Never Alone

I remember reading a newspaper article about a random pattern of break-ins in the Beverly hills area, that just suddenly stopped after the second one. I decided to create the story of the break-ins, but with a twist.

A young thrillseeker has a new way of getting her rush. She decides to break into some celebrities homes.
The first few are easy, until she gets caught by the owner of a huge mansion. If that wasn't scary enough, there's one tiny thing to take into account.
The owner died 3 years ago.

Now Diana has a big secret to hide, and a bigger secret to uncover. One that could leave her the same way as her ghostly friend.

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15. Epilogue

"So that's the scariest thing that's ever happened to me." I said, dropping the torch from under my chin.

It had been 6 years since I had met Michael, and a lot of things had changed. I had a job as a camp counsellor for Goldarrow Camp, I had grown out of cliff-diving, Stacey was at Harvard studying medicine, and I was currently telling ghost stories with the kids in my cabin, hence the torch-under-my-chin action.

"Cool as!" One girl, her name is Lucy, replied, staring up at me.

"Yeah right! That was supposed to be scary. Anyway, ghosts don't exist!" Another girl, Rhonda, replied. Rhonda's the 10-year-old sceptic. She doesn't believe in ghosts, ghouls or anything like that.

"Can it, Rhonda! I'm trying to listen." Lucy says, throwing a pillow at Rhonda, "So what happened to Michael? Did you tell him why he was killed?" She asked.

"No, he's still wandering the earth. Looking for someone to join him in death. Someone, just like, YOU!" Alice, another one of my campers, says, jumping on Lucy and attacking her with a pillow, making her scream.

"Alice, leave Lucy alone!" I say, making her get off her. "You're wrong anyway. He's still close friends with me." I reply.

"In your dreams. Like I said, ghosts don't exist." Rhonda catcalls from her bunk.

"Oh, don't they?" I reply, deciding I'm going to prove to her that ghosts exist. "Do you want me to call him over?" I ask, getting to my feet.

"Be my guest." She replies, sitting up onto her elbows.

I still know how to call Michael, so I open the screen door and go outside to properly show her. I stand at the edge of the woods near our cabin, and give a shy wink at the shadow leaning against a tree.

"I heard it, don't you worry about it, I know what to do." Michael says, as the shadow melts away. He hasn't changed a bit in the 6 years that I've known his ghost for.

"Not too scary, mind you. I just want to open Rhonda's mind a bit." I say, as goosebumps climb up my legs. I've felt the cold a lot more since I turned 21.

"No problem, I'll do that for you, if you do something for me tomorrow." He says, going over to me.

"Anything you want." I say, as he heads over to the cabin. I count to 20 under my breath, and then go back, so he can appear as I reach the door.

As I place my foot on the bottom step, I hear Michael's voice, and then the expected rally of screams that follows.I use this as my moment to come back in. Everything went perfectly.

I could see Rhonda's pigtailed form flattened against the back wall, next to my room (counsellors get seperate rooms in the cabins) and she was clearly trying not to run out at full speed.

"Do you believe in ghosts now?" I ask, as I go over to her.

"Hell, yeah!" She says, her voice very high. MIchael rematerialises, and smiles that same smile he gave to me when we first had a chance to talk.

"Did I scare you?" He asks, exactly the same way as he asked me 6 years ago.

"Not really, you only startled me!" Rhonda replies.

"You scared me though, mister!" Lucy says, as all the other girls nod in agreement.

"You lot are a lot more fun then Missy Diana over there, then." He says, nodding over at me.

"Oi, you did so scare me." I reply.

"So you finally admit it six years later. You were really tough to crack."

"Ok, you win, you win, but it's nearly 10 o'clock, so you know what that means." I say, checking my watch.

"Aw, can't we stay up, as it's the last night?" Alice moans.

"We've all got a big day tomorrow, so you don't want to be sleepy. You've all got to go on the trail hike, and then go home, whilst I help out Michael here with whatever he needs help with, set up for the next lot of campers, prepare for the staff meeting and then welcome the next lot of campers, so you know the drill."

There were multiple complaints as the girls climbed into their bunks. Michael smiled proudly at me, as I switched off the main light and went back into my room with Michael.

"Well done. I'm so proud of you for all you've done." He says, slipping an arm around me once I closed the door behind me.

"Well, none of this would have happened if it weren't for me meeting you." I replied, sinking onto my economy-sized bunk.

"Yeah, but you did most of it." He smiles and its next to me, "Hey, could you possibly meet me at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park  tomorrow?"

"Sure, I can do that. Why do you want me to?" I asked.

"Oh, no reason. Anyway, it's late, so you'd best get some sleep." Michael said.

I was too tired to question him, so I sank into my bunk, and fell asleep almost instantly.

 

The morning came, I had sent my campers off on the hike, and I had some free time. Now was the time to meet Michael at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. I climbed off the bus into Los Angeles, and made my way to the park gates.

The words "Memorial Park" make you think of benches dedicated to someone, not an actual cemetary. There were startlingly white marble tombs scattered through the grounds. I walked through the park, hoping to spot him soon, as I could tell something was very wrong. Normally he would be meeting me straight away. I crossed the park slowly, shirking away from the graves. I should be used to the dead, having hung out with a ghost since the age of 15, but I still got chills up my spine from those marble headstones. Approaching the LIberty Park mural, I saw the familiar shadow leaning against a fir tree, facing away from me. I crept up behind him and waited for him to turn around.

Eventually, he did and jumped back about a foot whilst the shadowey layer fell away.

"I scared you, didn't I?" I asked, unable to stop a wide grin from creeping across my face.

"No. Well ok, a little bit. How's that?" Michael replied, putting an arm over my shoulders. "Thanks for turning up by the way; I can't do any of this without you."

"What do you mean?" I asked, not liking the  way he said it.

"It's nothing, don't worry about it. I just wanted to...show you around the place. Yeah, let me give you a tour. There's somewhere very important I want you to see." Michael said, delicately skirting around my question.

I let him give me the tour, showing me all the statues, murals and graves, and mentioning a few key celebrities that were buried here. Eventually, we sunk down on a bench in a quiet part of the park.

"That was really good. How do you know so many things about this place?" I asked, leaning on the pure marble.

"Before you broke in, I used to hang around here a lot. There's not a lot here to memorise, even though I helped make it a bit harder." Michael explained. Something was definitely very wrong though; there was a slight sadness behind his brown eyes that never used to be there.

"Ok, but let me ask you something. What are you hiding from me? I can tell that there is something going on here,  and I wish you would tell me." I asked, looking him directly in his eyes. The sadness grows, and I know that he knows I've worked it out.

"I said I was going to show you somewhere important, and it's right over there. It should tell you everything." Michael indicated a final gravestone nearby, with a few flowers around it. I stood up, and cautiously went over to the grave.

I could see it was newer than most of the others, and the gold lettering was still bright. I brushed a tiger-lily away from the name, and read it out.

Turning back to see him, I saw Michael was looking back at me like he was expecting me to run away or scream. "It's you here, isn't it?" I asked, placing a hand on his shoulder. He nodded once, and that was all I needed.

"There's a time-limit on how long you can be a ghost for, before you have to...move on, shall we say. I'm at the limit. I can't walk the earth any longer." Michael explained, holding his hand out in front of me.

"So what do you do now? I mean, what would happen if you stayed any longer, and can I do anything at all to help?" I asked, as this was scaring me a lot now.

"Remember why I was killed? You have to tell me, or this will happen." Michael, raised his hand up, and gently blew on it. A cloud of light dust danced off his fingers, and glided delicately on the wind. I clutched tightly hold of him, trying to stop the rest of him from reducing to dust.

"Will you be able to come back, after you move on?" I asked, my voice choking up, as a tear rolled down my cheek.

"I'm afraid not, Diana. This will be the last time you will see me whilst you're alive." Michael gently wiped the tear away from my eye.

"I... I'm gonna miss...miss you." I say, as more tears fall. All of them either from the bitter fact that I'm losing Michael for good, or from the sheer kindness he's showing me. I manage to stop my voice from choking up, for the few seconds I have to tell him. "You were de...deemed a threat to wha...what the Illuminati want mo...most. A world under the thu...thumb of in...injustice. Your efforts to era...eradicate injustice an...angered them enough to ki...kill you. You were a peace-lov...lover. That's why you we...were killed."

I let all resistance go and just clutched hold of him as the tears fell. Everything I could see, was now obscured by a murky veil of teardrops. I could clearly see this bright light shine out from Michael though, as I was holding on to him so tightly. It flashed brighter than the sun, brighter than the stars, and then blinked out completely, and then all I remember next was Michael's arms around me.

"It's all ok, don't cry for me. I know it's tough, but I have to go now. I don't belong in this world any longer." Michael's soft voice made the tears fall even more, as he deserved a better life than what he got. He ran a finger under my eye, removing the tears. With them gone, I could see he looked different; more golden, with archangel-style white wings curling over his back. He wasn't a ghost any longer; he was an angel now.

"I...I will mi...miss you. I...I wish we cou...could have met earlier. Th...then we cou...could have ha...had more time tog...together." I was past the tears stage. I was at the stage where you can't control your jaw and your voice is all choked up.

"What's gone is gone. That can't be helped. What matters most, is that you may have changed the world for the better. Now dry those tears, and live." Michael removed the last few ones from under my eye, and pulled me into one final hug. As his arms withdraw from around my side, I'm forced to let him go. He stands up from the bench, and removes one last teardrop that rolls down my cheek.

"I'll miss you too, Diana. If you ever feel sad, just look up at the clouds, and I'll be there."

"How long until I see you again?" I managed to control myself from breaking down, as he unfurled his wings.

"I can't answer that, but until you do, I'll be waiting for you. I swear I will."  A single, pearlescent teardrop slid down his perfect face. "Don't think of this as "goodbye". Think of it as "see you soon". "

Michael took a single step backwards, letting his hand slip from mine, and then flew up into the sunlight.

"Goodbye Michael." I waved up at him, until he was completely gone from view.

It was then that I broke down completely. Tears falling, lying on the grass as the sobs wracked my body into wild spasms. I don't care if anyone sees me. I don't care that I'm a grown woman crying uncontrollably in public. I certainly don't care if I die right this second, because that would mean that I could be back with him. I'm crying so hardly, that I don't even notice the feather-light touch on my shoulder.

When there were no more tears left to shed, did I finally notice the delicate brushing on my shoulder. Taking the object in my hand, I sat up slowly and took a look at it.

It was a pure white feather. Softer than air, and whiter than the purest lily. I pushed back my hair from my face, and saw the light golden edging. There was only one place this could have come from: Michael's wings. He must have heard me crying, and sent a feather from his back to me. For he hasn't really left me alone. He never will.

For as long as eternity, and beyond I will be Never Alone.

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