“Dad!” I cried, sighing with relief as I saw him carrying one of the three the bronze skull sculptures he loved to use as bookstands.
“What’s wrong with you? Seen any ghosts?” He muttered with a tone between indifference and sarcasm.
“W-what are you talking about Dad? Ghosts aren’t real.” I managed a pretentious snigger and stepped out of the kitchen.
“Of course,” he chided.
I hated creepy things. My Dad just adored them. He kept skull key chains and sculptures, books about witchcraft, lycanthropy, spirits and all sorts of weird. It wouldn’t take a genius to figure why he chose this place of all the states of America.
Ashland Pennsylvania. Some few miles away was the ghost town, Centralia, known for its anomalous history. Dad said there were only about nine or ten people still living there. But most of the place was deserted. No one was really sure why and I wasn’t in any way interested. Maybe the place was cursed and that was why people left the town.
I had seen clips of the place in Youtube while we were on the road. There were huge smoking holes everywhere in the wrecked neighborhood. Deep down the holes, something was burning under the whole town. Some said it might be coal. Either that or hell was definitely breaking loose.
No one would be allowed to enter the town without proper escorts. Ghost hunting, blood pumping action, mysteries, impossible getaways—Dad would certainly love that. Getting worried about him was the last thing I needed, but it wasn’t like he cared how I felt about anything.
My room was bigger than the one I left in Boston. The floorboards creaked eerily as I trudged to my bed. The walls were painted a dull beige color, covered with cheap plaid wall paper which was already peeling off. Most of the fixtures were made of wood. All in all, the house was a screaming fire hazard from inside and out.
I threw my backpack on the four poster bed and leaned weakly on the head board, fighting the lump that formed in my throat. My mobile phone rang for the twenty sixth time today but I had no intention of answering any call from Rose or Madison, especially Brian. They were my only friends but I had to do this.
“Just consider me dead,” I mumbled, staring at the cell phone.
Brian and I, we had something special. But I wouldn’t say that we had been a real item. It was a good move that I avoided making things official. Maybe deep down, I had always known that we would move away sooner or later. He often told me I was such a quitter; starting things but never seeing them to the end. I guess the right term was coward. Pushing people away was the only way to make sure that I wouldn’t get hurt.
They would keep looking for days, possibly weeks. But after some time, they would probably forget me.
I curled on top of the sheets, ignoring the stuffy smell and focused hard on not crying. I hated moving. I hated being stuck with my Dad and having to put up with all his eccentricities. I hated the house, the place, everything.
Soon, I told myself. In less than three months, I would finally turn eighteen. All my life I waited for that day to come. That fateful day when I would bust through Dad’s door with a meager backpack, run away, never to return. I would find somewhere nice where I could settle down and never have to move away forever. Easier said than done. But who said life was easy?
A single tear fell from my eyes onto the bleached white pillow case but I brushed it away before I could cry. I hated crying more than anything.
Was Brian thinking of me? Had Rose and Madison pushed through with the sleepover without me? Of course they had.
Questions. And more questions.
The confusion put me to sleep, dreaming about my life in Boston. It was a long nice sleep until I was woken up by the creaking floorboards as though someone had just scampered quietly toward the now open window.
My heart was racing when I woke up with an involuntary jerk on my right leg. It was nearly dawn but still dark. An icy tingling sensation crept from my toes to my cheeks, my eyes shifting uneasily through the darkness in my new room.
Suddenly, I had the blood curdling feeling that I was being watched though I was alone. It was suffocating. As I struggled to keep my breathing even, at the side of my eyes, there was an infinitesimal sputter in the shadows near my window.
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|Asa Butterfield||as Vladimir Sinclair|
|Camilla Belle||as Rosario Cruz|
|Imran Khan||as Amyr Suresh|
|Richard Gere||as Archimedes|
|Jerry Trainor||as Maximillian|
|Ryan Potter||as Kyoshiro|
|Bradley Cooper||as Pilgrim Reaper|
|Taylor Swift||as Lindsay Moseley|
|Cody Linley||as Carter Applegate|