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An Untimely Death
Chances are that you’re picking up this book because you think the cover is cool. Or you believe that it looks interesting. Let’s be real here, folks. Everyone judges a book by its cover. Which is why in order to get this important message to you, I ordered for a cool cover.
Now, I know this sounds very corny. Trust me, I would’ve put this book down a long time ago, but hear me out.
There are people out there that do mean us harm. I learned that first hand. They hide in the shadows. Many of them have earned your trust. They have become your best friends and your neighbors. Sometimes post as teachers or other important jobs. And they get close to you so they can exploit you and your body. And when the time comes to it, they’ll probably win.
But I’m hoping that with my experiences and knowledge, we can at least higher the percentage of them losing.
So here’s what I’m going to tell you. Flip the page. Ignore anyone that tries to get you to put the book down, and read my story. It may just save your life.
The Beginning of It All
What the ----? Did they just pick up that body and start digging through it?
I felt like I was going to hurl all over myself in the closet. I thought I knew these people. I thought that I knew how their brains ticked, knew that they were good people.
And here they were murdering this kid. My math teacher. My dad’s best friend. The mayor.
What were they going to do to the poor boy? I put my eye to the slight opening and watched.
Mr. Harold, the math teacher, ran a knife across the boy’s stomach. His insides peeked out through the incision, blood spewing everywhere.
The mayor bent over the body, rolling up her sleeves before she yanked various organs out, knife in hand.
I watched wide-eyed. My dad’s best friend, Hahn, held out a canister to the mayor.
What? Were they going to pour chicken noodle soup into his body so he’d die with a full stomach?
The mayor opened the canister quickly, and tossed it into the body. Her eyes swallowed her fear whole.
And the others backed away too. As though something was going to pop out of the body and eat them.
It wouldn’t have been the weirdest thing I’d seen the whole day.
“How long will it take before he seals up and it starts to grow?” Hahn asked. The mayor licked her lips, wetting them just enough.
“About fifteen minutes. But we don’t want to be in here when it does.” The mayor answered.
When it grows? Had these guys eaten their Fruit Loops with a bit of crazy?
I watched as the three of them rushed out of the classroom. Mr. Harold’s classroom.
I slipped out from the closet and shut it quietly. I didn’t want my insides on the outside.
Of course, there was still a good chance that could happen when I hurled out the contents of my stomach in a few minutes.
But I needed to get out of here before they came back and decided to search the room for intruders.
I caught a glimpse of the boy’s face as I walked past. And I couldn’t just leave his body like that. Not all disfigured and torn apart.
But I also couldn’t let the killers know that I had touched the body. So I simply closed his lifeless blue eyes.
I fought the urge to sob. I’d only known the boy for about a month, but it still hurt.
I pictured his head full of scruffy brown hair as I peered out into the hall. Hahn and Mr. Harold leaned up against the lockers, facing the other way. But they would hear me if I walked out.
My best chance was to sprint until my legs couldn’t carry me anymore. My heart cartwheeled into my throat. This was not going to turn out well.
I dashed into the hallway. My mind was racing for the best escape route from the top floor. I would have to run down the stairs as fast as I could to the office doors.
“Hey, you! Stop!”
My heart dropped from my throat to my stomach. Mr. Harold had spotted me.
I glanced behind me. Mr. Harold was speeding towards me with Hahn behind him.
This wasn’t good. Hahn knew me well. And I had Mr. Harold third block.
“Stop running or there will be consequences!” Mr. Harold shouted. I almost did. Almost. I knew they were capable of murder. I knew that they would kill me either way if they thought I saw something.
I planted my butt on the railing of the last flight of stairs, skidding down until my feet planted themselves on the floor.
I heard the pitter patter of the feet behind me. They were gaining on me. And fast.
“There’s no need to run! We can discuss this!” Hahn exclaimed.
Yeah, like I was going to fall for that! They just murdered a kid and I had witnessed it!
The door was only ten feet away.
“What’s your name, kid? I can take you home!”
Ha! They didn’t know who I was! That was a relief. I was afraid that they’d figure out who I was and Mr. Harold would somehow get me alone and take my guts too.
I pushed the door open, not wasting a minute trying to figure out which way it opened up. Unlike most of the time, I had managed to push the right side, which meant I didn’t look stupid. And the psycho killers didn’t get to me in time.
That was always a plus.
I glanced behind me once again as the wind whipped through my short sandy blonde hair.
My eyes caught the mayor’s gaze as she rushed out from behind them. I could see her dark eyes calculating. Trying to figure out how she would get rid of loose ends. That meant me. She was figuring out how to get rid of me.
That could be a problem. I sprinted and didn’t look back, forgetting about my brand new bike and the Algebra questions.
I could find a tutor.
Remaining a ghost. Kind of.
“Wayne, could you answer that question?”
I shook my fears away and gazed at the whiteboard. Ax+By=48 when a=8 and b=6 What does Ax+By equal when a=12 and b=4 and x and y equal zero?
That was easy. All you had to do was plug in the numbers and divide by a or b to find the answer. The word problem was worded odd, but they already basically gave you the answer.
But there was one problem. I had forgotten how to talk. The scene with the boy kept playing in my head. Maybe I could have saved the boy. Maybe I could have told the police about his death. But truth was, I was terrified. I didn’t want them to find me. I mean, the mayor was in on it.
Surely, if they had a report about the mayor they would have to alert her and then they would find me.
Maybe I was just overthinking it all. Or maybe I was being careful. Or a coward.
“Wayne, is everything all right?” Mr. Harold questioned. His glasses glinted in the light. His brown eyes sparked with concern.
I felt like my spaghetti from lunch was going to spill out of my mouth if I tilted my head enough.
“I need to use the restroom.” I choked out before leaping from my desk.
Mr. Harold followed behind me. I could hear his breaths as he did so. He was a strong built man, but he was out of shape. The track season was over.
I ran to the nearest trashcan, yacking out my guts. Until I felt a breath on the back of my neck.
“I didn’t expect you to answer it if it made you that nervous!” Mr. Harold exclaimed, patting my back.
I stood up and tried to keep from picturing the boy’s face again. I didn’t want to give another try at splurging out my lungs.
I tried playing it as normal as possible. I think he knew it was me that had witnessed the murder. There was no way I could develop a fear of speaking in front of the class overnight. I was always the one that answered the questions.
But maybe I could throw him off my trail.
“I think it was the spaghetti. Or maybe it was the discolored pear. Either way I was feeling very sick. I just thought I could hold it in.” I replied.
He forced a smile, “That’s good. I wouldn’t have wanted you to have seen or heard something that spooked you.”
I swallowed hard. It felt like I had a lump of mud stuck to the back of my throat. He was on to me.
“Oh, yeah. That would have been bad. Luckily, I haven’t.” I mumbled.
Yeah, real good swaying his nose from the trail! That probably made him even more suspicious!
“Are you feeling well enough to go back to class? Or do you need to call someone to take you home?” he asked.
I bit down on my tongue. I had to play this one just right.
“I think I can carry on.”
“Good, then let’s go.”
“I’d be happy to.”
I would rather die.
“Wayne, stop eating all those cookies! I just bought them!”
I stuffed another cookie into my mouth before shoving them back into the cupboard.
No I wasn’t Those cookies were delicious!
She walked into the kitchen with her briefcase carrying behind her. She looked exhausted with the dark semi-circles taking up almost more than half her cheeks.
“How’d the case go?” I asked, wiping my mouth clean. She huffed and pulled her blonde hair out from the bun.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” She grumbled. I smirked.
“Anything you want to talk about?” she asked.
Many things! Everything that happened within the past two days! Like the panic attacks that kept plaguing me. Or maybe the murder!
“No. My day was kind of uneventful today.” I replied.
Kind of was exactly right. I had thrown up. And found out that Mr. Harold suspected me.
“I wish I could trade you then. Everyone wants to know about the case. Which wouldn’t have been too bad if my defendant hadn’t been charged with murder!” she exclaimed.
I snorted, “I thought you didn’t want to talk about it.”
She scowled, “Have you ever talked to me before? I always want to talk!”
The doorbell rang. My mom frowned. She just wanted to relax. And I understood that. I did too. I wanted to forget all about the murder I had witnessed. I wanted to completely forget about everything that happened last night.
“Wayne, it’s for you!” my mom shouted. Hmm. I hadn’t even seen her get up.
I walked into the living room and nearly died of a heart attack. Hahn.
Had Mr. Harold sent him here? Had they finally figured out what I had seen?
He grinned brightly as I stood at the doorway.
“I found your bike at the school last night. I thought maybe you forgot it in a rush or something.” He said.
I didn’t speak. I didn’t know what to say.
When I had gone back to the school to search for my bike, it was gone. And now I knew why. Hahn was keeping it to figure out who had left it there.
“W—what are you doing here? Dad isn’t back for another day or so.” I questioned.
He smirked, “I already told you, ya goof. I found your bike. That is your bike, right?”
My mom nodded, “he bought it with all his money from mowing lawns. We were very proud.”
Her gaze flickered to me, “what do you say, Wayne?”
I clenched my jaw. I didn’t want to say thank you to this man! I wanted to give him the finger salute!
“Thanks.” I mumbled. He bent down to my height at 5’8.
“We know that you were there last night. And we’re coming for you.” He whispered into my ear.
I froze, gasping for air. It was official. They knew about my being there I would be next. They would catch me when I was least expecting it.
“Well, I’d better go. Lots of things to do, you know?”
My Death….or is it?
Did I dare walk out into the street at night by myself? Or did I lie to Mom and tell her that the trash was taken out?
I gulped as my feet carried me away from the front steps. I hoped my dad was watching from the window like he normally did. But he wouldn’t. He was still gone.
I looked down at the can filled with mostly leftovers. A stick snapped to my left.
My heart sped up. I stumbled back, fear spiraling around in my head until it all exploded through my chest.
“Who’s there?” I questioned. Shadows appeared to my right. But only two. Where was the other one?
“Are you feeling better, Wayne? I really wouldn’t want to go on a trip if you’re not.”
I spun around, but it was too late. A sharp pain exploded in my head as Mr. Harold’s weapon connected. I dropped to the ground like an elephant trying to use a parachute. In other words, I went down fast.
A black hole sucked my consciousness into it, leaving just my body. I only saw as a face appeared in front of me, holding my gaze as my eyelids closed.
I screeched as the knife jabbed into my torso and circled around my hips.
I wanted to get away. To wiggle free from their grips, but my hands and legs were held down by metal cuffs attached to the wooden floor underneath me.
Smart on their part.
Mr. Harold pulled out the metal canister I had seen them put inside the other boy. My heart lurched. But it was going nowhere. My stomach might though.
“What are you doing? Get off me!” I shrieked. Hahn gave an exasperated sigh and bent over me, his face almost touching my nose.
“I really wished it wouldn’t have been you, Wayne. I’d been hoping that you’d be one of the few still left alive. Your dad was a good man.” He said.
I clenched my teeth, trying with all of my might to not split teeth. The pain surged through my stomach. The mayor was on her knees, folding the skin over as it tore away in tiny clumps.
“Then why am I still alive? Why are you making me go through this?” I snapped.
Mr. Harold smirked, “For fun of course.”
I lifted my head up, trying to figure out what the ---- they were doing. But I already knew what they were doing. They were going to dump the canister.
“You were a good kid, Wayne. But that doesn’t matter anymore. We can’t have a witness rousing up trouble.” Mr. Harold said.
I felt as the canister plunged into my opening and my back lurched up in pain.
My chest pumped erratically, trying to pound out of my body. A stinging sensation sparked over my body. Something felt like it was crawling up my organs, shoving a place for itself.
I screamed, my nails biting down into my skin. The pain was too much. My mind was subsiding, leaving my body alone with whatever was released from the canister.
And then suddenly I was wide awake. Thin ghostly fingers rose from the hole and clenched onto the skin hanging loose.
My stomach churned. If there was one left.
Then something clicked inside of me and I fell away. The black abyss came for me again. But this time, my eyes remained open. And I knew that this time it meant final.
No! No! I will not be withheld! I will not be stuck! But was it really my choice?
The other presence was trying to keep me in check. It was holding me back from my body.
“This is no longer your body. It is mine.”
The ---- it was! It was mine! My body! I was born with it! And I wasn’t going to lose it so easily!
“It was your body.”
It is my body! I have lived in it for sixteen years! I will not push over!
Tingling rose all over me, my soul snapping into position in my body. I breathed a sigh of relief. I had won the scuffle over my body.
But how had I done it? I should’ve died from the blood loss. I should’ve dropped into the abyss like I was meant to. But I didn’t. Instead, I fought for possession over my body.
“How is that possible? I’m supposed to be in control! I’m supposed to be commanding this body!”
I snorted, though, I wasn’t awake yet so I didn’t know how that worked.
“It was your body!” I mocked.
“Is that really appropriate?”
Of course it was! It had tried stealing my body!
“What are you, anyway?” I asked.
“I am Ghost. I am from the species Idolon.”
I raised a brow.
“Your name is Ghost? For what reason?” I asked.
“There is no reason. It is what I am.”
“Then you understand why I must keep what is rightfully mine.” I replied.