You’re in the bathroom during history class, standing in front of a mirror that suddenly seems way too big, way too low, way too easy for something to walk through—if there were other worlds. Maybe there are. Maybe the worlds are like that thing with David Bowie or that movie you saw with the walk-through dresser. Maybe that scene with the Witch or the lady who says she’s going to cut out those kids’ tongues. Focus. Crypt Keeper. Focus. Batboy. FOCUS. Jane locks the door. You shouldn’t be able to lock the door from the inside, but here you are. Lights out. Door closed. Mirror. You say it again.
That makes twice. You laugh nervously as Tabitha washes her hands. Why is she washing her hands? Maybe it’s just not that big of a deal. Maybe the shadows you see as you stare just beyond your own hair are just your eyes finding focus. But if Beetlejuice came after three calls then maybe that means she will too. Or maybe she’ll be kind of okay like Drop Dead Fred. I still don’t know what “spiderwebs” means. Focus. Jane says she has a bloody neck, Tabitha says it’s detached. They argue as you welcome the pause in between calls. The chance to step away and run because you’re pretty certain your eyes are already adjusted and that shadow isn’t you because the lights are off, and where would the light be coming from except maybe Sister Lucy coming to save you and open the door. The door that’s locked from the inside. Shit.
Blood—IT’S HER you shout as Jane and Tabitha scream. They scream so loud it fills the room with enough movement to drown out all senses as you run to the door to unlock it. You feel the cold chills of panic as the images fill you with fear. You saw her. You saw something. You feel pressure on the back of your neck as you pour out into the hall. You check each other for marks on your necks, and you swear you see something. Something happened. You nervously laugh, you say it was fake so you can return to class. But in the drumming heartbeat in your ears, you feel an unsteady knowing. She heard you, and she’s with you now… forever.
Lauren Theresa (she/her) is a writer, botanical sorceress, and depth psychotherapist living outside NYC with her two daughters, husband, and myriad of plants. Her musings can be found via IG & Twitter @imlaurentheresa, and her words crawl the pages of laurentheresa.com.