The sound of his father’s soft snoring filled Lucas’ ears as he stood in the darkness of his parents’ bedroom. A few long slivers of moonlight fell through the window, illuminating the room in a dim, silvery glow. The boy looked down at the pair of sleeping figures, hesitating. Was he really doing the right thing? His parents would be so worried… Would they even know where to look for him?
A soft sigh escaped his lips as he did his best to chase the doubt from his mind. I can do this. I have to. They’ll understand. “I’m sorry.” He whispered, knowing they could not hear him. “But I have to go home… Goodbye.”
It felt as though there was a weight pressed against Lucas’ chest, getting heavier and heavier with each step he took down the steep staircase. I can do this, I can do this, I can do this. He crept through the dark dining room and slipped out the back door into the cool night air.
As Lucas stood in the eerie silence of the backyard, the panic finally began to set in. He glanced around uncertainly. Where am I supposed to go? He wondered.
The boy’s gaze fell upon the hedge at the edge of the property, which separated their yard from the neighbor’s. Lucas squinted, curious. It was difficult to make out, but he could have sworn that he saw the silhouette of a figure in the moonlight.
He hesitated, not sure whether to feel relieved or nervous. Talking to strangers was always risky, he knew. But maybe they know the way to the bus station…
Lucas drew closer, and his presence no longer remained hidden. The young woman turned and looked down at him. There was no going back now.
She’s pretty. He thought. But she looks so sad… And… blue…? Like… literally…
“Um… hello.” He called out, giving a small wave.
Lucas blinked, and she was gone.
Huh?! Where did she go? He took a step back, his heart rate rising. Was he going crazy? Seeing things? Maybe his nerves were finally starting to get to him. Maybe this was a mistake. Maybe he should go back inside. Maybe –
Lucas leapt into the air higher than he ever had in his life. The pale blue woman had materialized beside him, her deep, echoing voice filling his ears and shaking him to the core. He tried as best as he could to stifle his cry of alarm, instead letting out a strangled-sounding squawk. His trembling hands rose defensively, and he took in the sight of the beautiful and frightening apparition.
He’d been right – she was pretty. And blue, in both senses of the word. And, he now realized, translucent. His parents’ patio furniture and the large dining room windows appeared warped and discolored, but visible nonetheless through the girl’s torso. There was a strange, barely-noticeable smoke rising from her shoulders, which bobbed ever-so-slightly as she hovered before him. The boy’s eyes widened and he dropped his hands to his sides.
“Woah…” Lucas stretched his mouth into an excited grin. “Cool!”
The ghostly woman drew closer to him, and he could see the disbelief in her pale, misty eyes as she leaned over him. “Cool?” She scoffed. “Seriously?”
Without another word, she turned away from him, floating through the hedge back to where she’d come from.
Lucas raced around the side of the yard to catch up. “Wait!” He called, adrenaline racing through him. This is the most awesome thing that’s ever happened to me!
The boy rounded the corner, panting. But he was too late, she was gone.
Lucas lowered his head in disappointment, staring down at the overgrown patch of shrubbery where the girl had stood. There’s something there… He realized, leaning closer. A sliver of white peeked out from beneath the leaves. He pushed some of the overgrowth aside, and could just barely make out the inscription in the stone.
June 9, 1965 – December 21, 1985
In Loving Memory