The Silent Ghost in Late October
In late October I was lacking inspiration for my newest journal, I needed something new and extraordinary to share with all of my readers; it was a crisis for us journalists. Out of pure frustration, I tossed my pencil across my room and swiped the multiple scattered papers laid all around my desk down to the floor. I glanced outside of my window and noticed a leaf drifting down from a tree,
“It’s been a while since I’ve gone out,” I said to myself.
The forest seemed like the perfect place to gain back some inspiration. And so it was decided. After cleaning up my mess, I grabbed my jacket, put on my favorite pair of boots, then swung my satchel with my journal and pencils around my shoulder. I opened the door then headed henceforth to the forest.
The forest was covered in orange and yellow leaves, all freshly fallen from the trees above. I picked up a few leaves for safekeeping and taped one of them into my journal, then sat down on a log to sketch out my surroundings. After about 10-15 minutes of sketching, a tornado of leaves flew by me, revealing a new pathway that I’ve never seen before. I closed up my journal, grabbed my satchel, and stood up from the stump. The pathway looked like no one had ever stepped foot on it, it was almost entirely spotless.
“This could be the bewildering story my readers have been yearning for!” I triumphantly announced to the trees; I didn't get any response.
As I started wandering down the pathway, it felt as if the wind was pulling me forwards to who knows what. It sent cold chills down my spine with the perplexity of even the thought of what’s at the end of this pathway. However, a brave journalist like me must go on. I started treading faster down the path, it was oddly long for an undiscovered pathway. As I got closer and closer to the end of the path, the wind howled louder and louder. I could’ve sworn that I smelt a strong scent of fish in the air, I could also hear soft tranquil waves up ahead. This left a puzzled look on my face since there weren’t any lakes around this area, or were there? After what seemed like forever, I finally saw it; a grand lighthouse towering over me. It looked practically ancient.
The waves crashed against the bottom of the lighthouse as seagulls flew above the clouds. The lake was indeed right in front of me. My eyes widened as I stared In the distance, I couldn’t believe that after living here for as long as I can remember there was a lake hidden in the forest.
“How peculiar,” I said to myself in awe. I did a quick rough sketch of the lighthouse then rushed to the entrance. I peered up the stairs and shouted,
“Hello?’ I had to make sure no one was around; I still didn’t get any response.
After deciding that It was safe, I headed up the spiral of stairs. As I skipped up the stairs, I noticed how every window was either cobweb-infested or shattered open. Every single step I took, the click-clacking sound of my shoes made the whole staircase echo while the old stairs creaked, “Clomp, creak, clomp, creak.” I sneezed as a huge wave of dust flew into my face.
“Geez, I wonder how old this dump is.” I scoffed to myself.
Just as I looked back up, I caught a glimpse of a glowing orb flash by. I jumped back and nearly fell down the stairs. I frantically looked around at my surroundings, but no one was around.
“It was probably just my imagination.” I huffed to myself.
I reached for the railing as my hand shook, I could barely take a step forward as I stumbled up the stairs. As I finally made it to the top of the stairs, I noticed that the door to the peak of the lighthouse was locked with a rusty old lock. I slammed my fists against the door and slid down to the floor. I closed my eyes for a moment to catch my breath as I leaned against the door.
“All this work for nothing,” I sighed.
Suddenly, just when I was about to give hope, I heard something cling. I jumped up to my feet and opened my eyes to find a shiny golden key sitting on the step right in front of me. I stared at the key in awe as I tried to figure out where it came from.
“Must’ve been there before I noticed it,” I reassured myself.
I picked up the key and inserted it into the lock, after twisting it a few times I could finally hear a click. The lock dropped to the floor as the wind swung the door open, “Creak, slam!”
I jumped as I didn’t expect it to be so loud.
The breeze grew louder than ever before once I stepped outside, I squeezed my jacket as my whole body shivered. I thought about going back inside but, “A brave journalist like me must go on,” I recited to myself.
As I took a few steps forward the railing, the door behind me slammed shut. I rushed back to the door and tried to pry it open, but to my horror, it was locked shut. I started panicking as I kept trying different ways to open the door; nothing worked. I tried to act like the brave journalist I once thought I was, but at that moment I felt as brave as a mouse. I tried to hold in my tears, but they were as strong as the tide; crashing against my eyelids, flowing down my face. I sobbed alone at the peak of the lighthouse for hours upon hours, looking down to the salty seas below. I watched as the sun as it said its goodbyes as the moon took its place. The wind kept howling for it was a cold autumn night. I reached my hand up to the sky, waving at the clouds above. It was hard to make out my surroundings since the fog had invaded the sky. After being trapped there for what seemed like hours, I had enough. I jumped up from the frigid floor and stomped over to the far side of the railing,
“Hello, is anyone out there? Please, someone, anyone, I need help!” I desperately shouted into the distance. Out of nowhere, I caught a bright luminescent light swoosh by from the corner of my eye. I turned around to find a ghostly blank-faced figure, stood before me in front of the door. As I gazed furthermore into the face of this stranger, they looked like a replica of myself. My jaw lay wide open at the sight of this. I gave the stranger a little wave but their face remained cold and empty. I soon noticed that the door behind the stranger still stayed locked shut, it hadn’t moved a bit.
“How’d you get through the doo-” I began to ask, but as soon as I looked back at the stranger, they flew towards me and tightly grabbed both of my shoulders with their cold clammy hands. I began to shake as I could feel my heart beating out of my chest. I tried to push the stranger away but my hands fazed straight through their chest. I gasped as I realized that this was no ordinary human, it was a ghost!
It felt as if I was trying to fight the wind as the ghost kept on pushing me closer and closer to the edge of the lighthouse. No matter how many times I tried to escape, the grip of the ghost’s hands on my shoulders just got tighter and tighter until; BAM. The ghost slammed my back up against the wall and lifted me high up in the sky. I screamed for help as I realized what the ghost’s objective was; to throw me off the lighthouse. Tears ran down my face as my stomach turned at the sight of how far down the drop was. The wind howled as the ghost slowly lifted their fingers, one by one, off from my shoulders. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5. I could barely breathe at this point. 4, 3, 2, 1, 0. Twisting, turning, up and down. My stomach felt like it was doing summersaults. As I fell, I could see the ghost floating above me, staring at me with those hawk-like eyes. All I could do now is shut my eyes and wait until; SPLASH!
When I woke up, I felt something pulling on my foot; pulling me deeper into the murky pitch-black water. I frantically looked around, (holding my breath the best I could,) to find the same damned ghost as before. The ghost looked like it was taunting me as I started to lose my breath, their smile widened as I attempted to swim up to the surface. After a minute or two later I couldn’t hold my breath for much longer; I gave on trying to escape.
So this is how it ends? I thought to myself.
As I stopped resisting against the ghost, I felt the grip of their hand on my foot loosen. That was my chance. With my last breath, I kicked the hand of the ghost off of my foot and raced to the surface. At first, I didn’t think that I would be able to make it; but as soon as I could see the moon glistening from above, I knew that I could at least try. I slashed through the water and as soon as I saw the surface, I rocketed up and out of the water with all my might and gasped for air. It felt like I had just experienced one of my worst nightmares. It felt sickening just to think about what just happened. After I finally catch my breath, I noticed that I drifted afar from the shore. The only sign of land that I saw was a small cave up ahead. That was all I needed. I slowly swam up to the cave, thinking about my family and friends, wishing that I never found out about that horrid pathway in the forest. It all just echoed in my head until I reached the cave. I pulled myself up and out of the water as I struggled to climb up onto the cave. The rocks felt like tiny blades piercing into my skin, but that didn’t stop me from reaching my destination. As soon as I made it inside of the cave, I lay onto my back and closed my eyes.
“All of this work for one stupid story?” I whimpered to myself as I drifted off to sleep.
Once I woke up, I was back where this whole adventure started; next to the lighthouse. Was this all a dream? Was that ghost real? My whole brain felt scattered. I looked around to find that my clothes were dry, my satchel was back, nothing had changed; maybe it was a dream. I sat up from the patch of grass I had been resting on and decided that this was the end of my journey. As I started to walk home, I took one last look back at the lighthouse; I could’ve sworn that I saw something waving at me from the top of the lighthouse, but I just brushed it off since I was done with mysteries.
A week later after visiting the lighthouse, I picked up the weekly newspaper from my front lawn to find the most shocking story of them all; written in big bold letters on the front page, “EXTRA EXTRA, paranormal activity detected in an old lighthouse!” Was it a dream?