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Ghost In The Bathroom

Author's note: I was inspired to write this piece because of a rumor I heard in third grade that a ghost...  Show full author's note »
Author's note:

I was inspired to write this piece because of a rumor I heard in third grade that a ghost haunted the elementary school bathroom. I've always loved ghost stories, so I decided to write one!

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You don’t speak to Clarissa again. You block her out of all your thoughts and memories and purposefully avoid her bathroom, even if it meant holding it in for longer. You begin dating Kyle and you’re best friends with Arianna and Thomas now. Over the summer, you guys went to parties and swam and you tried a cigarette (and puked afterwards). Eighth grade begins, your last year in that school before you go off to a specialized pre-Harvard high school. Again, you were happy.

Then came the day when after school you and Thomas and Kyle and Ari were all hanging out at your house and trying to do a seance. “We should do a seance for one of those girls who died at our school,” Ari suggests. “We’ve never done real people seances before.” You know her seances have never brought back the dead. You agreed. You never thought that she couldn’t bring back the dead because all the dead were knockoff Pokemon.

You do the normal procedures, and wait, chanting in Greek or Yiddish or Pig Latin or some other mysterious language. Then for the first time, the circle flares up, and she’s there, your Clarissa, your ex-friend, not a day over twelve. Her eyes are blank and white and her head is c***ed at an unnatural angle and you can see that it’s like that because of the invisible rope holding her up.

She pushes and emerges from the circle, stronger then you’ve ever seen her before. Your friends stare up at her in horror, Kyle’s arms protectively around you, and she screeches and soon Arianna’s choking on her own blood and she falls, unconscious. Thomas tries to attack her but Clarissa is way too strong and soon Thomas is slammed into the ground, tears on his childish face. He squeaks as he hits the floor and he lies there, whimpering. Soon Kyle drops like a stone and her claws rake across your face, scoring across eye and nose and lip and chin. Her hands claw down your chest and you scream in agony. Her hands slide lower, and you manage to whisper, “Why?”

She doesn’t stop. “Because,” she replies, her claws sinking into your hips. “I cared for you, Tessa. I cared. And you left me. Why?”

“You killed someone, Riss.” You attempt to squeak out a few words. “You murdered someone. How was I to know that you weren’t going to murder me?”

“I would never hurt you.” Her voice is soothing and calming and you feel yourself become puppeted by her again. You were so young when she first met you. She lied to you and tricked you and you believed everything she said because you were so desperate for a friend.

“You’re hurting me now.” You’re being lulled to sleep by her voice, and as her hands claw their way down your legs, you shudder and instinctively curl up despite the pain.

Clarissa looks down at you and stops, her claws ripping out of your legs. “Tessie, what have I done?” Her arms wrap around you and cradle you, rocking you gently like a little baby. You twist out of her grasp and get to your feet.

“No.” You feel yourself shaking in agony, and you reach for the phone to dial 911. “I’m not crawling back to you. Not this time. I can’t trust you, Clarissa. I’m sorry.”

Her eyes well with tears and she crumples. “Tessie, please, don’t you love me?” You take a deep breath. You glance back at Thomas, holding Ari in his arms, and at Kyle, rubbing his eyes and helping Thomas carry Ari back home. They know it’s not their battle. They understand it’s not your fault.

“No. I don’t love you. I loved who you were when you hid your real self. I loved that mask you made for me. But I don’t love you. Not one bit.” you say, trembling.

Clarissa steps back, her feet edging towards the wall, sobbing. Her eyes shone blue again and she shrunk in her skin, looking like the little child you once knew and loved. She clutched at her own dress and shivered.

You step forward, a new confidence coursing through you. “You can’t prevent me from living my life. You can’t become me. I’m not your puppet, and nobody is. What you want is impossible, so why do you keep trying to get it? Your unfinished business will never be finished, so why don’t you just give up and let us be ourselves? If you truly loved me, Clarissa, then you’d let go. You’d go and rest in peace.”

And with that, Clarissa slowly fades from existence, leaving behind no traces except for the scratches on your body and the memories in your mind.

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