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Shaft Thirteen

There are millions of us all over the world. We are the Unseen, the Unloved and in most case’s the Indefinite.
But we are here every day and almost always around you whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not. Most of us don’t have a choice if we stay here in the physical world, we just know that we have no place else to be, and for some of us, it is impossible to leave.

I am one such Poltergeist.
You may think that we are cruel beings wreaking havoc on you poor innocent humans but perhaps you would understand our antics if you knew what it is like to want to be noticed.
My name is Shaft Thirteen, weird name trust me I know, but it is what my name is in Death. A reminder of how I died and why.
I am seventeen years old; I have been for the last ninety six years confined in my home for nearly that long. It is my punishment from the OverLord of Ghosts for commiting suicide. I jumped down Shaft Thirteen, thirteen floors to my death. In my defense, the ghosts who haunted me wouldn’t stop, and for that reason, I was put in Stonehall Asylum. I was crazy for all purposes it was true the people they said what I was seeing were deliriums but I was t the only one who could help the departed.
But it drove me over the edge because no one would listen to me and the things I could see, they were petrified of. So I snapped and jumped to my death; never to live again. And if I could do it again, I probably would, it was a death sentence either way. Sitting in a small room in the basement that was rotting and buried under the street, mixed with the smells of the morgue and sewer, I would have died in there. Eventually we all must die but my death certainly seemed inevitable. Not exactly what you would expect for a teenager, after all, aren’t we supposed to be invincible?
Believing in our youth that Death himself has no claim over us? That he would not in fact reap our souls from our body given the chance of our reckless behavior? I had thought the same thing until I was no longer with a heartbeat. Seeing my life as it flashed before me in a series of images. It does come with regret and sooner rather later the question of “What have I done?” Comes to mind. Death is not reversible like many mistakes it is one that you pay the price for. The Price is being a semi corpse. I am solid as a human yet if caught off guard I can be turned into mist, and trust me I have been walked through, sat on, had a door or two slam on me, and every other unpleasant thing. It is not easy to rearrange your body parts in the correct order when you aren’t solid. And you would think that I wouldn’t be so bitter, because I stay in the mortal world, I can no longer enjoy it. I see in color but can’t enjoy the beauty of it; I can smell everything and not know why it should mean something. I can hear everything but nothing at all because of course I cannot feel.
This is the worst part for me not being able to feel anything being as I am. So maybe I should have waited but you tell me which would you have done? I remember waking up at night crying for my parents who never came for me. I don’t know how you can be so incredibly mad at someone and miss them at the same time.
I sigh the sound a dead whisper.
I lay on the floor of my desolate, bear bedroom that I frequently haunt. No one has inhabited this place in years; it’s got that haunted feel.
I almost laugh at my own pun.
But the humor dies in my chest and never makes it to a grin. This is how I live day after day. Sometimes I move, to the living room, or the kitchen whichever room I think might have changed in the last day or two. This is vague hope; unless it’s snowing the landscape of the yard does not change. Unless you count the knee high grass no one has bothered to keep tame. And let’s face it; watching the grass grow is a desperate man’s plythe. I am not to that point yet, though I do admit I am half way there. Of course I draw but it isn’t the same when you barely know what places lie in wait to live through your pencil.
I don’t know why I bother to hope the scenery of Watford City has only changed with the coming and goings of trucks and oil. The Boom is all any of the maids could talk about for weeks on end. North Dakota, the once nothing of nothings, is now teeming with people who could care less about actually staying here when the Boom is over. No Oil equals no people. And you can just forget anyone noticing the scenery.
I doubt anyone gives this house a second glance.
It is old and sits on a stretch of road that blows more dust than should be possible. The interior of the house has been remolded two or three times by desperate real estate’s trying to get it off their hands. Painted white its two story manner isn’t anything to brag about. It is the definition between a house and a home. This empty husk hasn’t been a home in a long time and doesn’t have capability to make anyone feel at home. Maybe it is because I have been in this house to long to actually see it as anything else than an empty husk.
It used to be home to horses but the barn is desolate now, I suppose the horses were sold when my parents moved.
My parents, who are long gone, decaying bones, over dried out skin. My body’s gone too, broken as it was, now probably dust.
I haven’t thought of them in years, can’t remember their voices or what they look like.
It doesn’t matter, they’re dead and gone, and I am dead and here. I have no purpose. No purpose to live or whatever it is I’m doing. You really can’t call this living, lying on the floor staring up at the ceiling like a dead man. Eyes emptier than promises made by people who you thought loved you. It is not living when the only thing you have to look forward too is the sunrise, and the only thing you have to remember is that you committed suicide and the memories associated with the reason why you jumped thirteen floors.
Call me bitter, but at least you can remember the last time you tasted ice cream and the last time you enjoyed a conversation with someone else besides the voices in your head.
Sometimes pads of paper appear and number two pencils. I don’t know who sends them, perhaps it is some Magical glitch in the system that takes pity on a dark soul like me. I hide the paper under the floor boards that I pried loose years ago. I don’t know why no one has caught on that I am being allowed some freedom but I am grateful for it, even if I have no one to show what I create too. I always thought if someone could see me again, that I would create things, beautiful things, things people wouldn’t forget like they did me. I miss life so much and I’m so lonely my insides ache with the thought of it. I miss having conversations with real people, with thoughts and feelings, what I wouldn’t give for that!
I wasn’t always like this, in fact a part of me likes to think I was out going and not so hopeless. I used to be a Gaurdian and no that is not a spelling mistake, it is a word with the origins in Poltergeiste and the Origins of the Ghostic language. In our world, the world of the Dead, there are things you would not believe. The things we do, is not what you would perceive as normal. Magic for instance exists, in certain people, it is allowed to flourish, live throughout the person. I am not exactly sure how Magic was discovered. Perhaps the early Gaurdian’s knew it was there or maybe it could manifest to make itself known.
There are records showing that in the early times around the Viking age that it protected them in instances in which they would not have survived. It has left traces in every historic event document in history. However there was a period in time in which it was absent. In both World War One and Two there was a lack of magical evidence in which many Librarians of Magic claim that Magic indeed has a conscious and had stopped working through both those wars. Magic though with a conscious chooses the person in which has the morals to use it right. This perhaps is the reason why there has never been a politician or president in US history that has ever been identified as using magic. Then there are those who are pure and just who do not need it, Jesus, Mohammed, and Gandhi just to name a few were already good and fair and did not need it.
Still Magic is not the only way we differ from humans, Gaurdian’s also poses Wisdom and the Sight to see the departed. It is deemed the reason why we exist is to help the departed, while we still live, the dead don’t have it that easy. Residual and Intelligent hauntings are the most known but there is a third type. The Trapped is the third option for Ghosts who don’t know that they have moved on, being Trapped means you lose everything. Memories, places, loved ones, it is kind of depressing watching people start to forget kind of like a ghostly Alzheimer’s.
My Magic has never left me it is a constant thing, but it is mortal, somehow I can feel it die inside of me. Like the dying tide, it is dissolving without any hope to feed off of. In a way we are dying together, I don’t know how to live without it and it can’t live without me.
It is a horrible thing knowing that you are killing something so pure and good you would never want to hurt it, but I can’t stop destroying it. I use to be a really good Gaurdian, one of the best, but not one of the Chosen. I was born with the Magic already living inside of me. There is a List of the Gaurdian’s who are Chosen, my name whatever it is was never on it. It was kind of what made the Overlord mad in the first place. He’s got a nasty temper and the patience of a toddler in a candy shop. But he could not take my magic it refused to leave me alone.
I listen to the low hum of an oil truck going by.
In the beginning the oil boom was fascinating or at least something to watch, now it’s just annoying. Day after day I lay on the floor with nothing but the melody of greedy oil trucks trucking on by. It’s a boring life and you kind of get used to it living in this kind of hell. Limbo I think they call it. Sometimes if I try, I can manipulate the radio waves and get some static. I never really get the music or peoples’ voices, but I suppose static is just as nice.

I should get up, perhaps make an effort today.
I suppose when I was living, I tried. I am not exactly sure when I started seeing ghosts’ perhaps my faceless parents, knew and thought I was being a kid. An active imagination that went as far as to see dead departed people. I wish it were true or that it was at least 2013 and not 1917. Maybe they would have been more excepting instead of putting me six states away. I think I had always seen Ghosts. I was after all one of a kind. Famous. A claim to fame I never asked for being a Gaurdian. I do remember at least one time when someone didn’t hate me. But that is done with; it has been before my incarceration, when I went against the rules.
Funny thing is when you die; you attend your own funeral. It’s supposed to be a way to cut your mortal ties to the human world. It’s a rite of passage to many of us. You live and you die and you leave behind the motives of why you are remembered.
I left behind nothing to be remembered for. Not even my fame was important enough. Perhaps it was all in my head.
My body was put in a separate cemetery, one I don’t even remember the name of six states away from home. I was buried in what I am wearing, my tan, ugly, well worn, hospital Johnny.
The cuts, deep ravines on my skin, never heal, and though they still are bloody, the blood never runs and never drips. Bruises paint my skin a deep ugly blue or purple, depending on varying states of impact. Another thing they don’t tell you when you are sent to Limbo.

I am solid, just invisible. I know I am dead, you can tell because of my eyes, dark deep black holes, that haven’t changed back to green in a long time. Or at least I think. I haven’t looked at my reflection in years. It’s kind of depressing looking at your own broken dead body knowing that you can’t change the state in which you are in when you no longer have a heartbeat to send blood to the broken parts of you. I wish I hadn’t used up my allotted paper, I draw when I can’t stand thinking anymore, landscapes, places without any barriers, fill most of the pages.
I close my eyes.
They hurt from lack of sleep and a profound lack of water to keep them moisturized. You see when you are dead but trapped in a mortal world, you still have to sleep. Sleep is one of those odd rules that apply to everyone.
I don’t dream I haven’t in all the years I’ve been here. I don’t remember what it is like to escape reality for a few brief hours; I do know however what it is like to stare at the back of your eyelids until I fade into emptiness.

It is about ten thirty in the morning when I am jolted into existence.
There is a sixteen year old pixie standing in my doorway. She’s small no taller than four foot eight. Slender with pixie like features and a smatter of freckles that is barely visible on her porcelain like face. Her dark brown hair hangs like a curtain nearly shielding her light green eyes. They dart all around the room but never land on me.
“Oh this will be great, they said. Yeah right.” The pixie grumbles. She carries three or four boxes that should be heavy for a girl her size.
Slightly perplexed I get up, and move to the window. Sure enough there’s a Cherry red Jeep parked out front with a horse trailer behind it and a moving van. The real estate finally got lucky and sold this place! How did I miss this? Oh wait I think the cleaning lady was here last week but I slept through her visit. I should pay more attention.
“God, its freaking cold in here!” Pixie girl complains walking right through me to get to the thermostat. I have just a second of being nothing, before my body reforms itself. I can now add “Getting walked through by a girl” on my list of things people have done to me. I’m almost tempted to say hi but she can’t see or hear me anyway. Oh well least I’ll have some entertainment. Better than sleeping around all day and wishing I could officially die. Might as well check out Pixie girl. She’s kind of cute. Why are all the girls who can’t see me cute?

Pixie girl’s name is Leah.
I heard her dad grumble it when he was putting her four poster bed together earlier when she was taking care of her horses. I’ve learned a lot about my new roommate in the last hour, she loves Justin Timberlake and a fair amount of P!nk whoever that is. She has her own compound bow and arrows and a complete set of these electronic gadgets that make all sorts of noises.
Leah doesn’t say much to her parent’s for a sixteen year old girl; in fact they hardly say anything to each other at all. The looks on her parent’s faces are distant, and unemotional as if their one and only child has already disappointed them in such a small amount of time. How could someone so young hurt someone so much? Well I can tell you that because even though I don’t remember how I hurt so many people, but there has to be a reason why no one cared about me. I never knew that you could feel so invisible but yet have so many thoughts, that your mind is so alive when you feel dead beyond resuscitation. Yet, her thoughts are unobtrusive, hardly even there, when I hear them, phantoms in the back of my mind. Whispers of things she would like to say, but won’t.

I stay out of her way, keeping to the corner of the room. Though her gadgets keep going haywire whenever I move, she doesn’t see me or feel my presence except for the occasional cold spot in which I cannot control. The temperature of the energy of my power fluctuates while reading her moods.
She’s a neat little thing, her parents are moving around downstairs still putting things away, and she’s had her room all organized for the last hour. Leah doesn’t really have much. Just her laptop which sits on her desk, and her music player among other electronics and her clothes. A few knick knacks here and there on the book shelf. Her favorite color has to be blue, the square plush rug is a light blue hue and the bed sheets are slightly darker. Kind of nice considering I haven’t seen this room put into use in years.
Her wardrobe however, is an uneasy one.
Unlike her quiet thoughts, her clothes scream to anyone who notices, she is not a happy girl. Black clothes, black shoes and socks. Even black pj’s with little white skulls grinning toothily at me.
It’s like she is trying to blend into the darkness, escape from being noticed. It is disturbing; the pictures on the dresser show a smiling girl, one who you would not recognize now, with the Leah standing before me. I don’t think she is even capable of smiling and her eyes, once brilliant blue, are dead and gray like dying thunderstorms.
I am curious about her and utterly surprised by the emotions suddenly pouring off of her. Deep and dark sadness that is an everlasting sorrow that feeds off of her like a leach.
It seeps out of her heart like a bleeding wound that can’t be stopped. Tears run tracks down her perfectly pale face. Tear jerking broken sobs quiet enough not to be heard, but painful enough not to be ignored rack her slight frame making her shake and breathe hard.
Her thoughts reveal nothing but pain and a name she refuses to think about, but the memories are unyielding and utterly horrible. Something that should be happy and blissful is turned into pain.
I watch from inside her brain, an intruder, her thoughts display on her wall on a projector from her mind. Yet I am the only one who sees them while she does. Slowly she rocks back and forth trying to block out everything she is thinking and feeling without much success. I feel her pain rack through me, but control it slightly so it cannot affect me. I am a soul that can feel other’s emotions, but to experience them is a whole other story. I can’t shed a tear, yet the pain is so real, it could be mine.
I want to go to her tell her it is okay even if I don’t understand what is wrong. I don’t because I can’t. I am useless and invisible and even if I could go to her and she could see me, what would I say? Not much she’d probably scream and run away. Dead guys just don’t appear randomly in your bedroom, and if they do, most people won’t stop and ask names. At least not in this century, people rather shoot and ask questions later. Still I want her to know it is okay, and maybe if I tried, I could make the lights flicker to know that she is not alone, but I think that would freak her out, more than being helpful. I try saying something, but no words escape my mouth, I can’t speak. Words that should be so easy to say, will not be vocalized by these lips that keep them caged as they have been for years.
Instead I am forced to watch while she curls up into a ball, and cries herself to sleep.

Hours later, locked in my own mind, lost in Leah’s emotions, I watch by the window, the moon travel her designated path across the black of the sky’s canvas. Cricket’s chirp melodies and the occasional truck rolls on by creating the sounds of the night. The werewolves howl lost in their own misery trapped to the curse of the night.
I wonder if Leah can hear them? Sometimes deep in the night when human’s sleep, their minds are free to wonder and hear what they refuse to believe what is real. The werewolves come in where Canada ends and North Dakota begins.
Their howling is so eerie it echoes across the land whispering in the Badlands, humans never hear. And when they do, they never understand. Tonight they rove the field, I can see their silhouettes lite by the light of the Full Moon. Their leader definable among them the head of the pack, he leads with grace, and precision. The wolves think as one, their thoughts in unison all forming one goal. They hunt a herd of deer not too far from here. In their minds I can hear the beating of the deer’s hearts beating calmly in the night they graze unaware they are in any danger.
Sighing, I turn away from what had forsaken me long ago, and make my way across the room, creaking the half open door just enough so I can fit through. The house is dark and the wood is cold against my feet, but the trek is familiar to my feet as if I had been walking it all my life. Finding my way into the kitchen, I find my way to the refrigerator. Not expecting to find it stocked, I’m amazed when I find two boxes of pizza, a jug of orange juice, and a carton of eggs. Not much and definitely not something worth wanting either. I want to eat, to be able to have a full stomach, but I am standing in the middle of a lake with a tree full of apples over my head, with water that is always plentiful and food that never perishes. Very much in my reach, but out of my grasp.

Thunder rolls in to break the silence of the early morning. It makes Leah uneasy her emotions run wild with her unfeasible mutterings and yelling. She had cried herself out long ago curled into the fetal position; her parents never came into check on her.
I lay in my corner watching Leah toss and turn as rain splatters the windows making it impossible for me to sleep. I am always restless when it rains it is like something inside of me feels more alive with the falling water.
“No! No Jack, please Jack, don’t leave me!” Leah cries. Images flash to fast in front of me for me to understand them. If I haven’t explained it before Poltergeists have a knack for causing trouble, we do so by feeding into human emotions, playing on memories and destroying every boundary we can possibly wreck.
Whoever this Jack is, he is lost to Leah, a horrible sense of pain, she cannot grasp.
The five stages of grief are by far the hardest thing to go through especially when one travels the uneasy roller coaster alone. It is the suffocating damning notion that what you once had is lost and gone forever.
That everything you knew, the familiar pattern of living, is shattered so that even when the sun is still shining it is your own apocalypse. The world could be at a perfect standstill, and yet you would still be moving, like an earthquake all your own, your life frayed and torn like tapestry torn at the seams.
Then as time goes by, you start to move on, little by little, never understanding fully that Death is inevitable. It must happen like the coming of dawn and the dying of days, of the passing of spring to fall. Death in itself is a cruel Spector, watching and waiting to snatch another person, while he himself is immortal. Yet you have to understand that he does not feel, cannot care about the ones he takes and the ones he leaves behind. He does not listen to pleas or bargains, doesn’t grasp the concept of anger, or grief nor does he process denial. You learn that over time believing it does not pass, and you learn that the roads you once traveled, the memories you have are the only ones you will ever have. Death is a Tornado that rips your life apart, destroys everything you hold dear and near. But the thing you have to remember is that there is a moment after the storm has passed, where you start to rebuild again.

Guilt, even in a nightmare eats at us both though she understands and I don’t. I slow the images running through her brain, and get a clear picture of panic and a gun. And Blood. So much blood it is all we think we will ever see again. And the gun? What of it? A nasty weapon that takes more lives than should be allowed. What make is it?
A rifle perhaps? What does it matter? She still recognizes it. The one her father uses when he goes to the rifle range on his odd days off from work. One that is as unforgivable as the next. It does not distinguish between who it shoots to who shouldn’t be shot. It has no conscious.
But why would Jack do this?
I do not know for the pain she remembers drags me under and weaves me through her mind, like a patchwork quilt.
I am embroidered in with no chance of being recused from what she remembers.
If you ever drowned, then you know the feeling, but instead of water, its thoughts and memories, something I am learning to be the dangerous duo.

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