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Grade
11

Brian The Ghost

 

“I failed another math test because of you,” I told my ghost friend Brian.

“I believe the only person who’s directly responsible for your failure is yourself,” Brian responded.

“Maybe, but don't you think loud banging noises throughout the night puts me at a slight disadvantage? How am I supposed to get any sleep?”

“I’m a poltergeist, I cause disturbance. It’s in the name.”

“Yeah, but what do you gain from this? Causing all the noise and what not.”

“You’ll soon see,”

I would never make an excuse for failing a test. I just want to say that life isn’t fair sometimes. Also my house is haunted. It was just a speculation at first but over the past few years it’s become pretty clear that there is some sort of demonic spirit on the premises. Of course we couldn’t have moved into a nice two story building that had been recently refurbished. I wouldn’t even mind moving into our new house that much if it weren’t damned. But no, unfortunately we got the ugly house on the end of an uninhabited cul-de-sac that was once owned by a now deceased serial killer. And what a restless soul this guy is. He makes quite the ruckus at night, which has affected my test scores greatly. My mom thinks it’s the move that’s affected me. I don’t let petty things like change of scenery affect me. Figures she would assume that, as she continues to prove she has no knowledge of disposition or mental strength. But her insensibility is another matter. This ghost guy is a serious problem. He’s been everywhere I go in this house. Arbitrarily things will move around. Shower water goes from blistering hot to freezing cold. Aside from that, I guess he’s alright.

 

“As much as I loved slitting necks, the sensation of strangling the life out of a person was equally satiating at times,” Brian would fantasize.

“Cool?” I said.

“ I’m serious, you should try it sometimes.”

“ Sorry, but If I wanted to be a major felon I’d probably rob a bank or something, I’ve always wanted to be the guy to devise the scheme for a grand heist.”

“Well, we all have to start somewhere.”

“What does that mean?”

“Well, to do great evil, you must first build a foundation. And stealing can always lead to killing if you put your mind to it.”

“Why do you think I need to do great evil?”

“I see a lot of myself in you, I guess.”

 

Well that’s disconcerting. Yes, I was born on a Friday the 13th in October, but that’s all superstition. I’m not a naturally evil person. The worst thing I’ve ever done to anyone was force them to bear the burden of being around me. I admit a couple people have used words like ‘dark’ and ‘brooding’ to describe me, but that’s usually after nights in which I haven’t gotten enough sleep. Which has happened to be almost every night of my life, even before the move. I mean, yes, I have thought what it might feel like to kill someone, but haven’t we all? I mean, you’d be surprised how many opportunities each day we have to kill or hurt each other. I was practicing driving with my mother one day and I came across a ‘T’ intersection. Directly in front of me was a harmless, plump young girl. She was blonde and had messy curled hair in a pigtail. She was trotting along the sidewalk with her tricycle.  It made me think, literally I could do the simple action of forcing my right foot down and I would have succeeded in mowing down an innocent girl. Maybe I am a little evil.

So at first I thought I was just dealing with a murderer. He talks to me occasionally, puts dreams and thoughts into my head. I can sometimes see him as a pellucid person. But he sounded like he was more than serial killer from the 70’s. He always sounded a bit more archaic. And slightly demonic.

“So Brian how’d you get here? Why do you spend your days tormenting me?” I asked one day.

“I didn’t know I was a burden to you.”

“Don’t get me wrong, you’re great and all, but I haven’t been able to get a good night’s rest since we moved here.”

“Well if you’re so interested, I possess people’s bodies and use them to wreak havoc on earth. I have been for hundreds of years.”

“A demon, named Brian?”

“My real name is Hygpaerach, but I figured you’d find Brian more accessible. Brian was the name of the Glassford Strangler. The last person I possessed.”

“What was the real Brian like?”

“He was a nice boy actually. He had a large possession of knives so, I knew could utilize them.”

“You’re not planning on doing that to me are you?”

“Nah, you don’t own any knives. Besides you are already possessed.”

“Come on, that’s ridiculous.”

“You may not think so now, but soon the evilness will manifest itself. If you weren’t possessed by a spirit, you and your family would be dead by now, because you’d be of no use to me.”

“That’s reassuring, Thanks, Brian”

Despite his evil antics, I find his stories of murderous rampages kind of intriguing. Killing is one of those taboo things that you’d never get to know about unless you’ve either done it or met someone who’s done it. Brian has a masterful manner of describing his experiences. I mean, it's almost straight out of a horror novel.

“It’s way harder to kill a person through asphyxiation than most people believe.”

“I would assume so, I mean some horror movies have people die in like 10 seconds from suffocation under a pillow. I find the whole pillow suffocation fairly chimerical also. I mean, the killer needs two hands to hold the pillow, freeing two hands for the assailed to fight their assailant. And it's not like you’re going to be crushing their windpipe or anything…”

“Oh, it’s slippery work. It's more of a gimmick to diversify a killer’s arsenal of murdering methods. It’s also kind of long and time consuming. But if you push long and hard enough, it should do the trick. Why? Have you grown more interested in developing killing stratagem?”

“Brian, killing’s not really my thing.”

“Killing can be anybody’s ‘thing’.”

“Well I was just thinking about getting into a trade or something more lucrative.”

“Killing can be argued as a trade. Hitmen procure lots of revenue.”

“Man, you are really determined to get me to be evil in someway, aren’t you?”

“I’ve never seen someone your age with the amount of maliciousness you possess, besides myself, of course.”

“Being a spirit gives you the ability to gauge a person’s maliciousness?”

“It gives me the ability to do a lot of things. Are you sure you aren’t a descendant of someone wicked? I don’t want to speculate on anything, but maybe you got some Elizabeth Bathory or Nero in your blood. Or maybe even Lucifer!”

“But, I’ve never been mean to anyone,”

“It’s not your actions, it’s your thoughts, sinister lust and lack of empathy for others. All of which are tell tale signs or innate evil. And remember what happened to your pet gerbil?”

 

Lucifer was probably a joke. I mean the title of being son of Satan sounds really cool, but I’d rather not be that guy. And if we’re talking in biblical terms, Jesus Christ, am I really that evil? I wouldn’t describe myself as satanic. I’m 5’8 and scrawny. My name’s Kevin. What should I be? Kevin the Killer? Nice alliteration, but not really intimidating. I mean, well neither is Brian.

 

“So you were the Glassford Strangler. I think I read about him once- oh, I mean you. Was that the name you chose or was it given to you by the general public?”

“I was given it. I would have liked to be called something less cliche. Also it gives off the impression that I only strangled people, which is far from the truth,”

“The name almost discredits you,”

“Yeah it really does. You seem to relate a lot to that,”

“Why? I’ve given no indication that I relate to that in anyway,”

“True, but I can really see an inner struggle within you.”

“Is it the way I speak? Or is it the way I present myself? Or is it the telepathy?

“Telepathy.”

“Figures,”

“I’ll give you credit, you do a great job at hiding your feelings. But being able to get into your conscience and in your head gives a lot away.”

“Yeah, I would've guessed. Kind of scared what else you know about me”

“You definitely should be. Even I was slightly frightened. I mean the all your thoughts about strangling your gym teacher with a jump rope? Bashing your math teacher’s brains in with a textbook? You’ve got some perverted thoughts in your head, son.”

“I mean, it can’t be much worse than what you’ve actually done,”

“Doesn’t even hold a candle. But you’re on your way.”

“I don’t know if that’s a good thing.”

“As  soon as you accept your fate the better. You have a lot of good years of murdering in you. Start young, and it’ll make it even harder for you to be suspected by the Feds.”

 

Ok, Brian is great. Possibly the closest thing I have to a friend. But I’ve had just about enough of this ‘you’re destined for great evilness’ stuff. I’m sixteen. The only thing I’ve ever killed was my pet gerbil, and it was more negligence than murder. A person should not defined by his deep hidden thoughts, he should be defined by his aptitude to restrain them. If that were how people were defined, I’d be a saint. You wouldn't believe how many times I’ve considered practicing my one of my 14 newly acquired killing techniques on my mother. They include but are not limited to:

CHOKE HOLD

HEAD YANK

HEAD WRENCH

EARS CLAP/CUPPING

KIDNEY BLOW

BRAIN BUSTER

RUSSIAN OMELET

HEART PUNCH

HALF NELSON
FULL NELSON

TEMPLE BLOW

PHILTRUM BLOW

HOOK TO JAW

ADAM’S APPLE BLOW

 

Being knowledgeable of these makes me feel more like a Judo Master than a capable murderer.

“Is it you that’s causing the nightmares?” I asked one morning.

“What do you mean?”

“I’m having these weird nightmares where I wake up, but I can’t move and these weird dark apparitions appear around me and tell me dark and foreboding stuff like “you will soon die” or something,”

“That’s sleep paralysis. You’re body isn’t fully awake. You cannot move, but still experience hypnagogic hallucinations from your dream. Usually happens when you don’t get enough sleep.”

“Well I haven’t been getting enough sleep because of you, so I guess it is still you. So the messages don’t mean anything?”

“I mean, if you die soon I guess they do.”

“You’d know if I was about to die right? You’d tell me?”

“What do I look like, a fortune teller?

“Well, first off, I can’t see you. Also I’m not fully up to speed with what paranormal limitations poltergeists possess. I mean, you can’t expect me to be knowledgeable of both murdering and ghosts?”

“Might be useful in the long run. I’m here for all eternity.”

“You’ve died before. Is it really that bad?”

“Dying is the most painful part of my existence.”

“Is it the worst?”

 

After I asked that he like, left. Intermittently he’ll leave. It all started off as being benign conversations between me and a diabolical poltergeist. We managed to connect through our mutual evilness. And this evilness wasn’t something that I found myself to be binded to. I just occasionally had thoughts about being bad because it was something I’ve always been interested in. Everyone wants to be the superhero, but what about the supervillain?

But sympathizing with evildoers has brought me undesirable results. Sentiment with evil is much like playing with fire. Soon you are engulfed in the flames. I’ve reached an extent of evil I never even saw possible.

I can’t remove these thoughts from my head now. The lack of sleep, mixed with the influence of evil spirits distracted me from a daily basis. I feel school is a chore. I find nothing interesting about factorials or reference points. I feel like their needs to be an elective for murder. Murder class.  I literally can’t get murdering out of my head. I’m one step away from making a fatal move.

 

I recently confronted him about what was going on and notified him of my concerns, then he dropped a bombshell on me.

“Look, I’m flunking all my classes,” I said to him.

“Why don’t you kill your teachers?”He pitched

“It’s you that’s making me fail, not them. Your imbuing my mind with duplicity. It’s like the only thing I can think about is killing and stealing and-”

“You don’t get it do you?” He asked me.

“What?”

“Your grades were always poor. No amount of rest will change that. No matter how hard you try or study, you’ll never be smart. That’s not your strength.”

“That’s not true,”

“It is. You were put on this earth to sin. To kill. That’s what you’re here for. That’s what I was born for, and my job is to make sure evil reigns. The world needs you and me. We need to put goodness in its place.”

“What so wrong about being good?”

“You’re not capable of it. You’re evil. You were born evil. No other path in your life exists. You can’t avoid it. Fulfil your destiny or face the consequences,”

 

I don’t know what he means by ‘face the consequences’. Pretty sure there are even worse consequences if I actually kill someone. What’s he going to do If I don’t? Beat me up? He’s a translucent figure that makes noises at night. Real scary. Brian probably wouldn’t lay a finger on me. Probably. I mean he’s intangible, He can set alarm clocks, but he couldn’t like, hit me.

 

I admit, he has some impressive powers. I’m sure he has the power to possess me. This one time, I was in the kitchen, my mom was in the adjoining room prostrate on the  sofa. Her neck was exposed. I was simply making a baloney sandwich. Then Brian entered my mind.
“Your time is now, do what you need to do,” He instructed.

“What I need to do now is make my lunch, Brian,” I said as I sliced the iceberg lettuce with a sharp knife.

“I’ve played enough of your games!” Suddenly, I lost control. I no longer had the will to make a sandwich. I turned toward my mother, still with the knife in hand. I inched toward her, not making a sound. I reached over the couch. I saw her face. Tender. Pudgy. Blonde hair unkempt and frizzy. The woman who birthed me. Something, I don’t know what it was, maybe it was my mother’s ugly yet endearing face, but something allowed me to regain a bit of control. Allowed me to fight.
“Do it now,” Brian commanded.

“I can’t do this,” I responded.

“You can and will. How do you not understand? You are a demon animated into the world. You must be, I can see it within you.  You’re to cause terror and destruction to the human race. Think of this as your initiation,”

“But I want to be good. You don’t know that. You can’t know that. I don’t want to murder.”

“Yes you do. You’ve always wanted to, you fool. You hate your mother, slit her neck. Begin your reign. I will be at your side.”

“No!”I yelled forcefully.

“No? What do you mean no? No one says no to me. I am the one with the power,”

“No! I have the power here. I’m the one who gets to choose.”

“You foolish child. If you will not fulfill your destiny,” Without my control, I brought the knife to her neck. But something within me, whether it was some sort of feat of supernatural strength, or pure grit, wouldn’t allow for it. My hand drop the knife.

“How have you done this?” Brian asked in a frightened tone.

“Get out of my body, Brian. Your my friend, but this my body is off limits. Get out, now.”
And with that he left. Our relationship really hasn’t been the same since. We still talk and hang out, and he still makes me fail my math tests on occasion. What’s changed is that he has respect for me, which is insane, because he’s been alive for centuries. I guess I am something special, for someone like him to want be around me. Not even people related to me want to hang out with me as much as him. Regardless of this, he will not control me. No one will. If there’s something anyone should learn from my experience, that’s is. That’s as close as my plight with a demonic spirit comes to any valuable parable.

State
CT
Zip Code
06066