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The Ghostly Orbs

by Heather Stanton 5 months ago in Short Story

Haunt me again

“It’s not time to get up, go away.”

My eyes snap open. I live alone. So, who am I talking to? Staring around my dark bedroom. Checking that the blackout curtains tightly shut. Rain is beating against the house. Reaching for my phone, I fumble on the end table.

Before I can turn it on, a bright green light burst’s into the room. Blinking my eyes at the brightness, the only thing I can do is shield myself. To my amazement, it blinks from green to red, to a glowing white. Every time it changes, it bounces around, stopping in a different corner.

I tremble in bed, clutching the blankets. Should I make a run for it? Or, should I hide under the covers, as I did as a child? Why did I move back into this house? I always told myself that I imagined this strange globe. You can make your younger self believe anything. But as an adult, you believe what you see.

The more I stare, the brighter the light becomes. I duck under the covers, clutching the pillows. My breathing is harsh, as my heart pounds in my chest. My hair is sticky on my neck. But, goosebumps make me shiver.

“Come out and play with me, Ly-d-ia.”

The strange unworldly voice echoes around the room. Covering my mouth with my hand, I choke on my screams. How does it know my name? Can it be the same globe that tormented me as a child every time I came over to visit my grams?

“If you don’t come out, I’m coming in.” The voice squeaks and warbles.

Forcing myself to peak out of the covers, I see the orb is back to emitting a bright green light. It flashes even brighter, then turns white.

“Run, now! Get out while you can. I’ll try to keep his attention long enough for you to escape.”

This voice is soft and childlike. “Who are you?”

“The other one, the smallest one.”

“How many of you are there?”

“Three, he’s out most often. Hurry and escape while you can. I can’t hold him much longer.”

“Why are you helping me?”

“It’s my fault he’s interested in you. When you were little. I always wanted you to be my friend.”

“Come with me. I can help you.”

“You don’t understand. You are running out of time. He’s the strongest, and he is in control. His second is no better. She was evil when she was alive. Now, after years of feeding off him, she no longer resembles the human she once was.”

The child’s voice is growing softer, and the white light is growing dimmer. White is safe, red and green are bad. At least I know that. Now, I just have to get out of my room, race through the house, and make it safely outside.

Shoving my legs into yoga pants, I grab my phone and a sweatshirt. My shoes and keys are by the back door. When I race across the room, my bedroom door slams shut with a loud boom. I try to force the door open, but it won’t budge.

It feels frozen and locked in place. I’m tugging so hard on the doorknob, I’m afraid it’s going to fall off. Sinister laughter bounces around the room. The white light is no more. Red and green flash brighter and brighter. The globe circles my head, coming closer and closer to my body.

Falling to the ground, I cover my ears. Closing my eyes, I think back to when I was a child. When I would stay in this room, in this same bed. All the furniture should have been replaced, and I should have cleansed the house. Now, I don’t know if I’m going to live to see morning.

They never bothered me during the daylight, or on bright nights. It was always dark rainy nights, when there was very little light. I scramble across the floor and flick on the light of the lamp. I need lights, the more the better.

The lamp burns bright, and I run to the wall switch. As soon as that one is on, I race to the door, pulling with all my might. When it opens with ease, I’m thrown back a step and slam into my dresser. Standing and rubbing my hip, I lurch down the long hallway.

There’s only one light, and it’s at the end. I can hear mocking laughter and heavy breathing following my every step. My sobbing breath wheezes as I try to find the light switch. Just when my fingers find it, there’s a loud boom from outside. The house itself shakes and the lights go dark.

“Come play with me, Ly-d-ia.”

The eerie voice is right next to me and all around me. Shivers race up and down my spine at the way it says my name. Curling up in a ball, I try to think of a way out. I’m in the long hallway. I still have half a hallway to go before I reach the stairs.

Even with my eyes tightly shut, I can see the green and red light. What does it want from me? It feels sinister and I’m terrified. Why do I have to live alone? I crawl, knowing my legs will not support me. I can’t see anything around me.

One reason I see nothing is because the lights are out and this hallway has no windows. The other reason is I’m too terrified to open my eyes. I need a flashlight, a light of any kind. Fumbling in my pocket, I reach for my phone. Swiping left, I click on the flashlight.

The bright light shines directly into my face, but I don’t mind. If it will help keep the evil globe away from me, I’ll blind myself by staring at it. Brushing my matted dark curls out of my eyes, I force myself to stand. A scream escapes me as I stare into wide, dark eyes and a pale face. It’s only me, staring back at me.

I always forget there’s a stupid mirror in this hallway. At least I know where I am now. I race down and almost get to the stairs. Suddenly, I’m frozen in place.

“Ly-d-ia, do you want to play hide and seek? Or should we play tag?”

The louder I scream, the more frozen I become. Nothing I do makes my body move. I’m teetering on the edge of the stairs. My body sways back and forth. The movement makes the light on my phone swing around, creating enormous shadows on the wall.

“Tag has always been my favorite.” The red light squeaks in a high feminine voice.

Squeezing my eyes shut, I pray for morning, so this nightmare will be over. My body sways dangerously back and forth. I know if I look, I’ll be staring down the long staircase at an angle that will terrify me. Against my will, it forces my eyes open.

“Tag. You’re it.”

The creaky deep voice growls, making the words bounce all around me. I’m enveloped in green light as I’m thrown down the stairs. My phone skids out of my hand and bounces down the stairs. Things seem to move in slow motion as I watch my phone shatter into pieces.

“Grab on to the railing and get out of here.”

The childlike voice is back, just in time. His soft white light surrounds me as I slip on the stairs and bounce off the walls. My hands can’t find any purchase to stop my momentum. I’m falling and have no way of controlling it, or stopping it.

A sharp force from behind slams me into the wall. I reach down and grab onto the banister with all the strength I can muster.

“They don’t let me out often. I’m fighting them, but they’re much stronger than me.”

My arms and legs are shaking as I cling to solid wood and make my way down the rest of the stairs. Trying to avoid the pieces of my phone; I don’t need broken plastic piercing my foot at a time like this. There’s blood dripping from a cut in my head, and I can already feel the bruises forming.

I’m lucky to be alive. I don’t want to think about how Grams passed. But, the thought won’t leave me alone. They said it was an accident. She slipped. Everyone wanted her to move. The stairs were too much for her. I think the stairs and this house are too much for anyone. If this was what her last night was like, my heart aches for her.

Pushing thoughts of that out of my head, I make it safely to the bottom of the stairs. I have to focus if I’m going to make it out alive. Reaching the back door and getting out of this house is my goal. If I do, I’m never coming back. They can sell it or burn it. No one should live here. I’m going to tell my family that. But I know they won’t believe me.

Limping and panting, I turn the corner into the dining room. The white light is fading. I’m running out of time.

“You must hurry.” The child’s voice whispers and fades away.

The green light flashes brightly. “Hide and seek was always my favorite. I’m coming for you, girl. You won’t escape me this time.”

Ducking into the dining room, I kneel next to the catch-all cupboard. Frantically, I go in search of flashlights. I know there are some in here. If only the room weren’t so dark, my clumsy hands knock over everything in their path. Loud noises crash around the room. Can I possibly make any more noise if I tried to?

My fingers finally close around cold, hard plastic. Even with my back to the room, shadows dance. Bright green and red lights flash off and on. If only the white light will return. I need its help for another minute to get out.

Clicking all three flashlights on. Holding one in my mouth and one in each of my hands. I shine the light everywhere around me. As I do, I notice the globe darts out of the light’s path. Walking backward out of the dining room and into the kitchen, I shine the light directly at it.

Every time the light hits it, a loud screech, and scream emits from the globe. The green light is not as bright when the light catches it. I step on something and set one of my flashlights down. Slipping into my shoes, I pocket my keys. The globe approaches me quickly. My hand trembles as it fights with the locks on the door.

Why do there have to be so many? I get the large door open, keeping the light shining directly into the dining room. My sweaty fingers slip off the locks on the screen door. I unlock one of them when I hear a crash followed by loud screaming.

“You’re cheating. We just want to play. Come back and play with us, Ly-d-ia.”

I don’t look at what crashed. My slippery fingers unlatch the second lock. Walking backward, I force the door open. There’s a force pushing on it, or me. For one long minute, the door won’t budge.

I can smell fresh rain and freedom. I know that if I don’t get this door open, I’m not making it out of this house alive tonight. With one great surge of energy, I push through. The door flings open and I fly out onto the porch.

My feet slip on the wet surface and I tumble down the stairs, landing with a hard crash on the cement walkway. Winded, I look up at the house. The last thing I see is the flashing green light. It seems to beckon me into the house.

Short Story

Heather Stanton

Read next: The Selected

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