Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ghost story

My flash fiction pal, Jessa Russo, is having a bloghop and flash fiction contest celebrating the publication of her novel, Ever. I have joined in on the fun! My job was to write a flash fiction ghost story in 1000 words or less (paranormal romance preferred...). You know me! My first draft was WAY long! :) But I managed to get it down to 998 words! Yay me! Also, I couldn't just make it predictable, I had to do something unexpected with it - I hope it worked! I had a lot of fun with this story. I hope you enjoy it.

Now, since this is part of a bloghop/contest I need all the votes I can get to win...there are some amazingly talented writers participating! To vote you must leave a comment (it can't be from Anonymous, so you have to leave a name) with the single word "VOTE" in it. Pretty simple, right? So, if you like the story (and want me to win TONS of cool stuff) vote for me in the comments! I really appreciate it! :) Oh, and if you follow the link above, you can read all the other awesome stories too!




"...if you dream a thing more than once, it's sure to come true..." ~Aurora


The Imaginary Kiss (That Changed Everything)



Marcus poked his head into the room, “You about ready, Leah? Breakfast is ready!”

“Yeah, I’m coming.” I grabbed my backpack and followed Marcus down the hall.

“Phillip with you?” Marcus glanced around as we started on the steps. He was the nicest about my imaginary friend.

“He always is.” I smiled at Marcus, then back at Phillip who was right behind us.

“Should we set a plate for him too?” He waggled his eyebrows at me.

“You know Phillip never eats, but if you want me to pretend – just this once – so that you can have two platefuls, then I’m game.”

He sighed dramatically, “It would probably freak Mom out. Why can’t you have a normal imaginary friend, you know, one who pretends to eat and talks to you and does whatever you want? I could at least get food out of it.” He sighed dramatically as we entered the kitchen. “So, is Phillip excited about school today?” He asked just to see Mom spit out her coffee. We usually didn’t mention him in front of Mom. She thought I was too old for an imaginary friend – It was cute during my toddler Sleeping Beauty phase, but now she had me see a shrink for it.

“Yeah, he seems so.” I glanced at Phillip, who shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes. I laughed, “Okay, maybe not. I’m excited though! The first day of High School is like a blank slate, right?”

“It can be whatever you make of it, little sis. C’mon, we’re going to miss the bus.”

We ran for the bus as it was pulling to a stop at the corner. There was only one completely empty seat. Marcus turned around and winked at me as he passed it, leaving room for me and Phillip in the same seat. As the bus filled, I never noticed that no one tried to sit with me until someone did.

He was tall and skinny with curly black hair, a lopsided smile, and eyelashes I would kill for that framed eyes that were an indeterminate grey. I quickly glanced up and down the bus - there were no more seats left. I swallowed and scooted as close to the window as I possibly could to make room for one more.

“Hi. I’m Jasper.” His voice was melodic and raspy at the same time.

I realized my mouth was hanging open only when Phillip glared at me and tapped his hand on his chin. I snapped my mouth shut, “Leah. Hi.” I tried to smile, but it may have come out otherwise.

I looked down and noticed that Phillip and I were touching. In the past twelve years I couldn’t remember it happening before. I liked to avoid reminders that he wasn’t really there. This time, however, I thought I could almost feel him.

“We moved in last week. What grade are you?” I looked back up at his question. It was odd looking through Phillip, my eyes kept focusing on Jasper then Phillip and back again.

“Freshman.” I whispered. Phillip crossed his arms and glared. “What!?” I noticed Jasper pinch his eyebrows together. I cleared my throat, “…um…are you?” I tried to smile again.

Jasper blinked several times before answering, “Freshman. Are you okay?”

“Um, yeah. I’m good. I’m fine.” I was shaking my head up and down too fast.

“I don’t bite, you know.” He looked down at…I don’t know. My hands? My hips? Just down. At me. I felt goosebumps on my arms. He waved his hand in my general direction, which just happened to be inside of Phillip – that looked strange. “You don’t have to squish yourself up against the window like that.”

Oh. I felt the heat rise in my cheeks. Phillip was trying to talk. It was distracting because I couldn’t read his lips when he was talking so quickly. I tried to look at Jasper to respond to him, but I kept looking at Phillip who was waving his hands in front of my face.

Jasper turned to look over his shoulder and back, “What are you looking at?”

“Nothing.” I said quickly and bit my lip. That got a reaction. Phillip froze.

I could read his lips now, “Nothing?” He put his hands against his chest, “I’m nothing?”

“I didn’t mean that.” My heartbeat quickened.

“What did you mean then?” Jasper still thought I was talking to him. Phillip started yelling at me and for the first time in my life I was kind of glad I couldn’t hear him. He sped up and I couldn’t follow it anymore, but it had to be bad because he stood up.

“Don’t go.” He’d never tried to leave before, but it seemed like he might be threatening it.

He threw his hands up and moved into the aisle. “Phillip, wait!” I scooted past Jasper – who had one of the best shocked faces I had ever seen, it would’ve been funny at another time – and held my hand out to Phillip.

He reached out and placed his palm against mine. I felt a shock of electricity pass through me. That had never happened before. What was going on?

Phillip then moved so close to me that my entire body tingled. I closed my eyes to appreciate the new sensation and my lips exploded with warmth that ran down my entire body and turned me into a puddle of bubbly sparkles. I think I just got my first kiss…Do imaginary kisses count?

The bus stopped. My eyes flew open. Everyone was looking. Marcus walked slowly down the aisle, “Leah?”

No one had gotten up. They were still looking. My hand went to my mouth, my toes remembering the warmth from that kiss. Tears started to fall. I hung my head. “I’m sorry,” I whispered. High school was officially ruined.

“No. I am. I never believed you.” I looked back up at Marcus, confused, “I saw him, Leah. Phillip. Just now, I saw him too.”

63 comments:

  1. Oooh! I loved that! Yay!

    Thanks for entering! Good luck!!

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    1. Yay! I'm glad you liked it! I'm looking forward to reading yours!!! :)

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  2. Replies
    1. You are AWESOME and need to write your own so I can return the love! :)

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  3. Nice! I like how her brother could see him at the end, too!

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    1. THANK YOU!!! :) You are a true friend! :)

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  5. Wow, way to build tension!!!

    VOTE.

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad it worked! Thank you for the encouragement! :) (and the vote!)

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks! I had a good time stretching the definition! I'm glad it worked for you! :)

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    1. Thank you! I appreciate the encouragement! :)

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  9. Really enjoyed this, well done, hope you do well.

    VOTE!!

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    1. Thank You! I'm glad you liked it! Thanks so much for the vote! :)

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  10. Great story, I loved the concept, and the idea of an imaginary friend who is actually a ghost.

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    1. Thank you! I had a lot of fun writing it! :)

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  11. Wow. I loved this. SO sweet. Great twist at the end. I want to read more of this. MAKE IT LONGER!!! I mean it, for some reason, these characters really drew me in. What a problem to have...a ghost friend nobody else can see. Perfect.

    And the fact that Phillip has obviously always been around. Why? Who is he? Did he love her in some past life? Or did he die in the hospital the day she was born and just latch onto her? I don't expect you to actually answer me. haha.But this is the kind of story that makes questions just explode in my head!

    You could really build on this and make it into a real book. I mean, picture it. Especially if you took awhile to give away the fact that Phillip is real. If you had time to play with the readers and give them just enough to keep them guessing if the "imaginary friend" was real or if this girl is just crazy.

    You could have the girl go in and out of mental institutions. Okay. Sorry. Wow, the writer in me is totally being obnoxious. You got a million gears spinning in my head about what an awesome book this could be. haha. I'll stop now.

    All my gushing aside, the voice of the MC wavers a tiny bit in this. In the beginning she sounds really young, so the high school thing threw me. It really doesn't matter though, cause it's such a short piece and it didn't detract from it at all. I just thought I'd mention it in case you decided to go further with it--so you'd know to watch to keep Leah's voice consistent with her age.

    I wish you the best of luck with this. I'd cast my ballot for you, except for that I'm in the same contest. I'm a new follower by the way. It's very nice to meet you!

    P.S. Are you aware your word-verification is on? I always tell people in case they don't know. It makes it a real pain to comment, so if you turn it off people might comment more. :)

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    1. Hahahahaha! I loved this! Thank you! And I had NO IDEA I had the word verification on (I don't know much about having a blog yet...), so thanks for letting me know! I've turned it off!

      Also, I really loved this too and I'm considering turning it into something more. I totally know what you're talking about with the voice...I had originally thought MG and it switched...I guess I hadn't taken it all out. Jessa wanted a romance, and there's not a lot of romance in MG, so...

      Thank you for following! I haven't had time to read everyone elses entries yet! You know you CAN vote for as many as you like? Once per entry, but for as many entries as you want. I'm looking forward to reading some great stories this weekend! I haven't decided if I'll vote for only my favorite or all that I like...it's hard to give people votes when you want to win! :)

      Thanks so much for the encouraging words! I really appreciated you comments! I'm looking forward to reading yours! It's very nice to meet you too! (Yay, new friends! *does a happy dance*)

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  12. VOTE!! Loved the story Lissa!! You have such talent!

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  13. Replies
    1. I like the long, drawn-out scream of the word...it's especially effective...but still only counts as one vote (bummer)! :)

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  14. Replies
    1. Thanks, Momma! I know how hard that was for you! :)

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  15. VOTE b/c you are awesome! :)

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  16. Replies
    1. Aw, Thanks so much! Have you read any of my other stuff on here?

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  17. Replies
    1. My, my! You're excited Kayla-ji! (Unfortunately only one counts!) :) Thanks, Babe!

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  18. Replies
    1. Thank you, but your vote doesn't count because you didn't leave a name... :(

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  19. Vote! Good luck, Alissa.
    Lori Downing.

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  20. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jessa! I'm looking forward to hearing what the judges have to say! There are great stories I'm up against! :)

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  21. This is a really cute story! I love that her imaginary friend turns out to not be so imaginary! Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. Thank you for commenting! It means a lot! :)

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