The Ghost of a Murder Past (Part II)

Read Part I here.

Lacey looked through the frosted window as needles of rain tapped against the glass. The world beyond was a wet wonderland of glistening reflections of a city continuously moving into the future. For Lacey, however, it reflected the past, too, for her sister Beth stood out there in that cold dank world.

She often saw her sister, and this night was no different. Tonight, Beth wore Lacey’s lucky blue jeans. The cream blouse she wore under it all was her own. The neckline was torn and hanging from her shoulder, and spots of blood mottled it in all the places that Chris had stabbed her.

“Why are you still wearing my pants?” Lacey asked, but Beth didn’t answer. She never answered anything Lacey asked. She just remained silent, smiling, and staring. Always staring.

Lacey sighed, exhausted that Beth still hung around after all this time. Watching her sister, she brought her steaming tea to her lips and sipped the hot brew. She held it in her mouth, allowing her tongue to bath for a moment, and then she swallowed. She smiled as the warm feeling spread through her chest.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Knowing that the sound wasn’t the rain’s symphony upon the window, she looked around the room. The tapping was hollow with a subtle baritone flavor to it.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

She leaned down and put her mug onto the nearby glass coffee table, and her sister’s worried face stared up at her.

Lacey looked toward the kitchen. She could have sworn the sound came from over there, but unfortunately, all the lights were off. She saw nothing more than dark shadows and the soft green glow of the clock floating over the range.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

No, it wasn’t coming from the kitchen. She whipped around toward her bedroom, and slowly crept toward the open door. The room beyond was even darker than the kitchen as if all light ceased to exist beyond the threshold.

Beth watched her sister from the glassware and mirrors as Lacey crossed the living room. Beth smiled occasionally, sometimes she frowned. Beth always had animated features, always able to convey exactly how she felt without a single word. When Lacey looked at her sister, she saw worry. She saw fear. She saw something in Beth’s eyes she hadn’t seen since she first appeared to her the night after she was murdered.

Lacey stopped when she reached the door. She peered into the darkness, and watched a shadow dart across the room.

“Who’s in there?” She said, “I have a gun!”

She did, but it was in the nightstand next to her bed. At least she hoped it was still in there because she hadn’t moved it since she visited the man that killed her sister.

Lacey back up just far enough to snatch an angular piece of art made of chromed iron from the table next to her couch. She’d picked it up on a whim while at the local flea market while looking for handcrafted goods. There wasn’t anything particularly interesting about it, but she had an affinity for things with highly reflective surfaces, and this one, with its rigid and polished exterior, was amazing.

Now, it had another purpose, though. More than just a mirror with which she could see her sister, it was a weapon for fighting off her intruder.

As she entered the room, Beth followed her. She tried to turn the light on, but it didn’t work. After toggling the switch a couple more times, she moved to the window and yanked the cord. The blinds shot up with a loud stutter, and the light from the street lamp poured into the room.

The closet door was ajar, and she saw nothing in there but clothes and shoes. The nightstands remained untouched, and the bed was without wrinkles. Everything on her desk appeared where she left them, and no one hid underneath it. If it wasn’t for Beth stamping her foot and urging lacey to leave, she might have thought no one was there after all.

She frowned and looked at Beth who was standing in the long mirror by the closet. Her sister frowned back, and was no longer wearing Lacey’s pants or jacket. Instead, she’d changed into Lacey’s light-blue teddy and white lace undershorts.

“Why do you always wear my clothes?” Lacy asked, and then watched someone materialize from the shadows behind her in the mirror.

Lacy started to turn, but she wasn’t quick enough. The man grabbed her and threw her to the ground. The man turned her over, and she looked up at her attacker.

It was Chris. Maybe it didn’t look like him anymore, but she was certain it was him. He had unnaturally straight, white teeth behind his sneer. Only one of his eyes moved, the other remained slack, staring at nothing. His lips looked melted, partly healed and partly scarred from the burns caused by the gun she shoved in his mouth.

“You’re supposed to be dead,” she said.

He leaned close to her, and as he spoke with his dark, raspy voice, she felt the hot stickiness of his breath against her ear. “You thought you could kill me, bitch?”

Lacey closed her eyes, bucked hard, but couldn’t fight him. He was too strong. “What do you want?”

“You,” he said. “I miss your sister. The way she felt. You being her twin, you probably feel just as good. Of course, after what you did to me, I won’t let you off as easy.”

She was about scream to alert her neighbor, but he suddenly let go of her. He flew across the room, and crashed hard against a long mirror. An invisible force held him against the glass, and two hands coated in a tar-like substance slipped through the surface of the mirror. The glass rippled as if it was made of water, and they snared him.

Lacey scrambled back along the floor as the hands pulled him into the mirror. He screamed as if in pain, and a moment later he was inside. He looked around the reflected version of the room, and as he approached the glass, someone suddenly appeared in the room with him.

The woman was small, thin, and nude. She didn’t have any sort of pigment Lacey had ever seen before. Her skin was as black as the sky on a starless night. It was as if she was a shadow, only she wasn’t because she had blonde hair that seemed to have a soft phosphorescent glow in the moonlight.

“Beth?” Lacey said as the woman stepped toward the man.

He retreated until he pressed against the wall with nowhere to go. He said, “Stay away!”

Lacey thought she heard a laugh echo through the room, and the Chris’s shirt ripped open. The sweat on his bared chest glistened as deep fissures appeared in his skin. They were two inches long, and blood poured out of them as if they went in deep. Finally, a long slit traced across his neck, cutting deeper and deeper until his head barely clung to the existing meat.

The woman standing in the mirror turned as Chris’s body crumpled to the ground. The light illuminated the woman’s face, and it was Beth.

Lacey approached the mirror and placed her hand on the glass. Beth did the same, almost as if a perfect reflection of lacey. The surface felt warm. They smiled at each other, and then Lacey wept.

She didn’t know how it was possible, but Chris had survived her revenge attack. He’d come back to do to Lacey what he did to Beth, but her sister had somehow come back to save her life. She wondered if Beth knew this whole time that he was still alive, and that’s why she’d appeared to her.

Lacey blinked the blurring tears from her eyes, and Beth was gone. Chris was gone. Only Lacey stood in the room with one hand on the cold mirror.

 

 

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