Sunlight spills through the blinds, thick, like honey. I groggily open my eyes. I rub away dry tears with the heels of my hands.

Quickly, I fix my bed up and I wake myself up with an icy shower. As I walk to the cafe leaves drift down and I crunch leaves as I walk.

I open the glass door and I see Jessica writing on a blackboard with a wooden border. I look around the cafe to find a girl glaring at me. Her brown hair cascades down her back with her thin bangs that stop at her eyelids. Freckles dance along with her cheeks and nose.

Her mustard sweater with rhinestones compliments her cerulean blue eyes. Her pale legs are covered by thin black stockings and a black and pleated skirt.

Hanna. Hanna Crookham. 

She poisoned Bethany.

Jessica pulls off her apron and looks from me to Hanna. Confused, she places my usual Strawberry Tea and Banana Bread in a neat porcelain plate. The scent of cinnamon and sugar saturates the cozy cafe.

Hanna and I exchange looks trying to make sure that we aren't looking at a stranger. 

" Soo our newest collection of autumn drinks are the Caramel Apple Frap, London Fog, Cinnamon Bun latte, and Pumpkin bread cappuccino!" Jessica says to both of us eager for a response. We nod in unison then go back to our staring contest.

Jessica places faux leaves and pumpkins all around the cafe for a more cozy atmosphere with slow piano music in the background.

She gazes at my thick beige turtleneck underneath a black pinafore dress. I regret braiding my hair so messily. She cradled her warm cup of dark liquid in both hands as she shakes her head to get her fringe out of her eyes.

I head to the kitchen and pull on an apron and get to work on the Earl Grey Tea for the London Fog. I catch Hanna's gaze over the rim of her porcelain cup.

I fiddle with the plain silver band on my left thumb as I dry my hands on the floral cloth. We finish up just at people start to flood in. Before I leave I remember to flash the familiar girl my ring just in case as I begin to pull the cold metal door

An arm tugs at my sleeve. I turn to find her looking at me. Grinning. She flashes me the band on her right thumb.

"Genesis right?" I want to say no but I nod. She gestures for me to follow her to the back of the cafe. She sits on the counter and fiddles with her glittery Swaroski earrings.

"What's up Hanna?" I say savoring every syllable of her name. "I haven't seen you since Bethany's burial." I nod. We find each other gazes then burst into a fit of laughter.

"I looked for you after the burial but I heard your dad told you to move away." I nod wiping away tears. " He still thinks she died from food poisoning," I say.

"Bethany... she was a bit too much. She bullied you too much." Hanna says.

Bethany my half-sister bullied me in 9th grade by stealing homework for the first year, then she started to punch me and framing me. Thrid year she broke my rib because our dad took half of her allowance away.

She spread rumors and obvious photoshopped photos Senior year she died.

Hanna is my cousin and hated my sister. She always tried to protect me. She got sick of her and decided to go to our chemistry lab and food science room. She left an Oreo's pack filled with toxic materials.

Then while Bethany is choking me she starts to foam in the mouth and her eyes rolled back and her head fell back into the toilet. I scream in fright and the crime scene is set up within seconds.

Dad was determined that it was food poisoning so he shooed of the investigators with money and the burial is happening within minutes.

I thank the gods as I glare at Bethany's pale body. While everybody is getting refreshments I spit on her and I head back to Hanna.

Hanna and I laugh as we look back at the moment. We fill each other and in and before we know it it's already 9:04 pm.

We exchange contacts and go our separate ways.

My shoes tap the smooth concrete sidewalk. I hear breathing behind me and I know someone is stalking me.

I caress the black bottle of pepper spray in my skirt pocket. As I hear the breathing gets louder turn quickly and I spray at eye level as my arm is twisted behind my back and I am on my knees with a knife in my gut.

I choke and I struggle to find the face of the murderer.

Gulping for air as the murderer lets go of my arm.

She drags me down alleyways to an apartment building alley and I see another girl breathing as her life depends on it.

"H-Hanna?" I say as I notice the azure blue eyes in the dark. She isn't paying attention to me as she starts to crawl backward in a frightening way.

"Is that how you think I felt when I died or like that?" She slaps my face steps on my thigh rubbing dirt on my skin. Confused I try to find the face of the person. A hand pulls at my hair. Brown hair tickles my face and green eyes pierce mine maliciously with a Cheshire grin.

I turn pale and nauseous.

"Bethany?" I whisper before she punches my face and I blackout.

I walk up to the loud noise of wind, the bright sun and the aching bruise on my face and thigh. I squint to find Bethany's face and the events of the night before flood in. Hanna is whimpering and shes tied up with shiny gray duct-tape.

Bethany's grin is worse than the Joker's now. He hair is tangled into a ponytail. Her face and hands are grimy. Her clothes have stains and dirt. She's pale making her ivy eyes stand out.

She holds me by one hand over the edge of the helicopter. She threatens to drop me by shaking me. Tears fall miles below me into a forest.

After playing with me she gets bored and round house kicks Hanna out of the chopper. She pushes me down too with just her pinkie. My eyes widen and I squeal and wind rushes all around me.

I hyperventailte praying to a God I never believed in. Then the rope begins to loosen and I squirm out of the ropes and rip off the tape. I pull off hair follicles but I don't mind considering the situation. I pull my self nearer to Hanna and I untie her too. We hold each hands knowing if we talk we won't be able to hear each other.

I glance down and see a large body of water near a shore. A scream of joy escapes me and Hanna realizes it too and screams louder and punches the air. I sigh and we dive into the water fingers first. Luckily Hanna and I were 2nd and 3rd best at diving in our school.

Bubbles surround me and the salty water stings my eyes and I fall asleep out of relief.

October 16, 2020 03:12

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Jill Davies
22:13 Oct 24, 2020

Hi 👋, coming over from Reedsy critique circle. This story was a fun one. I do like that it has nothing to do with the prompt other than the setting. Nice ghost vibe. There were a few places where I got confused— If Bethany is a ghost (or dead) then how can she stab the lead character? Where does the helicopter come from and who’s at the helm? How does the lead catch up with Hannah after they’re thrown from the helicopter? There are a few places where you lapse out of present tense and write in past tense. Be careful about that....


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Alexa K
03:14 Oct 16, 2020

The funny thing about this story is it LITERALLY has nothing to do with autumnal drinks. I just love death and suspense. If you've read my first short story this ending is similar to that one. Anyway, I hoped you enjoyed the short story. Tell me if you want me to check out your stories too! Thanks for reading!


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