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The Amulet by Ashley Tiara Lilly

Thomas stood in the dark hallway of the abandoned house. The only light he had came from the flashlight app on his smartphone, and it was draining his battery fast. If it wasn’t for the erratic movement of the light, he never would have realized how much his hands were shaking. He was catching his breath when the hairs on the back of his neck stood up, cold shivers running down his spine. The house smelled like dust mixed with a subtle aroma of wine.

With every step he took, the floorboards creaked. He called out to someone who might not be there, and this made him question his own sanity. Taking a deep breath to calm himself, he decided to call it quits and get the hell out of there. That’s when he saw her—the ghost girl.

She appeared before him as a pale apparition in a dress. Her hair was long. Her breath was cold on his skin, and he wondered how that could be. Could ghosts breathe?

She turned to drift away, and he called after her. In a flash she stood before him again, making his heart race.

She spoke in a whispery yet melodic voice. “What is it that you want?” she asked.

He gulped. “I…I just want to talk to you,” he said.

She hovered before him, her eyes as white as her skin, and waited for him to continue.  He reached into the pocket of his jeans and pulled out a silver and ruby amulet. Feeling the coolness of the metal in his hand, he held the object out with shaky fingers.

When she saw it, the ghost girl’s features became a little more defined, her face more detailed and colored, almost making her look like a normal, living girl. Her eyes widened and then she looked at him, her expressing accusing.

“Where did you get this?” she asked.

“You know what this is, then?”

She frowned. “It belonged to my mother.”

Thomas took a breath and exhaled, slow and steady. Things were finally starting to make sense. He explained that he’d gotten the amulet from a pawn shop in exchange for an old watch he never wore anymore. It was intended to be a Christmas gift for his mother, who always fancied old-fashioned jewelry. But as soon as he brought it home, he realized it wasn’t normal. Strange things started happening, things that were difficult to explain.

“What kinds of things?” she asked.

He furrowed his brow in confusion, trying to find the right words. “I started, like, seeing things. Premonitions? No, premonitions foretell the future. Visions? And then when I went to sleep at night, I would wake up, barely remembering a recurring dream. There was a woman telling me she needed help protecting her resting place. And the visions I had kept leading me here. To this house, to a mysterious ghost girl.” He met her eyes then, and her expression was softer than it had been all night. “I think the woman was your mother. But, forgive me; I don’t know anything about you.”

She looked down at her feet, which were hovering several inches from the ground. “I had a nickname in my human life. I can’t remember it anymore. You can call me Abigail,” she said.

Thomas extended his hand and held hers. It was cold, airy, barely there. He held his breath, feeling the strangest mix of fear, curiosity, and empathy.

“It’s nice to meet you, Abigail,” he said.