I don’t believe in ghosts but I can’t deny a few strange things that have happened to me.
When I was a child I would often wake around 4am when the house was still pitched black and hear voices in the living room.
It sounded like a man and a woman conversing with one another but when I would go into the living room, no one was there. Yet after some time I could hear them again, whispering to each other.
Each time this happened I was far too terrified to ever go back to sleep. I never remember a night where the voices stopped, I just started listening to music or turning on a fan to fall asleep. To this day I still sleep with a fan.
When was a kid I also never liked to close the door to my room completely because someone would like to knock on it. I would be playing and someone would knock three times very softly. I blamed my little brother, or maybe even my parents but one day when they were all outside playing catch I didn’t know how to explain the noises.
Another common occurrence was the “breathing”.
As a kid and even a few times as a teenager I would hear what sounded like someone breathing behind me, always when I was alone. The most notable occurrence was when I was home sick with my mother. She was in her bathroom taking a shower. I was laying on the coach, closing my eyes and trying to sleep but still very much wide awake.
Out of nowhere I felt the hot breath of a man, like someone was leaning over me and blowing out a soft breath on my face. I say a man because I heard a soft sigh. It was also interesting because you know that feeling you get when, you don’t see them but you know someone is in the room with you. I knew someone was there. When I opened my eyes however the room was empty.
I told these occurrences to one of my friends, who does believe in the paranormal and she told me something that gives me chills to this day.
“I think you don’t believe in ghosts because to do so would mean you would have to admit they’ve been following you around your whole life.”
FYNK James: 8/10 That is a really good line at the end. Nice. Thanks for sharing the scares!
au where eleven goes trick or treating as a ghost and reunites with mike.
“What are Ghostbusters?”
Hopper looks up as El pushes peas around her plate. Putting up the pretense of eating them at all is rare. Something is definitely up. She looks up at him through a mop of curls, guilty as sin and he leans back in the chair, wiping his mouth. She shovels peas into hers in response and he sighs, waiting until she has her mouth full and her plate clear.
“It’s a movie,” he says, “about people who hunt ghosts,” she chews with her cheeks full, “why?”
“I saw a commercial,” she mumbles and looks back down at her plate, “ghostbuster,” she repeats, like it’s the word of the day.
Hop looks at her for a long moment, then turns back to his food.
She keeps her head down and thinks about it. Hop will never let her go, she knows that. He’s determined to keep her safe, even though safe is starting to look like another prison. He’s being nice and she is grateful, but she wants to see Mike. Mike told her the cool thing about Halloween was that you could be anything. You didn’t have to be yourself. Eleven doesn’t minding herself, but for one night she thinks it could be cool to be someone who isn’t putting people in danger just by being around them.
Mike notices the ghost pretty early on.
Kids are all out, they walk the same paths but the ghost behind them is different. There’s a precise distance it keeps from them, it usually isn’t there after every house and it reappears afterwards. Like it’s following them. He tries to keep his head down, tells himself that he’s being crazy, but most of all he doesn’t want the others to notice.
“I think that ghost is following us,” Will confides in him.
“What? No,” he scoffs, seeing the ghost pause and turn away, “you’re seeing things, I’m not gonna look just so you can steal the good candy.”
Will blows out a breath and the lie tastes like tar on his tongue. He thinks back to last year when Dustin and Lucas accused him of being obsessed with a girl. Maybe now he’s just going crazy. The hairs on the back of his neck keep pricking up and when Max appears and falls in step besides them, guilt crashes over him like a wave. The first thing he does is turn and look for the ghost. His throat tightens when he doesn’t see it, he feels both stupid and ashamed.
Then Will is running away and the ghost is just a presence in his mind again.
It feels like hours later that Mike exits the Byer’s house, shoves his hands in his pockets and tries not to be afraid of what Will’s said. He knows he can be there for him, but the way Will’s talking it’s connecting dots he hasn’t seen before. He knows where his attention has been, but it makes him feel shitty all the same. He was secretly angry when Will came back and Eleven left, now he doesn’t want to consider the possibility that the reverse might occur. The hairs on the back of his neck stand up and he turns around slowly.
The ghost is back.
His heart jumps into his throat as he looks at it. It’s standing there patiently, looking at him through cut out eyes. The sheet’s a little too small, he can see a pair of converse peaking out and the cuff of a rolled up pant leg. He could chalk that up to a quick halloween costume, lots of kids have those. He tells himself he’s probably being stupid and turns back around. He doesn’t get far before it hits him like a ton of bricks what’s wrong with the ghost that’s been following them all night.
“Where’s your candy?” he blurts out, turning around and not surprised to find the ghost standing there. It looks down as if realizing for the first time it doesn’t have any. “trick or treating is for candy.”
Neither he nor the ghost move, they just stare at each other. Mike’s mouth goes dry and he’s afraid to move, suddenly. Afraid to blink, almost afraid to breathe. Like if he does any of those things the ghost is going to vanish. He sees the ghost’s hands move underneath their sheet. After a moment one of them comes back with a handful of butterscotch candies, the kind that people keep in bowls on their tables. It’s not the kind you trick or treat for. Dry mouthed he takes a step forward. The ghost holds itself still, hand stuck out and Mike finds himself moving faster, even across the few feet that separate them. The ghost moves first, almost making him jump as it shoves the candy back into its pocket and looks up at him again.
It’s waiting, he realizes.
Waiting and watching him. He remembers all the nights he sat there, swearing that he wouldn’t need to hear anything. He just needed a sign. He was honest, he was. But now he wants to do something. Wants some kind of confirmation that everything he’s praying is happening right now is. He looks at the hem of the sheet. He feels his heart ache when the ghost grabs it, clutching it tightly like it expects him to rip it off. Mike knows he’s been acting out, but that’s not something he’d do, no matter who was underneath the sheet. The lick of shame is back and he finds himself looking away. What if everything he’s done is what kept her gone? What if this is his fault?
“You’re a good ghost,” he says looking back at it, “maybe next year we can all go trick or treating together,” his throat is tight. He’s gone a year without crying, he’s not going to do it in front of a random ghost, “here,” he holds out his candy, “I’m not hungry. Do you want it?”
The ghost looks between him and the candy and then shakes it’s head. Mike lets it drop back to his side. He feels like he’s back on the edge of that cliff, like he’s about to step off. But this time there’s no El. He doesn’t know what’s wrong with Will but now he’s got another secret to keep. It feels like there’s a weight on his chest. Mike’s never seen his dad cry and tries to channel that. Squaring his shoulders and giving a nod like he had at his grandfathers funeral. Mike can already feel his eyes starting to well up though.
“It’s day 353,” he blurts out, “it’s been bad. Today was a bad day. We all miss—” he stops himself because if this ghost isn’t who he hopes it is, he may have given her away, “we all miss our friend,” he says lamely.
The ghost just watches.
He blows out a breath, feeling stupid all of a sudden. He’s never felt stupid about it, not about talking on the walkie talkies, not about refusing to take down the blanket fort. Everything else that happens, it’s not like it really matters anyway. So what if he gets in trouble? But if all of that has made him not realize Will’s in trouble until now, Mike feels his insides squirm at the thought. Even more than usual. The ghost is still just standing there. He’s angry all of a sudden, even though he’s still got tears in his eyes.
“Are you just going to stand there?” he demands. The ghost hangs it’s head, “you followed us the whole night, you don’t have any candy—now you’re just gonna stand there not saying anything? Will’s in trouble! Friends don’t just stand there and watch people be in trouble, okay? They help!”
He’s told himself this whole year that he’s different from Nancy. That he’s not gonna give up and lie to himself. He’s been screaming into the void for a year, consumed by grief and ignoring everything else. He’s wanted her back more than anything and now the only thing he can think of is Will’s inability to meet his eyes. Now the ghost looks like that too and Mike’s not sure he’s ever felt more like a kid than he does in the moment. He’s exhausted all of a sudden too and it still feels like he’s on the uphill of a very steep ride.
All that he’s wanted is to know she’s safe, nothing more. But it’s shifted, now he needs her too. He looks at the ghost desperately, wondering what is happening. If it’s her and she’s just watching–he wants to know why. Why hasn’t she said anything? Where has she been? If she is standing there, she heard him because he told her about the Halloween costumes. His heart feels like it’s breaking and healing all at once as he looks at the ghost, wondering why this feels like torture. The ghost says still as he takes a step forward and stops. After a moment, the ghost steps forward. They come toe to toe again. The ghost gathers up the sheet in its hands and Mike realizes what’s about to happen. At the last moment he stoops as the ghost flings the sheet over him. For a moment everything is just white and dark, and then he’s nose to nose with the thing that’s mattered more than anything else.
“Hi Mike,” Eleven whispers.
Something strangled tears out of his chest at the sight of her. The mop of curls, the cuffed overalls, the moth smell of the sheets–all of it feels like he’s being punched. His arms lock around her desperately and she fists her hands in the back of his shirt, holding him even tighter. He wants to apologize but he can’t. He can’t make any noise at all. The tension that’s kept his back straight the past year is flowing out of him and he can’t do anything but bury his face in her shoulder. He knows he’s crying, when he breathes it’s in huge gasps. Dimly he’s aware of Eleven stroking his back in broad circles, trying to make him feel better.
“You heard me,” he gets out finally.
“Every day,” she says, sniffling, “the bad men–” she begins.
“I don’t care about them,” he cuts her off, wrenching back so he can see her properly. She glares at him, the effect not lessened by the tear tracks and reddened eyes, “I don’t, I told them I wouldn’t tell them anything.”
“I heard,” she admits, “they were going to hurt you.”
He stares at her, his mind struggling to process anything past the fact that she’s here.
“They can’t see me,” she adds, looking up at the sheet that’s still around them, “it’s not safe.”
That computes and his earlier words hit him. He looks down at her in horror because what if they know? What if Will’s Mom already called his doctor? Eleven looks up at him and frowns, reaching up and pressing her thumb in between his eyebrows at the worry line.
“Not stupid,” she says firmly, “they can’t see me, I’m a ghost,” she looks down, “I wanted to come before,” she says, “but I was the last thing you needed.”
“Who said that?” He asks. She keeps looking down, “they were wrong,” he says, “I know you were protecting me but–I did need you.”
“Sorry, Mike,” she whispers.
“It’s okay,” he lies and she huffs as he hugs her again, “it’s not but you’re here. You’re safe. I kept looking for you.”
She nods against him, sighing softly and burrowing closer. His mom tried to get him to take a jacket but he waved her off. He wishes he hadn’t as he holds her tight against him.
“I have to go,” she mumbles into his shirt, “I’m not supposed to be here.”
“Go where?” He asks and she stiffens, “it’s okay, you can tell me,” she looks at him doubtfully and Mike wants to scream at the mess he’s made, “I want to make sure you’re safe.”
“I don’t want to be safe I want to help!” She protests, “friends–”
“I want you to be safe,” he cuts her off, desperate for her to understand. The notion that she’s wanted to be around him as much as he’s wanted to be around her makes him almost smile. Almost.
“I need to go to the police station,” she whispers.
Mike nods. He looks at her, trying to memorize everything. A few short days wasn’t enough to get it all down, a minute definitely isn’t. His memory has warped things too, he realizes. Or maybe they’ve both just changed enough over the past year to rewrite everything. He reaches out and gently touches the frizzy mop of curls on her head, trying to reconcile this with the buzz cut. She turns into the touch, looking at him with eyes that have seen far too much.
He has to force himself to slip out from under the sheet.
The moment he straightens she’s back, arms locked around him and he grips her just as tightly. Several adults coo as they walk by and he hears a distinct mutter of ‘mouth breather’ against his sternum. He holds her hand as they make their way to the police station. The car doors unlock from the inside and she jumps up onto the boot.
The sheet flips over his head. He opens his mouth but before he can say anything a pair of warm lips press quickly against his own. His eyes widen in surprise. The taste of butterscotch echoes in his mouth and suddenly he thinks he might have a new favorite candy. She pulls back and smiles at him, something new and daring in her eyes. Mike feels the another piece of something slide into place in his chest.
“I’ll be back soon,” she promises, “bye Mike.”
The sheet gets pulled back but the image that stays in his head is infinitely better, somehow replacing the horror that’s been behind his eyelids for a year. The boot folds up, smacking shut in rapid succession and doors locking right afterwards. The thoughts in his head are all fuzzy now, but pleasantly so. Or maybe he’s in shock. Hell for all he knows, he’s asleep in his bed. He pinches himself and confirms he’s not. Before he can get caught and ruin everything, he forces himself to stagger off.
That night he dumps his candy on the bed and looks up when Nancy stumbles towards the bathroom. She’s drunk and still wearing her costume, but there’s punch down the front. He knows this year has been bad for her, but a rush of guilt hits him when he realizes he doesn’t know how bad.
“Hey!” He calls, getting her attention, “you want some?” She looks at him for a moment before stepping into the room. Her eyes move over his haul before she shifts aside a few pieces, a smile drooping across her face.
“I didn’t know they were still giving these out,” she says holding up a butterscotch, “everyone said they were lame but they were always my favorite.”
So, when Reimi tells Rohan and Koichi her story she ends up
showing them the wounds on her back. These wounds are deemed so gory that they
don’t get shown in Jojo, a series where we have seen a guy’s head get ripped
off and pulled into a canteen amongst other things. Pretty much everyone takes this
as an indication of the exceptional brutality of her death, and by extension,
Kira. This is important to me because Killer Queen’s bombs, while deadly and
merciless, lack the visceral impact of blood and guts. Since we never see Reimi’s
back, the brutality never really sets in all the way.
Now, my theory revolves around the fact that later on Reimi
also states that she can recognize when someone has died by Kira’s hands even
though she never saw his face and had no idea who he was/is. She says she can
do this because their ghosts all share the signature wound. We see Shigechi and
Rohan’s ghosts as they are blowing up into chunks of dust as they go off to “heaven”,
so we know what that looks like. Where this gets interesting/scary is that
Reimi says this manner of wound is Kira’s signature and that all these people
bare the same wound and she does on her back, and that that is how she knows it’s
him in the first place.
Now, until I gave this more thought, I just wrote this off
as her being confused or an unclear translation, because an explosion is
clearly different from a stabbing, and all of the victims would still be
clearly connected because they’re all blowing up and thus recognizable.
However, eventually I DID give it more thought, and asked “Could she be saying that Kira
brutalized her so badly with a knife (likely a kitchen knife from her own
kitchen), that it looked as though a bomb had gone off in her spine?”
Under the assumption that this is, in fact, what’s being hinted at, I
looked up images of blast injuries on google (don’t do this if you have a weak
stomach btw), and suffice to say, that if 18 year old entirely human and stand-less Kira Yoshikage did, in fact,
inflict knife wounds that resemble the type of damage done by a bomb, it
makes him 100% the most legitimately terrifying villain up to this point. Like,
he actually, legitimately scares me.
Furthermore, if this is the case, it makes perfect sense
that Araki didn’t draw Reimi’s back because:
That would have been A LOT of hard work
It would easily be the most gory/terrifying
thing so far.
Imagine peter go swoosh swoosh web and runs into pretty girl eating ice cream on roof top and accidentally swoosh her ice cream and she gets really mad so she waits until the next day on standby so when he swooshes by she pelts him with ice cubes. HOW DO YOU LIKE DEM APPLES.
I LOVE THIS SO I’M GOING TO WRITE A DRABBLE OKAY? OKAY
Summer in Queens this year was bordering on a heatwave, and with your AC broken, you had to cling to any source of cooling to keep yourself from going crazy. So you had gone out to the store last night and bought an ice cream with the dwindling change you had leftover after paying this months rent. Now, sat on the edge of your window sill, enjoying the ghost of a breeze blowing through the alleyway, you unwrapped the ice cream.
It seemed almost sinful, the way you were eyeing the treat, wiping the sweat off your brow and mentally preparing yourself for the heaven that you were about to devour. Unfortunately, a certain evil-fighting web slinger had just been advised by Karen that he would reach his destination faster if he cut through the alley to his left.
Peter thanked his AI, swinging through the array of fire escapes, welcoming the way the wind encompassed his body and cooled the sweat that became trapped in his suit. He was just thinking about asking Karen if there was an inbuilt AC in his suit when his eyes caught sight of a pretty girl sitting in a window. In this moment of distraction, Peter misjudged his aim, accidentally shooting a web towards the creamy treat that was about to enter your mouth. He quickly corrected himself, throwing his hand up just in time to keep his momentum as a web attached to a nearby rusty pipe.
“Hey!” You yelled, frowning as you watched your smashed ice cream melt on the pavement below you.
“S-sorry!” Peter called back, continuing on his path. “I feel really bad about that Karen, should I go talk to her?” He huffed, turning to catch a glimpse of you before he turned the corner.
“If you can manage to talk to her and intercept those thieves in 27.8 seconds.” Karen replied in her usual calm manner.
“Damn it.” Peter grumbled, continuing on his way. You stayed by your window, whining internally and wallowing in your own self pity as the remnants of the breeze settled into a disgusting humidity.
Peter stopped on a nearby rooftop, peering down to see the same pretty girl who had distracted him the other day. Oddly, she was perched by her window, her eyes narrowed and vigilant as a bead of sweat ran down her face. Peter shrugged to himself, swinging down with one hand as his other was occupied.
As soon as you spotted the flash of red and blue your plan sprung into action, and you began pelting the poor boy with melting ice cubes.
“Take that, Ice Cream Murderer!” You chuckled. Who knew throwing semi-hard objects at a man in a suit would be so satisfying?
“Woah woah hey!” Peter covered his face, cradling the thing he held in his hand behind his back.
“Should I initiate instant kill mode?” Karen chimed.
“No!” Peter groaned. He shivered as the ice cubes melted, leaving a cold chill up his spine. He watched as you stood at the window, huffing from the exertion with your eyes wide as you had run out of things to throw. “Are you uh,” Peter cleared his throat. “finished, Ma’am?”
You wiped your sweaty face on the back of your sleeve. “Yes, I think I am, Mister Spider.”
“It’s Spider-Man.” Peter said softly yet firmly, crawling closer to your window. “I brought you something.” He held out his hand, where it was revealed he was holding a new ice cream.
“Oh.” You blinked. “Um… thank you.” You smiled a guilty smile, and it made his heart flutter. Peter teetered on the edge of your window’s fire escape as you curiously eyed him. “Sorry for pelting you with ice cubes.”
“Eh,” he dismissively waved his hand, “it was a nice way to cool down.”
You ended up chatting for a while, and Peter was captivated. Following this encounter, you’d always find an ice cream by your window with a little note from Spider-Man. And when you were lucky, sometimes the masked boy would even come visit, requesting an ice cube shower.