Chapter Two: I Ain't Afraid of No Ghosts

Chapter Two: I Ain't Afraid of No Ghosts

A Chapter by TopHatGirl

    The ‘Inhibitor’ was named for its function of letting the user inhibit the mind of whoever was using the machine. It was about the size of a shower, with stark white walls and a glossy finish. Bored of this already, Adam stepped in.

   “I’m in,” he called to alert his father. Soon, he heard the whirling of machines within the walls, and a blue scanner popped out of a tile in the Inhibitor, scanning Adam’s entire body. The blinding light swept up and down, and soon he felt his entire body start to deteriorate. The particles of his body melted slowly under the beam, and his skin felt even stickier than after football practice. Adam shifted awkwardly, never really getting inured to the sensation of being broken up into a thousand of places.

   But suddenly, he’s gone.

   It’s a tunnel of black molecules, surrounding him as the world is dropped underneath him. Silent screams surround his body, and it’s surreal in the weirdest way. Every time he does this, he ends up screaming too, or some other manly yell that rips from his throat and sends ricocheting throughout space.

   He landed with a distinct thud against the ground.

   Dirt spread out underneath him, and he arched his back slightly, feeling the tug of sore muscles clattering against metal. His sword also dropped next to him. He got up instantly, remember that the first thing you ever want to do when you enter a nightmare is to stand up f*****g immediately. If not, there’s probably some twisted giant stomping around just itching to smash anything that breathed.

   Taking off the dumb knight’s helmet and dumping it on the ground, he inspected his surroundings.

   If there’s one saving grace in Adam’s personality, it’s his observation skills.

   Sure he can’t really fight all that well, when he talks too much it gets jumbled up obnoxiously, he can’t focus in school or analyze an essay to save his life, but at least he can remember every detail of it.

   He notices things about people. Like if they shake their right foot when they’re anxious of if they begin all of their sentences with a simile if they’re excited about something. If someone is sad because they turn twenty two degrees to the left instead of forward. If a classmate is in mourning because they move their fingers in circles.

It really helps in football. It’s why he’s such a good player, because he can spot a weakness from a mile away and hone in on it like a hawk to its prey. Or a politician to an undecided voter. Sometimes a linebacker’s ankle caves in a little whenever they add weight to it. Or a wrist snapback is slightly so hesitant. Adam picks up on all of that.

   When he landed in Braden’s dreamland, he instantly noticed the thick fog around his feet. The air pressure was heavy, like deep sea diving. Straightening up a little and readying his sword, he heard the faint chipper of crickets in the distance. The sky was grey and murky, covering the empty wasteland in a creepy air. This kid had obviously stayed up late watching too many s****y horror movies on cable television. Craning his head up, there were a few vultures flying overhead, too close to the ground to be just idly flying. They were looking for dinner.  Kids these days.

   These kinds of environments weren’t too uncommon in nightmares, so Adam wasn’t too fazed. Taking a step forward, his armor clanged noisily. Whoever the f**k though armor was a good battle strategy? Yes, let’s put them all in uncomfortable, noisy pieces of constricting metal so they can fight better. Genius, truly.

A light crunch a few feet away sparked his attention, and he turned toward the noise. A brown tabby cat looked up, mewing at him lightly. Then it ran off again. Adam immediately started running after it, armor clanging against his skin, sword gripped firmly in his arms. When it doubt, follow the cat. They’re always pretentious and they always lead to the actual dream.

   It didn’t take long before the fog dissolved into hardened cobblestone, and a light breeze started to blow through his hair. Damn, he never did take a shower, did he? This job is ridiculous. Wait, focus, focus. There’s a wall running along the edge, and Adam hesitantly reached out to feel the cracked cement there.

   “What are you doing here?” a small voice asked.

   Turning around, Adam saw a shivering child wrapped up in a blue blanket. The blanket was torn at the edges, well worn. Probably a security blanket. It’s Braden, and he’s way too old for a blankie, so it must be related to these nightmares. Probably. His dad would know more about this s**t.

   “I’m here to make the scary thing go away,” Adam said, his voice going soft and kind. This usually only happens when he’s talking to kids in their dreams. Because honestly, being a dick to a scared child earns you the title of a huge jackass. “Using my sword.” Twirling the aforementioned object in his hand, he blinked at Braden. “So, uh, where is it?”

   “Where’s what?”

   “The thing you’re afraid of.”

    Slowly, he raised a pudgy finger and pointed to behind Adam’s head.

See, Adam isn’t that stupid. He doesn’t slowly but surely turn around and gawk at whatever is there. He did that s**t in the beginning, sure. But it’s unproductive and useless. He refused to be that one minority character in the movies who got killed because he was a f*****g idiot.

   So he whirled around, and kept his feet firmly planted as he raised his sword. It invokes an instant reaction.

Within seconds, a large mutated spider leaped out from behind a wall and launched itself right at Adam. The reaction was instant, with him putting all of his strength into a large arcing sword swing. Braden screeched at the top of his lungs, standing behind Adam’s legs. The spider is larger than two of him put together, long and dripping with ominous green goo. He took another large swing, and it barely misses its first leg. The spider shrieked, its back arching as it went to attack again.

   “Run,” Adam said to Braden, his voice cold.  Braden hesitated, staring up at Adam with fearful eyes. His lower lip quivered once, but then he did run, his blanket trailing behind him.

   Before Adam can turn back around, the spider attacks again, raking a long leg against Adam’s cheek, where pools of blood formed at the skin. That’s another s****y thing about this job; things hurt. The spider scrambled on the cobble stone, bending its eight legs to jump. Feeling the full weight of his sword, he slammed his arms down, feeling his blade slice through a leg with a satisfying shhhk. The spider screamed again, hobbling and hurling itself at Adam’s head. He dodged it, ducking and diving under the legs.

   While underneath the spider’s body, he brought his arm completely back before shoving the sword into the exposed stomach. Juices and blood splurted out of the wound, covering Adam completely and leaving him soaked.

“F**k!” he yelled, just as the spider collapsed to the stone, dead. Standing up, the knight wiped off his sword on the wall, watching as the guts spread evenly across. Noticing that the creature was still twitching, he heaved the blade into the head, twisting it around to get it completely. You don’t f*****g leave things twitching in the dream world.


   Braden was already gone, his subconscious relaxing.

   There was a crunch next to him. Adam raised his sword, expecting another cat or spider. But he only saw a shadow. For a few seconds, he thought that it was a man.  But he must have just been tired.

   The main fear dead, something beeped in the distance. Adam’s body began the process of dissolving out of the subconscious, bit by bit flying away.

   He rematerialized in the Inhibitor, completely covered with spider guts and rusted armor. Feeling exhausted, he leaned his forehead against the cool tile, sighing softly. A groan erupted from his body as he unsheathed the armor and let the sword clang to the floor. His clothes were still hanging on a rack by the door, and he pulled them on slowly, feeling the painful tug at his muscles. His hair was sticky with blood, so he shook it out a bit before exiting the room and going over to his dad.

   His father was sitting by the monitors, slowly turning them all off. On the bed, Braden was sleeping softly, his face more peaceful than before. His mother was staring incredulously at her son, showing real emotion for the first time.

   “I don’t think he’s seemed this calm while sleeping in three years,” she whispered softly. Dad gave an actual smile, pressing more buttons to type out a report of what happened. He can’t actually see for himself what’s going on in Braden’s head, but he can monitor spikes in brain activity.

   “Yeah, I would get some, like, bug spray in your house or something,” Adam piped up, running a hand through his hair. “Because your kid is crazy scared of spiders.”

   The mother nodded mutely, fishing in her purse for her checkbook. Dad has a policy where if a customer isn’t satisfied they don’t have to pay, even if this whole operation is ridiculously expensive to run. Getting a sneak peak, he saw that the line where the money is written contained a lot of zeroes after the first number.

   “Thank you, Mrs. Branson,” he said, brushing the wheel of his chair to inch towards her. “It was a pleasure doing business with you. You can carry your son home, he will wake up in a  few hours.”

   She nodded, scooping up her slumbering son. Adam numbly waved to the kid, remember that scared face back in the dream. When the elevator doors dinged open, he slumped against a wall, staring at the ceiling.

   “Can I go to bed?” he asked his father, feeling the weight against his eyelids. Dad looked up from his work, giving him a once over.

  “Of course. Good work, we had minimal repercussions today.”

   “Cool,” he mumbled, dragging himself to the elevator. His room was upstairs, so he went up two floors, too tired to use the stairs. Fumbling for the doorhandle of his room and opening it like a drunk man, he collapsed on his bed. He fell asleep instantly, his hair still drenched in spider guts.

© 2013 TopHatGirl

Author's Note

Spiders are hella nasty, dawgg.

My Review

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Check your spelling and grammar, and take care to avoid passivity in your narrative. Also, I'd urge you to use a more neutral tone in your narration. Let the characters tell the story and the narrator describe it.

Posted 11 Years Ago


11 Years Ago

Wow, thank you! Passive narration is one of my weakest points and I'm glad you pointed that out. I t.. read more

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Added on May 20, 2013
Last Updated on May 20, 2013



[Redacted], NV

Hi, I'm TopHatGirl! If you're here about my character lessons or to get some advice, email me instead of messaging at [email protected]. This is because I don't go on this site as much anym.. more..

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A Chapter by TopHatGirl

chapter two chapter two

A Chapter by TopHatGirl