The neighbor boy called and she left the house in a hurry to ride bikes around the neighborhood. She felt a nagging in the back of her mind the instant she saw his face that this would be the last time she spent time with him. She shook her head when the idea came to her, thinking she was weird. She peddled hard and raced him to the end of the lane and passing an elegant but rundown place that almost looked like a plantation house. She immediately sensed something dark lurking there and turned away. It was all she could seem to conjure in her mind since she saw the hand the night before. This place was taking a toll on her imagination and she hated the creeps it gave her.
She was certain after only a short part of the day had passed that she really didn’t like the boy much. At her age she was equipped enough to know a little about character and make a fairly clear judgement on his. He was demanding and rude, wanting everything his way. Penelope was clever and could turn most of their disagreements in her favor. It made him slightly short-tempered and he would decide he wanted to do something else almost immediately. But she remained friendly toward him despite his behavior because of the dull nagging.
They stopped into his house for lunch made by his mother. It was a nice gesture on her part and Penelope could tell that she spoiled him. They ate in his room where her suspicion of spoiling was confirmed. He must have had all the latest toys, she surmised, as she scanned the room. He even had an old Weeble Wobble, something you punched in the face and it would pop back up from the floor to punch again because of the way it was balanced on a round bottom. He had already gotten upset about something and stomped out of the room before they had finished their lunch. She could hear him complaining to his mother.
Like a child he ran to his mother , she didn’t really even know what had made him upset until she heard his whiny voice complaining about his sandwich. She was about thoroughly disgusted with him at this point. But the nagging was there, reminding her to play nice, like she owed it to him. She was starting to wonder if she was going crazy, the world was just turning upside down with all of the recent events and the ideas that were running through her mind just weren’t normal. She had to actually try to come off as a regular girl, not that it mattered to this spoiled boy she was somehow compelled to be around today.
When he stomped back into the room he was short of breath. It was then that she decided she would just let him win because she strangely believed that today was his last and final day. This made her feel bad for him, whether it was true or not, it had set her mood. She sensed that he somehow saw his coming demise and decided that his attitude stemmed from the knowing, it made it easier for her to put up with him. They played video games for the rest of the afternoon and it surprised her that she had managed to stay around him that long. She noticed his anxiety creeping in toward the end of the day and wondered if he was tuned in to what she was feeling and thinking. Whatever the case she felt it was her responsibility to be with him today, up until he no longer allowed it she had decided.
His name was Adam, and it was bouncing from side to side in her mind now that she thought of it, leaving a trailing echo as it went. She noticed how his mouth twisted a little when he dropped to the beanbag chair and grabbed for his game controller. She wondered what he thought about right now in this moment, if he knew that it was precious time he was wasting. If today truly was to be his last day, what were to be the last of his thoughts. Considering him this way, just as a boy, a regular boy, pulled her into a sad and sympathetic place. She didn’t really know him, know what he liked, what caused him pain, what brought him joy. She felt like a heel for her earlier thoughts and held on to this communion she now found herself in.
She felt so awkward. Why was she here and thinking these things? Why did she have to start getting weird all of a sudden? Why was she seeing ghosts and what was this new-found fascination with death? None of it made any sense to her and none of the experiences she was having were pleasant. She wished hard for these things to go away, but the universe had a gift to give and she doubted she could stop it. It felt mostly bad, except for right now, hanging out with Adam.
Even though he was not someone she could easily get along with, she felt closer to him than any other friend she had ever made, whether she liked him or not. It was because she felt like she had crawled inside him, she was occupying that space and was becoming privy to his thoughts and feelings. She was getting to know him better than she had known anyone before and it was sincerity that she felt for him through this connection, tinged with hope for what he would find after death took hold of him. It was strange to say the least, but that was all just crazy thinking, she surely had to be making it all up. She had spent her day and couldn’t escape the grip of where her thoughts had led her, and were leading her still.
Published by: M.R. Goodhew
Michelle Rene has been involved in the publishing industry for over twenty years as an author, designer, and illustrator. She is an Indie Author Advocate who volunteers her time to give back to the Indie Author Community by offering her design services four times a year, free of charge.
As an author of nonfiction, Michelle Rene writes books that serve to assist the independent author in developing their platform, discovering their brand, and creating the right look that will draw readers to them. She discusses how to navigate social media and addresses marketing tactics. For the author who sets up their web presence independently and does not wish to hire a designer, her books offer a wealth of start-up information, graphic design templates, and give crucial insight to the designers thought process which assists in the creation and design of the author’s platform.
Michelle Rene also writes fiction which falls under several genres, including: Fantasy, Drama, Young-Adult Fiction, Mystery, and Thriller. She is currently working on a series of novels whose main theme involves the mysteries of death and the afterlife.