The New Place
My heart was racing as my breath came fast. I looked down the hall to my brand new apartment to the empty bedroom that sat with its door closed. I knew I had heard someone talking. My cast-iron pan was firmly in my grip as I slowly moved up the hall hoping not to alert any intruders in there to my presence.
“Help me, Dad! There’s a ghost in my closet!” a little girl’s voice cascaded through the house at deafening volume.
I froze. I didn’t have a child, and that voice came from behind the door I was staring at. I took a step back, keeping the pan at the ready.
“Dad, help me, please!” the voice called again as I back-pedaled to the other end of the hall.
I turned and ran to get my phone in the living room. It’s blue-hued screen lit up the corner it sat in. I pressed the home key ad the sweat on my hands and face began to make things difficult to see and hold the phone.
“Dad?” The voice was quieter, but right behind me. I spun, dropping the phone when the charger reached the end of its reach.
Standing before me was a small girl of seven at most. Her blonde hair was up in pig-tails as her nightgown waved unnaturally in the breeze-free room. She looked solid, but also appeared to be giving off a faint light, as though she was too clearly defined to be real.
“Why didn’t you come to me, Dad? The ghosts got me,” she said, her eyes sad.
I fell backwards over the table, my head slamming hard into the wall. From my pinned position I saw her come around the side of the chair.
“Are you okay, Dad?” she asked, “Can I help you?”
“And that’s how I came to adopt Anna.” I said taking a swig from my beer.
“That’s a crazy story, Jack.” Billy said as he watched the little girl play with her toys on the floor.