I recently dug up something I wrote down a while ago: my first encounter with the ethereal woman who floated down the hallways of my childhood home. After all: you don’t forget the first time you encounter a ghost.
Night time. My teeth are brushed, my hair has been combed, and I lay comfortably in my bed. The sound of crickets and a loud bullfrog outside my open window provide the soundtrack, lulling me into a state of relaxed happiness. We have lived in this house for barely a month, and I already feel at home. My room is at the opposite end of the house from my parent’s room, meaning I’m granted the privacy I so crave at this age. I can make as much noise as I want, and can stay up as late as I want, without bothering them. I’m only in second grade, but I already have a TV in my room.
My bed rests in the western corner of the 12’ by 14’ room. My writing desk sits directly next to my bed, and the wall parallel to my bed faces the street. Directly in front of my bed is the doorway, which leads down the long hallway to the bathroom, study, and my parent’s room. Next to the doorway is my closet. The room in our old townhouse was bigger, but that’s ok…I like this room. The layout is really comfy, and since I can look down the hallway from my bed, I can easily see if my Mom or Step-Dad are coming to check on me. There have been a few times this has come in handy, mostly when I was up past my bed-time reading, granting me the few extra seconds needed to turn out my flashlight.
As I turn over from my stomach to my back, I hear a noise in the hallway. My Step-Dad has already explained to me that this is an old house, so noises are to be expected. “It’s just the house shifting and the old wood creaking…don’t worry about it” he said. Still, I reflexively sit up and stare down the hallway. This happens multiple times a night while I’m trying to go to sleep, and I prepare for the inevitable dark empty hallway to greet my vision.
The hallway is dark as expected…but it is not empty. Someone is in the hallway, standing right in front of the door to the bathroom. It looks like a person with a white blanket draped around their shoulders, flowing all the way to the ground. Somehow, this person is glowing, illuminating the walls around them with an ethereal light-blue color. I rub my eyes, convinced I’m just seeing things. After all, I’m just a kid; my imagination is supposed to run wild. I open my eyes, but the person is still standing there…except now, their head is turning in my direction.
The eye sockets are nothing more than two black voids, which slowly lock onto my vision, staring directly at me. The face is nothing but a wispy light blue color, devoid of details. Somehow, the shape seems feminine. As I think this, a shadowy smile appears on the surface of the face, a slightly devious yet friendly crook at the edges of the expression. Keeping my vision locked with hers, she slowly floats her way into my bathroom. Seconds later, I hear a crashing that sounds like my nearly-empty shampoo bottle being knocked on the floor. I clutch the covers tightly, bury my head in my pillow, and tell myself I’m dreaming.
Someone is standing next to my bed: I can feel their hand gently caress the covers. “Mom?” I say shakily, hoping to hear the sound of her voice reassuring me that everything is fine. “Mom, is that you?” I bravely, and stupidly, peak out from under the covers. No one is there. I completely remove the covers from my head, and look down the empty, dark hallway.
My neck hair suddenly stands up, a deathly chill wrapping itself around my entire body. Despite the cold, I feel a warmth caress my ear, as I hear a single word that sounds like it comes from behind me as it starts, and fades away in front of me as it ends: