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Chapter 8

“I really do have to go now,” Shelly said lifting up from the bench again, wondering if this ghost she called Allen would materialize and push her back down. “People are going to start worrying about me—“

“You promise you’ll come back?”

His voice seemed to be coming from right in front of her now. He had moved. She braced herself in case he grabbed her. Maybe he was lying about not knowing how to do that? “Yes. I give you my word I’ll come back tomorrow afternoon and we’ll talk.”

“Okay. I believe you. Please don’t let me down?” Had he moved away? Was it safe for her to leave?

“I’d hate to have to come to your dorm to look for you.”

Shelly shivered. Was that a threat? “I said I’ll be back.” She felt like telling him she didn’t like being threatened but why provoke him? “I always keep my word.” Am I really going to?

“Okay. I’m sorry. I need to be sure. You’re the only one who can help me. I have no idea how long I’ll have to wait for someone else.” His voice trailed off, as if he was sad.

She sensed the loneliness again. “I’ll do what I can. But you have to let me go now.”

“It’s fine. Go on.” He wished he could hold her here, but knew that even if he could physically restrain her, it would do no good. She had to want to help him, but who would want to help a ghost? “I….Good-bye, Shelly. I’m sorry I kept you so long. I’ll understand if you don’t


She waited for him to say something else, ready to give him an argument. When he didn’t, she slowly took a few steps forward. Is he gone? Was it relief she felt as she walked cautiously to the street and then broke into a gentle jog which when she thought she was safe from him, became a run. As she raced toward the dorms she wondered if at any second he would reappear and attack her. You just can’t trust a male…a ghost.

Allen had mixed feelings as he watched Shelly sprint out of the park. At first a sudden fury rose within him, his insides bubbling up with anger, anger that he had let her go, anger that he had let her lie to him, knowing she didn’t have any intention of coming back. “How could I have been so damn stupid,” he asked aloud. And then he remembered her face. It was an easy face to like…to trust. Perhaps it was her eyes, or maybe her natural looking brownish blond hair? She had worn no make-up, not even a hint of gloss on her lips…and she had small dimples on her cheek when she smiled. “Cute,” he said aloud, surprised he could still have such thoughts.

Maybe I’m not a ghost, he thought. Ghosts can’t have feelings for….” I’m just confused.”

Allen sat on the back of the bench unsure of what to do next. “What if she doesn’t come back?” He realized that was pretty likely. He let out a deep sigh. “I have no choice. I have to

trust her.”

He prepared to wait for her there for as long as it might take before she either came back or he was finally allowed to go where ghosts with unfinished business were eventually sent.

Shelly didn’t stop running until she reached the three story brick dormitory known by the girl residents as the Hot Box, because of its aged AC system which had the nasty habit of cutting out in the hottest weather. The boys called the girl dorm that for an entirely different reason.

Shelly raced past the unguarded glass doors of the brick building and up to the third floor. She shoved the fire door open and made certain it was completely closed before she started down the long corridor with its regularly spaced wooden doors, each decorated by its tenants with various items, some of which belonged anywhere but on a door visible to the public.

Shelly fished out her key and pushed it into the door marked Room 306. She was relieved to see her roomie, Lisa Denning, wasn’t in the room. “Probably partying as usual,” Shelly thought as she closed the door behind her and clicked the twin locks. “I should have gone with Lisa, wherever she is, then I wouldn’t be in this mess.”

With the door secured, and the window checked and locked, Shelly stood in the center of the room and listened intently for any sound that might indicate the ghost had followed her. She wouldn’t put it past any male, and definitely not past a ghost. She even wondered if he was

telling her the truth when he said nobody had ever heard or seen him before she did…could that be a sneaky way to hook-up? With a ghost? Shelly scolded herself for even thinking such a crazy idea. Where the hell do these crazy ideas come from, she asked the empty room.

Shelly waited several minutes and finally threw off her sneakers and let herself fall backwards onto the thin mattress of her cot. She closed her eyes, realizing she was exhausted. She wanted to sleep, but was afraid of what she might dream. If he is a ghost? If such a thing

could really be, then what is he after? If he was really murdered- something she found hard to believe- something much too terrifying to accept-why was he still here? She had felt his seething anger when he had mentioned murder… this ghost is out for revenge.

Shelly’s eyes closed. Her breathing slowed. She saw herself leaning against a wall. It was painted a sickly yellow…my room…I see my bulletin board…Jeff’s picture…I have to take it off. Shelly felt strange. I’m not alone. She saw herself staring as a young man came toward her. He was tall and thin, with long, wild-looking dark hair and brown eyes that were aimed at her face. He suddenly stopped in the middle of the room and dropped his hands to his sides. She felt a strange sense of excitement and after a brief pause, she saw herself walk toward him, her hands rising to reach his face. She lifted herself on her toes and gave him a tentative kiss which became more passionate as she held on. The strange thing was he didn’t seem to be responding. She dropped back, her eyes questioning, but when he didn’t move, she began to open his shirt buttons, touching his neck, teasing him with her fingernails. And still he didn’t move so she slowly ran her fingers over his flesh and suddenly felt him shudder. That was enough for her to keep trying, especially when she gazed into his eyes and saw he was following her every movement. Carefully she ran her lips down the front of his chest. There was hardly any hair, smooth and flawless. She heard him sigh. She removed his shirt from his shoulder. His skin was pale but perfect, no birthmarks…a smooth canvas for her lips.

By now Jeff would have been wild. He would have thrown her on her bed, or the floor, and started pumping her crazy, even if they were both still dressed. This man wasn’t moving, wasn’t showing any desire for her other than remaining still like a statue waiting for her fingers and lips to explore each stone-like feature. She pulled off the rest of his shirt and found herself gazing at a back that looked like the back of a teen-ager, and not a grown man. She felt more

aroused than she had ever felt, even with Jeff, by this mysterious man with the dark hair and impenetrable eyes who was standing so still, making her do all the work. It was the aloofness, the mystery that was now driving her. It was time. She moved to his front and her hand slid down to his jeans. She wandered what she would find…would he be aroused…he had shown almost no sign of interest in what she was doing to him…he was a mystery…a mystery she had to solve.

Standing in front of his eyes, she slowly removed her blouse. Surely the sight of her breasts, firm, rounded, always arousing to Jeff, would make him move. He left her standing there, naked on top, excited, wanting him, but not touching her breasts which were longing to feel his hands. Would they be gentle, as the slenderness of his body, the paleness of his skin, seemed to suggest, or would his hands be rough and callused as he finally grabbed her in his palms? She had to know. Even if this was a one-time hook-up, she wanted to feel his hands and see what he would do.

This is new. This is strange. Shelly saw herself drop to her knees and slide her hand into his opened jeans. She was pleased to see he had been aroused by her and looked up and met his eyes gazing down at her with what she thought was passion. She lowered her eyes and touched him with her fingers, drawing him out and caressing him, teasing him, running her lips around him the way Jeff had liked so much.

When she felt him shudder and gasp, “Enough”, she looked up and saw his hands were lowering toward her. At last, she thought, lust filling her thoughts, making her want him to touch her shoulders, to raise her up so they could make love. His standing still, making her wait, had been so damn arousing, and now she was eager for him to show passion, to show he too had been overcome by wanting her. But the strange thing was, when she gazed up this time, she

didn’t like the look on his face. It looked like his finely etched features were twisted in some horrible torment as his hands moved with open fingers slowly toward her neck. Her eyes met his eyes and she saw they were hollow.

She heard someone scream.

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