by Heather Tuck

This Short story is a True Story. What came after the chance encounter of the after life, is still unknown.

Nina walked into the office of round corner apartments, and asked for an application. Hello, said Shelly I am the manager. I will show you around. Nina decided to look at an upstairs apartment, it made sense to live upstairs, so that the noise from an tenant upstairs would not be so disturbing to live in. They walked a little ways, and up the stairs Shelly inserted the key, and they both stepped in. It was a nice size apartment, two bedroom, two bath, it was painted a lovely light mauve. It was very serene. It was equipped with full size appliances, every thing she and Jacob would need to survive. Jacob was her year old son. Ill take it Nina said to Shelly. They walked back to the office and Nina paid the deposit. Then She and her son Jacob moved in the following weeks. For the first two years they occupied the apartment, and other than the concrete plant that was adjacent to her bedroom window it was a very peaceful environment to live in. She eventually got used to the loud noises that would come from the concrete plant, fortunately it has specific operating hours.

She even ran into a guy she went to high school with, Ash, he and his girlfriend also lived at corner apartments. It turns out that even Ashs dad lived in the apartments as well. She and Ashs girlfriend melly got along great, and they all hung out from time to time. One night, they were all hanging out, and Ash had mentioned that his Father was moving out of the apartments, and that they were headed over to see how the packing was going. He asked if she would like to tag along. So they all walked across the parking lot to a row of apartments that were slightly older than the row of apartments that they all lived.

Ash knocked on the door, and his dads girlfriend Tonya opened the door. Boxes were everywhere, as the walked in they had to step over things being prepared to pack. Tonya and her daughter were discussing this strange black and white photo they had found while packing up their things. We dont know how this photo got into our things, I have never seen it before in my life says Tonya, and there wasnt a single thing in the apartment when we moved in. They passed around the tiny sized black and white photo to Nina, Ash, and Melly. Nina looked at the tiny photo, It was a woman, she was in her late thirties, but she had a very disturbed look on her face, as if she was mentally ill. She had light shoulder length hair, light eyes, fairly heavyset. Meanwhile Nicki started to describe her ghost story and how she had actually been awaken by the lady in the picture one day while napping. She said I was sleeping in my bed, and I felt someone tap on my leg, I thought it was my mother, but when I looked up she was standing there, her, in the picture. I saw a black cat standing by her, and I went to pet the cat and they both disappeared. Everyone in the room including Nina just in awe, let it go by as just anther ghost story to be told.

Ash, Nina, and Melly eventually left saying their goodbyes and went home to their apartments. Nina had no idea how close she would actually become to this strange lady who had shown herself to Nicki, but suddenly disappeared without a trace. Months later, It was a rainy summer day, and Ninas sister Angel came by to visit. They had a nice visit, and Angel had to leave, so Nina walked her out the front door and watched as Angel went to step down the stairs to leave. All of the sudden, her feet slipped on the black slick metal edge of the steps from beneath her, and she hit her neck on the stairs. Nina rushed to make sure she was ok, and she quickly jumped up and said she was fine. Nina knew how slick the edge of the steps were and apologized for not warning angel. Soon, after angel left Nina headed to the office of the apartments, and told the manager how dangerous the stairs were when they were wet. There wasnt much that her manager could do, so she told Nina to write a letter to the home office and let them know. So Nina did just that.

Weeks went by, and Nina never heard a single word from the home office. So she asked her manager if she could change apartments into a downstairs apartment. Nina really didnt want to live underneath anyone, but the steps were a hazard. The phone rang, and Nina answered, it was her manager Shelly. Hello, Nina, I have an apartment for you to look at, and it is my apartment I have decided to move out due to financial reasons. Shelly lived in the only apartment in the complex that didnt have an upstairs occupant. It just happen to be in the older row the same row ashs dad had lived in of apartments, so the apartment itself wasnt quite as new as the one Nina and Jacob had been living in for the past two years. Shelly and Nina walked into the older apartment, the walls were a dark sea green, and it had bright green teal carpet. Two bedroom, two bath, but It was broken in, and not as new as the apartment they had been living in, It was built three years earlier. Nina liked the apartment even though it wasnt as new, and decided to jump on it because it was downstairs, and only one level. Within the next week Nina and Jacob moved in.

Almost immediately Nina could feel a strange presence at times it felt as if it was standing right behind her. She would turn her head quickly to look over her shoulder, but it would be nothing. Her bedroom bathroom seemed to have the weirdest feelings at times, most of the time she slept with her bathroom light on. Nighttime was the scariest. She had trouble sleeping at times. During the day she would sleep constantly. It was as if she couldnt get enough sleep. Sleep started to consume her life. Negative things started happening in her life, and even her sister Angel would say ever since you moved into that apartment nothing but bad things have happened to you. I know Nina would reply. One night Jacob woke up and crawled in bed with her, he said mommy ghosts are talking to me, he was three years old. He didnt even know what ghosts were. Nina had enough, so she wrote out a prayer, and put it under both her and Jacobs bed. It seemed to help for a few months. Until she and a neighbor were sitting on the couch having a night time talk, and the t.v turned on and off by itself. It was a brand new t.v not even a month old. Her neighbor said oh, it is just a short, and quickly left. Nina did her best to ignore the presence, she prayed. Jacob slept with her every night.

Then it happened. The presence came to her. Nina was sleeping, and dreaming. She was in her bed, and looking, but only seeing darkness. She was awake in her dream. It was quiet, extremely quiet, and then in the darkness came noises. Foreign noises deep within the darkness, hiding in corners. It was subconsciously real. Nothing like reality, but a mystery. The creepy things that would hide under a bed, or in a closet at night. Those strange feelings, and once a person turns around it disappears. Time zones, or dimensions. At the climax of fear came reality. Nina started Jerking continuously. She was trying to get out of her own subconscious and her body wouldnt let her. Thoughts racing in Ninas mind Out, Out, Out. Ninas body finally allowed her eyes to open, but her arms, legs, chest were still jerking, and she could feel every bit of it. Nina was very alarmed first thing in the early morning. She had to get Jacob to school, and get to work. She immediately told someone she felt like she could trust. it seems like whatever it is, was trying to take her to the place it was dwelling. Awakened by her entire body jerking, was one thing in life she could honestly say had never happened to her.

Dreams can take us to strange, dark places. If only the pieces of the entire puzzle of reality hadnt already been brought to her attention. She could ignore it. It was unbelievable. She had already been staying at her older sisters house, until late in the evening when she and Jacob absolutely had to go home. And, now this dream. The pieces were all starting to fit. The following week when Nina had just about forgotten this strange occurrence, she had another dream. This time it was even clearer.

The first thing she noticed was it was if she was lying in her bed, and she was looking towards her bathroom, and it was as if the light was on, but still dim enough to barely see, but she saw the bedroom door opening. This little short man, with a brown blazer, and tiny round glasses, walked in the door. He sat at the edge of Ninnies bed, and simply asked her, Meanwhile she hears a small moan, as if a cry, but a sad cry, It got louder, as he asked Nina, Can you hear her? Louder, and louder...MOAN , the cry just wouldnt emerge. Yes, Nina said and As she continued to look, she could see a Huge black almost cloud of an image lying within the bathtub in her bathroom, it had risen, and starting creeping closer and closer to the end of her bed. She immediately closed her eyes and threw her hands into the air and started praying. God, lord Jesus, please take her wherever she needs to go, Lord, please take her where she needs to go. Nina repeated it in her mind over and over again. She opened her eyes and it was morning time, and her hands were clasped together held high in the air. She jumped out of bed, and continued in her normal morning routine.

She was lost in this puzzle of reality mixed with delusion it seemed to take months to piece it all together. The next few days were a blur. Ash and Melly had moved, Nina hadnt spoken to either one of them for awhile now. By then, she had forgotten all about that little black and white photo that was showed to her, Ash and Melly. It was frightening yet, she knew that it was over. She knew that in some crazy out of sanitys blaze, it was over. Finally, Nina got to a point that opened her mind up even less to other energies beside her own. Nina knew she that she had helped a tormented soul to the other side. She blocked out any and every feelings of the unknown. She no longer could bare to watch scary movies, she would have nightmares to follow every time. How does she ever explain this? How does she ever forget? She never will.

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