Archive for March 24th, 2012

24th March
written by amber

Moving Again

He’s moved again, which is just as well. He knows it’s time to move when the changes start – when the cupboard doors fly open on their own and the knocking sounds seep up from underneath the floorboards and the wallpaper comes to life. He might be able to put up with it himself, but before long the neighbours are bothered. He likes to leave before that happens.

The first time, all those years ago, he didn’t realize it was anything connected to him. He thought it was the apartment, and he moved out with a feeling of relief. He told the landlord about the odd occurrences, not that he was believed or given his deposit back. He worried about the next tenants, and so he kept in touch with his former neighbours in that block, but no one ever mentioned the new tenants complaining about being haunted.

And then it started up in his new apartment and he knew that it was aimed at him.

And he knew why.

She didn’t like to be hidden. Morna.

“Don’t call me your invisible friend,” she’d told him when he was seven. “You can see me, so how can I be invisible?”

Morna had liked it best when he talked about her when she was right there, seen only by him. He told his mother that she was a school friend, and shared all her strange opinions and unusual tales. “She sounds like a very unique little girl,” his mother had said.

He nearly replied, “Oh, she’s not a little girl,” but he stopped, not knowing how he would describe Morna. She was no girl, he was certain, and she wasn’t little. She was tall and very old, and she looked different ways at different times. “She’s my best friend,” he told his mother, and Morna smiled.

He told the kids at school that Morna was his cousin, and they begged him every day to tell them a new story about her. Morna loved the attention, and made sure he had plenty of stories to share.

But he outgrew her. “I’m too old to talk to imaginary people,” he’d whisper beneath his covers, trying to conjure her into extinction but afraid that she’d hear him. And she always did. “I’m real! You know I’m real.”

After he started university, he ignored her for years, talking to her only when he was drunk or half-asleep or alone on long bike rides, Morna gliding along beside him, not walking, not flying, just moving quickly and without effort. When he graduated and started working, he gave up alcohol and his bike, brought dates home frequently to drown Morna’s weeping out with the sounds of human passion. When he slept alone, he used sleeping pills.

But she would not stay hidden.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story. If you’d like me to use your name in a story, I’d be happy to do that.

The first line of this story was borrowed from Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Blind Assassins.