Chapter 1 (Written by KenW9270)
Ethan stood on the front steps of his new home and watched his father pull away from the house in the, now empty, rental truck. Ethan sighed and raised his hand in a half-hearted farewell. Ethan’s mom and little brother walked up the steps and joined him. His mom looked over at him. “We’ll be ok, Ethan. The move was for the best.” She said.
“I know, mom. I’ll miss my friends more than I’ll miss him.” He said, still staring at the U-Haul as it disappeared.
“We’re only an hour away. I’m sure you’ll see them, Ethan. Plus, you’re starting college in two weeks. You’ll have a million new friends before you know it. I’m going to find my pots and pans and make us some dinner. You boys start unpacking the stuff in your bedrooms.”
“Aw, mom! Can’t we order pizza for tonight?” Donny piped in. “You know you don’t wanna cook tonight!”
Susan ruffled her ten-year-old son’s hair. “Ok. Ok. Pizza it is. You boys still need to get started on unpacking, though.”
“Ugh! Ok!” Donny said as he disappeared into the house.
“I’ll be in in a few minutes,” Ethan said, sitting on the front steps.
“Ethan, everything will work out. I… I needed this fresh start. This place is a lot closer to my new job, and I won’t have to see your father with… her… every day.”
“I know. I know.” Ethan said. “I understand.” His mom went into the house, leaving Ethan alone on the front steps.
Ethan felt a cold breeze despite the hot August sunshine. It felt like someone touched his shoulder. He shivered and turned to see if his mother or brother had come back outside. There was no one there. Ethan shrugged and stood up. He needed to get started unpacking anyway.
Ethan walked into the bedroom that he had picked as his. Before he could even close the door, it slammed shut behind him. He was pushed back against the door. He wanted to struggle, but there was nothing there to struggle against. Then he felt a cold pressure against the side of his neck. It felt like a kiss, but only if the person’s lips were made of ice. A voice whispered into his ear. “You belong to me now, boy.” Ethan’s eyes went wide, and he tried, without success, to move away from the door. Then a shout rang out.
“Victor! Get out of my room! You do not belong here!”
The pressure holding Ethan against the door immediately disappeared. Ethan looked toward the shouting and saw a boy approximately the same age as him. Jet black hair partially obscured the boy’s face. Ethan took a step toward the other boy. “Who are you? What just happened? How did you get into my room?”
The boy gave Ethan a shy smile, his blue eyes nearly luminescent in the fading light. “My name is Jake, and this is my room, not yours.”
The bedroom door opened, and Ethan’s mom poked her head inside. “Ethan? What was that yelling? Are you ok?”
Ethan turned toward his mom. “Yeah. It was weird, but it was…” He stopped mid-sentence as he started to point toward Jake, but there was now no one there. He looked all around the room, but the only two people there were him and his mom.
“Is everything ok, Ethan? His mom asked again.
Ethan held up his phone. “Yeah. Sorry. It wasn’t yelling. I was picking out some music to play, and I had the volume too high. Sorry, mom.”
“It’s ok, honey.” Susan shook her head and left her son alone again.
After his mom left, Ethan sat on his bed, confused. Then he heard a voice from right next to him. “People can only see me if I want them to.” Ethan turned and saw Jake sitting right next to him on the bed.