“But it was real.”
It was painful. Nobody believed her. She could tell; they kept glancing at each other, as if they feared she might react badly. Her uncle might as well have shrugged in disbelief. She wasn’t lying.
“Honey, it’s ok to be a afraid of the dark.”
She wasn’t afraid of the dark, well maybe a little but that was because she knew what creatures roamed in the night. She’d seen them. She’d heard their footsteps first. She’d first thought it was her grandfather who was going to the bathroom in the middle of the night but there had been no flushing, no lights turned on.
She wasn’t imagining things; she wasn’t crazy and she wasn’t afraid. Well she was; but who wouldn’t be after seeing what she had?
“Your daughter has such a fertile imagination Sophie. Who knows? She might become an author.”
“But it was real. Mom.”
“Look sweetie; you believe it was real; but it was the middle of the night; and you probably were sleepy. The shadows must have tricked you.”
“Four nights in a row? No!”
“Honey, that’s enough.”
Why was her mom angry with her? And why wouldn’t they believe her? It wasn’t fair. Why did everyone think she was imagining things? She wasn’t. She wished she were. It would be less scary or crazy. But she knew what had happened; not once or twice, but four times now.
Every time it was the footsteps that woke her up; always at 1:30am on the alarm clock. Then there were sounds, soft whispers; she’d realized the second time that they were kids’ voices. So she’d believed it was her cousins trying to scare her. They liked doing that; but no they were in the beds next to hers, sleeping like logs.
She’d got out of bed the third time; three kids were playing hide and seek in the house. They looked… different from her. As if they were in the wrong time; their clothes resembled those you saw on photographs from the early 1900s. And they were so skinny. They didn’t see her. At all. She knew what they were: ghosts. And they were real. She’d seen them every night since then. Running around the house as if it belonged to them. Maybe it did, once in the past. But no one believed her.