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The Girl In Green - Ch2 Part 2
2

The headache gone and the rest of the day free, his parents decided it was time to start unpacking the kitchen and slowly work their way out to other rooms. As with all family events, it didn't take long for the work to wither away into a volley of insults and threats.

"Where do you want this picture?"

"Put it over there."

"Is this book yours or mine?"

"Who cares, put it in Shawn's room."

"Why would I want a book about golf facts? Put it in your room."

"Well somebody put it somewhere or I'm throwing it out."

"Go ahead."

"No wait!"

"Too late. It's gone. You people need to stop being such damn hoarders!"

Shawn made it half the day before getting fed up with the arguing between his parents. He waited until they moved into the family room then made his escape upstairs. Once alone in his room, he grabbed his guitar case and carried it over to the bed.

The click of the case being opened always made him smile. He enjoyed everything about playing music, from the feel of the case, to the feel of the guitar, to the moment he touched the strings. His fingers slid down its smooth face and cupped his hand gently across the taut cords. He plucked each one and listened to their solo hum, then began the slow process of carefully tuning them to perfection. Once ready, he leaned forward in his chair and played one of his own songs from memory.

The music flowed through him, consuming every bit of his mind until the world drifted away, leaving him center stage with a lone spotlight protecting him from the lurking darkness. It was here that his mind brought him whenever he played. He'd come to know it so well he'd even named it 'the zone.' In the zone, the stage was always made of moss colored hardwood, and the long black curtains were tied back against the wall allowing the audience to gaze over every inch of the stage. In real life, knowing so many people were watching him would leave him paralyzed. Not here though. In here nothing could touch him. The best part was also imagining Hillary in the audience sitting in the center of her aisle, four rows back from the stage. And of course she loved every minute of it.

When he was little, it was the girl in green who'd sat in that seat watching him play. Thanks to the golden oldies his father pressed on him, he'd spent much of those first years playing 'Run Around Sue' by Dion, a song that served rather ironic looking back. She enjoyed it all the same, as did the rest of the crowd, and so he played on oblivious of the context.

He continued playing, lost in his music, until something moving in the light made him jump in surprise. Instantly the zone broke away dumping him back into his new bedroom deep in the wintry heart of Middlebrook, Ohio. His mind was rattled from such an abrupt exit, but there was no time to worry about what had happened. Instead there was only the sound of footsteps coming from his closet. Not even a second later, the door creaked and lightly shook on its hinges.

Shawn's fingers fumbled in surprise, and his voice cracked three octaves when he tried asking who was there. He stared at the door and noticed that it had somehow opened a few inches.

Weird, he thought nervously as he got up from his bed. As soon as he was standing the door budged another half inch. Shawn's heart started racing.

Okay, okay, just chill. It's probably nothing, he assured himself. But the darker side of his mind wasn't so easily quelled.

It could be another spider. Maybe it was able to crawl up to the door and turn the handle. It's possible, you know. If you can open a door with a finger, and that thing is as big as a finger, then it could open a door, too. Think about it.

He did just that. He set the guitar down and slowly walked toward the closet door. He held his breath and listened. The sound of silence was deafening.

With a deep breath Shawn threw the door open, expecting something to leap out at him, but nothing was there except for a few t-shirts and boxes stacked neatly in the corner.

"Oh thank God," he whistled with relief. He was especially relieved not to see another monster sized spider. If those things got big enough to rattle doors he may actually be okay with his father ripping apart his life again. The thought made him chuckle as he closed the door and jiggled the handle to make sure the latch caught the frame. He then turned to go back to his bed when he saw a face and hands pressed against his bedroom window.

Shawn jumped in surprise.The face disappeared leaving imprints of the hands on the glass. They slowly faded from the window pane as Shawn struggled to breath.

Who the hell was that? His mind wondered. Wasn't he on the second floor? How could someone get up to his window? His mind didn't offer an answer and for some reason the face faded from his memory more quickly than the hand imprints that had disappeared from the window. What the hell is going on?


"Shawn!"

His mother's yelling made him jump again.

"Shawn!"

"Yeah?" he called back in a creaky voice.

"Time to eat."

"Okay."

"Don't dawdle. Let's go!"

"Coming!"

He hesitated for a second before leaving. The handprints were still there.



******
The Girl in Green is a horror novel by Scott McCafferty, serialized for web publication through RivalCast Media. Scott welcomes comments and feedback below or through email at scott.mccafferty@rivalcastmedia.com


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