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Published:May 16th, 2008 08:43 EST

(Part 2) Popular Social Networking Site Reluctantly Needs a Ghost Hunter

By Edward Perez

I have always enjoyed the local news; it always seems to affect me directly with it being as close by as it is.  There was another bizarre death, the body was found with the front part of its throat missing.  This totally beat out the gruesomeness of the last reported corpse which was impaled on multiple glass shards.

I was curious about what someone would look like without a throat so I went onto the computer and pulled up a search engine and looked for images.  I want to clarify that I am not a sadist and I never have been, but this was something that people hardly ever see so it was something worth looking into.

I found a local blogger who took pictures when he saw and he posted them in his blog.  The fact that they were real made me feel sick inside and I wanted to throw up a little bit, but I did not.  I was glad I did get to see it, it completed my mental image.  The front of the throat had a deep and wide hole in it that took up most of the neck, about enough to fit my fist in.

Right then something popped up on the screen, it said I have a new unread e-mail.  I clicked on it and it brought me to my messages, I saw it and opened it.  It was from my uncle, he said that his daughter, my cousin, was found dead recently.  Reading it really stuck me, she and I were really close whenever we were around each other, but other than that the only conversations we ever had were through corny chain letters.  I continued reading and it said that she was found dead with her throat missing.

 

On my walk to work the next day I was thinking about my cousin, her name was Hera.  She was found dead in a similar way to a local death which was something that nobody would expect.  It made me debate in my mind whether I should go to the funeral or not because she lived in another country.  At any rate she was too young to die.  She just barely started college and she was an art major, a prodigy.

I looked at my watch; I had to hurry if I did not want to be late for work.  I decided to cut through a churchyard.  Usually I was not always too thrilled to have a church in my neighborhood because of the mass quantities of cars always parked in the way of things, but this time I was glad that it was there to cut through.

In the middle of the yard there was a life sized statue of the Virgin Mary in her typical pose.  I never liked that statue whenever I saw it because I always thought that she was watching me.  This time I avoided making any eye contact with her at all and I kept my head turned toward the chain link fence around the perimeter.  Between two small bushes there I saw a wallet sitting there, it looked like mine.  I put my hand in my pocket and searched for my wallet in there, when I did not feel it I figured that one was mine.

I walked over and knelt down in the grass and opened up the wallet, inside was my ID card.  I wondered how it got there while I looked through it some more, all my money was still in it along with my credit card, library card, and social security card.

While I was looking through my wallet I felt something lightly brush across the side of my face.  I tuned my eyes slightly and saw a grayish figure; I turned my whole head around and saw that it was a hand.  Right when I noticed what it was it twitched and grabbed a hold of my neck trying to strangle me.  I looked and saw that the hand belonged to the Virgin Mary carved from stone.

She pulled slowly and a large chunk of the front of my throat pulled away from me with the rest of her.  My eyes were watering and all the shapes and colors around me turned into a large dark gray mass and I found myself looking down at my pillow.  I was in bed, it was all a dream.

I knew that I had to go to England for the funeral.

 

I was in the airport and I saw my auntie who was standing next to a teenage girl who looked about the same age as Hera was.

Aunt Mari!  Hello! " I said.  The two of us hugged and she asked me about the flight.  It was long. " I said.

I looked at the other girl; I still did not remember ever seeing her in my life.  She noticed me looking at her.

How do you do, my name is Ira and I was a friend from Hera`s art class, nice to meet you. " she said talking fast, maybe I made her feel uncomfortable.

Nice to meet you, but you don`t have to be so polite just because I`m a little older. " I said trying to make her less tense.

 

I got to my Aunt and Uncle`s house, right when I walked into the door I was greeted by my uncle.

Welcome! " he said with a smile.

The two of us said our hellos and made some small talk.

So, will you be staying with us or with your mother? " he asked after the conversation slowed down.

Actually I got a hotel room, but it`s only a few blocks away from here. "

Ok, but just remember you are always welcome here.  And I know that you and your mother don`t get along so I understand. "

That woman is actually the reason why I left and went to the United States. "

We invited her to the funeral, maybe you can patch up your relationship there. "

As always I will be trying to make things right with her. "

I looked up to a high spot on the wall and I saw a beautiful and colorful abstract painting.  Where did you get that? " I said, pointing.  My uncle turned toward Ira.

Hera and I collaborated on it a while back, " she said.  Her eyes moistened a little bit while talking.

I tried to change the topic, You have a lot of talent. "

Thank you, " she said you can see my other stuff at www.distantartist.com.  My username is "XxX_Ira_69`, just search for it. "

I never heard of that website before. " I said.

Its an online social network created for artists to share their own original works including paintings, poetry, photography, pencil drawing, videos, fiction, and anything else that comes from a creative mind " she explained.

I pulled a pen out of my pocket and wrote the URL on my palm.

I have always found it interesting that artists tend to seek each other out, " I said after writing, this site sounds like a good example of that. "

I know what you mean, that`s why I use that website a lot.  I also like my art classes " she said.

What are your classes like? " I asked conversationally.

We are all usually pretty close, but now "Hera wasn`t the only one. "

What do you mean? "

Other students from our class had disappeared or been found dead, but I would rather not dwell on any of this. "

 

Later that night I was lying in the bed of my hotel room on my laptop looking at Ira`s artwork online.  She was talented.  I looked through her profile read some of the description about her and I scrolled down and saw her list of friends and right there I saw Hera`s name, she must have used this site too.  I clicked on her name and read through her information, it sounded just like the Hera I knew.  I saw some photographs of her paintings that she showed me a while back.  I looked through some of them and read the comments left on them, they were all praising her.

There was one user in particular that reoccurred in Hera`s comments that caught my eye, his name was Galileo.  I clicked onto his profile and was ready to read and then my mobile phone rang.  I looked at the caller ID; it was my mother`s number.  I took a deep breath first and then I answered the call.

Hello? " I called.

Hello to you too, how was the flight?

It was long and kind of boring. "

Quit bitching.  I am just calling to tell you to not fu*k anything up while here, and that`s an order. "

The call ended.  I was upset, I was ready to patch up my relationship with my mother and she is acting like I had something wrong with me.  I just sighed and thought back to a happier time, when my mother was actually decent.  It was before my father died.  Back then my mother and I were reasonably close, but then one day my father had an allergic reaction to an aspirin and died from it and ever since then my mother said it was a suicidal overdose and that I drove him to it because I upset him so much when I said, hypothetically, that I would like to study abroad in a foreign country.  The only reason why I decided to go to the United States permanently was because my mother making me uncomfortable.

I turned my computer off and fell asleep in my bed and I started dreaming.  Just like many times in the past, I dreamt about my father, in a way reliving older memories.  I saw him sitting in a dark room taking his aspirin one after another after another.  Suddenly out from behind him was someone else`s arm holding a large shard of glass that that stabbed him in the chest.  Another arm reached out from behind my father and stabbed another large shard of glass through the top of his head.  Then a man walked out from behind my father, who was now soaked in his own blood, he looked strangely familiar.

He had a very uneven hair cut, some parts were very long and other parts were very short. His eyes were gigantic and wide opened and I got the feeling that they were looking right at me; they were also very catlike and bloodshot.  He had some wrinkles under his eyes which suggested that he was older, or at least middle-aged.  He looked like he was smiling, very faint of a smile a smile that was memorable and could possible even rival the Mona Lisa, but he still looked like he was somewhat happy.  He turned to me and winked and walked off dragging a girl who looked no older than 17 years old by the ankle, her long dark hair flowed behind her like water.

While I watched it all I felt someone`s hand on my shoulder.  I looked back, Ira was behind me.

You will be after me, " she said without much expression on her face.

I woke up.

 

The next day was the funeral, it was packed with people that I have never met before, almost everyone except for Ira was there, I did not know why but Ira never showed up.  After the funeral I attempted to have a decent conversation with my mother.

You look nice all dressed up. " I said, complimenting her formal yet cliché black attire.

Yes "whatever "I`m just thrilled that you were not responsible for this death. "

My voice sounded more tense after that comment, How could I have been?  I was out of the country! "

And that attitude is why a certain other person is gone. "

No its not!  The thought of me leaving home was shocking to some people but the main reason why I went through with it was because of your attitude! "

I have done nothing wrong!  You are the one who drove him that far!  You are the one to blame for everything that has gone wrong since then! "

I had nothing to do with any of that!  What happened was really depressing and I understand why you were upset about that loss, but you don`t need to be a bitch about it and take out your frustrations on me! "

I am your mother; do not raise your voice at me! "

I never asked to be your child!  Who the fu*k would want you as a mother?! "

I got up and left my mother just sitting there.  I was trying to make things right but once again she treats me like a murderer.  I got into town and took the nearest subway home, or so I thought.  I got on the wrong one; I was taken to a university.  It looked familiar, I had been there before.  This was the same university that Hera went to.  I saw it last time I was in Europe and Hera was showing me the school she was applying for.  There were still some people walking around campus although it was not too crowded.  The only people that were there were all in uniform, there were police officers and paramedics.  I decided to take a look around and see for myself.

I ran as fast as I could to where most of the action was.  When I got there the first thing that I noticed were fresh blood stains and smaller shards of glass in the surrounding area.  I picked up one of the smaller pieces of glass and held it for a while.

Be careful, you might get cut, " said a nearby voice.

I looked off to the side and saw a woman a little older than I.  I just smiled to be polite.  Do you know what happened? " I asked.

They found a student`s corpse, " she replied.

I dropped the shard and looked.  A man was holding a sheet trying to block the view, but I managed to get a clear view.  I almost jumped when I recognized it, it was Ira.  My eyes and mouth opened up wide.

Oh my god! " I said.

Is something wrong? " asked the woman behind me.

I saw the body; I`ve actually met her. "

How sad " " she replied.

It is, but I truthfully hardly know her.  It`s still very shocking.  I wonder how she died. "

What if I said I knew how? " she asked me.

Do you? "

Yes, but you would not believe me if I told you. "

I rolled my eyes and she walked away without saying anything else.

 

I got back to my hotel room only about an hour later.  Although my room had cable I was only interested in the local channels, the local news mainly.  Sure enough they were talking about Ira`s body being found.  They said she was not the only strange death; there had apparently been others similar to this one before I got to the UK.  It made me think about another death in the States, there was another body found pierced with glass shard wounds.  Almost immediately after that one there was someone found without their throat and then Hera.  Then I remembered the dream I had, Ira said you will be after me, " and then she was found dead only a night after.

I pulled my phone out of my pocket and I dialed a number.

Hello?  It`s me again " " I said into the phone.

What do you want this time? " asked my mother.

I`m just telling you that I think I might die soon too. "

I waited for her reply but none came and so I went on.

I also want to make things right with you again and so "I apologize for any trouble that I have been. "

No, I should be the one apologizing.  I am the one to blame for everything gone wrong between us, " she said, But you say you`re going to die?  How do you know? "

You would not believe me if I told you. "

Our call ended after we said our short goodbyes and I was off.

 

I returned to the university, by now Ira`s body had been taken away, but there were still some stains of blood and smaller shards of glass on the ground.

Be careful, " called a voice from behind me.  It was the same woman from earlier.

Hello again, " I greeted her, I think I`m next.  You said you knew how that girl died, didn`t you? "

  I did say that and its true, but what`s more important is that you are in danger.  I can help you, all you have to do is ask. "

I`m much more interested in knowing what`s going on.  You have to tell me first. "

I can give you the details but first you need help. "

How can you help me? "

You can find out and be saved or you could und up like her. "

I was getting annoyed, but I said it anyway, Please, help me! "

The corners of the woman`s mouth slowly pulled into a smile and she walked toward me and lightly tapped a finger on my chest.  My eyes started to water and everything I saw was drained of its color and eventually everything went black and I was unconscious.

 

I woke up lying down on the campus grounds.  It was still very late at night and deserted.  I looked down at the ground; there were no more blood stains and glass shards.  All that was there was a small strip of paper, I picked it up and skimmed over it.  It was a newspaper clipping.  I read the story on it.

Mort Jarman Off Death Row " said the title.  I continued reading; it said Mort Jarman was a famous serial killer who used to stalk people on the internet and track them down and kill them committed suicide in prison.  Next to the article it had a picture of him.  He had large bloodshot eyes and an uneven hair cut.  Like many news stories this one ended in a random trivial fact, Mort`s last victim was a young art prodigy named Galileo, a girl who usually posed as a boy while online. "

 

I was in my hotel room getting ready to pack up and get my stuff ready to take home.  I set down the newspaper article on the desk next to my laptop which I connected to the internet.  I tidied up the room while I let my e-mail load.  Once everything was all packed I was next going to plug my mobile phone in to the charger, but I thought that before I did I should call my mother and tell her I`m okay.  I did.

Hello? " she said.

Hello, it`s me again.  I have some good news; I think I actually will be okay. " I said, thrilled.

What!?  You can`t live! " she interjected.

What do you mean? "

I want you to die!  You deserve it after what you have done! "

I turned my phone off without even saying good bye.  My mother was back to her old self just because I was alive.  Maybe there was no hope to make things right with her.  I hooked my phone up to the charger and went to the computer.  All of my unread messages were just spam which I deleted without reading.  I grabbed the newspaper cutout and was ready to wrinkle it up and throw it out, but I noticed something on the other side of it.  I turned it all the way over; there was a hand written message on that side.

You were spared, but there is still danger out there.  It is difficult to make things right with everyone.

Sincerely, The Reluctant Ghost Hunter "

That last sentence It is extremely difficult to make things right with everyone, " made me think about my mother and about how hard I tried to make things right with her.  Another part that got me thinking was there is still danger out there. "  Maybe I could still make things right with my mother.

I got back to my e-mails, I went through my inbox and found an older letter that Hera sent me, it was exactly the same as I remembered it.

"Now that you have opened this message you can make one of your wishes come true. Just follow the steps below.

Step 1: Close your eyes.

Step 2: Count backwards from 50.

Step 3: Make a wish, any wish.

Step 4: Forward this to all of your friends within 1 hour.

Step5: DO NOT OPEN THE FILE ATTACHMENT OR ELSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I forwarded it to my mother`s e-mail address, and now everything can be alright between us.