Allen had searched for Chan all over the house and finally realized he had to be in the bathroom by the kitchen. He hesitated outside the bathroom door for what seemed like hours, and then knowing time was running out for the girl and her mother, Shelly too, he decided to do something he hated. He passed through the bathroom wall. At least I know one thing a ghost can do, he thought as he saw Chan with his pants around his ankles. Just what I always wanted to see. Now how do I talk to this idiot without scaring the crap out of him? He laughed at his unintended pun.
“Please don’t be scared,” he said in as gentle a voice as he could muster considering the urgency of the situation.
Chan did not react. He was lost in thought in the room lit only by his flashlight aimed down at the floor.
He doesn’t hear me, Allen thought. “What did Shelly call you? Chan! That’s right.
Chan,” he said louder. “Can you hear me? Hey, Chan! Mr. Chan!”
Chan thought he felt a breeze. He reached up and checked the window behind him. It was closed and locked. “I hate these old houses,” he mumbled, reseating himself.
“Chan! Chan! Chan!” Allen was now shouting. “What’s wrong with you? You’re an Ecto, aren’t you? You’re supposed to be able to hear ghosts?”
Chan looked up. He felt strange. His arm was covered with goose bumps. He searched the room with the flashlight’s beam. There is nothing here, he assured himself.
Alan felt hopeful. “Chan, Shelly needs you! You can be the hero.”
Chan felt his ears tingling. He searched the room again, feeling suddenly anxious. He yanked up his pants and cinched his belt. “It is nothing. My imagination is running amok.”
“Please Chan,” Allen shouted at the boy who was now looking hungrily at the door knob. “You’ve got to hear me!”
Chan was feeling increasingly uneasy. “What is going on,” he muttered.
He can’t hear me, Allen thought. He closed his eyes and concentrated as hard as he could, repeating the phrase, “Shelly needs me. Shelly needs me.”
A thin layer of dust coated the bathroom mirror. Allen tried to press his finger into the dust, but the finger was like air and couldn’t move even the lightest of matter, dust.
The boy reached for the door knob.
Allen felt fear and panic surging like an electric current and suddenly his finger hardened.
He moved it to shape letters on the mirror with the dust.
Chan stared as the letters formed in slow motion in front of his amazed eyes. His hand turned the door knob, but he’d forgotten he had locked the door. Terrified he was trapped, he
couldn’t take his eyes off the mirror. And then he read the message scrawled in shaky letters in
At first Chan didn’t understand and stared at the words a long time. Then he heard the sound of something loud outside. It was a crashing sound. He had heard it before, but now it was coming faster, more regular. What is that sound? “Who wrote that? Is someone here?”
Allen wished he could answer him, wished Chan could hear him. “Help the girl,” he shouted. “Help the girl!”
Chan thought he heard someone’s voice and whirled around the room searching for anyone who could be in here with him. “That’s crazy,” Chan said and burst into laughter at how ridiculous he was.
“Damn it,” Allen shouted. “Girl! Girl!”
Chan froze. There was that sound again…like a crashing sound…broken glass? Another crash…silence?
“He’s got the axe,” Allen shouted. “Damn you,” he screamed. “It’s an AXE!”
“Who said that?’ Chan whirled around again, now certain he had heard someone shout out a word that sounded like…axe! Suddenly Chan remembered the mother talking about her husband charging into the house and smashing all the furniture they had recently bought with an axe. “Oh my God! AXE!”
Chan gazed at the mirror:
“Help girl! What girl?”
Allen wished he could get Chan to understand.
“My God! The girl…the axe…the father!” Chan suddenly gasped, “I’ve got to warn her.” He took one last look at the note in the mirror, unlocked the bathroom door and ran from the room.
Allen was exhausted from just materializing one finger after his battle with the monster, but he followed Chan knowing there was little he could do to help him.
“The living room,” Chan shouted as he ran to find Dr. Lasker.
The room was empty. “Where the hell are they? Where the hell is that Shelly?” Chan heard the sound of the axe outside. “I’ve got to be careful,” he reminded himself, his knees shaking from fear. “Where the hell is everyone?” He had the sinking feeling he might be too late already?
He pushed open the swinging door and peered into the kitchen. Nobody.
The crashing sound was louder.
Chan moved past the swinging doors, holding them so they would not make telltale
He aimed his flashlight around the room.
The sound was coming from just outside that door.
The window provided a good view of the yard, but the darkness of night made it hard to see. And then Chan saw what looked like a giant figure raising an axe high over his head and then smashing it down hard on some glass object resting on what looked like a large sacrificial stone.