- People Dieby aryr
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A contest entry
People Die by aryr
Ghost contest entry
Artwork by eileen0204 at

I remember it clearly, as though it happened just a few minutes ago instead of sixty years.

I had developed a talent-- or a curse as some might say. Anyone that had contact with me and who was going to die within forty-eight or seventy-two hours appeared to be in a box.

Now you must remember that I was about six or seven when this started. Around the age of ten, our Sunday adventures after church were to collect bottles along the railroad tracks. These could be cashed in. Of course, there were more beer bottles than sodas. My father cashed in the beer bottles and use the money for his cigarettes and wine. I used part of my money from the soda bottles for treat money and saved the rest.

One Sunday when we were two miles from home, he grabbed his chest and collapsed.

"Run home and tell Mother to call an ambulance."

I did so and ran back to him to hold his hand until they came.

As they loaded him into the vehicle, he whispered that he loved me. I suddenly saw him in a coffin. Earlier I had mentioned seeing people in a box, as I grew older, it was a coffin not a box.

In those days, it was not the responsibility of EMS to be concerned about uninjured children, so the steps to take me home were deadly slow.

After several hours my mother came home and advised us that he was weak but stable for now. During supper, the phone rang and, as she got up to answer it, I blurted out "Daddy is dead, don't answer it."

Quiet surrounded the table as she took the call. Silence prevailed as she stumbled back to the table. My older brothers and sisters gathered around her. She had tears streaming down her face. Gulping and gasping she said, 'He is dead, your father is dead!"

They all glared at me as though I were evil.

My sister screamed, "You killed him, it's is all your fault." Little did she know that I would later save her, in fact, save the whole family.

During the funeral, we discovered that my father's grandmother who had died before I was born and his aunt who was still alive, had the same gift that I'd obviously inherited: the ability to predict someone's death. To me it was a curse, my family hated me, blamed me, even my mother.

About six months later we were all surprised to hear glass breaking in the middle of the night. With slippers on we crept downstairs, my two brothers, my two sisters, my mother and me.
On the floor were the pictures of my father, one in the dining room and three in the living room. The pictures were intact but in each the glass was broken into a thousand pieces.

Together we cleaned up the rooms placed the pictures on the dining room table. Off we went back to bed. In the morning the pictures were on the floor as if someone swept them off the table.

We replaced the glass and rehung the pictures. The same thing happened every night for over a week.

A relative was coming to stay so I was forced to give up my room. Sleeping with my oldest sister or on a fold out in the kitchen were the options.

On the fourth night of sharing her bed, the ghost arrived. The room became cold-so cold that I could see my breath. My sister was restless, tossing and turning in her sleep. Suddenly she was having trouble breathing and as much as I tried to touch her, I was blocked by a wall of some sort. Then I saw the finger marks on her neck. Something was strangling her.

Until this day I have no clue why I caught the scent of and even remembered the smell of my dad's tobacco. He'd rolled his own cigarettes; I even tasted the flakes once.

"Daddy stop hurting her, she's going to die" I screamed.

Within seconds every other family member was at the door, but the invisible wall prevented them from coming in.

"Daddy, I love you, please don't make her die, please." I cried.

Suddenly the cold disappeared, my sister fell back to the bed, my family rushed in.

We all went to the living room. Everyone was shaken. My sister was trembling and the marks on her neck were vivid bruises. She would not let me go. I spent the entire night in the living room.

Two days later, she informed my mother that she was pregnant and had made an appointment to abort the baby. Both she and our mother believed it was my father's ghost, irate about her plan to end the pregnancy.

I believe that it was my love for both my father and my sister that him caused him to stop.

She was also the one who screamed at me with blame.

Every year on the anniversary of his death, one picture falls but does not break.

Author Notes
Thank you for the artwork- I See Dead Things by eileen0204


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