My Malcolm

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I don’t know why he and his family came here. They knew what happened to me. They knew I would probably still be here. Being hacked to death, doesn’t really give your soul a great escape.

My pale hand reached to stroke down his chestnut, shaggy hair that was blowing from the cool, August winds of the open window. He stirred under my touch but did not wake.
This was not the first time I watched him. It was a nightly routine. I would wait in our room until he came home. Sometimes I think he sees me, but I know he doesn’t. No matter how many times his baby sister tries to tell him about me.
I look back at his youthful, angelic face in the moonlight of his wide window. He frowns, and then starts to roll back and forth, trying not to scream.
“It’s ok, Malcolm, you’re safe,” I summon the courage for my fingertips braze his firm arm; I have never touched his warm skin before, “it’s just a nightmare. I’ll protect you.”
He stopped stirring, but kept mumbling.
“Jade is here. It’s ok,” I closed my eyes, imagining us together; his hands on me, my hands on him.
“Jade...” he whispered before falling back to a deep peaceful sleep.
My heart welled at his voice. Why couldn’t I have met him fifty years ago? It wasn’t fair. None of it was. It wasn’t fair that I had to be trapped in this house; well, in a way I guess it was. If it wasn’t for my death I never would have met Malcolm.
Just then Malcolm awoke. He sat up with a quick breath. Each breath came out like smoke in the icy air I was permanently enclosed in. I felt so horrible, making him so cold, but I couldn’t keep away.
“Malcolm,” I whispered, reaching for his hand.
Before my cold, thin hand could reach his; he whipped his head to the side and looked straight into my eyes and whispered, “Jade,” as his breath quickened.
Since when can he see me?
His eyes bulged out of his head, “Wha... What are you doing here?”
“I’m stuck here, Malcolm,” I answered, cautiously.
“No, you’re a dream... you’re a dream,” he closed his eyes tightly, “just like always!”
“You dream about me?”
OK, I guess that wasn’t the most appropriate thing I could’ve said at that moment. I could’ve explained that I used to live here fifty years ago before I was killed. I could’ve explained to him that he wasn’t insane and that I actually do exist, but I was too distracted by the thought of him knowing who I am. He dreamt about me? Were my thoughts about us becoming his dreams? At that moment I was glad I was just a spirit. We can’t blush, but as I had remembered correctly, humans can. Malcolm’s cheeks were slowly turning rose and he looked toward the window onto the lone maple tree in the open field I had sat under so many hot summer days. Malcolm quietly cleared his throat.
No words needed to be spoken. I then knew my graphic thoughts over the past few weeks had turned into his dreams. How’s that possible? I didn’t mean to, I didn’t know I was even capable of transferring my thoughts.
“Malcolm?” He had looked back at me and was studying the details of my worn white summer dress, “What were you dreaming about just then?”
His emerald green eyes went cold and his lips spread straight and thin, “You... He was hurting you…”
I closed my eyes. Unable to let myself see the pain in his eyes. I drifted back to the event Malcolm was describing.
It was June 29th of 1945. For the past month or two my father’s best friend, Roy Evans, had been staying with us. He and my father would sit in the study all day and night, talking. Roy would go on and on about how the Germans should not have given up and how they should’ve wiped out that whole “god forsaken breed”. I hate the way Roy used to talk about those people. I used to yell at him whenever he called them “Mutts”. I guess that’s why he took such a strong liking for me. He always told Daddy he “liked ‘em feisty”.
That exceptionally warm, summer night I was in my bed reading Shakespeare when Roy came into my room, smelling of stale whiskey.
“Roy? What are you doing here?” I had asked.
“Shh, you’re parents are sleeping,” he slurred before stumbling to my bedside.
I was at loss of words. I began to let out a breath, but it caught in my throat when I saw my father’s new shiny axe he had been showing off to the family earlier that evening, in drunken Roy’s clasp, “Roy, what are you doing with Father’s axe?”
“Ain’t it purdy?” he gave out a disgusting belch then giggling, he inspected the axe, “Impressive, huh?”
He leaned into me, forcing himself onto my small bed, it creaked under his weight. I tried to pull away, but he had me against the wall.
“It ain’t as purdy as you though, Jade,” his free hand moved up to caress my face.
“Roy, you need to go to bed.”
“Oh, you’re no fun, Jade!” he straightened up, flailing his arms. In his motion the axe struck my old wooden bed frame. Roy giggled and leaned back toward me.
I slipped out from under him and got out of bed, “Roy, come on. You’re going to bed.”
“I’m not a child!” he tried to scream, rising up to stand before me, but had to stop midsentence to let out another sickening belch. His free hand again reached for my cheek.
I slapped it away, “You’re acting like one.”
Roy’s eyes glazed in anger. He raised the axe.
“Stop!” I screamed at Roy.
“Stop!” I screamed again, this time directed at Malcolm.
I opened my eyes. Malcolm was staring at me. The silence lasted for what seemed like ages.
“So my Mom wasn’t lying when she said a teenage girl was killed in this room fifty years ago? She wasn’t just trying to freak me out ‘cause I didn’t do my chores?”
“No, Malcolm, she wasn’t.” I hung my head, ashamed that he had figured out my tragic, iniquitous demise.
His hand rustled his hair as he took a second to get himself together. He reached for my hand, which I thought would be no use; he wouldn’t be able to physically touch me. Instead, to my delight, he was able to grab me and pull me beside him.
“I’m so sorry, Jade.” He took my chin, stroking my face much softer than Roy had.
I didn’t really know what to say. What could I have said?
Then I realized I did not need to say anything. Malcolm was slowly leaning in, and I closed my eyes. His lips brushed mine. I felt his heart skip a beat, and I knew mine would’ve too. This was better than any dream we had.
“Why couldn’t I have met you before?”
I gave him a small smile, “because you never believed your little sister when she tried to tell you about me.”
He smiled back and put his warm hand in mine. I haven’t felt this kind of warmth in fifty years. Only Malcolm could make me feel this way. Not any boy back in my time. Not any boy before Malcolm’s time. He was my Malcolm. Fate brought us together and fate tore us apart.
Malcolm was studying my dress again; slowly the joy of our embrace faded from his face and horror began to replace it.
“Malcolm?”
“I have to tell you something, Jade,” his eyes met mine then looked away, a final snap of realization encasing the horror, “We moved here because my grandpa used to own this house.”
“So?” I asked, curious.
“It was given to him after the family had just suffered a traumatic loss of their only child.”
I looked at him, confused, “What are you talking about, Malcolm?”
“My grandpa’s name was Roy Evans…”





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