Violet Ch. 01
Most people in the city of Violet agree that the old ruins outside of town are haunted by the ghost of a young girl. I guess with my long, unkempt hair and tattered clothing, I really do look like a ghost. I think the major contributor to this misconception, though, is the fact that I can walk through walls.
To a normal person, I'm sure the ability to walk through walls is surreal, but for me, it's the only grasp I have on reality. You see...Violet doesn't really exist. I know that's tough to believe. You could look it up on a map, or if you're one of those technologically advanced types, you might even find it on the internet. You can see photos of it, and if you had some spare time, I bet you could stop by for a visit. Maybe you even live in Violet. But that is the real Violet. The tangible flesh and blood Violet created by God at the beginning of time, if you believe in that sort of thing. I'm talking about the other Violet. The one I'm stuck in. But more on that later.
“Randy, are you sure we should be here?” A teenager with wild hair dyed an overly dark shade of black hung a few steps behind his friend. “This place is really creepy.”
His friend, also a teenager, laughed uneasily in an attempt to mask his fear. “Mark, you really need to chill. It's just a dumb rumor.” Even as he spoke those words, he swung his flashlight around wildly, searching for any hint of a ghost in the old ruins outside of Violet. The two boys crept through the remains of what had once been a house...or possibly a small church. Whatever it had been, it was done for now. Cracks stretched across the plaster ceiling that hung low over the concrete floor. Streaks of dried glue on the floor hinted that it had once been covered in carpet, and wallpaper with patterns too faded to recognize hung off the walls. Both of the boys were clothed completely in mismatched black clothing like a pair of ninjas on a budget.
“Yeah, but remember Ethan?” Mark protested as he picked his way over some old wooden boards. “He went exploring here and he never returned.”
“That's not true! His family just moved to Canada. I think...” Despite his best attempts to stay confident, Randy's voice still wavered in the darkness.
At the far end of the room, a shadow darted across the wall. Mark ducked behind Randy instinctively. “What was that?” Mark pointed towards a pair of tall double-doors that graced the end of the dilapidated hallway.
Randy pushed Mark away. “Don't hide behind me like that.” He pointed his flashlight at the set of doors. The narrow hallway was empty. “I don't see anything.”
“I swear man, I'm not making this up. I really saw something!”
Randy raised an eyebrow. “Oh yeah? What'd it look like?”
Mark looked around nervously before answering. “A...girl. With long hair.”
“Ugh,” Randy rolled his eyes. “You moron, you only saw that because of all the rumors! Your eyes are playing tricks on you.”
“My eyes are just fine!” Mark shot back indignantly. “I placed in the regional archery competition, you know.”
Randy shrugged. “Yeah, third.”
“I still placed...” Mark muttered gloomily under his breath.
“What's your point?”
“Nothing. You're right,” Mark replied. “I bet it's just some kids trying to play a trick on us, anyway.” His wavering voice didn't instill much confidence. “Hang on...” Randy walked to the end of the hallway with just a few, large strides. He grabbed one of the door's handle and gave it a firm tug. The doors flew open and the two boys were pushed back by a sudden rushing wind. “Air pressure because of a temperature difference,” Randy explained. “We learned about that in physics. Right?” He shone his light into the dark room. “Whoa...” Stacks of old books were piled up to the ceiling, and tables scattered haphazardly around the room were laden with dusty tomes. The walls were lined with bookshelves, all filled to the breaking point with even more books.
“GET OUT!” an angry voice echoed from the room of books. “GET OUT NOW!”
“Uh...Randy...” Mark tugged on Randy's shoulder. “That doesn't sound like air pressure to me.”
“It's just kids playing tricks..?” Randy's hand was quivering, causing the light from his flashlight to wander aimlessly among the piles of books in the room.
“GO AWAY YOU STUPID FOOLS!”
Randy's eyes widened. “Hey, no one calls me stupid!” He tightened his grip on his flashlight and marched into the room angrily. “Where are you, you little brat!?”
“Randy, wait!” Mark raced after him, reaching for his arm. A sudden gust of wind pushed the two boys into the room of books and the heavy doors slammed shut behind them.”
“You idiots.” The wispy, thin figure of a girl appeared from behind an impossibly high mountain of books in the middle of the room. “I warned you.”
“I'm not an idiot, and you're trespassing!” Randy straightened his shoulders and faced her squarely, putting on the most adult voice he could muster.
It was meant to be intimidating, but the girl didn't seem to notice. “Aren't you trespassing as well?” she shot back, eyebrows raised. Randy thrust his flashlight at the thin girl's face, pointing the light directly in her eyes. She didn't blink.
“Um...Randy?” Mark took an unsteady step backwards and stumbled over a pile of books. “I can see through her...”
Randy swung his flashlight back and forth. Sure enough, he could make out the outline of the mountains of books behind the girl, showing faintly through her body. He frowned. “It must be an illusion using reflection in glass,” he spoke to himself under his breath, as if trying to piece out some new puzzle he'd stumbled upon. “I saw that once-”
The girl sighed. She sounded weary, as if she had just laid down to sleep, and the two boys had woken her up. “Randy, was it?” The tall boy didn't respond. “I can hear you.” The girl folded her arms across her chest and glared at him. “And I'm not a reflection.” She walked towards the two boys, her tattered white dress gliding across the books on the floor like wisps of smoke.
As she neared, Mark let out a small gurgling noise before turning and racing to the double doors behind him. He grabbed the handles and pushed the doors open with a panicked scream. The doors flew open, and Mark raced out of the room. He had only run a few paces before he froze. “R-randy..?” Mark turned slowly, unsure if he would even see his friend.
“What?” Randy spun around, annoyed. “Mark, if I-” The sentence froze on Randy's tongue as he stared at the scene in front of him. The small, shadowy building that he and Mark were exploring was gone. The narrow hallway had been replaced by a stone-lined room with a high ceiling. At the far end of the room, a twenty foot tall fireplace was set in the wall. A few coals glowed in the hearth, but the main source of light was the sunlight pouring in through the rows of windows that lined the walls. Between the windows hung brilliant, red tapestries stitched with images of knights clashing in battle. None of this mattered to Randy, though. All he saw was the man dressed in black armor holding a sword to Mark's throat. The flashlight in Randy's hand slipped from his fingers and lodged itself in a pile of books at his feet. “This,” he whispered under his breath, “is really not good.”
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