Chapter One: St. Charles
Slam! The windows in Joshua’s bedroom shut. The whistling winds in St. Charles this time of year were extremely volatile. Joshua awoke and crept down the hall from his bed towards his brother’s room. He thought he heard voices.
“Wake up! Wake up, Jake!” Joshua shook Jake’s arm. “You are having another bad dream.
Sometimes, Jake, I think the winds howl around here a little more because of who and what you see.”
Jake rubbed the sleep away from his eyes. “Does that scare you, little brother?”
“No, I know I have you to protect me. By the way, you were talking in your sleep again.”
“Talking in my sleep? How do you know?”
“How do you think, I heard it with my own ears.”
“What was I saying?”
“Strange, but it sounded like you were saying, ‘Why are you here? Why are you here?’ You kept mumbling this over and over. Were you talking to anyone in your dream?”
“Well, now that you woke me up, I‘m remembering the dream.” Jake pushed off the blankets and sat up.
“Who were you talking to?”
“It’s a little girl who comes to visit me when I’m sleeping.”
“Do you call her a little girl or a little ghost?”
“She is one of the many that I call ‘the other ones’.”
“What are ‘the other ones,’ if I dare ask.”
“It was a phrase I used as a kid and the only person I talked about them with was mom. ‘The other ones’ are these entities that are sometimes quiet, indifferent, and somewhat difficult. They are dark, disturbed and their presence is sometimes evil. They lay amongst the shadows peering into a world they no longer belong to. Their purpose for staying in the midst of the living is hard to extract from their thoughts. Their existence pendulums between their tragic deaths that they can’t let go of and an afterlife they can’t transition to. These are the ghosts that I am most certainly afraid of.”
“Wow, Jake. I thought being a ghost someday would sound like fun. That doesn’t sound like fun at all.”
“Well, Joshua, some ghosts are good. But some are a little more on the malicious side.”
“So you are afraid of this little girl who comes to see you?”
“No, sometimes these entities take on different forms. They start out as a vision of a little girl and then turn into someone or something more evil. Sometimes they can be a combination of entities, but they should never be trusted. In one dream the girl appeared to me saying over and over like a broken record, ‘I can’t find my way home, so I’ll have to stay here.’ I approached her and asked many questions. I said, ‘Little girl, you are welcome to stay but you really don’t belong here anymore.’ And I asked, ‘Why are you here, do you know why you are still here, what happened to you?’ Then silence. I blinked and the girl in the vision turned into a black snarling dog that ran away into the woods where she had been sitting only moments before.”
“Jake, are you making that up?!”