My Ghosts. Don’t tell mom. 

First off, keep your mouths shut about what I’m about to say. Yeah, I’m 14, and my mom kind of believes me, but not really, you know what I mean? I know this is all weird. I know it sounds nuts, but I want to just tell you anyway. But don’t tell my mom. She believes in ghosts, but I don’t really think she believes that I can see them. So, fine mom. I’ll tell strangers. Even though I’m not supposed to talk to strangers. I notice they are more open-minded and really like what I say, so here goes:

We’ve lived in this house for almost five years. We’ve always been ok here. Sure, dad isn’t here and mom never really made me feel safe, but I felt like I was the man of the house. I took care of mom. It was easy, because nothing ever happened here until this one night. 

It was the Fourth of July. I’d been at dad’s house and then came back to mom’s. Mom never liked fireworks; explosives; and all of  that shi….stuff.  I’m not allowed to swear. That’s why I asked my mom to help me write this.  So, I was in my room, way too early on the fourth. Neighbors were shooting fireworks and mom was in bed. I was wide awake and walking around our house. I walked to the main floor; down the stairs from my room. The dogs were quiet–we have two and it was really strange for them not to bark. Yet, I got to the main floor and looked out our kitchen window with a quiet dog at each side. Call me crazy, but the dogs made me feel safe. They were right at my side and I felt like they knew what I was feeling and seeing, so I felt like everything would be ok. I didn’t dare wake mom because she needed rest. She also wouldn’t have believed what I saw. 

There I was, on the main floor with a quiet dog on either side of me. I gazed out the window into the darkness of our patio, trying to see. There they were. There were five of them; a mother, father, and three children. The only one that saw me was the father. All of the kids were missing one eye, the mother looked ok except her face was dark–burned dark. The dad: well, the dad was the one that scared me. I went back upstairs to my room, pulled the blankets over my eyes and pretended it was nothing.

The next day, I told my mom that I’d had a scary dream; how real it seemed and how weird it was. She said, “wow! That would make a good story!, but she didn’t really believe what I’d seen. She thought it was only a dream.

After I told mom, I would see the family of five in our patio. Every time mom looked at her phone to write, the dad ghost would look right at me, stand up from his chair and walk toward me. He scared me. He had both eyes–unlike the three kids, he wasn’t burned like the mom was, but he did have small, red, fuse-lit, firecrackers imbedded in his skin from his face to his feet.  They were all on fire and I was just waiting and worrying that they might blow up at any minute. I knew mom couldn’t see what I did, so I just acted tough. 

He would stand up to come for us–the dad. The mom was just burned-looking, like she’d been through a fire, the kids were all missing an eye and looked at me like they just wanted help. They were scared too. They showed me over time how bottle rockets had flown into their eyes, by their dad. They loved him but he was dangerous. It took me a long time to really figure out what happened. 

It was the Fourth of July. The whole family was lighting fireworks. The dad blinded the kids in one eye. The mom was inside already trying to sleep. He was just being a good dad when the bottle rocket hit the roof of the house and started the fire. 

When I see the ghosts, the dad is the only one that doesn’t seem to understand he’s dead. It’s weird, but I live here. The kids talk to me. The mom talks to me. They know what happened. But he doesn’t. He seems sad and talks to himself sometimes and I can hear him. He says over and over again, “that was stupid, that was stupid. I’ll never get over it. I’ll never forgive myself.” My only guess is that he feels like he killed his family because they’re all ghosts now. He knows what he did, but the mom, the kids, they are just lost here between worlds. I don’t want to be the one to tell them why they died. I don’t want to. So, I’ll keep living with ghosts. They all seem ok except the dad. He’s the one I’m afraid of. Don’t tell my mom. 

Hey! Shit anyway, my mom helped me write this but she changed too much, so this is just me; what I saw. She doesn’t know what I’m telling you now.  They’re still here. My dogs don’t bark around them (which is weird). Mom believes I had a really scary dream, but  she thinks that’s all it was. When  I see the dad, I see four fireworks across his forehead, a punk through his cheeks and mouth, fireworks all down his arms, legs, punks through his Achilles’ tendons,; pierced through his nipples, all lit, waiting to blow up;  and he looks at me. Every time mom seems like she isn’t paying attention. She looks at the tv; she looks at her phone; she laughs; she writes; he looks at me. I’m scared. I know that this might sound crazy but sometimes when I’m home alone, I have visions of when a person died. The first vision I had was of the dad dying.

He was murdered by the real dad. That’s why he doesn’t know what happened. That’s why he blames himself. That’s why the murdered guy is so scary–he doesn’t know what happened. That’s why he’s a ghost. 

Sometimes, mom will find a lighter in the middle of our yard and not know how it got there. Sometimes, mom will find a knife lying around somewhere and ask me if I put it there. I say ,”no.” But I don’t tell her that I know who did.  

We live with ghosts. Ghosts are just people who don’t understand they’re dead. But, don’t tell my mom. She’d freak out. 

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