“That’s the thing about this city, it’s not what it seems,” Akari shivered and rested her hands on her hips. She wouldn’t let this small piece of information beat her. She tucked a stray piece of hair behind her ear and looked straight at the boy in front of her. Noah shrugged and turned away. Akari stopped him, her hand shskaing.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, that when everything seems fine, it never is, there’s always more to it,”
“Like what?” Noah started to walk away.
“Please tall me Noah!” Akari pleaded, looking straight into his green eyes. He stared back into her brown ones. Not blinking.
“Fine, but you cannot tell anyone, it isn’t my secret to share,” Akari nodded, her throat becoming dry. Noah took her hand and she felt her heart flip. He still didn’t know her true feelings for him. He still didn’t know how much she loathed him. He had left her stranded on the side of a mountain in a fencing tournament. She now loathed him. He seemed to love her though. He wouldn’t leave her alone. Akari hated that. Who would leave someone dangling over a mountainside and not help them? She pulled her hand out of his and crossed her arms in front of her chest.
“So?” She prompted
“So, the thing is, this city was once a ghost town, I mean a literal ghost town,” Akari let out a long string of laughter,
“You don’t expect me to believe that, do you?”
“It’s true, seriously, think about it,” He pushed his hair back, the sight still made Akari flinch, “Haven’t you noticed a weird glow around people?”
“Not really, maybe that’s because, oh yeah there aren’t ghosts! They aren’t real Noah, you know that,”
“I’m not joking,”
“Prove it, then,” Akari dared him. He wrung his hands through the air and grasped onto a lamp post. The city was becoming dark. Shadows were coming out. No moon was shining.
“We have to get out of here,”
“Come on, you aren’t afraid of the dark, are you?” Akari taunted
“Of course not!” He grabbed her hand and she begrudgingly followed him down the lamp-lit street. He stopped outside a park. The swings were swaying softly and something was creaking.
“It’s them,” He said quietly
“There’s no one here,”
“Yes, there are,”
“Come with me,” He pulled her behind a bush and grabbed out his phone.
“Seriously, are you afraid of the dark?”
“You will be too when you see,” He paused and flicked a switch on his phone, “This,” He lit up the park. Akari clamped her hands over her mouth and felt Noah steady her. How she wanted to fling him across the park. But she couldn’t move. She was paralysis. Frozen still. Surrounding each piece of play equipment were ghosts. Real dead ghosts. Floating around them were shadows. Mist. Crating illusions. They couldn’t speak. Akari noticed that they had no form, they were just lumps. She felt strong hands wrap around her waist, and she didn’t want them to leave her. She elt Noah hug her, even though she knew she loathed him, even though she knew she would regret it later.
“What do we do? Who knows about this?” Questions streamed out of Akari’s mouth, ten to the dozen. Noah shook his head.
“No one but me and one other person knows, now you now too, and we can’t do anything,”
“Their ghosts, what are we meant to do?”
Akari shook her head at that. She had no idea. She shook her head and rubbed her eyes in disbelief. The flashlight went out and Noah took his phone back. The ghosts disappeared. Akari felt a cold shiver creep up her spine. The wind had gotten up, it’s cool breeze tickling her nerves.
“Let’s get out of here,”
“I’m with you on that one,” Noah helped her up and she stumbled toward an empty or a supposedly empty bench. She sat down and placed her hands on her temples.
“I know, it’s a lot,”
“Thank you for telling me,” She placed a hand on his shoulder.
“I know we don’t get along that well, but if you’re willing, I would really like to start again,” Noah suggested. Akari thought about it. Would it be so bad? Would she get hurt again? What would happen? She decided to take the risk.
“Everyone deserves a second chance,” She tried to squish down her feelings of hate and doubt.
Noah’s face lit up and he intertwined his fingers with hers. His hand was warm and comforted her. But she couldn’t think about it now.
“Can they see us?”
“I’ve never tried communicating eth them before, should we try?”
“It’s worth a shot,” He held up the phone again and shone it toward a small girl. Or what looked like a girl. Her form was like a sheet. The only features being two small eyes with eyelashes.
“Hello?” Akari prompted, stepping closer cautiously. The little ghost stayed dormant. Nothing crossed her eyes. Akari waved a hand in front of her face. Nothing. She sighed and walked back to Noah.
“That answers that question then,”
“Yeah, I guess,”
All of a sudden a dark hand clasped around her neck. Cold darkness snuck into her mind. Nightmares clawed at her thoughts and her heart turned sour. Her strength depleted and she could no longer stand.
“Noah!” She screamed as loud as she could. Nothing. She tried to break free of her captor’s grasp, nothing worked. Her eyes turned glossy as her vision blurred. She caught one final glimpse before her head hit the ground. Noah, mockingly smiling at her, a grin playing on his lips.
“Are you afraid of the dark?” He asked as he plunged her back into darkness and her body went limp. Her form rose up and she was aware of something happening, changing her. She looked down. She had a large with a sheet around her. She had no form. She tried to yell. To speak to make noise. She had no mouth. Akari let her mind collapse on itself as Noah’s taunting laughter filled her mind.