I am in bed, alone. Sleep doesn't come easy. There are creaks and groans in this old house and I am fourteen weeks pregnant. I lie awake, listening to the voices in my head and whispers from the past. I was in my crib when I first heard the ghosts whispering. Over the years, I've given the ghosts names: Saliva, Tick, Catie, and Drool. There are others, but they rarely speak to me.
Once they are all gathered around my bed, the temperature drops. Even with two blankets, I am cold, shivering. "Go away," I plead.
They move closer, bending low. Their faces waver only inches from my nose. "We have come for you."
My teeth chattering, I manage to whisper, "It's not my time."
Tick's face floats forward. Sharp metal teeth drip saliva onto my cheek. "When I say it's time, it is time."
"You don’t control me."
"Ah, but we do. We have been with you since you were born."
I turn my head and look into her eyes. "Since I turned eight, I have researched the Ghosts of Death. You cannot take me. If you so much as touch me, you will be returned to hell. You will be forever gone."
The four ghosts laugh.
Catie pushed Tick aside. "We took your mother. We will take you."
"Go ahead. Try."
Both Saliva and Drool reach for me. The moment they touch me, they are thrown backward, their heads crashing against the wall.
"I have had twenty-four years to plan for this moment. I knew you would come for me. I am ready. That was just a warning." I push the covers off and stand up.
I didn't know ghosts could growl, but that's what Tick did.
I stepped forward until I was only inches away from the ghosts. "As you now know, you can't touch me. And I can't kill you." With one sweep of my hand, I throw Tick and Cat once more against the wall. "But the child inside of me can."
I walk across the room to look at the four ghosts as their images melt away. Once they disappear, I sit back down and rub my mid-section where my daughter grows.
I am not alone.
|Helen Ginger is an author, blogger, and writing coach. She teaches public speaking as well as writing and marketing workshops. You can follow Helen on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn. Helen is the author of 3 books in TSTC Publishing’s TechCareers series, Angel Sometimes, Dismembering the Past and two of her short stories can be found in the anthology, The Corner Cafe. Her next book,Deadpoint, is due out in 2015.|