Grant said
“You know what I don't really need to stay, maybe it's better if I just leave for the time being.”
Grant flicked it on and after a moment eagerly shouted “found it!”
“Dammit!” the girl thought
Forcing the air around her to move she said “fine, you caught me, what do you want?”
The three noticeably jumped at her voice, she guessed they weren't used to the ghosts talking to them. Michael realized that he should probably have thought of what they were going to do past the whole “find the ghost” thing.
“Nothing? Then why are the two of you that don't live here even here?” she asked, clearly agitated
“We… we just wanted to see if you existed” Grant and Charlie stuttered
The girl got bored, and though they couldn't see her, switched on the game console
“Are you gonna make us play you or we die!” Grant squealed
“What? No! Why would I do that, I just want to play something”
The room fell into an awkward silence as the game turned on, flicked through its options, and went to online play. Halfway through one match, Charlie felt the need to interrupt. “So… Should we go?”
“You guy’s are still here?”
Grant and Charlie took their cue and left. The girl, sensing them leaving, switched to the visible spectrum. Michael looked at the newly materialized girl, then he went and sat down on the bed. “What's your name by the way?” Michael asked
“I don't have one”
“No one was around to give me one, and I have no memory of any previous life or anything. By the way, you suck at this game.”
“Make a name up for yourself then,” Michael said, ignoring the obvious attempt to change the subject
“Why bother, I don't interact with enough people to need one” she retorted
Michael paused, he didn't know how to respond to that statement
She looked over, kissed him on the cheek, and said “you decide one”
He looked over, kissed her on the lips, and said “I have no idea”