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Parallels A Ghost Story

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					Parallels: A Ghost Story

       Tom Herbert

      September 2004
    As the door slipped shut behind him, the house seemed to darken, the
colours becoming richer, deeper. Noises echoed and danced as he took one
small, shallow step into the house. The wall light shone like an oil lamp on
the bare bricks, bringing out the delicate, uneven textures in a mellow orange
sheen.
    Turning, his eye caught a small shadow playing around the doorway to
his right. Getting larger now, it dominated the hallway, gradually throwing
the house into bitter darkness. His mind seemed to dull, salt spiking his
saliva; limbs hanging heavy and listless; eyes wide, seeking concealed light.
    The shadow gone, the doorway was filled by a tall, thin figure — his
father. But it wasnt his father. The eyes cold and dark, the face more
severe, the hair greyer, frostier.
    ‘Good day at school?’
    The voice was different too. The normal, velvety tone replaced with a
gravely, uneven one.
    ‘Yes,’ he replied, making involuntarily for the stairs. With several dull,
surreal thuds he was up, the door of his room sweeping closed.
    Now he was alone, solitary, in this house: his yet not his, with parents
that he knew yet did not know. Subtle differences separated the two realities,
a thin barrier trapping him, penning him in.
    He felt restrained, confined. Overwhelmed by thoughts and fears, he
slipped his mobile phone out of his pocket, tapping in a number with rapidly
numbing digits.
    ‘Hello?’
    ‘Hi, Alex, yeah, its me. Could you come over, quickly?’
    ‘OK. Ill be there as soon as I can. Bye.’
    ‘Yeah, bye’ He muttered, voice fading.
    A great, booming thud brought him abruptly from his thoughts. Feet on
the stairs, his door slid open.
    ‘Hi,’ Alex ventured, perplexed.
    The boy acknowledged his friend feebly, his face pale and white.
    ‘Whats wrong?’ queried Alex, brow furrowing.
    ‘Its the house, the people, my world. Its all changed. Dont you think?
Cant you tell?’ He insisted urgently.
    ‘Are you sure youre alright?’ Alex murmured, moving closer ‘Everything
looks fine to me.’
    With a whimper of distress, he sank to the floor. Defenceless.


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