Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
Not all those who wander are lost…
The hallway was pitch black and silent in a menacing way that seemed to suck the air out from around us. We scurried along the shadows like rats, passing locked classroom doors until we finally reached our destination. It was odd to see the school so empty, yet invigorating with the energy that seemed to linger from the school days that had passed.
I wasn’t sure why we were here or why my father had insisted I go out with these kids when I couldn’t remember any of them from my too few of visits to see him. They were strangers with familiar names and plastic smiles that did nothing to hide the curiosity they had when they looked at me.
“So, this is what you do for fun?” I questioned the blonde boy at my side who walked too close to me. I could almost feel the heat of the blush that graced his cheeks in the darkness that surrounded us as he shrugged in response. I had embarrassed him into silence even though that was not my intent. I was just trying to understand why we were stumbling around an empty school in the dark.
Try to be normal.
It was my new mantra, and if this was normal in this place, I would accept it.
“So, Lauren told you about the ghost, right?” Jess whispered in a hiss of excitement as she dug her claws into my arm in a mix of terror and giddiness. Jess Stanley was my former best friend from when I was five and new found social director since I had moved back into town. It was her insistence that lead me entering the high school after hours with this group of would-be middle class bad-asses. It was ridiculous at best and pathetic at worst, yet I followed them down dark hallways as they whispered of the ghost that haunted these halls.
The mentioning of ghost made me roll my eyes. These people had no idea of spirits or how they wandered almost as aimlessly as what we did on earth.
“Of course I told her,” the blonde girl who led the way with only flashlight between the five of us while everyone else trailed behind.
“What I can’t believe is that you didn’t know about it,” the girl bitched as she marched on, forcing us to keep up with her.
“You said she was from here, right?” the girl questioned Jess as she turned back, shining the light in my eyes, blinding me with her light and idiocy.
“Bella lived here until her mom split,” Mike countered back as he shot a hand out in front of me in effort to block the blinding light, yet I remained silent. Mike Newton, ever the wanna-be champion. I barely remembered him from my so called previous life here in Forks, except for the fact that when we were five he fell off the jungle gym, breaking his arm in effort to impress me enough for me to show him my panties. It didn’t work then and his over protectiveness wasn’t working on me now either.
“Whatever,” Lauren snickered at the boy who had appointed himself my personal body guard from the moment I came back into town.
“Don’t worry about Lauren. She’s just a bitch to everyone,” he whispered with a wicked grin that made me smile in return. It felt foreign on my face as I nodded my head in agreement while Jess babbled on about the ghost that haunted the halls of West High.
I didn’t know Lauren Mallory or the boy that went by Eric who hung off her every word since they had moved here after I had left, not that it mattered since to them, I was the new girl. I was always the new girl since mom never let us stay any where long. We would leave the moment that people suspected something was wrong with me. The nomadic lifestyle mom insisted upon left me with little social skills and no friends.
“So, this guy,” Lauren began to ramble excitedly as I felt Mike slip his hand in mine. It was soft and warm with a weak grasp that made my stomach roll with nerves. My body tensed with as the lingering throaty cry of my mother filtered through my mind.
Try to be normal, Isabella.
It was supposed to be an encouraging reminder to be like everyone else even though I had no idea how to do that. I was out of practice and no idea where to begin when it came to boys or normal behavior that came with high school girls. I was better versed in handling empty rooms and soft whispers of regrets from people who had long been gone.
“He was a student here,” she hissed in a rushed tone that forced me to grin over her excitement. It had been what felt like years since I had excitement like that, and it was almost contagious with its giddiness. It was a light feeling that I had long forgotten the warmth of.
“He lost his mind after Professor Noe failed him on his midterm,” she explained as Mike walked close to me as if he could protect me from whatever story that was about to slip from her lips.“And killed everyone in his chemistry with a machete before finally jumping off the building to kill himself.”
“That’s bullshit.” I could hear Eric call out in disbelief from behind us as we stopped in front of the chemistry room door.
“Oh, yeah?” Jess yelled in a threatening manner that was pure bullshit before being hushed by the bitchy blonde who held the flashlight in her hands.
“You’ll scare him away,” she bitched as she tried the door handle only to find that the door was unlocked.
“Scare who away?” Eric bellowed out in a loud voice before stepping inside of the room while everyone else watched in fascinated horror.
“I don’t believe in ghost,” Eric scoffed as he walked in the room while the rest of us waited. Most fools didn’t see anything beyond themselves, so I wasn’t surprised by his admission.
“Oh my god,” Jess hissed in fear to me as she squeezed my free arm tight. The fear in that hovered in the air around us tasted bitter and burned my tongue with its excitement.
“The ghost is going to melt his face off,” Jess whispered in a high-pitched hiss as I tried to look excited as well but failed as a sick feeling settled over me. It was always that sick feeling that gave them away.
“That would be an improvement,” Lauren cackled softly as she watched the boy walk around the room as if he was challenging the spirit that they claimed resided there.
“Don’t worry, Bee. I’ll protect you.” Mike assured me in an over inflated voice that hinted at the fear that was rolling off of him as Eric strolled through the empty classroom with a mocking grin. Mike didn’t understand I wasn’t scared. Spirits never scared me. They were predictable. I knew what they wanted. They wanted forgiveness or for their loved ones to know where they had hidden their missing money. It was the living that had always scared the piss out of me.
“Ok, ghost boy,” Eric mocked as he walked around while Lauren followed his every move with the flashlight as if it were a spotlight upon him.
“Here we are. Now show yourself!” Eric demanded out loud in a shrill voice that made Jess swallow back a scream while Mike squeezed my hand like a vice as we stood watching, waiting for whatever would happen next.
“Come on, Eric,” Mike called out in a dull tone, but I could smell the fear coming off of him as we stood there waiting for nothing to happen.
After a long moment of silence, Eric slowly began to move away from the back desk. He moved in a slow, victorious manner that was taunting in a way as Lauren laughed loudly at the boy who was her newest play thing.
“See?” Eric laughed as he stepped into the girl’s embrace as the three of us, who huddled in the door way, watched with embarrassment as they groped out a kiss in front of us.
“Nothing to worry about, right , baby?” he asked her in-between kisses while Lauren giggled, but even her love struck giggle wasn’t enough to mask the sound of chalk moving against the old chalk board that was beside them. We watched as Lauren turned with the flashlight in hand to see a word appearing upon the board as if by magic.
There was no time for reaction before the glass beakers that lined the teacher’s desk shattered on the ground around them. It was a bold statement by the ghost that Eric had taunted into action. We all watched with amazed horror as Eric and Lauren tried to move only to be greeted with more shattered glass.
There was no time to react or even see the spirit that caused the chaos as Mike, along with Jess, dragged me down the dark hallway with screams and panicked running until we were free from the haunted school.
“Did you see that?” I could hear my so called friend yelling at each other as they all recounted the madness that had surrounded us while I looked back the school in hopes to see who or what could have caused such mayhem but was greeted with empty windows.
“Bella, you ok?” Mike asked as I stood there watching the empty school for some sign of non-life. I could hear the fear ringing loud in clear in his voice with the subtle tremor that he had tried to hide, but there was nothing to fear. He just didn’t know that.
“Yeah,” I mumbled as the others continued to ignore me as I scanned the windows and door for a glimpse of something that they would never see.
It was then in the moonlight that I saw him.
He was young, maybe my age, with jeans, a plaid shirt rolled up to reveal his pale forearm and a dated looking sweater vest. I couldn’t make out his face from the distance that I was from him, but I could feel his icy stare pinning me to the pavement below. I watched him as he stood on the edge of the building, leaning over to watch us run away from the scene that he had clearly orchestrated. It was clear he wasn’t worried about falling. It was a telling sign that this boy didn’t fear death, and in my short eighteen years, I had only met two kinds of people who didn’t fear dying. There were those who longed for death’s peaceful darkness and those who were already engulfed with in it, yet wanted out.