A Ghost of a Prank

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com

Fabian A. Ortiz Ramos

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As though a starved predator stalking its prey through a bush, Junilapy shadowed a back exit of her school, knowing that her best friend would depart through it on her way to the parking lot.

“This is what you get for ‘forgetting’ to buy me that ice cream,” Junilapy cackled to herself, impatient for the moment her friend would open the door. “Valedine, you will NOT get away with not getting me my favorite, limited edition flavor.”

The girl surveyed the double glass doors from around a nearby corner, listening for any signs of human activity and occasionally peeking around the brick wall in case Valedine somehow sneaked past her. The extents to which Junilapy would go to get back at anyone who mistreated her in regards to food even astonished herself. Though, thankfully, she didn’t need to tap into her reserves of misfit energy for her current prank, because what she was accomplishing by stalking an exit of her school was pretty simple–Valedine was still in the school after classes for her sports club and Junilapy merely desired to frighten the wits out of her with a spectacular impression of a ghost.

“Not that I’d know what a ghost sounds like–they don’t exist, after all. But, Valedine thinks they groan, so I guess I’ll try that.”

Another few minutes flew by without activity, or even any indications that people still milled about in the school, so Junilapy checked her phone for the time.

“Are you kidding me?” she angrily thought, “It’s almost been fifteen minutes since her club ended! Where is she?!”

The girl instinctively felt the urge to text her friend to ask where she was, but knew that the act might rouse suspicion. Junilapy and Valedine were peas in a pod and always fully aware of each other’s plans, disregarding pranks such as this one. Valedine thought that Junilapy was at home and knew that she was still at school, so if Junilapy suddenly asked about Valedine’s location, Valedine could potentially suspect that something was up.

“And if she becomes suspicious, her guard will rise. I can’t let tha–”

A girl’s familiar giggling sounded from within the building, and Junilapy jumped into place behind the brick wall’s corner, her hands up at shoulder height, her back arched, and her legs bent, fully prepared to give her best friend the fright of her lifetime.

“Well…” Junilapy’s mind wandered while she waited the final seconds, “It won’t be that big a scare when considering what I’ve put her through before, but with how she’s been so paranoid of ghosts lately…”

She chuckled as the double glass doors began swinging open, footsteps resounding off the concrete floor and the remnants of someone’s laughter still hanging in the air.

It was time. Junilapy released the tension built up in her legs and launched herself forward, preparing to latch onto she who would step through the doors.

“GRRRAAAAAAWWW!”

Then, a moment of confusion passed after Junilapy fell forward, forced to catch herself on the open and empty doorway. She spun around, leaving no spot untouched by her gaze.

“What?” Her jaw hung open, flabbergasted. “But I…I heard someone. Someone was giggling and stuff…”

Junilapy knew not what to think except that her first scare attempt failed, so she sighed, returning back to her spot around the wall’s corner to await her friend again.

Then, without warning, something landed on the girl’s shoulder, gripping hard enough to stop her in place. Junilapy yelped in both terror and pain as she craned her neck to the side, getting an angle of the mass holding onto her.

A chilling breeze washed over Junilapy as she recognized the sinuous, lanky digits capped by repulsive, yellow claws. Fingers.

Adrenaline coursing through her, the girl turned as quickly as she could while backing up, making space between her and the unexpected visitant

“Who are yo–” Junilapy began to ask, but stopped, her mind halting upon finding nothing. The owner of the gangly hand was…nowhere to be seen.

Sweat, alongside the goosebumps running down her back and arms, began forming above her brows. The ghastly, chilling breeze which stank slightly of sulfur only grew stronger by the second until Junilapy’s hair began to sway and her eyes watered.

Suddenly, a voice, as soft as the wind yet jagged as arrowheads, meandered its way into the girl’s ears while a cold energy spread out from her shoulder, freezing everywhere it touched.

“Immolation, I suffer, offerings, lest I bring…”

The fluffy, yet sharp words pierced Junilapy’s mind, ricocheting around her skull, stimulating the freezing energy until only her lips could move.

“W-why?” she sputtered, looking straight into the eyes of whom she thought was her closest friend.