Sunday, June 24, 2018

Divine Life #3

“I have never felt so relieved,” Emily said after pulled her head back inside the car. “And happy. Relieved and happy.”

“I’m glad you’re happy,” Nathan smiled. “I’m glad you’re not pregnant. While I have nothing against children, I am against 16-year-old mothers and Graham Ogle reproducing. At least right now. Maybe in a few years I’ll feel differently.”

“Thank you for taking me. I’m glad I get to share this moment with you,” Emily smiled at Nathan. She sighed loudly and sat back in the seat. “Why’d we drift apart?”

“Because I can’t get you weed and neither of us wanted to sleep together.”

“We’ve been friends since Kindergarten, our friendship has to be stronger than drugs and sex.”

Nathan shrugged. “We still talk. We’re still friendly. We can still talk to each other about stuff. We could be worse.”

“So what’s been going on the last three years or so? Aren’t you, like, into ghosts or something?”

“It’s more I’m into history but it’s because of the supposed hauntings of places that I’ve learned of the history,” Nathan explained. “I don’t believe in the ghosts. But I also wouldn’t mind them showing themselves to me.”

“I saw a ghost once,” Emily said.

“What? No,” Nathan chuckled.

“No, seriously. When I was, like, nine or ten, I was at my Aunt Beth’s house and I went on a walk with the other cousins. There was this weird trail-like thing that went along the city limits to the dump. Most locals called it the Old Dump Road but it didn’t seem big enough to be a road.

“Anyway, there was this old wood house along the trail that had been abandoned for as long as my Aunt Beth could remember. On this walk, I was looking at the house. All the windows had been broken out so it wasn’t a glare but I saw a little girl in the window. She had an old-timey dress and long blonde hair. She was just standing there staring at us. I tried to get my cousins attention but when they finally turned to look, she was gone.”

“The classic little girl in the window,” Nathan began. “And no one else saw it?”

“No. You don’t believe I really saw her.”

“I believe you saw something. I don’t believe you saw the ghost of a little girl.”

“What else could it have been? There was no glass in the window so it wasn’t a reflection. What else could look like a little girl?”

“I don’t know. It could’ve been curtains fluttering in the wind. Maybe it was a real little girl exploring the house…”

“That’s even creepier.”

“A giant wasp nest.”

“Now you’re just making stuff up.”

“Wasp nests can be huge,” Nathan said. “It was probably a wasp nest.”

Emily sighed loudly.

Saturday came and Jeremy woke up early and decided to walk to the lone coffee shop Ransomville had, Paramore. The shop was empty except for the employees and Chloe, sitting in the back reading, her plague mask on the back of her head. Jeremy ordered his coffee--a hot black and white latte, which was dark and white chocolate mixed together in espresso--and went over to Chloe. “Mind if I join you?” he asked her.

“What?” Chloe looked up.

“Do you mind if I join you or do you want to keep reading?”

“Yeah. I mean, no. No one ever asks to join me so clearly I’m having a stroke or something,” Chloe responded.

“Sorry,” Jeremy said.

“It’s not your fault that I’m so awesome that no one can handle it,” Chloe shrugged.

“What are you drinking?” he nodded to her cup.

“Almond amaretto. I like the sweet cyanide taste.”

Jeremy raised an eyebrow. “If you’re trying to make me go away, it’s not going to work.”

Chloe raised her arm and lowered as she snapped her fingers. “Aw, nuts.”

“Are you here every Saturday morning?”

“I’m here every morning. I get up early.”

“What are you doing today?”

“Nothing much. I’m gonna go to the park and read then go to the library and read.”

“That’s all you’re doing today? Don’t you hang out with friends?”

“Sure,” she shrugged.

“Are you from here?”

“Born and raised.”

“I’m from Kansas City.”

“I know. Your mom writes those books.”

“You’ve read them?”

“Checked out the first two from the library.”

“Did you like them?”

“Ehn,” Chloe shrugged. “They were all right. I don’t need to own them.”

“We could really use that money, Chloe,” Jeremy smiled.

“I’m sure. Do you want to come to the park with me?”

“Are you offering?”

“I guess I should because I feel you’ll just follow me there anyway.”

“Maybe,” Jeremy said.

WPA Park was established in 1938. The area was originally a dilapidated area that had suffered when not as many trains came through the area. Every building was demolished and an old stone windmill was moved from a town that had not existed in many years. Sidewalks wandered through the park, playground equipment was installed on the north side near the houses, and numerous other things had been added over the last eighty years.

As Jeremy and Chloe walked through the park, she pointed out the history of the amenities in the park. The windmill, the cupola from the old three-story Ransom Consolidated School from 1893 that housed all the grades until 1972 and was demolished in 1973, and a hastily made makeshift log cabin that was to the park in 1994 and built in 1854 where a meeting was held by local founders who debated whether to be on the side of free staters or Missourians. They chose free state, although there was little action this far west.

“Will you be coming with me to the library?” Chloe suddenly asked.

“I actually think I will leave you along now. Thanks for spending the morning with me. I’ll see you in school.”

“Yeah, it was a pretty good morning,” Chloe said. “We should do it again sometime.”

Jeremy began heading home but was stopped along Lincoln Street by Nathan. “Jeremy. Frank and I are doing some ghost hunting tonight. Do you want to come with us?”

“Ghost hunting? Where are you going?”

“There’s an old house across the river we’re going to explore. It’s more fun with more people.”

“Are we going to die?”

“Eighty percent chance we don’t die,” Nathan reassured.

“What time?”


“That late?”

“We have to make sure it’s late enough for everybody to be asleep.”

Jeremy scoffed. “Fine.”

“Great. I’ll see you about midnight. I’ll be in my mom’s maroon minivan.”

“Your mom’s minivan?”

“What automobile do you have?”

“Touche. But barely.”