The Night Walk

by Adam Steele

Preface

This is a bizarre ghost story. The reason why I have to outline a preface for the reason that this is the most bizarre piece of work that I've Imagined.


The night is still young when she walked upon the night with the full moon in the wake of the dark that is kept at bay. Where she was walking to, she didn't know when she remembered that her mom got into a fight about the pathetic promises in life that she meant to her.

She didn't care. She kept walking as the moon slowly slid across the sky as the eyes drifted closed for what seemed like an eternity. When she opened them, she sees the cows in the boundaries of the fence line when she looked at the barn that is to the right of her on this long and deserted road.

"Dumb cows, they smell like monkey farts and rotten raspberries." She moved her hand up to her nose when she walked by them, hearing one of the cows bawl upon the night when there is not a cloud in the sky, just the radiance of the stars that are twinkling above.

She didn't know that she is sauntering in the dirt now when she looked down, seeing the massive pile of rocks in the dirt when she remembered her brother's rock collection at home and how much she hated it. She wanted to kick those rocks out of existence that are upon the road when she knew that they will still be there in the night, taunting her to kick them again without a moment's notice. When she got to the end of the road with the yellow sign on the side of it, she turned left down the road where there are more trees than the last road that she left.

The moon is blocked out with variable shadows along the road when she continued to walk, not realizing of her danger that could be lurking on the road when she walked, trying to get her mother's nagging voice out of her mind.

You need to care about other people than yourself. God, she hated the sound of that.

She walked down the road, smacking a mosquito on the nape of her neck when she realized that there are a lot of mosquitos this time of year when a ring came upon her phone, pulling it out of her pocket and looking at the screen to see who it is.

Dad, he's at work. Why is he calling me? Then she closed her eyes and scoffed loudly.

Mom told him like a yo-yo that doesn't go away until the string breaks. She thought; god, can't I actually have a time of peace or something.

"Parents, why don't they ever leave responsibilities to themselves?" She told herself when she stuffed the phone back into her pocket and continued to walk in the dark night shade of the night, figuring this out, wanting to figure this out if there is a chance of figuring this out.

The night is young and so is she, walking to nowhere so the abyss of reason cannot find her when one hour becomes two and two hours becomes more than two. She walked down the road, looking for the answers that could be encircled in the sand on the side of the asphalt when she remembered the times she met with friends with most of them stabbing themselves in the back or screwing around with her boyfriends that she wanted to "hook-up" from time to time.

Jesus, why does life have to be primal past the scenes of intellectual behavior? She hated everyone right now when she remembered upon the night when she wanted to call Sylvia and tell her to drop dead for not showing up at Littleton's Party. She wanted them to feel her wrath. She wanted them to feel the hurt that she feels. She wanted them to be burned by her anger when she veered on the side of the road, seeing the many dandelions there when she wanted to pluck them out from the dirt and throw them down on the road for cars to run them over with.

Life sucks and boy does it suck hard.

When she went around the bend of a road that she is not familiar with on the point in the middle of the night, her phone rings off the hook, knowing it is her father when she continued to ignore it with her emotions all in a stir.

Little did she know that the night is filled with wonder and something else that she won't know in the coming edge of dawn when she will feel that her life will take a different course forever as she will meet a boy by the name of Luke Ellis who drives a Toyota Corolla on the many night roads of where it will take him. She will find him at the edge of the road just 43 minutes from now when she noticed that there is actually a cloud in the sky when the moon escaped, snuffing out the light upon the land when it is covered in bleak darkness and so much darkness that it swallowed her vision whole.

Two cars passed her when she forgot how long she walked when she saw a sign come up upon her with her hair slightly hanging over her eyes. She brushed the hair back from her vision when she could barely make it out from the yard light that is burning somewhere in the distance in the middle of the woods for no apparent reason of why it is there in the first place. What she could make out is the name of the road of where she is on when she read it like an obsession in her mind.

Lakeview, Lakeview. Oh, holly dolly Lakeview.

The other street she couldn't make out when she couldn't even see the first letter that is in the name when another car passed the vicinity of where she stood, reading the name out in perfect clarity of the name: Crockett, Crockett. Who is the man that played Daniel Boone? That show for the decrepitly old people? Was it Chuck Connors? No, that is The Rifleman.

She shrugged and continued to walk on when she spied something in the distance of a house at the end of the road that divided into a cul-de-sac when she remembered that there is a nasty lady that lives in the house, hating all people that come upon her door with one baseball bat in her hand and another with a television remote. She is a drinker as well. She likes to drink anything that will get her to the moon in little as an hour when she heard nothing outside her house but the sound of crickets and nothing else. Just the sound of crickets before they died away in the minutes before one girl arrived on the scene, thinking that her life is completely messed up from the problems that are haunting her to the point that it makes her want to kill herself.

She notices that there are no lights upon the house for the girl that is walking down the road, wiping the sweat off of her forehead when she could swear that she heard the sound of a car ride up from behind her when she turned her head towards the headlights that are coming up upon her, shaking the feeling of loneliness from her to something else that she didn't want to feel, not right now.

The car started to slow down near her.

Please don't let it be a boy or a man. Please don't let him be some freak that likes to take advantage of little girls. Please don't be one of those people. Please!

The person that pulled up beside her is a boy by the name of Luke Ellis. Luke rolled down the window when he casted his complexion out of the open window. He veered behind him and veered out to the hood of the car before sighting his eyes upon the girl that has been walking for what seemed like forever.

"Hey," He spoke to her like he has known her all of his life.

"Did you come from that sausage fest of a party on Jennivie Road?" He spoke like a person who has brought the attention to this girl that has been walking, searching for answers.

"Uh, no," the girl replied dumbfounded.

"I'm waiting for my father to pick me up." She spoke the only truth that is a long time coming from now.

"C'mon. I can give you a ride. The other girls say that I'm not a bad guy." The boy by the name of Luke Ellis reached over and opened the passenger door that swung with no squeak in it. This is the first meeting with Luke Ellis and in future time he will become her guardian angel that led her out of the darkness and into the light on the darkest nights forever more and forever less.

The girl, her name is Kristie Noonan when she took all of her energy to get into that Toyota Corolla when far away she only heard the sound of nothing, not even the crickets that are chirping no more when in the house overlooking the Cul-de-sac, there is a woman there that is sprawled out on the floor in the end-result of having a heart attack. Her face is something of relaxation, like having the best experience ever in her life when she knew nothing else when the dark enfolded over her for the last time in her life. She didn't know what hit her before it came up behind her like a surprise that sent her cold and dead and nothing else.

Kristie Noonan felt the brakes release on the car, like a train departing from some place that sucks more than ever when she looked at the boy in the driver's seat, looking at his rearview mirror and then looking at the road like she isn't there to begin with.

"So, what's the deal with the walk late at night?" Luke spoke like a knife, jumping her into her seat when she rubbed the sweat from her forehead some more in getting her adrenalin in check again.

"I was going somewhere. I-I-I'm walking to my aunt's house." She blabbed when Luke felt little conviction of being interested in her bald-face lie that would only take the dumbest idiot to not see it through.

"You're aunt's house. Okay." He sounded a little sarcastic when he came up to the stop sign and hung a left on the four way intersection.

"I didn't have long to get there. Say, what is your name and where are you going?" Kristie Noonan asked him when Luke Ellis looked at her from where she is sitting.

"I'm going to a bar in the middle of town. It's only open late at night and there is a lot of conversation to be had there. My name is Luke Ellis by the way. Can I ask your name?" Luke says in curiosity. Something about him thought didn't sound like a boy when he spoke in reason like a full-grown man and that too. He looked like a boy of about sixteen but sounded much older.

"My name is Kristie Swanson." She lied about her last name, sounding reasonable of being in a stranger's car.

"You sound wound up like a spring that has been compressed so long that it has lost its bend. You want a peanut?" He shoved a jar of peanuts out on her side of the car; she didn't know where they came from. They are the worst food that she had ever tried in her life.

"Okay, suit yourself. No jacket, very brazen of you. You have a tendency of getting into a lot of trouble it seems. No jacket, liable to catch a cold. You live life on the edge, don't you?" Luke smiled when he looked into the rearview mirror again, casting his eyes into it like they are meant to be there the whole time.

Kristie noticed something in his eyes. They are the eyes of someone that has felt something little next to nothing for the longest time. They seemed to glow but they are dead in their sockets which she couldn't understand either when she described it. The car continued to travel down the road as she looked out the window, trying to find a response to what he said.

"I left my coat somewhere in my room but I can't find it." She started to lie more than her share. Sooner or later she is going to lose herself in her lies altogether.

"I don't feel cold."

"You don't feel cold. That's what people say before they catch something." He turned on the heater of his Corolla when she noticed something when the car's interior got comfortable. There are billows of steam coming from his nose and mouth when he breathed out.

"So, do you go to school at Creighton Falls?" Luke asked, stirring up some conversation some more. He does look like he is watching out for something when Kristie saw this, thinking of some point that a deer is going to run out into the road when she wondered if that is really possible out here. Her heart started to beat in her chest.

"No, I'm home schooled."

"Did your parents think that is wise?" Luke looked at her before she shrugged, sounding manly in her responses more and more. She knew how to take care of herself.

"She did a good job of doing it."

They didn't talk for the longest time before she spoke for no apparent reason.

"Do you go to school around here?" Kristie asked when the road to town got smaller and smaller.

"I went to school a long way from here. It was fun. I met all kinds of people all over the world and learned about six languages from them."

"Really," She sounded really interested in what this boy has to offer.

"What languages do you know or interpret?"

Luke smiled at her, not being creepy in that smile at all.

"French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian," He marked them off like he is a robot that is somehow found something inside of its circuitry to know.

"It took me about...four years to know about them."

"Was it all through Jr. High?"

"Yeah," He spoke like a person that is half lying for the most part when Kristie paid no mind. She has been lying to him since they met so it is comfortable to lie to her to get back to what she is feeling. Boy, she needs to lighten up from time to time.

"Where is this bar at? I mean that we might be both underage and all." Kristie asked him when he shook his head in graceful protest.

"It's not that type of bar, you see. They don't ID anyone that comes through the door."

A bar that does not ID anyone; where in the hell do they get away with that? Kristie thought when she never heard of a bar that does that before.

"They don't. If all the boys and girls knew that then they'll be knocking the place over every night, even on a school night." Kristie brightened when Luke chuckled, placing the back end of his hand upon his lips to stiffen it up.

"There are things that you don't know. It would be in good taste to call your father though to know where you are at." Luke only made an annotation when he looked at her out of the corner of his eye. Then he realized that his breath is showing when he tried to breathe little as possible.

"What does that supposed to mean?" She felt the rise of anger on the tip of her tongue when she brushed her auburn hair aside.

"I mean that your father is worried about you and certainly you're too young to be walking about in the middle of the night. You don't know what could be lurking about." He looked at the side of his window when he swore that he had seen a deer in the distance. He wished he had someplace to spit when he kept that to himself - being respected towards a woman and all.

"Then why don't you drive me home. I can tell you where it is."

"You do seem to be in a car with a stranger, and that of a male stranger indeed." He thought of something else instead, knowing she is never going to let it up now.

"Do you have any friends that can give you a bed for an evening?"

"No, and I'm more interested in this bar that you are talking about. I never heard of a bar that won't ask for your identification to see how old you are?"

"Quite true," He knew the answer - it was not a normal bar and that indeed.

They drove again in silence for a while on fresh tires on the rims and fresh oil in the engine. They drove in silence towards the Lady Luck bar when he could swear that he can smell her on the other side of the car. That smell is intoxicating indeed.

When they arrived at the Lady Luck, she could see that there is no sign posted on the bar that leads to a basement level section when Luke Ellis parked the Toyota Corolla in the parking space around back. Kristie started to feel that this is a little off with a bar not being where it is for everyone to see on the outside perimeter.

"Where is this bar, really?" Kristie sucked in her lip like she is going into a place that is far beyond the complacency of normalcy.

"This bar is a place you shouldn't really be in. But if you are then you have to stay next to me at all times, you understand?"

"You treat me like I'm your child or something."

"Well," Luke opened his door and started to step out.

"You don't really know the half of it. It would be insane if I tell you."

Kristie followed suit, jumping out of the car like a firecracker when she closed her door and followed him like she is a whipped dog or something.

"Insane? What is insane about it?"

Luke stopped his walking pace and turned around, giving her a look that she cannot understand when a smirk came across his face like something menacing in the midst of all this darkness. No light will follow; no light will follow into the bar that is cloaked in red.

"You won't know before it is too late." Luke beseeched his mind of what is truly bound when Kristie felt the rise of her fine hairs on her forearms.

"Ar-Are you bad people; like murderers or something?" She felt the need to know this bar so it can leave her problems for just a spell - or altogether it seems when she felt her color drain from her face.

"Bad people, maybe not. I do not know of the people in the Lady Luck Bar. Keep your attention on its fullest though. You never know what is lurking about in there. Keep yourself next to me." He turned and started to walk towards the entrance of the bar when she felt the rise of her problems get the best of her again. She couldn't get the feel of her mother's voice out of her mind. She went inside, knowing that the truth will be revealed too soon and too late by the latter.

When she looked at the door to the bar, she noticed something outside of it when Luke Ellis touched the silver piece upon the door, like what the Jewish do before entering their house in an act of blessing. He touched it with his index and middle finger before opening the door, placing those two fingers to his lips when he scurried his way inside like a raccoon that is found by the light before getting away from the gunshots. Kristie followed suit, not wanting to touch the silver piece that is erected in the middle of the door when she wondered what kind of madness is this.

Luke met the hostess in the foyer area of the bar before leading out into the main section with his card floating from his hand, making sure that the hostess has seen it when he nodded his head, being the intimidation of the bar that Kristie Noonan has first seen when she diverted her eye contact from the massive hostess that stands almost six feet, three inches.

"Who is this, Luke?" The hostess asked, stopping Kristie in her tracks when she saw something that was eerily unpleasant for her to see. What she saw is the hostess licking his lips which is far disgusting in her presence.

"Some stroller, long story; she's with me and only with me." Luke advised him when he placed his hand into hers, escaping the foyer with her mind glimpsing a daze, wondering why she is feeling this way when she noticed that Luke sat her on the stool at the bar that is cloaked in red.

"What will you have?" Luke asked her, feeling that he brought her here on very odd circumstances and feeling sorry for her.

"Do you have some Bacardi liquor?" She felt the world swirl around in circles when Luke motioned the bartender to his area in the bar, ordering drinks for her and him.

She heard what he ordered to drink.

"What is Sangria?" She asked him when he looked at the mirror that is erected behind the bar and shrugged.

"It is blood, not real blood. It comes from Spain and they've been making it for more than three hundred years if I'm right." He was lying when he waited. She smelled so good from here when he looked at the other patrons of the bar, noticing their lustrous eyes upon her when he eyed them in warnings to stay back, to stay away.

"Can I ask you a question?" Luke pondered to ask for a while now.

"What is it?" She replied, noticing that she felt a sharp pain on her pinky when she flung it next to her head to rattle the hurt that is coming from it.

"Why were you walking around at night?"

"I was coming somewhere - I was coming from home?" She spoke the truth. She couldn't lie to that, why can't she lie. What is wrong with her? Why is the room still spinning? She can't get a level upon it.

"Home right. Let me guess. You two got into a fight about something."

"Yes," She felt drunk more than her share and not even touching the poison that is soon to be coming to her.

"We were fighting about us leaving this town. I have so many friends here that it pains me to see them gone in my life."

"I'm sorry to hear that." He found his interest when the bartender placed the drinks out in front of both of them, looking at Luke then looking at Kristie for the longest time before looking at Luke again like he must have been crazy to bring her in her, or influencing by her natural perfume that is coming from her. The bartender left them alone when he knew what she really is and that is the oldest trick in the book. He knew what Luke knew and he is fighting that back right now.

"Is it wise to walk alone at night for something that small? Hearing about the problems that are circling around town lately?"

"No, what problems are circling around?" Kristie asked when she placed the drink on the bar without drinking it first, feeling that herself is slowly coming back to her now.

"The plague of happenings to be; it is such a sorrowful sort for people to be dying of it." Luke drank his drink, closing his eyes in pleasure before laying the drink on the bar, smacking his lips in tender positivity.

"Dying, I didn't hear of it," She had no friends at school. Hell, she didn't have Facebook. She didn't talk to anyone.

"There is a change in the air and that is coming right soon." He spoke to himself with Kristie not hearing when she felt herself come around, making known of some of the truth that come out when she sucked in the air a little that is feeling cold, so cold that it feels like a funeral home.

"My god, how cold is it in here?" Kristie asked when she placed both of her hands across her bosom.

"Sure, it is quite cold in here." Luke replied, moving his jacket from his torso and placing it over her shoulders like a date that is far beyond the state of being out upon normal hours.

"This will keep you warm."

"Thank you," She straightened up with excitement.

"You don't mind, do you?"

"No, none at all." He is wearing a long-sleeve shirt, seeing the colors of fabric along it when she wondered about how built he is underneath that shirt. Boy, what a hunk.

Her phone rings in her pocket again when she thought about grabbing it before reeling the fact of talking to her father now.

"Are you going to get that?" Luke asked, drinking all of his drink before ordering another with a bemused bartender watching it all. He never felt more bemused in his life than right here, right now.

Kristie didn't feel the need of answering that when she kept it in her hoodie pocket, focusing on the drink that is upon the red colored bar when she noticed that the top of the bar is maroon in color. She never seen a bar like the color of this before when she wondered why it is the way the color is. She didn't care; she was getting the drinks for free. They didn't even ask her age. That is freakin' sweet.

Something slid from beside her when she turned her head, familiarizing with the expression on the man's face when Luke felt himself with the arts of primordial thought. She tried to remember who it is when she brushed the hair from the side of her face.

Then she realized when she opened her mouth for a second before speaking.

"Are you Arthur Griffin?" Kristie Noonan asked when the man slowly turned his head with a stone-like expression upon him before jumping back in the stool a little.

"Kristie? Kristie Noonan?"

Luke moved his head very quickly to the name that came out of the stranger's mouth. He smiled in self-respect and turned back to the bar to talk to the bartender for some simple conversation. The lights in the bar are acrid and a little dim on a public, lifestyle setting. This is odd for a bar. Kristie has never been in a bar before so she just chalked it up as another new experience for her.

"No, my name is Kristie Swanson, Mr. Griffin." She dropped her foot upon the floor when she wondered what she stepped on when she looked down for a split second, seeing a crack on the marble floor.

She veered her attention back up when Arthur Griffin accosted her with a shake of his hand, setting his other hand on the bar when he shook his head rather slowly.

"No, no, no, I-know-your-dad." He spoke each syllable slowly with his hand banging each time on the bar for justification.

"Your dad work for the law firm on the Vander case. I can't get into details but the Vander case could be the hottest leaf of the year or even maybe the decade. Vander is a true crud, taking expenses out of the accounts of the people that have very little money to invest in the penny stocks and average stocks that could start up or die in so much little time - or long time, if I could accentuate." Arthur slopped his drink around when he felt the high-rise of being past the point of being buzzed.

The other patrons didn't mind when they stayed in their conversations in the dark parts of bars where the light didn't follow them. Kristie felt the cold like ice draping on her cheeks when she wondered why Arthur is not even cold. He is a much older man. She stopped drinking a little when she took a swig of her drink, shaking the horrid taste from her mouth when she set the drink back down and coughed a little onto the back of her hand.

"The Vander case, I never heard of it." Kristie coughed some more when she tried to remember Vander - Vander. Who in the hell is Vander? She doesn't even watch the news.

"Vander is a real crumb. You never watched that Jordan Belfort movie. Neil Vander is like one of those pricks but never that successful in the crime of extortion. Excuse my language, mind you." Arthur sat back down on the stool, feeling the weight of the world pressing him down more than some. Luke touched her on the shoulder when he mumbled into her ear.

"I'll be right back, have to talk to some of the acquaintances in the back." Luke pointed which Kristie didn't look when she looked at Arthur with some incredulous smiles. She wondered if he is all right. That is when she didn't feel as cold anymore.

"He took people to place money in the shares that he signed off and he was skimming them right off the top. It is the oldest crook in the books as he cooked the books of all the expenses from certain people indeed. Then he invested personally in his own shares from the work-respectable people and got higher and higher in the bracket. The cops caught him before he got big on a stretch call from some anonymous tip. He pissed someone off on the reach around." Arthur continued to drink his drink more steadily now when he dropped the empty on the top of the bar and ordered another one, placing a ten-spot on the bar again.

"They say is going to get fifteen years in prison for that little ploy and I'm the guy that is defending him."

Then it all fell into place about the Vander case when Kristie opened her eyes to the possibility of it. Her father is working as the prosecution of the case when he came home late or didn't come home at all when he kept those matters only at the pin-cushion center at work.

He did bring it up one time when he was shoveling food into his mouth at the dinner table, explaining something about work when mother caught wind about the smallest bit of it. He was growing his beard back that is showing glints of grey upon it when Kristie couldn't believe that he is almost fifty. Fifty years old, my god; Kristie is almost reaching into adulthood. Where in the hell did the time go?

The conversation perturbed into the moments that have passed.

Mother asked him about the sightings of today's events and Father was too tired so he spoke with the first thing that has come to mind when he said:

"That guy Vander thinks he is getting away with it with that hot-shot scrap that is on the other side of the corner. I'll probably lose this case. I know I will." He gulped when he realized what he was saying.

"Uh, how was your day Kristie." He diverted the subject when the tunnel went back into the present, like an old VHS tape fast-forwarding into the future of now.

"Vander, now I remember that name. Is the case almost nearing the closing arguments?" Kristie remembered the lingo that she picked up from her father when Arthur paid no mind, drinking his fresh drink like it is going out of style.

"Getting close; I think Vander has it in the bag. I can feel it in my bones. That is why I'm drinking. This is a time of celebration to further my career."

"So," Kristie swallowed when she felt the room waiver a little bit. She's a virgin when it comes to drinking and she knew it when she felt the alcohol render through her veins.

"Do you think he's guilty for the extortion charges?"

"Heck yes, I do. He is crooked as used four-way for tire swapping. That guy could eat ice and pee out margaritas if he could figure it out. That is the clever part of moving up the ladder of promotional selection. All I'm thinking about it is getting appointed judge and maybe have a job like your daddy someday." He slapped the bar when Kristie bundled up a little, feeling the cold creep up her sleeves. Why in the hell is it so cold?

She looked at the people in the bar, the people that is sitting at the edge of the bar stand, and the people coming and going out of the bathroom when she could see the cold come from her mouth as Arthur Griffin continued to laugh like he has one the million dollar lottery.

"Easy living, here I come." Arthur continued to chuckle like a little girl when Luke came back to the bar, setting up on the stool that is still grooved by his bottom when he asked the bartender for another Sangria.

"What is that man sitting next to you?" Luke tapped her on the shoulder when Kristie looked back at him, examining his eyes when she found them warmth but cold at the same time. She found them sweet but bitter, live but death, sweet but bittersweet at the same time.

"This is probably my father's nemesis by the looks of it and he is having a time of his life right now."

"Good deal," Luke replied, rolling his eyes and pointing them to the bar when Kristie looked at Arthur Griffin some more before looking at Luke, leaving him alone without saying farewell to him.

"Where did you go?" Kristie asked him, feeling weird for being so nice to him. She wondered if she was in a Shakespeare play or something.

"I had to talk to a couple of people in the dark corner over there. Say, do you think about going home soon?" Luke's voice seemed to be out of place when Kristie wondered what the hell brought him to say something like that.

The room got eerie all of the sudden, like something brought upon the darkness when the colors upon the wall changed past Luke Ellis when the conversation got louder and louder in her head. The room started to spin when her eyes felt like they are going into the back of her head when the darkness swallowed her in the transgressions of dreams that haunt her night after night whenever she went to bed. The nights are prevailed to follow when she arrived at the same train station that is named Lady Luck on the sign that is posted above the service window when she crooked her head to it, seeing the strong whiff of coldness come from her mouth when she heard the service ticket man reel another ticket for an older man that smiled reluctantly when he received it, leaving the window to find a place to sit down in this blinding cold.

It didn't take long to sit beside her when she bundled herself up in the same hoodie that she was wearing at the bar.

"Rough night, dear?" The man spoke in that place of darkness that made her look at him directly before shrugging and sensing her direction to the concrete walls where the tracks are not in view.

"Yeah, I just can't remember how cold a night like this is?" Kristie spoke like she is feeling a little sick when she looked at the destination bracket that is bolted to the bottom of the awning. The digital electronics posted the train's destination upon this night when the man didn't say anything for the longest time when Kristie finally coined in.

"Do you know how far the train is going this evening?" Kristie asked the man when the man sat there like he didn't hear her before shrugging with the suitcase between his agile feet.

"This train goes to many places tonight. Where do you wish to go?" The man spoke in the tones like her father when Kristie thought for the longest time before replying.

"I like to go to Paris. That sounds like a nice place."

The man nodded when he chuckled a little.

"I don't really think that trains can travel on water, unless the tracks are built over the water, that is."

"What if we can? Make tracks on water. That would be nice to see. I like to see train track go from Rhode Island to France. All that travel upon an ocean is soothing." Kristie wondered if that is possible for America and France to approve something like that. But the possibility is slim to none.

"That would be something in the concept of fantasy, dear." The man smiled when he placed his hands upon his lap that is coated in leather gloves, sighing as his breath came out of his mouth in tantalizing waves of warmth. They heard the sound of a car horn and the shout of people in the distance.

There is no sound of night in the woods that are somewhere nearby.

"What if we can break the fabric of reality and go down the rabbit hole, like Alice. What if we can follow the White Rabbit to new adventure?" Kristie didn't know where this is coming from when she could control this dream, feeling her hands onto her own and feeling the conditions of the air that is cold to the temperature that is all around her.

"Girl that is what you have been doing your whole life; for I am your consciousness incarnate." The man brushed the fedora hat off of his head when Kristie smiled and nodded her head with his agreement that is warmer than the air that is around her now.

"Okay, sure. I didn't know that my consciousness would be revealed as an old man?" Kristie shook her head when she felt that her hair is shorter and her fingers are longer.

She noticed that the bracket had changed since their conversation when it reads:

The Mental Ward; 3:22, arriving when the cow jumps over the moon

What in the hell does that mean? She thought when she felt the air get colder around her.

"We are revealed what is revealed unto you." The man crossed his legs and ticked his left foot that is off the ground in intervals of a tune that is in the man's head.

Kristie knew the tune as she thought of it in her head.

"Is this a dream or is this a phase?" Kristie asked when the man shrugged, still crossing his legs when the snow started to fall around the train station.

"You can call whatever you like it." The man brushed his beard when somewhere she heard the sound of a mechanical beeping that is coming from the sky above.

"What was that?" Kristie spoke when the man beside her didn't answer when he continued ticking his foot to the sound of a clicking somewhere. Where the ticking was coming from, she didn't know when the beep sounded off again and again when the snow got heavier around the train station, turning into flakes that are about the size of quarters when the beeping went on and on towards the sound of a...

...Heart monitor. She felt her hands plastered in bandages when she looked at the bulb that is in the installment. The ticking is the clock that is over the door when she craned her head a little to the sound of the rhythmic ticking that is ticking one...two...three within her head. The windows to the room has the blinds pulled closed when she wondered what in the hell happened to her.

Where was she? She knew she was in the Lady Luck bar, drinking drinks with a guy named...god, she couldn't remember when the first letter to that name as she felt dizzy to the point that she can barely think clearly. She lied there, covered in bandages when the time on the clock as she read it is 7:15. 7:15? Is it morning or is it night.

She couldn't justify the time as she closed her eyes and tumbled back into sleep that is the sleep of babies, no dreams and no nightmares.

When she awoke, she sees the nurse that is above her head. She tried to speak but when she did she noticed that her mouth is wired shut with most of her face covered in bandages.

What in the hell happened to me? Kristie Noonan thought when she closed her eyes, trying to move in the hospital bed when the nurse continued with protocol, moving from the clipboard that is in the crook of her arm to the monitors that is in front of her.

The clock over the door reads 10:22 when Kristie continued to move with all of her might.

The nurse didn't see this when she walked around the bed, placing the clipboard at the foot of it when she sheathed her pen within her pocket as she walked out from the open door that is open all the way.

Kristie moaned in harsh protest when the nurse stopped in her tracks, looking over her shoulder like seeing a lost friend in the glint of her eyes.

She stood there, waiting for something else to happen like a magic trick that is already half done when Kristie tried to moan again but only came up with a dry force that feels like cotton. The nurse stood there while other nurses, doctors, and orderlies tended to their sessions when she shrugged in her candy-stripped uniform and left Kristie alone in her bed, feeling cold and itchy underneath the bandages when she wondered where in the hell her parents are?

She wondered if it is day or night when she went back to sleep with only one dream. She didn't want to remember it when she woke up. When she did, she looked at the clock over the door that is closed now when she reads it as the time is 4:27. Her throat felt like hell when she tried with all of her strength to touch the call button that is on her right side as she moved her hand but to no use. Her hand is wrapped up in bandages and her arm is stiff and sweaty, feeling itchier as she wondered that this is hell.

Okay, deductive reasoning is still in check. She is in a hospital covered in bandages and the last time that she can remember is walking down the side of the road, looking at the cow in the pen that she passed by. She placed her fingers on her nose to get the scent of shit from infecting her when she continued to walk; arriving to the adjacent branch-off of roads when she turned left and continued to walk down the road in the middle of the night.

Her phone rung; she thinks of that if that is true. Did the phone ring? She wasn't sure when she remembered her glittered up phone that she has in her hoodie pocket when she tosseled the idea that is wrapped around her head. Where is her phone that she had in her hoodie pocket?

Where?

She laid there for what seemed like the longest time when sleep didn't come lightly to her for what seemed like an eternity.

When she finally woke up, she could only see the beads of lights that are in her vision when a shadow figure stood over her. Kristie Noonan tried to shake her head when somewhere a newspaper dropped in the room, followed by the scraping of feet when another shadow appeared over her.

"Oh my god; she's awake, our little girl is awake." Her mother spoke from one of the shadowy figures above her when Kristie felt like crying.

***

"I can't remember what day it is anymore. I don't know what week it is. I remember that it was cold all around me when I was in this bar with someone by the name of - Luke. That was his name. Luke Ellis. There was another guy there too. I guy by the name of Arthur Griffin who was talking about the Vander case."

Her father's face went grim when all the color is flushed from it.

"Dad," Kristie frowned. No one told her that it has been almost two months since she was admitted into the hospital when today is the day she will be released from here.

"No, I'm fine. Go on." Her dad smiled, keeping the name at the back of his mind. He can't tell her what happened to that son-of-a-bitch. He didn't want to.

"The Vander Case, you brought it up dad, remember?"

"Yeah, I did. I don't like bringing that stuff up at home." Dad spoke with that heavy sorrow in his voice.

"I don't want you to worry about the crumbs that I'm dealing with." Dad patted her lightly on the shoulder when his false smile looked like it is going to crack in two.

"There was another thing too. I was in a bar called the Lady Luck that I came to." She left out the part about Luke Ellis picking her up on the side of the road. This could upset her dad.

"It was a bar that didn't ID anyone which surprised me. I didn't really have a drink dad, I'm sorry." Dad reached over and touched her cheek as he smiled. He never heard of the Lady Luck when mom knew and didn't speak at all.

She felt her lips part when she sucked up the air as the doctors continue to walk up and down the halls in precessions, counting their duties off in their head that is never straight and never done according to plan. The world outside continued to turn when her color ran from her face as well.

She remembered a bar named the Lady Luck, being in the center of town where all the young people used to go for fun and stupid frolic as mother never went there before when the cycles of time seem to slow down around her as she remembered the flames and the smoke that followed as people cried for help to get out, to get out, to get away from the flames.

The Lady Luck; what luck? She can't even remember the name of Luke Ellis as time flooded back to the present, placing her hand upon her daughter's when she smiled and said with sheer reluctance.

"You don't have to worry about that anymore. You're okay now so don't fret."

"But, what happened to me?" Kristie asked.

That is when they told her.

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