“Do you feel any pain?”
“No, just itching from time to time.”
Doctor stopped checking me and sat down, scratching his beard in thought.
“How did this happen?” The doctor started to look through his papers.
“Would you believe me if I told you I was cursed?” I tried.
“Jihun!” manager scolded me.
“But it’s true!” Heejun defended me but manager glared at him, so he fell silent.
“Cursed, you say?” The doctor scanned me carefully, probably wondering if I had some mental illness. “By whom?”
“By a ghost. We’re in South Korea. Don’t such things happen sometimes?”
“In stories, yes. We’re famous because of scary STORIES, not actual phenomena. But it’s not my role to tell you that, right? I don’t see anything unusual in this ‘mark’, Mr. Kim. For me it looks like a normal allergy in a funny shape. Do you have an allergy on something?”
“Ghosts,” I grumbled, but he didn’t hear that. “Not sure,” I said louder.
“You can do an allergy test, just to be sure. That’s it from my side. Have a nice day.”
“He’s a con!” I hissed, when we were coming back to our dorm. Manager gave me a free evening today, so I could rest.
“Because he didn’t believe in the curse?” manager said from the front seat. “Be reasonable, Jihun. Stop believing that your dreams are genuine.”
“I’m NOT dreaming!” I outraged. “Seriously, hyung. Didn’t you feel anything off from this building? You don’t have to SEE to believe!”
“The only thing off now is your imagination. You’re scaring each other with those crappy scary stories and that’s the result of it. Have a good rest and tomorrow you’re going back to work.”
That was the end of the discussion. I felt offended and didn’t say a word till we arrived. Members didn’t want to leave me alone in the dorm, but manager got angry and they quickly left, leaving me at the parking lot.
I shivered, when I realized there was no sound around me. I ran to the elevator.
Then I realized it was the worst idea ever, but the door already closed and the elevator moved. A couple of scenes from horrors flew before my eyes. Most of them were in the elevator. It was a common thing in scary stories or movies – the protagonist, or usually the victim, enters the elevator and the ghost appears. I stiffened, when I thought about it. Would she appear here? She was a wandering ghost after all. If she was in our dorm already, then –!
Suddenly the elevator shook. I screamed and squeezed the handrail. W-What now? Did she stop the elevator... ? The lights blinked. I started to sweat like crazy. But then lights were working again and the elevator moved. I breathed out part of my life. I felt like I’ve gotten old in a second.
You’ll pay for it.
I stopped breathing. The voice was near my right ear, where I felt sudden cold. It certainly belonged to Hyeonju, but now I heard a lot of different emotions in it. There was anger indeed, but also sadness and... fear? That would be strange for a ghost to fear something, right?
She breathed in and got closer. I closed my eyes, trying to think about something else, but I already felt her hands around my neck, even though she didn’t touch me.
Then the elevator stopped, the door opened, and I heard footsteps.
“What’s wrong?” someone said and I looked up. Elderly couple, who was living at the end of our floor, was standing before me with the intention of entering the elevator. I looked around.
Hyeonju was gone.
“N-Nothing...” I muttered and quickly left.
“Poor girl,” I heard suddenly and turned around, but the door already closed and the couple left. Did that woman mention the ghost? I read somewhere that elder people may encounter the other world if they’re close to their own death. I hoped it wasn’t the case and finally reached the dorm.
I locked the front door, switched on all the lights, closed the door to the room, and lay down on Heejun’s bed. I didn’t even have a strength to go up to my bed.
I closed my eyes and had a dream.
It was a normal dream at the beginning. I was at the fan signing after our hot debut. We had a lot of fans. I was happy and proud. When another fan came for the sign, I asked her name.
“...n Ju...” she muttered.
“Can you repeat it?” I said.
“AHN HYEONJU” she suddenly said with terrifying whisper and looked at me with whites of her eyes.
I opened my eyes and sat quickly, breathing fast. It was dark. I didn’t switch off the lights, if I remembered correctly. Did members come back? But I didn’t see Heejun. I looked around and got goosebumps.
The door was opened.
I tried to think it was my imagination and maybe I didn’t close the door, when I went to sleep. I lay down, but something caught my eye. There was a strange shadow on the chair beside the desk. Knowing me and Heejunnie, there could be just some hill of clothes. I reached to the bedside lamp, but it didn’t work. Did the bulb burn out? Or maybe blackout. That would explain why all dorm was shrouded in darkness. I looked again at the chair and froze.
Now the shadow was standing next to the chair.
I frantically looked for my cell phone, in order to illuminate the room. After I found it, I tried to switch on the flashlight, but the phone didn’t work at all. Out of battery? It was impossible, I charged it yesterday and surely didn’t switch if off! I looked up and moved back with panic.
The shadow was standing next to me. With my every blink the shadow’s hands were moving, reaching toward my head. Suddenly it brought out a weird and scary sound and I finally woke up.
I shrieked and sat violently. There was darkness around me again. I reached my hands out and touch... a wall? And the floor was cold, as if somewhere outside –!
I clung terrified to the wall.
Where the hell was I!?