1998: Ghost Girls

“I don’t think you [Danny] did it to get more bonding time, no. All of this stuff that was happening was physical and visible, and tit was there, so it needed to be acknowledged. Somebody had to realize it had to be dealt with, it couldn’t be scooped under the rug. You and I were the only ones that paid attention to it. Everything has a purpose. If God didn’t want you and me to be aware of it. He wouldn’t have let us.”

– Mom

The thrift store dollhouse still had the price written in red ink on the plastic rooftop. The dolls inside were generic from a mix-and-match bag bought at a garage sale, but Danny and Sara could care less. Their imaginations were greater than the quality of the toy they used it on.

“No, he’s my friend. We’re gonna go to the store really quick. Do you wanna come, Billy?”

“Yes. Can I bring my girlfriend, Ella?”

“Sure. But you have to ride in the back. I always dri—”

Danny looked up at her sister. There was little girl’s laughter coming from inside the house. Coming from somewhere close. Two sets of giggles overlapping each other. Only one of Danny’s sisters were home, and Sara wasn’t laughing.

They were light and airy laughs. The kind that makes you want to see what all the fun is about. Danny glanced at her mother who was on the sofa watching TV. The laughs weren’t from the movie. The scene of the 2000 action flick was intense with thrilling violins racing the main character to find her lost family. So where were they coming from?

Danny turned to the hallway on her right. The hall light was off, though the daylight streaming into the living room illuminated the space just enough for Danny to see them. The two big girls jumping rope in the hall. Danny’s eyes went wide with realization and curiosity. Who were these girls and why did they look funny? Why was Danny able to see through them? Why were they in her house skipping rope? Why wasn’t her mother telling them to leave?

“Danny?” Sara called out. “Are you gonna play?”

Why wasn’t Sara asking about the girls in the hall?

“Danny? You okay?” Deborah shifted to the edge of the sofa. She muted her movie in wait for her daughter’s answer. Ever since the toilet incident, Deborah kept a watchful eye on her middle child. No circles had shown up again just yet, but the experiences the girls didn’t know about validated something strange was occurring in their tiny house.

“Those girls are jumping rope in our house,” Danny said.

Deborah saw an empty hall where her daughter was pointing. “Where do you seem them?”

“In the hall.”

Deborah slid down to the floor next to her daughters. She crossed her legs, her eyes fixated on the hall. “What do they look like?”

“They’re bigger than me. They look like, green and yellow. Don’t you see them, Mommy?”

Deborah shook her head. She could feel them on her skin, though. There was that electrical charge again summoning the hairs on her neck and arms. It was worse than static cling in a fleece blanket in winter. This is surreal.

“Are they nice girls?”

“Mm-hm. They’re smiling and laughing.”

Danny wouldn’t move her eyes from the girls. Deborah wasn’t sure out of fear of the girls themselves, or fear of glancing away and the girls disappearing as ghosts often do in movies.

“I don’t see anything,” Sara said, matter-of-fact. “Danny is probably lying, Mommy.”

Danny shot her sister a sharp glare. “No I’m not. They’re there. I promise.”

“Girls, girls. Sometimes, Sara, there are things that your eyes aren’t ready to see that Danny’s might be,” Deborah said.

“I can see them. Oh…” Danny craned her neck. “They’re leaving.”

The girls were running to the back of the house where they disappeared into the closed bedroom door at the end of the hall. Danny held her breath when she saw their bodies vanish through the wood. How did they do that?

“They’re gone.”

Deborah reached for her daughter. “Hey, if they come back, you let me know, okay?”

Danny nodded. “Maybe next time you’ll see them, too, Mom.”

Deborah sighed knowing that most likely, she wouldn’t. And for some reason, she thanked God for that.

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