Title: The Hoodie
Theme: Finding a ghost
Type: Short Story/ One Shot
Gwen McCarthy wanted nothing more than to go back home and sleep the entire day off. Not that it was an option. Maire had given her no choice before offering to volunteer at the Donate Dublin, so Gwen rushed through the Capel Street after her friend.
Closing the wooden door softly behind her Gwen walked over to a woman wearing the DD t-shirt.
“Hey, we signed up for volunteering last week. Can you tell us what we could work on?”, Gwen smiled slightly at the auburn-haired woman who didn’t look much older than her.
“Oh, you must be Gwen and Maire. I’m Bridget. You spoke to me last week”, Bridget smiled brightly at them, “You guys could sort the donated stock. Or if you prefer, I could switch you for sales and service”
“No, we’re fine with the sorting. Where could we find the stock?”, Maire asked Bridget as Gwen started looking around her. The place looked very cozy, with only the softest colors used for decoration.
“It’s over in the storage room there”, she said pointing to a door towards the back of the building, “there are also boxes there. Just categorize the stock. If you find clothes and toys, they need to be sanitized. So bring the clothes and toys over to the front and they’ll go to the laundry”
“Thank you”, Maire said and Gwen nodded. Opening the blue painted door, they saw that the lights had been left on, with no windows in the room.
“How are we going to sort all of that?”, Gwen whispered, looking at the huge pile of donated stock of all variety, still in the boxes in which they had been picked up from the donor.
Maire grinned, “There’s so much stuff in here! I feel like I’m in a hoarder’s palace! This is so fun!”, and walked into the room and towards its many contents.
Gwen rolled her eyes. Her friend had a very different perception of fun.
“This box is full of weird stuff”, she took out a bear with its head torn off. Then a wooden stick. “Who is going to buy this stuff?”, she looked to Gwen.
The lights flickered around them, the familiar sound somehow sounded very…wrong.
“They must have bad wiring”, Gwen said, looking up at the lights.
“Probably”, Maire didn’t even look up.
“This isn’t even worth the college credits”, shooting her friend a furious look, Gwen began to search for empty boxes to put them in.
“Hey, we’re gaining good karma”, she was still digging through the box she had labeled weird.
“Yes. Good karma is what I search for after hours of agonizing lectures”
It was a Friday night. Friday nights were not meant for working. Especially not after sitting through Mr. Murphy drone about fossil dating via electron spin resonance!
“Hey, check out this hoodie!”, Maire held up a black hoodie, completely oblivious to her friend.
A loud thunder shook the walls and the lights dimmed for a moment, then all went dark.
Gwen stood still, bathed in the darkness. “I can’t believe this. Lights out and rain?”
When Maire didn’t say anything, Gwen huffed and tried to find the door, her hand on the wall her only sense of direction.
Finally finding the door, she stuck her head out and saw the main room still lit.
“Hey, we have a situation here. The lights went out. What do we do?”, she asked when she spotted Bridget.
Bridget’s brows furrowed, “But we changed the bulb just this morning. It can’t have blown already”
“It might be a circuit-break. Or the wiring”, Gwen provided.
“Maybe. You guys should probably leave then. I don’t think you could work in there with flashes”, she still had a glossed look in her eyes, her lips drawn together.
Gwen nodded slowly and turned back towards the room, leaving the door open to let the light from the main hall flood in.
“We’re leaving, Maire”, Gwen stood in the doorway for a few seconds before going in and plucking the hoodie out of Maire’s hand.
Maire looked up at Gwen then, “I heard what you said. The hoodie just looked perfect. It even said Kill It!“
“Yeah. Perfect. Now come. We’re leaving”, she pulled Maire by her hand and walked out of the storage room.
“You could wait till the rain stops”, Bridget offered as she saw them heading for the door.
“Oh no, our apartment is close. Besides, it doesn’t look it’s going to stop”, Gwen smiled at the woman as Maire stared out at the street through the window beside the door.
“I hope to see you guys tomorrow”
“Sure”, Gwen said, pulling the door open and walking out, Maire behind her.
“I’m going to bed”, Maire said, her face inanimate.
Gwen frowned, “Are you okay?”
“Why would I not be?”, Maire smiled at her.
Gwen nodded, dismissing her unease as exhaustion, “Alright. Good night”.
Maire only looked at her, an odd look on her face, before she turned abruptly and walked into her room.
Shaking her head, Gwen walked into her room and locked the door. Peeling off her clothes and throwing them on the floor, Gwen fell into bed and sleep claimed her almost immediately.
She woke up suddenly, shivering with cold. The room was freezing cold despite the thermostat. She sat up, with the intention of checking the temperature. Just then, she heard a blood-curdling scream, a scream of anguish.
Maire, she thought, her eyes widening. She tried to throw back her blanket.
But pain hit her. Starting in her spine and radiating through her body. She fell back on the bed, feeling her spine break. She tried to scream but her mouth wouldn’t open.
Pure terror struck her as she caught sight of a shadow forming in the middle of her room, right in front of the window through which moonlight filled the room. Her terror only increased as she saw the shadow become more and more human-like. She could only scream into her own head.
She felt it then. A hand caressing her neck. Her breathing labored as she felt the hand grip her trachea. She stilled her efforts as she felt the pain numb at the place the hand touched her.
When the hand left, she burned. Her throat burned. Every breath she took was fuel to the fire. Her blood boiled in her veins and her agony only increased with her efforts to scream.
Desperation hit her as she saw the shadow move towards her. The hand was moving to her head now and she felt like her head split apart. The pain was the only thing defining her existence as she stared into the deep red endless eyes of the shadow, which now looked very much human.
It leaned forward and a low, guttural voice whispered in her ear, “Do you feel the pain?”. Her ears hurt when she heard it. Her eyes bled as she looked into its dark unworldly eyes.
The hand gripped her head again and she became pain as it forced its way through her. She heard hoarse laughter from the shadow and she watched as it sat next to her. It had hands. Human hands. It took her hand in its and she watched, terrified.
“Your pain tastes so sweet”, it laughed again and Gwen felt her head splinter as the horrifying sound increased.
“I enjoy it when you scream in there”, it touched her head and the other set of hands backed away, “it sounds like a melody”. It pushed her hair out of her face.
She screamed with no voice again. It made her scream. The pain was unbearable. She wanted to die. Her body was a broken mess as she screamed and screamed. When the agony ended, she heard its laugh again.
“You see what I mean? Your screams are delightful. Your friend, now, isn’t as delightful. Do you want to hear her? Of course, you do!”
And she heard Maire scream exactly as she wanted to scream, her scream filled with anguish and terror. Alarmed, Gwen tried to pull herself up in one last effort. Pain flared again and she tried to close her eyes, failing miserably
“Sweet agony, don’t you think?”, it smiled, “Now, I would like to end you both. But that would not be very pleasurable, would it be?”, its hand caressed her cheeks.
“I will kill you both. Slowly. Savouring every minute of it.”, its breath was cold on her cheeks, “Good night, pet”
The burning stopped but the pain in her head intensified. The shadow began to slowly fade away, its red eyes being the last to fade. She saw black spots dance in her eyes and embraced the numbing sleep.
The next morning, Gwen woke up feeling dizzy. She remembered then.
You were probably sleep paralyzed, Gwen
But she had never been paralyzed before.
Jumping out of her bed, she rushed towards the mirror, scared of what she would see. Her eyes were blood red and her neck had an impression of a hand. She stumbled back a few steps as she stared at her discolored neck.
Maire screamed, she thought as she hurried to her friend’s room.
She opened the door to see her friend staring out of her window, looking down at the street.
“Maire?”, Gwen asked softly. Maire turned towards her, her eyes slowly filling with tears and her face horrified. She had the same kind of bruises as her.
“Last night..”, she couldn’t continue.
“I know. We need to get out of here”, Gwen threw her friend a concerned look and saw that Maire’s room also looked normal.
It seemed unreal. Things like that were not supposed to happen.
Gwen turned to walk to her room and stopped short, staring at the living room couch.
“Maire?”, Gwen called, her voice weak and breaking. She could hear her friend walk up behind her.
“The Hoodie”, Maire’s voice sounded distant as she took in the black hoodie sprawled on the couch, “I didn’t bring it back”.
“I didn’t either”. They looked at each other and then back at the hoodie.
Maire pushed her hair off her face and laughed, hysterically, “You are right. We should leave. I can’t deal with this”.
Gwen couldn’t take her eyes off the hoodie. “No, we are burning it”, it might be of little help but she never wanted to see it again.
“Are you crazy? I don’t want to go near that thing”, she was crying now.
“Maire, calm down. If that thing appeared here from the store, don’t you think leaving here is not much help?”
Maire brushed at her tears but they kept falling, “You’re right. Let’s burn it. Then we are out of here”.
They took the hoodie outside with a silicone tong and watched as it burned. They walked back to their apartment after watching it burn to ashes.
Once their apartment door was closed, Gwen said, “Now we pack. I’m too spooked to be here” and turned to walk towards her room when she heard Maire moan.
The hair on her neck raised at the sound and Gwen turned back towards her friend, who mouthed “Gwen” as if her voice was stolen again.
“Maire?”, Gwen called, scared.
She backed slowly as Maire’s moans began to sound more unworldly than before.
No No No, it couldn’t be happening, she thought.
Maire’s eyes turned red and Gwen’s back hit the wall of the living room. She tried to run towards her room but the door shut with a bang on her face, so she sank to her knees with her back to the door as she stared at her friend with horror-filled eyes.
Her nails grew and became sharp and silvery. Sharp as a blade and Gwen watched. Maire walked towards her and she sat there, plastered against the door with nowhere else to go.
“Maire, no”, Gwen screamed as her friend pulled at her hair to make her look up.
“She is gone”, it smiled. Then Gwen’s neck was sliced neatly where the hands had wrapped around.
Gwen watched as it raised it stepped out of Maire. Maire’s body fell to the ground beside her, her eyes rolled back into her head. It knelt and sliced Maire’s neck.
“Thank you for burning it, Gwen”, it said as she chocked on her own blood.
The next day, The Irish Times published of 5 deaths. The police had found that they all lived in the same neighborhood and that all their cell phones had a picture of them wearing the same hoodie, with a slit throat.
I know I’m an hour into Tuesday now, but I blame it on my internet. I wrote the story and my internet messed up and half the story was unsaved and got deleted. I had to redo it all, so it took a while.
Anyway, that was for the third theme. I do realize that some of you might see a distinction between a ghost and a demon and probably think it is different. To me, they are both paranormal and can do anything in fiction, so you could think of the one mentioned in the story as either a ghost or a demon.
This might have more errors than the previous stories because my Grammarly is not functioning for some reason. So tell me if you spot anything.
This was longer because one of my friends told me long stories were easy to connect with and also because she is not much of a horror person(LOL). This is dedicated to you, Spider-Girl.
Also, I’m writing a story on wattpad, And I Got Friendzoned. It has only three chapters right now but I am updating weekly and I’d love it if you guys checked it out!
PS: DD was made up. But I actually wanted to write about Enable Ireland. If anybody lives in Dublin, Clare, etc, check their stores out. This story was fictional and I’m sure no article is possessed.
Your Favourite Blogger (Let’s pretend),