Haunted

People have called Imogen weird all of her life. They say that there's just something about that makes her like this- but what is it?
When Imogen has an encounter with a strange man on the train home, she's left confused and wanting answers. Who is this man and why does she feel a strange pull towards him?

A chilling story about ghosts, spirits and love following the teenage girl Imogen and her adventures into the unknown. Please read and give any feedback and like or fan if you enjoyed it!

P.S. This is not a vampire story by the way!

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3. Chapter 3.

~~Chapter 3
The days passed quicker than I could imagine. My last exam passed in what felt like seconds; a quick end to a long education. I felt as if a weight had been lifted from off my shoulders as soon as the last bell went; for a second, I felt free. But then, the date crept into my mind again and the days continued to fly past. Every morning, I rolled over in my bed to face the calendar (which was quickly becoming my greatest enemy) and groaned when I saw the little boxes becoming less and less up to my birthday. Three sleeps, two sleeps, one sleep then quickly, the countdown was over.


My alarm beeped. I peeled the heavy duvet off me- never did feathers weigh so much. I was eighteen. I could do anything, today was the first day of my adult life. The countdown of having a family started to tick in my head, the pressure to drink became a burden on my shoulders and I feared that aging was just round the corner. I was eighteen. My life was just beginning and a million doors had just opened to a million possibilities; I was eighteen. I opened my curtains and saw the garden below me; the dew sitting on the grass and twinkling under the morning sun looked so normal, so planet Earth-like. The shed stood at the end of the rectangular garden as if it’d always been then, a dull green box, a tiny dot in the universe. I stood there, even smaller than the shed, a speck in the universe; I was eighteen. My eyes were ignited with these sights, the new sensation, the new age...


“Imogen! Are you awake yet?!” My mum shouted from downstairs. “Yes!” I shouted back, trying to lighten my voice. I plodded downstairs in my fluffy socks and stripy pyjamas, looking like the child I was. When I got to the last step, I swung round the corner into the kitchen to be met with a bunch of balloons, a very jolly mum, a half-woken dad and a pile of presents on the kitchen table.


“Happy birthday, love!” My mum gushed, hurrying forward to hug me. Her hug smelt warm and snugly, a cure for any sadness. “Thanks!” I smiled. My dad looked me in the eyes, with his lines round his eyes and shaggy grey hair, “happy 18th!” His voice still had an edge of tiredness but it was slowly becoming more animated. “Thanks” I said, going forward to hug him. When I finished my hugs, I felt cold all of a sudden. My eyes suddenly diverted to the pile of present which were tactically stacked on the table. “John- camera!” My mum whispered sharply at dad, before I had time to absorb what she was saying, it was too late and the camera was already stuck in my face, taking a succession of photos. In protest, I put my hand up to the lens before realising how utterly ridiculous I’d look with a stop-like sign to the camera. All I could do was laugh at myself; the excited atmosphere that my mum had created was contagious and the fog in my mind cleared to leave it light and airy. Suddenly, I felt like a child again and rushed over to the presents.


“Now she’s excited!” My dad rolled his hazel eyes. I couldn’t help but smile. What had I been worrying about?


As I always did on birthdays, I made my way through de-shelling the thick envelopes containing cards first. It was a matter of principle which avoided making me feel like I just wanted the presents. This year, I noted, I had almost twice as many cards as I normally received. The envelopes were thicker and the actual cards were bigger too- they all screamed out ‘HAPPY EIGHTEENTH!’ with the massive ‘18’ in the middle. One pile was for the empty envelopes, one for the actual cards and one for the various gift cards and notes. My parents watched me sort these out eagerly. They ‘ooed’ and ‘ahhh’d’ accordingly to the messages and money that fluttered out.


I tossed an empty loud red envelope to the correct pile before picking up the last card from beside the pile of presents. This envelope felt thicker, porous and was a creamy-white colour. My address had been written on the front using what looked like a type-writer- this was weird, I didn’t think that people used type-writers anymore. What’s more, there wasn’t a stamp on it; whoever had sent this card had hand delivered it. The front looked eerily empty and untouched. I flipped the envelope over to inspect further, the back had been cello taped closed.
I ran my finger under the little gap in the right hand corner where the cello-tape didn’t reach and ripped the top open. It didn’t feel like I was ripping paper, it felt more expensive than that- almost like material. Inside, the card also felt expensive. I lifted it out and saw the ink drawn picture that was on the front. To my horror, I recognised it as my picture. It was my sketch of the woman who had stood in front of me on the train on that day. Someone had neatly cut it out and mounted it on some royal blue card. A lump got stuck in my throat.


“Who’s it from Im?” My mum questioned, you could tell that her and my dad had been wondering who this card was from for quite a long time now and they could see the horror in my eyes.


Cautiously, as if someone was going to jump out from the card, I opened it. The card was written in that same type-writer writing. It read:

 

DEAR IMOGEN HAPPY 18TH   HAVE A GOOD DAY.   FROM YOUR DEAREST FRIEND.

 


My mum could bear it no longer. “Well?”


I swallowed the lump down in my throat, trying to gather the explosion of thoughts in my confused mind. “It’s...it’s Megan.” I lied, “well, I think. It doesn’t actually say- it’s probably a joke or something.” I forced out a laugh that sounded mechanical and forced. In reality, I knew full well who it was but I wasn’t going to admit it to my parents.


Dad took it from my hand and studied it. “Bit of a strange joke, isn’t this one of yours?” he motioned at the sketch on the front.


“Yes, I gave it to her a while back.” He nodded slowly and then continued to flip it over and over, “funny girl...” He said ominously before laughing and passing it on to my mum who also studied it.


“Yeah, it’s an inside joke of ours.” I lied again, reaching for it back off my mum and slipping it under the pile of cards. I silently thanked them both for not making me try to explain what this inside joke was. Instead, they both laughed awkwardly then passed me the top present. I couldn’t even try to think what it was, my mind was so busy. “You’re going to love this one Im!” My mum grinned, the card was instantly forgotten as I desperately tried to resume into the happy atmosphere but this time, it didn’t come so easy. The nightmare which I had put to bed ages ago had come to life again.

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