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I Ain't Afraid of No Ghost
When I moved to Mason County, West Virginia, I knew that my life would decrease in value. I was still mourning the loss of sidewalks and all the stuff I wouldn’t have in the country, when I found out I would be going to Hannan High School. My first day was something I would always remember.
I had gotten here two weeks before school had started; I had spent those days shopping in stores I have never been in. I was used to shopping at Clandestine up in Chicago and American Eagle was a far cry from that. I ordered most of my clothes online but they hadn’t come in yet. For a reassurance of some kind, I wore my favorite outfit from last year on the first day. My black wash jeans paired with my crossword Chuck Taylors and a Clandestine shirt with the logo on it had an overall emo/goth/punk look to it.
My parents escorted me to the office. The secretary, Miss Mable, gave me a schedule and called some dude over the intercom to come and show me around. The name was Blake Parker. I was expecting some guy and in walked a girl. I had not known it was Blake Parker till Miss Mable had called sweetly “Blake! This is James Kingly, he is new and he needs an escort around the school.”
Blake Parker was tall (though no taller than I), and figured, by figured I mean not a stick but still thin with curves. She had white-goldish hair that went a little past her shoulders and gray eyes. She was wearing a Cobra Starship t-shirt and some acid wash jeans with checkered Vans. I have to say that I had a mini crush on her already and that was based on looks alone.
She nodded and held the door open for me.
“We’re going to the gym.” She said.
I nodded, though nodding made my dark brown hair go everywhere. I am like a living Harry Potter, my hair will never settle down.
Blake led me to the ‘gym’, which had to be 1/10 the size of my old school’s.
“Do you want to sit with me and my friends?” Blake asked, the long question focused my attention on her mouth; she had on some light pink lip gloss or stick…I am not sure because I am a dude!
“Sure.” I was trying to act all cool and stuff.
I looked around the gym I had stepped into and it was like entering prep/hick heaven. I had never seen anything like it before.
“So…you like Clandestine?” Blake asked.
“Pete Wentz is awesome.” I replied and as I realize now and also ten seconds after I said it that is sounded pretty dumb.
Blake introduced me to her friends.
“Kingly?” one guy by the name of Elias Linney asked.
“Didn’t your family move into the ol’ Artibiter house?” some girl they called Panda Bear asked.
“I think so.” I replied.
The name Artibiter sounded familiar but only thing I recall about the house was that no one has lived there for years and that is exactly what I told Blake and her friends.
“That’s because its haunted.” Elias said.
“No one who has lived there has stayed alive, for long that is.” Panda Bear added.
Sure my house was creepy and made a lot of noise at night, but we do have three dogs and the house is extremely old.
Before I could say anything else, a group of girls walked by, one of them looking at me going “EWW!”; another one, who was tall and blonde, going “Good one, Cin!”
Blake stifled a giggle and Elias went “Dude, you are going to die and I cannot attach my self emotionally to someone who is going to die.”
“What? I’ve lived there for two weeks and nothing weird has happened.” I replied.
Then I remembered how my door would never stay shut and my window would never stay open, but that is just paranoia of the conversation because the house is old and I’ll say it a million times.
“What exactly is supposed to be wrong with my house?” I asked.
There was a lot of “I don’t want to tell it, YOU!” then finally Panda Bear huffed and went “Alright, I’ll the story.”
“Back in- a long time ago-” Panda Bear started, “The young Artibiter family moved into the home built by Nathaniel Artibiter’s father.
“Nathaniel and his beautiful wife Serena and daughter Margaret moved in after living in Georgia for awhile. It wasn’t until Margaret herself was engaged when all the problems started.
See Margaret was very beautiful and popular at all the balls and dances. Two boys in particular wanted Margaret’s attention to their selves. The boys were brothers and very similar in build. Their names were Erick and Andrew Vanderbilt. Erick was younger and the one Margaret chose when the brothers told her to pick which one she should choose to marry. Andrew was jealous, but he tolerated it until one day when he saw his brother sneak a kiss with Margaret. Andrew went crazy with anger.
One night, Andrew snuck into the Artibiter home and guessed at a room; he saw who he thought was Margaret but was really Serena for she heavily resembled her daughter. Nathaniel had been in his study away from his wife. Andrew went into the room and held his hand over Serena’s mouth as he raped and smothered the woman he thought to be Margaret. Nathaniel had come in only to see the back of Andrew Vanderbilt jumping out the window; he went to his wife and found her body cold and unresponsive. The figure he had seen triggered the same body shape as Erick.
Nathaniel thought Erick had to be the man who murdered his wife and decided on revenge. So, Nathaniel invited his future son-in-law over for a brandy. When Erick got to the Artibiter’s house, Nathaniel poisoned Erick’s drink. But not being a smart man, Nathaniel drank the tainted drink and died. Erick freaked out as Andrew flew into the parlor. The brothers began to fight since Andrew was out to kill Erick. Margaret heard the racket and went to the parlor. She yelled for the brothers to stop but the fighting continued for several minutes till Andrew massacred Erick. Margaret ran when she realized Andrew was coming after her next. She yelled for help, calling out for everyone including Erick.
Margaret decided that she would rather kill herself than have Andrew do it for her. She did. Andrew saw what Margaret had done and did the same because he knew the courts would have had him killed.
And the spirits that were there, stayed there.” Panda Bear finished.
“It took us till after lunch to finish the story but I edited out all the interruptions for you.
“All of that happened in my house?” I was amazed by the whole story really.
The group sitting across and beside me nodded their heads and I took a bite of a sandwich that tasted like rubber chicken.
Blake and I had the next class together. It was World History, but there was a substitute though I had to be told that since it was only my first day. The class had a discussion on some ghost hunting show, ironic right?
I talked to Blake, most of the time. She had around the same taste in music as I did and I felt as though we clicked.
“Is that story true?” I asked.
“Of course it is.” Blake answered. “My older brothers both tried to stay a night there.”
“They got freaked out because they heard some weird noises.”
“But nothing has happened since I moved in.”
Blake just shrugged and said “I’m sure she’s coming soon.”
“Well, it is usually Serena or Margaret but they look so much alike according to history.”
That was pretty much it of our conversation. I kept thinking about it though.
Nothing strange happened until about a week after that. I was up in my room talking to Blake on IM; the time was around two in the morning but thankfully it was the weekend.
“Stop, NO!” it was a woman’s voice.
I almost dropped my Dell laptop I had gotten for Christmas the year before.
I listened carefully but I didn’t hear anything else. It took me awhile to fall asleep after getting off of IM with Blake.
I made the ultimate mistake of telling Blake’s friends about it Monday at school.
“Cursed!” Elias shrieked.
Elias wouldn’t talk to me for a while. He was a little more talkative when he found out that is was early in the morning and I hadn’t been to sleep yet.
The next time I heard the voice was that Thursday. I was asleep that time.
I woke up then.
“Would you SHUT UP?” I snapped.
“It is the middle of the night.” I looked at my alarm clock, which read 3:10 A.M. Seriously, I was trying to sleep.
“Serena or Margaret or whoever, I’m trying to sleep.” I was getting mad.
It was TOO early to be dealing with this. Did ghosts not understand that the living need sleep? I’m a guy that values my sleep and if this ghost won’t let me get some sleep, I doubt if I will be that fond of it.
“DEAR LORD, WHAT?” I asked.
Then nothing. I listened till I fell back asleep but I heard nothing.
“That’s crazy!” Blake exclaimed.
I only told Blake because she had become my best friend and also because I couldn’t deal with Elias freaking out again.
“I think it might have been my imagination.” I said.
“James, I don’t think so.” She replied.
“Alright, if you believe that there is something there, my parents are going out of town this weekend and you, my sister, and I will do a little ghost hunting.” I said.
Blake bit her lip, thought it over and then nodded.
I am not sure if Blake remembered that my sister is in like 8th grade. Her name is Amber. When I first became friends with Blake’s group, Amber tried to hang out with us, but that defiantly wasn’t going to happen.
That Saturday, I all but kicked my parents out the door. Blake and I also invited Oakland Jones, a guy from our group, who I like but not really close to.
I was waiting on both of them when a minivan pulled in to our driveway. Amber came skipping down the stairs.
“I’m going to Bridget’s house.” was all she said as she went out the door.
I was only alone for a minute or so, when “James..” started up again.
Couldn’t this ghost wait till Blake and Oakland got there?
I was waiting to hear the voice again, but I heard nothing.
Soon, the crunching of gravel came, and I looked out of the living room window to see Blake pulling up. She parked and grabbed something out of her backseat and ran to the door. I opened it to let her in.
“What’s in the bags?” I asked.
“My parents do a lot with making videos and photos, so I brought some of their camcorders and cameras.” She smiled.
I forgot the whole ghost thing when she smiled. Blake was pretty and my mini crush had grown bigger as she became my best friend.
“I wanted to tell you that the only reason I invited Oakland was if I hadn’t I would have forgotten all about ghost hunting.” Blake blushed.
I did something then that I’ve never done with any of my former girlfriends; I made the first move and kissed her.
I don’t know how long I kissed her, but there was a bang at my front door that tore us apart. We opened it to find Oakland.
The redheaded boy came in grinning. “I’m gonna exercise some ghosts!” Oakland exclaimed, the looked at my unattainable smile and Blake’s messy self, “What did I miss?”
“Nothing.” Blake and I said in unison.
Oakland waved his finger at us and said, “I’m watching you two.”
“We’ve got to do something until it gets darker.” I said. It was only six-thirty and in this craptasic state it didn’t get dark till around eight. I must say that if it was only Blake and I, that I could think of a ton of things to do but sadly Oakland was here. I wonder if Blake and I making out, means that we are dating in this state. Back at my old school, guys and girls did everything and still wouldn’t date. But I want to date Blake and all of this would have to wait until after tonight.
“We can watch some TV.” Blake suggested.
We did because there wasn’t anything else to do.
Finally after staring at a screen for an hour and half, it was dark.
Blake gave Oakland and me a camcorder and took the camera for her.
“We need one of those EVP things.” Oakland said. “Why don’t we have one?”
“Cause none of us work for Ghostbusters.” I replied.
“Alright, before we split up, remember that if you get freaked out yell for one of the others.” Blake said.
“Whatever.” Oakland replied.
“I ain’t afraid of no ghost.” I laughed.
And I had to repeat that to myself in my head as I went up the stairs trying to make Serena or Margaret or any of the others appear.
“James…”came from behind me.
I turned to see a flowing figure behind me. I saw it was a woman; she was in classic dress, though she was almost transparent.
“Serena?” I asked.
The figure moved her head from left to right.
“Margaret?” I tried again.
The figure’s head now moved slowly up and down. I watched her painstakingly. Another figure appeared next to Margaret. It resembled the ghost beside it so I figured it to be Serena. If I hadn’t been quiet, I wouldn’t have heard.
“Margaret…”Serena’s ghost whispered.
“James…”Margaret said, while looking from me to her mother, “Andrew…”
I understood now by some kind of magic that Serena and Margaret wanted me to get rid of Andrew’s spirit.
“Margaret, Serena.” I said, they looked at me, “If I get rid of Andrew, you will be gone also.”
They nodded; they got it and accepted it.
“Is Erick here, too?” I asked.
They nodded again, and looked behind me. I turned; a man’s figure was behind me. The features looked young and since Margaret and Serena hadn’t fled, I knew it was Erick.
“Is Nathaniel here also?” I wanted to know how many spirits I was dealing with here. Serena shook her head slightly, while Margaret stared at Erick. The male ghost floated towards me, it got closer and closer to me until it floated right through me and went straight to Margaret. I wanted to turn and look away as Erick’s ghost hands intertwined with Margaret’s. The two must have been in love when they were alive. It got to me to think that three spirits who were good would be lost to be rid of one bad one, but the good ones would probably be happier.
“So, you want Andrew’s spirit gone?” I asked them.
The three nodded.
“Well, I am going to do that.”
They nodded again.
I turned to leave when I heard a shriek. It sounded like Blake. I ran to the section of the house that she was in. It took hardly any time to get there. Blake was backed up against a wall and in a corner by a male ghost figure that had to be Andrew’s.
Oakland appeared beside me.
“Oak, you have to exercise this place!” I yelled.
He bit his lip and nodded. He got into the backpack, he had been carrying and started to yell and do stuff so fast I had no idea what was going on. I knew he had done right when Andrew’s ghost gave a shrill and flash…he was gone.
Blake came to me, shaking for the fear that was still in her system, I hugged her.
And we lived happily ever after…well Blake and I started dating.
“You think that Panda Bear likes Elias?” Blake asked me over the phone.
I laughed and said “Maybe.”
Blake laughed and I started to smile.
“JAMES!” this voice wasn’t like it was before…it was cruel and angry.
I stilled and turned around.
“You cannot rid of me…but I can of you…”