Chapter 7: Ghosts in the Park
There didn’t seem to be any ghost girls anywhere.
So, either they were fashionably late, or they weren’t coming.
Despite the lack of appearance, Ian still felt on edge. He turned to see Brian walking towards him.
“So... are the ghost girls coming? Or not?” he asked. Ian shrugged.
“I don’t know.”
“Should we go mingle with the people then?”
“Ok. Well, I think I’m going to stay by the van just in case, and you can go talk to people.”
Besides, Ian wanted to see if his brother was having any luck. He could see him talking to what looked to be the Reverend, so he decided to go over and join him.
“Hey Roderick! Who do you have there?”
“Oh! This is Reverend Passey.” his brother said cheerfully. “Reverend, this is my brother Ian.”
“How do you do?” The Reverend said politely, shaking his hand.
Ian observed how tired Reverend Passey looked and thought about how much stress was being caused by these ghost girls.
“So how much do you know about the Sheriff of this town?” Roderick asked. The Reverend shuffled in his spot a little uncomfortably.
“Well… In recent events his actions have not been the most… favorable…” he admitted. “But… It’s really… not his fault. He’s… had a lot going on recently.”
“What do you mean?” Ian asked. The Reverend looked extremely uncomfortable now.
“His-his wife disappeared a few months ago.” He said curtly, sniffling and coughing a little. “Sorry-I’ve got a little bit of a cold.” He muttered, pulling out a tissue and blowing his nose. “There have… been some rumors, but… he’s a good man. At least, I’m sure he’s a good man…”
The Reverend glanced over to a man sitting a few feet away from them, and Ian and Roderick turned to look.
There was the Sheriff, sitting on a picnic bench with his shiny badge. He was a lanky man that could have been in his forties or fifties, with messy light brown hair. He was glaring over at them, and if looks could kill, then the three of them would have already been six feet under.
“Does the Sheriff not like you or something?” Roderick whispered.
The Reverend suddenly winced, putting a hand to his head.
“Darn migraine…” he muttered. “I-I have to go. That’s all I have to say on the matter.” He said hurriedly. “It was nice to meet the both of you.”
Ian and Roderick were then left to themselves, feeling a little confused.
“That was weird.” Ian commented.
“You’re telling me.”
“What do you think that was all about?”
“It’s the-eye of the tiger it’s the thrill of the fight-.”
“Sorry-hold on…” Roderick apologized, reaching in his pocket for his phone. It was Brian.
“Brace yourselves guys! I just had another EMF tracker blow up on me!”
No sooner had he said it than a few screams pierced the air, which was followed by Chopin’s waltz blasted from the speakers of Brian’s van.
The song did not go on long however, for as soon as the ghost girls appeared out of thin air, they booked it for the van.
“BRIAN! WATCH OUT!!” Roderick yelled into the phone, watching in horror.
A moment later, the ghost girls seemed to have hijacked the speakers.
“I….. waaaaant mooooooore…” a deep creepy voice rasped on the speakers attached to Brian’s van. “Moooooore…..”
“More what?!” Ian wondered, taking a step back in bewilderment as Jordyn ran up next to them.
“They actually showed up?” she exclaimed as everyone else ran around frantically to be with their families.
“I…… waaaaaaant mooooore…” the voice rasped again. A thick fog started to settle in the park and the temperature dropped by several degrees. Ian turned to see the Sheriff still sitting down amidst the chaos, looking over at them until the mist became so thick that he was lost to their view.
The three of them stood there quite stiffly as their surroundings were completely lost in the thick cloud.
“You still there Brian?” Roderick asked his phone.
Instead of a response, he only got back static, giving him a sinking feeling.
“Now how did that lady figure out that the ghosts were going to show up here?” Jordyn asked, stepping a bit closer to the brothers and glancing around.
“I guess we’ll have to ask her.” Ian replied.
Another scream pierced the air, but this time, it came from behind them, where the group of people were clumped together out of sight in the fog.
“Harold!!! Harold where are you?!” someone called out desperately.
“What is going on in this town?” Roderick questioned out loud. A few moments later, the fog started to lift and the temperature raised itself to the appropriate degree. As soon as they could start to see some of their surroundings, they could see Brian running towards them, an excited look on his face. Roderick felt relief flood through him.
“GUYS GUYS GUYS GUESS WHAAAAT?!?!?!”
“Put that smile away Brian. We’ve got missing people.” Jordyn told him with a grouchy expression. This only caused his smile to widen.
“I caught them on video.”
“WHAT?!” the other three exclaimed simultaneously. Brian threw out his chest proudly.
“Yep. I’ll go hook up the video to my computer, so we can see how it turned out.”
“Ok. First, we see who else has gone missing.” Jordyn told them authoritatively. “Then we’ll meet back in fifteen minutes to go through the video. Got it?”
“Got it.” the three men nodded.
Ian knew he probably should have been annoyed at being ordered around by the detective, but he was too distracted to really care. He had never experienced anything like this, and he began to wonder if ghosts might actually be real…
Three people from the park had gone missing. A man in his mid-forties named Harold, who had come to the park with his girlfriend, and an elderly couple who had been with their son and daughter and law. There seemed to be no immediate reason why the ghosts would have chosen to steal these three people away, so fifteen minutes later, the four of them huddled around a computer in the back of Brian’s van, which was set up with a lot of equipment. There was some of that weird black goop on the floor, which Ian made extra sure to avoid.
“Ok, so while you guys were talking to people, I went ahead and took a look at the video…” Brian began, swirling around a bit nervously on his swivel chair.
“Please don’t tell me that there was something wrong with the video…” Jordyn exasperated.
“Oh, there’s nothing wrong with it.” Brian said obstinately. “Everything recorded fine and I definitely got them all on tape, but… I just… saw something interesting…”
The three of them waited anxiously for him to continue. Brian pressed the spacebar to play the video.
They all watched from Brian’s point of view as he frantically took out the camera and pointed it out of the window, where the elongated screaming faces of the ghost girls swirled around the van and into the mist. It was not very long, but still, it was quite impressive.
“I can’t believe you actually caught them on video!!” Roderick exclaimed.
“Did you guys see the thing?” Brian asked.
Wordlessly, Brian rewound the video to the beginning, where you could see the camera flipped around at one point when he was getting the video out. Brian paused it at the moment right before he turned the camera to the ghost girls outside his window, so they were staring at Brian’s own face looking at the camera, the inside of the van in the background.
“What are we looking for?” Jordyn asked. Roderick’s eyes furrowed forward, trying to see. Ian’s eyes grew wide.
“What the heck is that?” he asked pointing. Roderick and Jordyn leaned in, and then they both saw it.
Standing behind Brian, was the black shadow of a figure that was most definitely not one of a little girl, covered from head to toe in that thick goop. It was dripping off of it, and Ian glanced at the little puddle on the floor, realizing that it had been right there. It was hard to see in the paused video, but Ian swore the thing was smiling with its blank white eyes.
“That’s… not a ghost girl…” Jordyn said quietly.
“And come to think of it, that raspy voice over the speakers didn’t sound like a ghost girl either-did it?” Roderick murmured.
The four of them stood there in silence for a moment, staring at the dark figure on the screen.
“Have any of the reports mentioned something about this?” Brian asked.
“No…” Ian replied quietly.
“And I haven’t seen or heard of anything remotely close to this the entire time I’ve been here.” Jordyn commented, her eyebrows furrowing forward in confusion. “No one in town has ever mentioned seeing something like this before.”
“Do you think that Karen girl could have?” Roderick asked.
“I say we call her.”
The entire time they were on the phone, Karen spoke barely above a whisper, which made it hard to hear. After much coaxing, they finally got her to agree to meet them in the morning in an abandoned part of town. So of course, the four outsiders staying at the motel did not get very much sleep that night.
The next morning, they piled into Jordyn’s car to meet up with Karen.
“Where did she want to meet us again?” Jordyn asked.
“By the old factory. I think she said up by the sign?” Ian replied, looking through some of the files of missing persons and suspects again. “You do realize you’re a suspect in here right?”
Jordyn took a moment to process this and hummed in interest.
“Hmm. Sounds reasonable enough. If I were them, I’d probably put myself on that list too.”
“Is that the factory?” Brian asked, leaning forward from the back seat. “What did they do here?”
“How should I know? All old creepy factories look the same to me.” Jordyn scoffed as they drove up to some old smoke towers and gutted out buildings.
“I think they used to mine some kind of rock up here.” Ian said absentmindedly, his eyes still glued to the case files.
“HOLY CRAP!!” Jordyn suddenly yelled, slamming on the brakes. The three men in the car with her lurched forward, and Ian’s papers went everywhere.
“Hey! What are you-.”
“She’s sinking!!” the detective exclaimed, frantically unbuckling her seatbelt and jumping out of the car. Ian looked to see what she was talking about, and then he and the others jumped out in a hurry as well. In the middle of the road, right before you would enter the factory gates, was a car.
Sinking in a pool of black goop.
“Hold on Karen!! We’ll get you out of there!” Jordyn exclaimed. Karen pressed herself up against the glass, a look of complete terror on her face as she tried to roll down the window.
“One of you guys-” Jordyn barked. “There’s a tow cable in the trunk of my car!”
“On it!” Roderick yelled, running to the car and pulling out the cable. Gingerly, he hooked it around the front grill of the lopsided sinking car while Jordyn ran back to the driver’s side and threw it in reverse.
Wheels screeched on the asphalt as she tried desperately to pull the car out of the gunk in the middle of the road.
Instead of budging the car, the cable snapped.
As soon as Ian saw that the car was unable to be pulled out, he looked around and picked up a large rock.
“Get away from the window!” he yelled, lifting it. The woman trapped in the car nodded and backed away to the other side, shielding herself. Then Ian threw it at the car with all of his might.
However, instead of shattering the glass, it simply bounced off without so much as a dent or scratch. Roderick started to feel the sense of something familiar... Like how the windows at the grocery store wouldn’t break…
“What do we now?!” Brian asked, panicking as the car started to sink faster and faster. Karen pounded on the glass, tears streaming down her face.
Jordyn ran back to join them, carrying a crowbar.
“I’m getting that woman out of that car.” she growled. And then to their surprise, they watched her jump and land on the roof of the car.
“Are you crazy?!” Ian shrieked. “You’re going to get stuck in there just like-.”
“Shut up pansy!” she retorted back, sticking the crowbar into the crack of the door and attempting to pry it open. “Are you going to just stand there? Or are you going to help me?”
At this, Roderick shot into action and grabbed a rock, jumping and joining Jordyn on the roof of the car so he could attempt to break the window again.
Ian was perfectly fine where he was, thank you very much.
Besides-if they got stuck, they would need someone else to help them out. He picked up the broken cable and prepared to pull them out if needed.
Jordyn was slowly prying off part of the door, and soon, Karen’s fingers were wiggling out the crack. But the car was sinking fast, and soon, only half of the window was visible.
“Hold on Karen!” Jordyn exclaimed. Roderick dropped the useless rock and tried to help Jordyn lean on the crowbar and make an opening wide enough for Karen to get through. He paused for a split second, when he realized that Karen was trying to talk to them.
“It’s not just the ghost girls!” she cried desperately through the crack. “There’s a killer-a killer in Pinnacle Gulch!”
“Guys-you’re getting awfully low there!” Ian warned while Brian anxiously hopped from one foot to the other in helpless desperation. Roderick bent down.
“What? A killer?”
The windows disappeared underneath the black goop, preventing the woman from saying anything else, and it seemed that Jordyn and Roderick were standing on some sort of shiny mustard yellow island.
“Jordyn, I’m sorry, but I think it’s time to jump ship.” Roderick told her, his mind racing with what he had just heard. He jumped off, barely missing landing in the pool of black goop. However, the detective refused to leave.
“I’m getting-this woman-out of-her car!!” she yelled stubbornly, stabbing the car with the crowbar in frustration.
“Jordyn, you need to get off!!”
The car completely disappeared beneath the blackness, leaving Jordyn standing in the goop. After a moment, they realized that she had stopped sinking.
“Did-did she hit the bottom?” Jordyn cried in disbelief, poking the crowbar into the nasty stuff she was standing in.
Roderick stared at the pool in the middle of the road.
“Jordyn-let me see that crowbar for a second.”
Reluctantly, she tossed it to him. Then, he stuck it into the edge of the pool, where it only went in about an inch. Then he tested it farther out, and farther out.
It was only an inch thick.
In fact, the entire pool was only an inch thick.
Jordyn was simply standing in a black goopy puddle.
“But-but that’s impossible!” she exclaimed, walking around freely in the large puddle that they had watched swallow an entire car. “That-that woman-.”
Roderick felt the stuff between his fingers.
“Guys-I think this is the same stuff that came from those ghost girls.”
Jordyn stopped pacing around in the puddle, her shoes covered in gunk.
“And did you notice how the windows wouldn’t shatter? It was just like the windows at the grocery store.”
“Are you saying that the ghost girls did this?” Brian asked in disbelief. Roderick’s eyebrows furrowed forward as he sat there thinking.
“Yes… but… Karen-she was trying to tell me something as the car was sinking… She said that it wasn’t just the ghost girls. She said that there was a killer here in Pinnacle Gulch.”
“Well duh. The ghosts are killing people.” Jordyn said.
“Yes, but, I don’t think that’s what she meant.”
Ian ran his fingers through his short brown hair, feeling exhausted with all of this new stuff that kept coming up.
“Well, whatever we do, I think we need to do some research on ghosts.” He reluctantly admitted. “Maybe we can find some kind of clue in the research.”
The others silently nodded in agreement as they took one last look at where Karen’s car had just been.