The Friend Who Wasn’t in the Park (Part 4)


Hello darkness, my old friend

I’ve come to talk with you again

Because a vision softly creeping

Left its seeds while I was sleeping

And the vision that was planted in my brain

Still remains

Within the sound of silence

-Simon & Garfunkle


Quickly, Simone ran after Darkness. He didn’t appear to walk any faster than Simone, yet somehow he managed to gain more ground. People walked the streets paying them little to no attention. That seemed strange, even for a city as big as LA where no one would give you a second look if your hair were on fire.

She hurried down the road after him. Thankfully, when he reached the park across the way, he finally slowed.

“You’re never going to get anything done at that pace,” he told her offhandedly as she came to a stop.

“I can’t go any faster,” she replied catching her breath.

“Well not with that attitude,” he replied and turned to the three ghostly figures behind him. “Now for you three.”

The figures looked dismal and worn as they shuffled in place before him. Two stood fumbling with little shiny objects.

“Hand it here,” he called to the apparitions.

Reluctantly one of the figures sighed with a strange echoey sort of sound and handed over the small rock. Almost immediately the creature began to glow, brighter and brighter until its form blurred. Simone shielded her eyes, but then the brightness went out. A faint gust of wind rustled her hair and the surrounding foliage.

The creature was gone. Continue reading

The Friend in the Yard (Part 3)


Last night I saw upon the stair,

There was a man who wasn’t there,

He wasn’t there again today

Oh, how I wish he’d go away…

-Hughes Mearns


Simone leapt back from the apparition before her. “Ghost!”

“Don’t scream, you’re going to upset it,” Darkness sighed, leaning on the window sill looking perfectly calm with his back eyes and dark casual suit.

I’m going to upset it?!” she nearly screamed back.

Slowly, Darkness approached the poltergeist, staring at the apparition indifferently.

The specter looked back and forth between Simone and Darkness like a trapped animal. Simone was about to ask what was happening when the translucent man suddenly looked at Darkness, began shaking his head, and backing away.

“Pity,” Darkness sighed and stepped aside as the man ran for the small attic window. Continue reading

The Friend That Wasn’t In the Attic (Part 2)


By April Wahlin

Edited by Travis Noble

When I came home last night at three,

The man was waiting there for me

But when I looked around the hall,

I couldn’t see him there at all!

-Hughes Mearns


Simone stared out the kitchen window. The neon hotel sign in her backyard reminded her of the haunting encounter with the shadowy man. Darkness. It wasn’t every day one had an intruder in their house, but it had been a few days since the incident. She should have gotten over it by now, right?

Yet, she had nothing else to occupy her mind. Her parents argued too much to pay her any attention. Even when she tried to tell them about the strange intruder, they ignored her. They probably thought she was crazy. Simone couldn’t blame them, she wasn’t entirely sure she had seen the shadowy man.

Simone tried to call one of her friends, just to have someone to talk to, but there was no answer. All of her school friends had stopped calling. Of course, it was summer break, naturally some of them would be away on family vacations, but why did they all have to go at once?

This had to be the worst summer of her life. Continue reading

The Friend That Wasn’t There

By April Wahlin

Edited by Travis Noble

Yesterday upon the stair,

I met a man who wasn’t there.

He wasn’t there again today,

Oh, how I wish he’d go away… -Hughes Mearns

Simone rolled over in bed onto a discarded snack box, accidentally grinding crumbs and sugar into the bed spread. Mom isn’t going to be happy. She moaned as she brushed the mess off the bed. Having done a so-so job, she went back to flipping through cartoon channels. Nothing on. Suppose she could read a book to fight the boredom―but why when there’s TV? Boredom or not, reading a book is for people without electricity. There had to be something on.

With a free hand, Simone fidgeted with her wristband. Sliding her thumb across the barcode. It was from yesterday’s visit. Just an asthma attack―nothing out of the norm…but still. She glanced out the window again. Dusk and an empty driveway. Her parents should have been home by now. She wished they would take her out like they used to. Dinner, movies, Disneyland…anywhere besides a hospital.

Simone finally settled on a station when something passed in the hallway outside her door. Continue reading