*** author’s note: There’s a special notice at the end ***
10:42 p.m. | The Warehouse
The party was in full swing and despite not being used to the lively atmosphere, Aislyn was having a rather enjoyable time. About an hour after their arrival, Gus offered to get them some drinks. A glance at the line by the bar told her Gus would probably be gone for a while so she took this chance to step outside and get some air.
She found a bench near the exit and took a seat. Gus seemed nice enough – Aislyn had questioned his intentions for asking her out, but while they danced he kept an appropriate distance away and left the conversations they could have when the music wasn’t blasting very casual.
“Too lively in there?” Cailean asks while approaching. “Yeah, it’s kind of overwhelming.” Aislyn replies after pondering whether she should be honest or not. She decides to stick with the truth.
“Agreed.” He says while sitting beside her, “That said, you aren’t planning to take a nap out here, are you?” He teases; at this Aislyn laughs.
“No, I’m not; though you should know these city benches are quite comfortable.” Surprisingly, Aislyn’s snooze at the garden this morning didn’t leave her as sore as she imagined she would be.
“I’m sure a bed would be infinitely more comfortable.” Cailean says. “Well, between the two, the latter would be the preferred option, but I was too exhausted to walk home after stopping by the police station.” Aislyn says. At this Cailean raises an eyebrow, suddenly a cold, familiar, chill sweeps over Aislyn and causes her to instinctively turn to see the source. “Why were you at…” Cailean begins to ask but stops when he sees Aislyn’s head snap to the right.
Sure enough, a ghost she’s never seen before appears before her. “Hey there; I’ve been searching for you. I kind of have a life or death situation I need your help with.” He says. At this Aislyn sighs and gives a minuscule nod; she should’ve pretended to not see him, as she’s occasionally done, but force of habit made her meet his gaze and there was no way she could play it off as if she hadn’t seen him. “You’re as kind as they say, doll. I’ll lead the way.”
“Aislyn? Is something wrong?” Cailean asks while straining his eyes to see what caught her attention.
There are no signs of any disturbances in close proximity or far off in the distance, and yet there Aislyn sits, with her gaze seemingly fixated on something that he was apparently oblivious to. She didn’t appear to have heard him so he gently reaches for her shoulder. “Aislyn.” He says again, giving her a small shake.
At this she seems to snap back from whatever she was looking at or thinking of. “Sorry.” She says. “Look… I just remembered I have something important to take care of. Could you apologize to Gus for me when you see him.” “You’re planning on leaving? Just like that?” Cailean asks. Aislyn rises and looks at him over her shoulder. “I wouldn’t be if it wasn’t important.” She says. “I’m sorry.”
And on that note she walks off around the club and out of sight without another word. “Bye…” Cailean says long after she disappears.
A few moments later Gus emerges from the bustling club with a glass in his hand. “Have you seen Aislyn? I got her a drink.” He says.
“About that, she says she’s sorry but something important came up that she had to attend to.” “Ok then.” Gus says while taking the seat Aislyn was in moments ago. He begins drinking the beverage he’d gotten her without another word. This reaction surprised Cailean, he was expecting Gus to curse or complain, as he often does, but he was taking the fact Aislyn left surprisingly well. Isn’t that because he isn’t being serious about her… Cailean thinks.
“I’ll just go and see her at her workplace tomorrow.” Gus says after downing half the drink. Cailean lets out a small sigh; he didn’t want to come off sounding lecture-y but Aislyn seemed like a nice girl, unlike the usual type Gus tended to throw himself at, he’d feel guilty later if she ended up hurt and he didn’t say anything now. “Look… I know you mentioned you asked Aislyn out just because you didn’t want to show up alone.” He begins. “But she seems like a nice girl, and if you aren’t going to be serious about her – just leave her alone…” and hang out with the girls you usually do. Cailean refrains from says the latter part aloud.
“Alright, mom.” Gus says sarcastically. “I know what I’m doing – you can stay out of it.” Cailean didn’t want to strain his relationship with Gus over a girl he hardly knows so he clenches his jaw to prevent himself from saying something he’d regret later…
11:03 p.m. | Behind Rick’s Tech Emporium
“So what’s this important life or death scenario you mentioned earlier?” Aislyn asks.
“About that.” The man says. “I may have exaggerated a bit.” “You what?” Aislyn says angrily. Of course she’s been lied to by ghosts before, but she figured if this man was going out of his way to drag her from her rather pleasant time, he’d have to at least be telling the truth about whatever he needed being urgent.
“You see, I’m known for being crafty when I need to, and I’d figured you wouldn’t leave your boyfriend if I didn’t embellish the details a little.” He says. Unable to hide her bitterness Aislyn’s next words come out a bit harsher than intended. “First of all, that guy wasn’t my boyfriend. Second of all, if you’re so crafty – what do you need me for? Surely someone with skills as great as yours can handle this unfinished business yourself. Oh, wait. You’re dead. So lastly, you aren’t known for being crafty, you were. ”
“Ouch, doll. You have a temper don’t you?” The ghost says. “I don’t appreciate being lied to.” “Alright, alright, that was wrong of me. Sorry. Happy?” He says unconvincingly. “I’m done.” Aislyn says turning to walk away. “Look my name is Trey and I need you to tell something to my friends. I was supposed to meet them… Hey! STOP!”
Aislyn ignores him and keeps walking. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. She chides herself as she turns the corner.
Suddenly Trey reappears before her and his proximity makes her feel like she’s standing in front of an AC on full blast. “Look Mr. Trey.” She says through gritted teeth. “Whatever it is you need, I’m not getting involved.” “Ahh, you see, doll. It’s too late for that. You’re already involved.” He says with a slight laugh.
Aislyn was about to ask what he meant, but she hears the sound of approaching footsteps. She peers over Trey’s shoulder to see a man and woman walking over.
“Hey there.” The man says. “You wouldn’t happen to know where our friend Trey is, would you?” “Sorry, I don’t know anyone by that name.” Aislyn says.
The man lets out a throaty chuckle that makes Aislyn feel uneasy. The woman takes a step closer and gives a smile that doesn’t quite reach her eyes. “Look girlie, we don’t want any trouble, I’m Dee and this is Ollie. We were supposed to meet our friend at this spot hours ago and he hasn’t shown up.” He must’ve died fairly recently then. Aislyn thinks. “And here you are, close to where we were supposed to meet him, mumbling something that sounded an awful lot like his name.” Damn it. They heard me. Aislyn thinks with a twinge of panic.
“I’m sorry, but you’re wrong.” She says in a small voice.
A chill creeps behind her; she turns and sees Trey smiling confidently. “The jig is up, doll. Just pass on what I tell you and they’ll leave you alone.” He says. Aislyn freezes; she was getting a bad vibe from this group and wanted to leave as quickly as possible. “You know what.” The man says after a painfully long silence. “I guess we were mistaken. You can be on your way, miss.”
Aislyn gives a stiff nod and takes off in a fast walk back towards the direction she came from. She was expecting a fight or argument, but somehow neither occurred. Trey appeared shocked by his friend’s declaration as well since he decided to remain beside the pair of them and not follow her as she hurries away.
“What are you doing, Ollie? It’s obvious she knows something.”
“Yeah but it’s clear she’s playing coy for a reason. Trey hasn’t contacted us since yesterday; I say we keep an eye on her and we’ll get all the answers we need in due time.”
1:32 a.m. | Aislyn’s House
Not sure if she was paranoid after her recent encounter with Trey and his friends, but Aislyn had the weirdest feeling she was being watched or followed. Of course whenever she turned around she didn’t see anyone – but just to play it safe she took the most circuitous route to get home. “My, my. I didn’t expect you to get in so late on your first night out.” J.D. says as she enters.
“Don’t get me started…”
After filling J.D. in on her evening, and the events afterwards, Aislyn pulls back the sleeve of her sweater to check the time on her watch. “Oh, no. It’s two already, I have to be up in four hours to get ready for work.”
“Don’t you think you are taking this entire situation too lightly?” J.D. asks, rather angrily. “Those people could’ve been criminals for all you know – ghost dude included. How could you be so trusting and follow him like that?”
“Relax.” She says. “I took an extra precaution coming home in case they followed. Everything’s fine.” Aislyn turns to look at J.D. in the dark pits where his eyes should be. “I’m going to get ready for bed. It’s not a big deal. I don’t think they are anything to be worried about.” She says, tucking some loose strands of hair behind her ear. “It’s your lack of worry that worries me, not them.” At this Aislyn let’s out a small laugh.
Long after Aislyn goes to bed J.D. remains at the table, spinning the ring on his finger that he couldn’t remember if he wore as an accessory or as a wedding band while he was alive. He knew Aislyn was playing down the incident after she left the party, partly because as she was describing it she was tucking her hair behind her ear, a tendency she had, J.D. learned, that only appeared when she lied. Meaning she was frightened by her encounter and downplayed it… for his sake, or for her own, he couldn’t tell.
After getting lost in his own thoughts for a while, he decides to go check on her. Despite suffering from shivers often, she had fallen asleep atop her sheets again.
J.D. found himself grinning. What am I going to do with you? He thinks.
The sight of something moving outside wipes the smile off of his face.
“Aren’t you a little old to be a peeping Tom?” He asks after he appears outside. The man chuckles; “You here to ask the chick for a favor, too?” “Don’t compare me to the likes of you.” J.D. replies. “Ahh, a boyfriend then, but how would that work?” He asks with a dark laugh.
“What do you want?”
“What’s the big deal? It’s not like I can touch her.”
“She may not be able to touch you, but I can. So I suggest you get lost.”
J.D. was nowhere to be seen when Aislyn got up. It was a Sunday, but she had a long shift at the library starting at seven.
As she ate breakfast she felt neither warm nor cold, letting her know J.D. wasn’t anywhere nearby, but no other ghosts were either.
After a rather silent morning, Aislyn was putting on the finishing touches of her makeup. She quite liked how she had done it for the party yesterday and decided to incorporate the style into her everyday look.
“There you are.” She says as she catches sight of J.D. while she makes her way towards the door. “Where’d you go?”
“I had some things to take care of.”
“Mind turning the TV on for me before you go? I’d hate to be stuck here all day without it.” J.D. asks with a grin. Aislyn turns and grabs the remote from its place on the couch beside him and turns it on to the sports channel – his favorite.
“A thank you? You’re being uncharacteristically kind this morning.” Aislyn says. To this J.D. doesn’t respond but let’s out a small chuckle. “Don’t you have work to be getting to?”
“Right. Bye.” Aislyn says as she turns towards the door.
11:49 a.m. | Liberty Square
“I don’t get why he’s being so tenacious.” Cailean says in a low voice as he Chad and Gus make their way to the city library before grabbing a late breakfast. Gus – true to his word from last night – planned on asking Aislyn out again, and felt the need to drag Cailean and Chad along with him. Chad was indifferent, but Cailean was slightly annoyed at his friend’s behavior. “It’s Gus; when is he not overly persistent?” Chad says with a shrug.
“What are you two whispering about back there?” Gus asks. “Nothing.” Cailean and Chad say simultaneously; they both grin. “Right.” Gus says with a smirk.
“I mean, he could’ve done this on his own time.” Cailean says. “Seems to me that it’s not Gus’s actions you’re annoyed so much as the fact that it’s Aislyn he’s performing them towards.” Chad says. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.” Cailean says. At this Chad shrugs again and rolls his eyes. “You’re right, I’m clearly over analyzing the situation.”
Thanks for reading! I’ve finally introduced some important characters for these next few chapters in propelling the story. I’m trying to take the screenshots ahead of time for the first time ever, lol, and I’ve taken up to chapter seven at the moment – I can tell you that that it is my favorite chapter so far 🙂 I’ve noticed my stories tend to be screenshot heavy (because I like to capture and show different facial expressions during conversations) and I’ve been trying to cut them down, but since there are still quite a bit, and I’ve been getting relatively heavy on the writing as well – the chapters may seem quite long. Now that I’ve gotten a pretty stable grip on the writing style, my next tackling point of this story is the pacing; bear with me a tad more~
Oh yes, before I forget, the special notice I mentioned at the start of this chapter is in regards to a post I plan on doing on Monday the 30th in honor of my 6th month anniversary of this blog! Woo-hoo! Time has really flown by~ I had some pictures and tidbits I wanted to share in this special post as well as a thank you to all of you who stop by and read, like, and comment, so if you have any requests/comments/questions for me (or in regards to this story or any of the others I’ve written) that you’d like me to include in that post, feel free to mention them below~
See you Monday! Take care