“The Death of a Ghost” | Teen Ink

“The Death of a Ghost”

November 12, 2022
By avaserwe BRONZE, Lomira, Wisconsin
avaserwe BRONZE, Lomira, Wisconsin
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The human mind is truly the most devious thing of all time. Haint blue fluorescent shadows danced across my eyes. The sighs and groans showed their pain and agony. Their faces held the shape of a human’s face.

It was two weeks ago when it happened. I’ve never been the same —all caused by a creek that runs through the Appalachian mountain range. My water bottle had been inconveniently empty at the moment.

“I still don’t think you should drink that,” Jamie had objected, arching an eyebrow. She crossed her arms, trying to prevent me from drinking it. Once she gave up, she twirled the ends of her blonde hair.

“I told you, I cleaned it with iodine pills twice,” I informed, emphasizing the word twice. I then continued with the process. I took one mouthful of water and swallowed it with ease. As I tipped my head back, I could see the sun trying to make its way through the crowded trees. The scent of fresh morning rain lingered through the air. I let out a large breath of air, showing Jamie that the water was appetizing. “See?” I proved with a wide grin. “Just fine.” 

Just fine had been an exaggeration. It was okay. Nope, that’s still an understatement. It was horrible. The taste didn’t bother me. The after-effects are what got me.

 After the hiking trip with Jamie, we went to the local gas station in Flatwoods, West Virginia; our hometown. The gas station usually has good fried chicken, the perfect food to re-energize us after a long hike. 

“So, when are you leaving for your next trip?” Jamie asked, digging into the chicken. I debated the question as I sank my teeth into the juicy meat. 

“I don’t think I will go anywhere until Daniel gets back home from Arizona,” I replied with a mouthful of chicken. 

“Vivi,” she said, making my name sound disappointing. “You have to go somewhere! You’re going to be behind on your article! C’mon, you love to travel and to write. You can’t stop just because your boyfriend is out of town,” Jamie lectured. 

“ I’ll think about it.” 

The next morning, I awoke to a scream. A muffled scream, I should say. In the dead of the night, a hazy blue object floated across my room. It moved swiftly, without a sound besides its groans.

“Viviana…” it whispered in a breathy voice. I took in shallow, shaky breaths. I stared at the shadow, but it didn’t know I was looking. 

“Hello?” I called out to it. It turned its wispy head and made eye contact with me. It slowly moved toward me, floating through my bed like it wasn’t even there. 

“You can hear me?” the shadow questioned. I nodded my head, apprehensively. When it came closer, I gasped and slapped my hand over my mouth to stifle the sound. 

“Daniel?” The face looks exactly like him. And the voice is the same. “What are you?” 

“I don’t know. I woke up at Ansley’s house and I looked like this,” Daniel explained. 

“Wait, you were at Ansley’s house?” I said, exasperated. He looked at me until I figured it out. “You cheated on me. You weren’t in Arizona!” 

“I’m sorry. I don’t know why I did it,” Daniel pleaded. 

“Now’s not the time for apologies. Daniel, you’re dead!” I cried, tears rolling down my cheeks. I can see the dead. How could this have happened? Then it hit me, the water. “Daniel, I drank water from the crick, but I cleaned it, and now I can see the dead.” 

“How is that possible?” Daniel croaked. 

“I’m talking to you right now. Look at your hands, your legs, your stomach. I can see right through you, literally. Daniel, you’re dead.” I explained. “Who did this to you?” 

“I. Don’t. Know.”

I thought about who could’ve done it. I don’t think anyone in our town or school would be jealous of him or angry at him. 

“I gotta go,” I told him, walking out my apartment door, and grabbing my car keys on the way out. I slammed the door behind me, leaving my dead ex-boyfriend in my apartment. I got into my car and started to drive. It was still dark out; about 4:30 a.m. I didn’t know where I was going to go, just anywhere but home. 

Once I took my mind off of it for about two seconds, I realized where I needed to go. I took a sharp turn, cutting through traffic. I pulled into a driveway; Ansley’s driveway. 

When I walked through the door, I found the house empty. I’ve been to her house multiple times, so I knew my way through the home. I entered her bedroom, there was still no one there. I flipped the overhead light on to see. The window was open, though. 

Her room was very organized. Her bed was made with the decoration pillows neatly arranged on the blankets. She had a vanity with her makeup and flat iron still plugged in. It was smoking. I ran over and unplugged it. When I lifted the iron, there was a red mark on her white desk. I hesitantly ran a finger through it. I gasped when I looked at it on my finger closer. 


I walked over to her bed and stripped it from soft blankets to cotton sheets. I took the cases off her pillows and threw them at the wall when I found nothing. I opened her closet and rummaged through her clothes. Nothing. I sank to the floor, holding my head in my hands as I cried. 

Something reflective in her mirror caught my eye. It was coming from the top of her closet. As I dug through her belongings, I found it. 

A knife

Blood trickled down the side. I didn’t touch it with my hands, so I took a shirt to hold it. I am not about to ruin my evidence. I ran down the stairs to the kitchen and found a bag. I placed the knife in the bag carefully. 

I drove back to my apartment to see Daniel sitting on my deck. I walked out by him and held up the bag. 

“It took you three hours to find a knife?” 

“The knife Ansley used to kill you,” I added. I realized I had been there for three hours, and the sun was out. The sky had pastel colors painted across the horizon. It gave me a slight feeling of comfort. 

“Ansley killed me,” Daniel repeated back to me. 

I went into my kitchen and poured myself a glass of cabernet. I joined Daniel on the deck and drank the wine. He wasn't there when I opened my mouth to say something to him. “Daniel?” I looked behind me, and he was nowhere to be seen. 

I downed three glasses of wine before I leaned over the balcony and threw up. My teeth were stained red and my mouth tasted of bile. 

I woke up lying on the floor next to another pile of vomit. After I cleaned it up, I lay in bed the rest of the day, limiting myself from doing anything extracurricular. That night, Daniel came around again. I waved him off since I was drunk. He sat on the couch until the sun came up the next morning. 

This morning, I felt better. I knew what I had to do. I took the bag with me and drove to the police station. I carefully put the bag in my purse and headed to the station. 

“How can I help you?” the secretary asked, monotonously. She typed on her computer without even looking up at me. 

“I’m here with evidence connected to the murder of Daniel Clays,” I whispered, grabbing her attention. 

“Gary,” she leaned back in her chair and called to someone behind her. She told him what I had asserted. Officer Gary led me into an interrogation room. 

“What is your name?” Officer Gary started with. 

“Viviana Mars,” I stated, as he wrote my answers down. 



“Address?” I told him my address. He then closed his folder and opened another one. “What connection do you have with Daniel Clays?” 

“He’s my ex-boyfriend as of two days ago,” I informed him. 

“What evidence do you have for us today?” Officer Gary asked as he got his pen ready. I reached into my purse and pulled out the bag with the knife. He hesitated and saw the sharp, blood-stained silver item.

“This is the knife I found in Ansley Aris’s closet. I found out two days ago that Daniel was cheating on me with Ansley,” I explained. “I searched Ansley’s room for evidence since that is where Daniel had been. I found blood stains on her desk, but nothing else except the knife.” Officer Gary took the bag. “I didn’t touch any part of the knife with my hands. I used her clothing.” 

“So you admit to breaking into Ansley Aris’s house? And stealing her clothes?” Officer Gary asked with a deep voice, arching an eyebrow, like a mountain. 

“I wouldn’t say I broke into her house. I was friends with her and was allowed to come in whenever I wanted to,” I responded. My heart rapidly beat in my chest. 

“Okay, we will hold a court meeting in a week. You may leave,” Officer Gary stated.

When the day for the hearing came, I didn’t have any lawyers or a defense team. It was just me against Ansley.

“Order in the court!” Judge Kathy shouted. “Viviana Mars, you may come up to the stand.”

“Thank you, your honor.” I read the oath as I held my hand on the Holy Bible. An officer conducted the questioning. 

“Did you break into the Aris family house?” he prompted.


“But you went in when there was no one home,” the officer stated. 

“Yes, that is correct,” I responded. 

“Why is that?” 

“Well, when Ansley and I became friends, we let each other go in our houses whenever we wanted, without permission,” I explained. 

“Okay. Did you steal a piece of clothing from Ansley’s closet?” 

“Yes, to keep the evidence clean,” I claimed, making direct eye contact with Ansley. I could see in her eyes that she knew what she did was wrong. 

“And you found the evidence… where?” he asked. 

“In her closet,” I responded, simply. 

“You may go back to your seat.”

“Ansley Aris, to the stand please,” Judge Kathy ordered. She slowly arose and started to shake. She said the oath quietly. She then took her seat at the stand. 

“Did you help Daniel cheat on Viviana?” the officer asked. She hesitated with the question. 

“Yes,” she said with a shaky voice. 

“Did you murder Daniel Clays?” he finally said. 

“No.” She looked deep into my eyes. People in the jury gasped. She’s lying. 

“Are you sure?” he asked. 


“Why was the knife in your closet?” he interrogated. Ansley didn’t respond. 

“I did it!” she finally blurted out. “And I was going to get you next!” she shouted as she pointed at me. Murmurs escaped from people in the crowd. The sound of people talking was overwhelming. Judge Kathy slammed her gavel on the desk multiple times. 

“Order!” she repeated. When the people calmed down, she started talking again. “I think the verdict is clear. I sentence Ansley Aris to life in prison.” 

Ansley broke down in a puddle of tears. She violently sobbed as she was handcuffed and taken away. I smiled in happiness and pain. 

“We are still going to test the knife for DNA evidence, Ms. Mars,” Judge Kathy informed. 

“Not a problem with me.” 

I found out two years later that Ansley’s fingerprints were on the knife, and it was Daniel’s blood. Thanks to my supernatural ability, I later became the world’s best detective. Since then, I’ve never been happier.  

The author's comments:

I love to write and read books like the one I wrote above. One book that inspired me is "The Lonely Dead" by April Henry. 

Viviana Mars is a writer for an article and travels to different places and writes about them. One day, on a hiking trip in her hometown, she cleans and then drinks river water. The following night, something spontaneous happens.

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