It was cold, the leaves had just finished changing color, and in May Steven’s opinion, it was the perfect time to go for a walk. She’d said goodbye to her mom on her way out as she grabbed her coat, but her mom hadn’t seemed to notice. No surprises there though. Her mom was often distracted, whether it was with one of her crochet blankets or a new recipe she’d been dying to try, she had always seemed a little absent, though not in a bad way. Mrs. Steven was still an amazing mom, always going overboard for special events, like the holidays. She was just a bit scattered. 

May continued towards her favorite destination, the local cafe. It was a quiet place, the perfect place for reading books or studying. She had been there many times to work on school projects. It was the only place where she was safe from her little brother Tyler’s constant pestering.Tyler was the only person who was able to get under her skin in less than a minute. She still loved him though, after all, he was the only sibling she had, but he had a serious knack for getting into all kinds of trouble. Whether it was snooping in her room, or getting caught sneaking out to hangout with his buddies, trouble was never far behind him. 

 Halfway to the cafe, her phone buzzed, she fished it out of her pocket. It was a text from her BFF Hailey. “Hey, I haven’t heard from you in a while, is everything ok?” Swiping to unlock her phone, she didn’t see the pedestrian walking towards her. “Oof!” his shoulder collided with hers, nearly knocking her over. The guy frantically looked around, almost seeming to stare right through her. “Hey watch out!” she squeaked, “What the hell?” He gasped, waving his arms around. Regaining composure, and still not acknowledging her presence he quickly walked away. He definitely noticed bumping into her but he didn’t seem to actually see her or even hear her squeak when his shoulder hit hers. No, that was absurd, wasn’t it? She thought, I mean seriously, how could he really not have seen her? May shook her head. The Cafe was only a couple streets away now and she could definitely use some coffee, the strange encounter with the man had left her feeling shaken. She was not a person who was easily flustered, and the fact that such a small thing like this had made her feel so uneasy, bothered her more than she cared to admit. 

As she made her way towards the cafe door, the wind picked up, swirling the leaves around and wafting the scent of roasting coffee beans towards her. She knew it was bound to be a good day. As she reached for the door, someone else opened it and stumble right into her, knocking her to the ground. The lady looked around startled, looked back over her shoulder into the shop...and walked away like nothing happened??? “Hey!! watch where you’re going, aren’t you going to apologize?!” May’s auburn hair spilled out of her hood and into her face, causing her to choke when she talked cause, as always, it went straight into her mouth. Embarrassed, she picked herself up, tucked her hair back into a ponytail and entered the cafe. “Did you see that Mrs. Clearview!” It’s like they didn’t even care!” she shut the door, and turned towards the counter. She froze, “Mrs.Clearview?? Hello??” Nothing, no smile, no wave, not even a glance in her direction. May felt sick, Mrs. Clearview was the owner of the cafe, May had always enjoyed chatting with her whenever she came to study. She had always been a well of information and had never minded helping May with her school work. “Hello?!” she shouted, nothing. She hurried towards the counter, waving her arms frantically, panic sinking in, choking her. “Mrs…. Mrs Clearview Hello?!?! Hi!?!? Hellooo?!?!” Tears streamed down her face, no one in the shop noticed her, no one even looked up. 

Terrified, she did the only thing she could think of. Shakily, she grabbed her phone and went to call her mom, the phone turned pale and fizzled out of her hand, “Oh my god, What’s happening?!?!?!?!!” May wailed, turning around, she raced out of the shop. This had to be some kind of mental breakdown. Maybe she was losing her mind after all? She had spent the last week cram studying for her end of quarter tests which had meant several nights where she’d been up past midnight. She raced down the street, not even taking in her surroundings. She didn’t stop running for a second until she made it to her driveway. “MOM!!!!! Mom something is wrong!!” She burst into the house slamming the front door behind her. She paled, her mom was in the kitchen sobbing, her dad was holding her and Tyler was standing frozen in the hallway. “Mom whats wrong!?” She screamed, no one reacted. No one looked up, Tyler didn’t turn around, it was as if she wasn’t even there. 

There was only one last thing she could do, she ran up to Tyler and went to smack him across the back of the head, WHOOSH! Her hand went straight through him. No resounding thud as her hand made impact, he didn't even turn his head to yell at her for hitting him. She fell to her knees, sobbing. “Doesn’t anyone hear me?!?! MOM!!!! MOM IT’S ME!” she sobbed. This wasn’t possible, no, this couldn’t be real it had to be some kind of nightmare, one of the ones that seems real until you wake up, sweating because of how close to death you’d been or how close the zombies in your dream had gotten to eating you. She started pinching her arms “Wake up Wake up Wake up!!!” She screeched. The room stayed the same, no change, no sudden waking up in her bed. Nothing. 

May pulled herself up, and looked at her family. She realized they were talking about something, no not something, someone. They were talking about her. Walking closer, she was able to pick up what her mom was saying between sobs. “She’s..She’s really gone, our darling baby girl is gone!!! May.. May is dead!” Tyler fell against the wall, shaking, tears rolling down his cheeks. “NO That’s not true!!! The nurse said she’d be fine she said it was just a concussion, nothing minor, said she’d wake up in the next day or two!!!” He roared, anger spilling into his voice. May could hardly believe what was going on, and then it hit her, she had no recollection of waking up, no memory of breakfast or of getting out of bed. Dead? How could she be dead? She was right here, standing right next to them, but the more she thought about it the more she felt sick. This couldn’t be right! Could it? No one seemed to notice her presence. No, no, this couldn’t be the end, she couldn’t be dead. There was no way… this wasn’t how death worked was it? Shouldn’t she be floating? Shouldn’t she be in a hospital room? Her mom did say something about a hospital didn’t she? May stumbled closer to her family. Her dad was still holding her mom in his arms “Honey..I...I don’t know...let’s get your things we need to go to the hospital...we need..we..” His words were lost as the tears took over. Never in all of her 17 years had she ever seen her dad cry. Not when their cat Lucy ran away, not when her brother broke his childhood baseball trophy, not a single tear. 

But now here he was, unable to even speak,she felt crushed. Her veins felt like ice, it was all she could do to stay standing. Her mom got to her feet, "You're right, Tyler get your shoes on we're going to the hospital. There was only one way she could figure out the truth, she would go with them to the hospital. Getting right behind tyler, she followed him to the family minivan and managed to slip in behind him just before he shut the door. If this was some kind of prank, the gag would be up as soon as she walked through the hospital doors, if it was a dream maybe it would end soon, and if it wasn't either of those...May refused to think about the third possibility.

A moment later, her parents entered the car and they were on their way to the hospital. “So...Anyone notice that I’m right here? I’d love it if we could end the joke now” she paused, still receiving no response from any of her family. She sighed this was going to be the longest car ride of her life. They pulled into the hospital drive, her brother flung open his door and raced inside giving her plenty of opportunity to follow. As she got through the doors she watched a nurse escort him towards the elevator. Her parents rushed up behind them and they all crammed into the elevator. May looked hopefully at the nurse and gave a small wave, she didn’t seem to notice, so she reached out and poked her gently on the arm. Not a thing, her heart sank even further. The chances of this being some sick, twisted Halloween joke were dwindling by the second. She had no idea what she’d do if she walked into the hospital room and...wait a second, the elevator was going down, not up, which could only mean one thing. They were headed to the morgue, not the hospital rooms. 

Tyler’s head whipped around to look at their father. “Dad, this is the wrong way to the hospital rooms, this has to be a mistake” he turned to the nurse “Ma’am my sister is in a hospital room, you’ve made a mista-” “ No hun, I’m sorry, there’s been no mistake, your sister passed at 10:32 this morning and since her passing had to be moved down to the morgue, it’s hospital policy” his face wilted. There was no denying it now, this was no joke, there would be no cheerful cries of “HA! We got you, we had you fooled good” No this was the real deal, she was in fact, dead. It explained why no one noticed her, why the man who had bumped into her didn’t notice her existence at all, it explained why her phone had fizzled out of her hand, after all the dead had no use for technology. The elevator bell chimed, they had reached the bottom floor. Stepping out into the darkened hallway, she sullenly trailed behind her family to find her body. Two left turns, and a long hallway, and the nurse finally ushered them into a room with stainless steel doors, no doubt where the bodies were held.

“I know this is a devastating time for you all, but please try to remain composed, this part is hard for everyone” She pushed the door open and there, on a table, was Mays body. It was pale, her fingertips had turned a light, steel blue, her lips purple, cold as ice. There was no mistake. May started towards her body and felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned, behind her was a figure of pure white light, which swirled for a moment before taking the shape of a red haired girl. “You can skip this part if you’d like, you don’t have to stay, heaven is waiting” She held out her hand. “You mean, this is it? I’m dead now? This isn’t how people say it happens” May crossed her arms, the little girl let her hand fall to her side. “That’s what they all say, how did this happen, this isn’t what I thought it would be” The girls face turned dark and she chuckled. “You all think your going to heaven, NO ONE expects the darkness” Suddenly her face paled, her eyes turned black, large wounds appeared on her face, her clothes became bloodied and faded. “NOW YOU BELONG TO US!!!” She hissed and ran at May, all pretense of friendliness gone.

There was no time to think, no time to react, she barely had time to turn away before she was grabbed by the hand and yanked through the floor into the darkness, the sounds of her family’s distraught wails echoing above her, and that was the end of May Stevens.

November 01, 2019 16:50

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Karen McDermott
16:59 Nov 07, 2019

Yikes, was not expecting that ending...proper Halloweeny! I'd like to read what happens to May in the land of darkness and what she did to get there...although maybe it's best left to readers' imaginations :)


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23:27 Oct 09, 2020

I like the story, I didn't expect the ending though.


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Amy Allen
22:02 Nov 25, 2019

Was not expecting the sad ending either, made me want to cry, but extremely good story


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