The 30th of October 1988 – Morristown, New Jersey

(found under the bed, quivering from some kind of draft)

Ghosts, Maria.

Good God, Maria, ghosts. Do you believe in them? Maria, do you?

Because I never did, Maria, I never, ever, ever did. They were fantasy or delusion or some kind of trick that the mind plays on you in the middle of the night, when you’re just about to drift off to sleep.

Good God, Maria, how I wish I could believe that were true still, how I wish I could still believe that.

Because then I came to this place, and our dear little Ruthie went away, and then Tom and Gerald went along after her.

Ghosts, Maria. Ghosts, and they’re everywhere.

They come in the middle of the night, creeping along the floor with just enough noise to make me stir, stir just enough to get me tangled in my sheets. They come in the middle of the night, Maria, and they stand at the foot of my bed – the three of them, standing there, doing nothing, drowning the room in silence.

Every single time, Maria, I feel my eyelids flicker first, and almost through a dream is how I get my first glimpse of them, the girl, the boy and the man hunched over at the foot of my bed, their faces staring down at the floor.

What have I done, Maria? What have I done to deserve this, to be haunted over and over again, night and night passing, with these visions?

It’s nearly indescribable, the feeling that grabs a hold of me, in the night, when I see them, when I realize just how tangled up in my own sheets I’ve become. It’s the kind of terror that traps the scream in your throat, the kind of scream that bubbles up and builds in pressure until it explodes like a bomb, the kind of bomb that goes off nuclear and melts you from the inside out.

I kick and scream, but silently, with my eyes locked onto their pale, silver faces, and soon enough, I blink, and I see that they have gone.

Ghosts, Maria. What am I to do with all of my ghosts?

Kelly

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