Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 13, 2018

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2018 #79



They were dressed in black dance leotards forming circles and numbers with their bodies. Every time I thought I had a proper count of them there would be more.
They must be mimes who dance with no music like Sheilds and Yarnell. They took up the entire quad in the middle of the high school courtyard where all the assemblies happened. Their combined bodies were like a wave of black water or like a flock of birds who always flew in one changing configuration. The sight of it was mesmerizing, I didn't know human bodies could do such a thing. It's like that ant movie where they all communicated telepathically to do one task.


It was the overnight security guard, luckily I was a fast runner and as high as the second story walkway was, I managed to make the jump and roll onto the grass.  Running away was no problem. The following day at school while I walked from my homeroom class to English 101, I saw a few of them. They sat where the metal shop guys sat, they were a scary bunch but they kept to themselves those guys. They didn't seem to be bothered by each other, the shop guys in denim and the ones from last night dressed in black dance leotards covered in a fine black mesh material.  I couldn't really see their faces because how the material seemed to be pulled tight over their eyes and noses. They were in the cafeteria too, standing against the walls or sitting on the one empty table until others came to sit. I saw them in some of the classrooms as I passed each one while on my way to psychology 102. When the school bell rang signaling the end of the day, they ran off in an outward direction in every possible destination. At home, I finished my homework assignments and took a shower. I waited until my parents were asleep. Thank goodness for our loud neighbors, sneaking out wasn't difficult at all and I made sure to eat something at Jack in the box before I made my way to the high school.


Walking the empty hallways of my high school made me feel good for some reason like I belonged here but I was somewhat relieved to see that the people in black dance leotards where nowhere to be found.

" I thought I was the only one who came here?" The voice was such a surprise and it scared the shit out of me. It was my classmate Jennifer Ragasa.

"Fuck, you scared the hell out of me!" I exhaled more than I screamed.

"I haven't seen you," she retorted.

"I'm here every night, except on Saturdays 'cause I watch Monty Python," I wasn't even sure if she knew what that was but I couldn't think of anything else to say. "How come you're here?"

"I'm waiting for my friends, they're usually here but they're late for some reason," she looked around the courtyard while she spoke. Her brow was furrowed like she was disappointed. "What about you?"

"It kinda sounds crazy but..." I never got to finish what I was saying. They had already filtered into the courtyard until they took up every single space. It was the people in the black dance leotards. "Oh shit," I mumbled under my breath.

"Here they are," Jennifer stood up and walked over to join their ranks.

"Wait, what are you doing?" I shrieked. "You don't even know who or what they are!"

"I first saw them after my parents divorced and I had to live with my dad, then we had no money hardly so I couldn't wear good clothes like before. I was so ashamed and nobody cared how I felt. I would see them everywhere at school all the time. Once I took my own life I was free, now I can go with them." She was so calm and so serene. "That's why you can see them too because you've been thinking about killing yourself. They'll be here when you do, just like how they're here for me now."

For the first time the people in the black dance leotards held their heads up and I finally saw their faces. They were the ghosts of my classmates who committed suicide, the others must be the ones who took their own lives from the time this high school first opened. That explains why there were so many of them. I was not afraid for some reason, rather I was sad, very sad. I walked away from the tableau as Jennifer Ragasa faded into nothing along with her new friends. Passing the principals office I saw her body hanging from the money tree just in front of it, but there were no screams of horror from seeing her dead form, just tears. My situation was no better than hers and yes, I thought about ending it all but seeing Jennifer's plight sobered my drunken want of suicide. I went home and cried myself to sleep. In the morning when I woke, I hugged my parents and said a prayer for Jennifer and dead my classmates who are really shadows resigned to ferry the forlorn spirits of their friends over a sea of black dance leotards.

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