Status: This is a completed seven-part fic, I'll update once a day.

Apparitions and Other Everyday Abnormalities

Part One

‘Anger’ would be the understatement of the century as to what I’m feeling right now. Pure rage is more like it. My mom swore we wouldn’t move again. She swore. I loved New York. I was happy there for the past two years. My whole life was there. I had good friends. I was even doing pretty well in school. And then she comes home one day and up and tells me we’re moving back to Nevada? What the fuck? She’s a life-ruiner. She ruins people’s lives.

I was born there, in Summerlin, close to Vegas, and we lived there until I was ten and my dad left us. After that, we moved from place to place, never staying more than a year, until New York. I’d really thought we had finally settled. I knew I shouldn’t have trusted her. She always breaks her promises, every time.

We’re passing the state line now. Welcome To Nevada. Yeah, welcome to fucking Nevada. I’m only sixteen. It can’t be healthy to move from place to place like this so often. Fuck her.

After I-don’t-know-how-long, (I fell asleep) we were parked in front of our new house, the movers already busy at work. I don’t want them touching my stuff. It’s bugging me, so I grab boxes that I know are mine and start heading toward the house. I didn’t even get to see it before she bought it. “Since I’ve been forced here against my will, I’m picking my room before you,” I yell at her through the doorway. She looks over at me with a smirk.

“Fine, honey, the rooms are all big anyway, go crazy,” she mutters. Well, that was anti-climactic. I was hoping for a nice argument, as childish as that sounds. I’m in a pissy mood, and I like to argue when I’m in these moods. My mom knows better, though. She can avoid it. I roll my eyes at her before heading into the house and up the stairs. I have to admit, it is a nice house. It’s huge. My mom’s a lawyer, so she makes good money. On the second floor, there are six doors. I peek in all the rooms to size them up. Three of the doors are to bedrooms, one including its own bathroom. They all have walk-in closets. The other two doors lead to another bathroom and a hallway closet. I go to the last door and open it to see…another staircase? Actually, it’s more like half a staircase, with another door at the top. When I push it open, I’m met with a fairly huge loft. It has electric blue walls and shiny hardwood flooring. There are French doors on the back wall, leading out onto a small balcony. Sweet. I’m claiming the loft as my room, it’s official.

I head back out of the house to tell my mom. “Mom, I—” she cuts me off before I can even tell her.

“Let me guess, you want the loft?” she asks with a smirk, eyebrow raised. Well, then.

“I’ve already claimed it, it’s mine. It’s the least you can do, don’t you think?” I ask, not hiding my glare.

“Sure, kid,” she says, playfully ruffling my hair. I scowl at her as I tell the movers where to put my stuff. “And I’m taking the futon because I need a couch for my new giant loft, and you can just buy another one!” I call out as I scramble back into the house, not giving her a chance to reply.

I lead the movers to my new room as they trail behind, carrying the black futon. When I approach the door, it’s closed. I could have sworn I’d left it open. Huh.


Three hours later, and I’m completely finished unpacking. I decide to play a little guitar. There’s a new song I’ve been working on, but I can’t quite get it right. After a while, I start to rethink the melody, and I play it a little differently. Yes, that’s exactly how it needs to sound. I’m in the process of scribbling the chords down in my notebook when I hear footsteps behind me. I roll my eyes and huff as I turn around. “Mom, how many times do I have to ask you to—” There’s nobody there. I walk to the door and open it. “Mom!” I call.

“What?” she calls back.

“Did you just come up here?”

“No, I’ve been in the kitchen unpacking.”

Huh. That’s weird. I’m almost positive I heard footsteps. Maybe I’m just tired. I turn the light off and make my way over to the bed, flinging myself onto it. It’s not long before I start to drift off. While I’m in my almost-asleep haze, I could swear I hear a whispered, “Ryan.” God, I must be more tired than I thought.


When I wake up the next morning, I’m freezing. It’s literally like, fifty degrees in my room. I really don’t understand how that’s at all possible seeing as it’s summer. Maybe Mom accidentally turned the temperature down too low. I walk downstairs to where the thermostat is, but it’s on seventy-two degrees. What the hell? That’s really…strange. I walk back to my room to get changed. It isn’t cold at all anymore. Okay seriously, what the fuck? I think I’m going insane. I just shake my head and head to my closet. No need to dress up today, who do I have to impress? I’ll just be sitting here all day. I just slip on some baggy grey sweatpants and a white t-shirt. Mom’s gone off to some mandatory business trip a few towns away. Nice, Mom, leaving me here the day after we move in; isn’t she just such a wonderful mother? Oh well, at least she bought food.

I head down to the kitchen to make myself some pancakes, because I feel like cooking this morning. I am up pretty early, after all. I’m buzzing around the kitchen, feeling surprisingly cheery. As I’m walking to the cupboard on the opposite side of the kitchen to grab a plate, something catches in my peripheral vision. I see a person standing in my living room. My heart stops as I whip my head around, doing a double-take. There’s nobody there. But…I—there was someone there, I’m sure of it. I didn’t just imagine someone right in the middle of my living room, there was a fucking person in there. My heart starts racing frantically. Did someone break in? But where did they go? There’s no way they could’ve moved more than an inch in the time it took me to look away for half a second. I’m scared. I stay frozen in place, staring at the spot where I was sure I’d seen something. After I listen for a few minutes, hearing nothing, I decide I’m just seeing things and turn back to the kitchen.

I turn around, and immediately jump back five feet and scream. There is a person in my house. He’s standing right in front of me, just staring at me, not moving. Oh my god, this is how I’m going to die. I’m going to be murdered in my own house in broad daylight.

“Stay away from me!” I scream, backing up even more. “Who are you? What do you want? How did you get in here?!” I shriek. He’s not moving toward me, just looking with an almost…amused expression on his face. He tilts his head to the side, kind of making him look like a deranged serial killer.

“Calm down,” he says. His voice is deep, smooth, kind of…sexy. Wait. What? No. “I’m not going to like, murder you and bury you in the backyard,” he chuckles. Honestly, that doesn’t make me any less terrified, because there is still a crazy psycho in my kitchen.

“What the fuck?! Why are you in my house?”

“I live here.” He says it simply, like it’s something that should be obvious. He doesn’t look old. He actually looks to be around my age.

“Huh? No, I live here. My mom and I just moved in yesterday. Nobody’s lived here for a long time,” I say slowly. I’m baffled. I’m standing in my kitchen talking to a complete stranger who’s broken into my house to kill me.

“I lived here. And I still do.” Okay, what? I think this guy is on some sort of drug.

“What are you talking about? The real estate lady said nobody’s lived here for years,” I say.

He chuckles again. He has a nice laugh; sexy like his voice. I really shouldn’t be thinking about the fact that the person currently plotting my death is sexy. That’s fucked up.

“I wonder why it is that you can see me,” he muses, finger on his chin, tilting his head again. I’m really confused now.

“What kind of drugs are you on, dude?” I ask, trying to sound a lot braver than I am.

He laughs again, but louder and more genuine this time.

“I’m dead,” he states simply.

“Um…I think I need to call the cops…” I stare at him warily, making sure he doesn’t make any sudden movements.

He sighs, long and drawn out. “I’ll just show you then, yeah?” Before I get a chance to ask what the fuck he’s talking about, he disappears. I blink my eyes, darting them around the room. What. The. Fuck. A tap on my shoulder sends me whirling around, and then I’m staring into a pair of huge brown eyes. He’s smirking at me.

I start to splutter while I try to figure out what just happened. “How—how did? But…oh my god, I really am going crazy,” I shake my head.

“No, you’re not. I told you. I’m dead. I’m a ‘ghost,’ if you will. I mean, I can do ‘ghost’ stuff, like the whole vanishing and reappearing thing, but look here.” He pokes my arm. “I can touch you. I’ve never been able to touch anyone before. Actually, I’m more confused as to why you can see me. Nobody else can. I don’t get it,” he sighs, shaking his head slightly.

“Do you—are you serious? Do you honestly expect me to believe that you’re a ghost?” I laugh at the crazy guy.

He lets out a frustrated noise and huffs at me. “Did you not just see me vanish two minutes ago and then appear behind you?” Then he’s gone…out of thin air. Okay, okay. I’m starting to freak out just a little bit now. I rub at my eyes furiously. I jump as a voice behind me speaks.

“You really think you’re imagining me, don’t you?” he laughs a little. “I assure you, you’re not. I used to live here, I mean, when I was still alive. I was murdered by a man who broke in. My family was out while it happened.” He looks at me as if he’s expecting a response.

I guess I start to realize, hey, there’s a goddamn ghost in your house and you aren’t imagining it, because just then I let out a shriek and run for my room. I dart up the stairs as fast as I can. “Oh my fucking god,” I breathe once I’ve slammed my door shut.

“A lot to take in, isn’t it?” I whirl around, and there he is. Okay, hiding in my room from a ghost was a pretty stupid plan. I’ve never been one to like horror movies, and the real-life experience isn’t all that much better. I’m starting to panic. All I can do is slide down onto the floor and bring my knees into my chest, placing my head on them. I cry. I can’t help it. There’s a fucking ghost in my house, I think I’m allowed a few tears. Pretty soon I’m sobbing.

“Hey, don’t—don’t cry,” he says. “I’m not like other ghosts, I won’t hurt you. I promise,” he says gently. I look up at him. There are other ghosts? That just makes me cry harder.

“Please—please just leave me alone. I haven’t done anything to you. What do you want from me?” I reluctantly glance up at him. He’s looking at my balled-up form worriedly, his face showing nothing but concern and sadness.

“I…I just wanted a friend,” he says quietly. “I won’t hurt you. I’m not bad, really. I’m just a normal sixteen-year-old, except I’m dead, and I’ll be sixteen forever, but…y’know, besides that. I’m not like, evil or anything. And it’s so miserable being dead. Well, if you’re still stuck here, like me anyway. You’re the only person I’ve met who has been able to see me, and touch me.” He’s staring at me with those big, chocolate eyes, and all I see is vulnerability there. My heart rate begins to slow down as I realize that he’s telling the truth.

“I’ll just…I’ll go away,” he mumbles, looking down at the floor.

“No, wait,” I stop him. He looks up, hope in his eyes. “Um…I’m Ryan,” I say shyly.

He beams at me. “Brendon,” and he holds out his hand, whether to shake my hand or help me up, I don’t know. But I take it.


“So, if you’ve been here since I moved in, why haven’t I seen you until today?” I ask Brendon, who’s sitting on the floor across from the futon I’m sitting on. I don’t know why he’s sitting on the floor, but he wanted to. He’s kind of ridiculously weird. And I kind of like it.

“Because I didn’t let you see me until today,” he replies simply, shrugging. “I figured out that you could see me the other day when I was watching you play guitar. You heard my footsteps, so I went away before you turned around. Nobody else can hear me, or sense my presence in any way, so I figured if you could hear me, you could probably see me as well. A theory that I decided to test out this morning,” he grins. “What I have no clue about, however, is why you can see me. I thought maybe you have a sixth sense, but then, I’m the only ghost you’ve ever seen, correct?”

“Yeah. Nothing like this has ever happened before,” I tell him uneasily.

He nods his head. “That’s what I thought. Well, sometimes abilities like that take a long time to appear. Maybe you just now developed it. Or maybe this house has something to do with it. Or maybe it’s something specifically to do with me. I honestly have no idea. I’m just happy to have someone alive to talk to.” He smiles at me again. He has a blinding smile. It makes him look even more beautiful than he already is. He’s really very attractive. He’s extremely pale, (obviously, he’s a fucking ghost) and he has black hair and the most gorgeous big, brown eyes I’ve ever seen. He also has extremely full lips; they’re kind of sexy. Okay, he’s just sexy. But I’m not about to tell him that. We just met, and he’s…dead. I don’t want to freak him out. Why am I even thinking about this? He’s a ghost for fuck’s sake.

“What are you freaking out about?” he inquires, eyebrow raised.

“W-what?” I stutter out. Damn, way to look cool, Ryan. Not that I need to impress him.

“I can kind of sense people’s moods. And you’re kind of freaking out. Why?” He cocks his head to the side at the question.

“Um…I don’t know. Maybe because I’m sitting in my bedroom talking to a ghost? I’d say I’m allowed to be a little freaked,” I reply.

He laughs lightly before nodding and saying, “Yeah, I guess you’re right. So, I suppose you probably have lots of questions for me then?”

“Yeah,” I nod, “like why you’re here.”

“You mean, why I haven’t ‘moved on’ or whatever? Why I’m stuck here?” he supplies.

“Yeah, exactly.”

“I was murdered,” he says simply, “at sixteen, so there’s not really a whole lot I got to experience. When ghosts don’t move on after they die, it’s because they have ‘unfinished business,’ as I’m sure you’ve heard it put in all the movies. Like, there’s something important that I was supposed to do or experience, but I never got to, so until I do it, I’m stuck here. It’s supposed to be some life-changing thing, but I have no idea what it is. But I’ve given up hope that I’ll ever move on.”

I take a moment to take all this in. I’m still trying to grasp the fact that ghosts actually exist. “Well, how long have you been dead?”

“Five years,” he replies instantly.

“You’ve been…you’ve been stuck in this house for five years?”

He shakes his head. “No, I can leave the house. I can’t leave the town, though. I’ve tried before. When I get to the edge of the town, I just can’t pass it. It’s like there’s a wall blocking me. But, this house is like…how do I put this? This house is where I always return to, because I was killed here. I can leave, and walk around, but I have to live here. If I’m gone for too long, I automatically reappear here; I can’t help it.” I’m probably looking at him like he’s speaking another language because he chuckles lightly and says, “Yeah, I know. It’s complicated. I don’t even fully understand it myself. But the thing is, I can’t leave. So if you were hoping to get me out of here, it can’t happen.”

“N-no. I wasn’t trying to…no.” I actually kind of do want him to leave, but at the same time, I don’t. Suddenly I remember something. “Hey, this morning…when it was freezing in here, I wasn’t imagining that, was I?”

He smiles crookedly. “No, you weren’t. That was me, sorry,” he grins sheepishly. “My emotions betray me. See, when I’m angry, frustrated, upset, things of that sort, it gets cold. I guess it’s supposed to be like a threat or a warning to humans, but obviously none of them know that. Plus, I wouldn’t ever hurt anyone. I’m not like that.”

“Oh,” I breathe. “So…why were you angry this morning then?”

“Well, I was more just really frustrated, because you’re here, and I didn’t understand how you can sense my presence. I was just being moody,” he says with another crooked smile.

“Okay, so…five years ago, you were murdered by a man who broke in while you were home alone…and then what?”

“Well, after I died, I didn’t even know it had happened. I immediately came out of my body, and was here, as this,” he gestures to himself, “and I saw the man leave. I thought he’d just knocked me down or something. But then my family came home, and they were screaming. I didn’t understand why they were yelling my name, because I was right in front of them, but they didn’t seem to see or hear me. Then I saw my body lying on the ground, blood everywhere. He’d stabbed me, six times. I figured out I was dead. My family didn’t want to live in this house anymore, so after my funeral, they moved away to New York. I was so upset after that, because I couldn’t leave with them. I cried for days,” he finishes with a long sigh.

“I’m…I’m so sorry all that happened to you, Brendon,” I tell him. He just smiles sadly and shrugs. “If it makes you feel any better…I hate being alone. And I don’t really have any friends here, so…” I trail off. I don’t really know what I’m getting myself into here. Befriending a ghost? But I mean, he seems nice enough. Why the hell not?

“So…we can be friends?” he asks, hope clear in his smooth voice. I smile shyly and nod. Suddenly, a giant blur of Brendon is surging toward me, attacking me with a crushing hug.

“This is so great!” he exclaims. “I don’t have any friends other than a couple of other ghosts.” He releases his death grip, so I can breathe again.

“Yeah…well. Good, then,” I mumble. I glance up at him, and when I see how excited he looks, his eyes bright and wide, and his lips twisted into a stupid grin, I find it really, really difficult not to smile back.


“So, like. How come you can touch things?” I question Brendon, sitting across from me on my bed the following night. At his confused look, I add, “I mean, you aren’t transparent or anything like ghosts are supposed to be. You’re solid, just like a human. If it weren’t for the vanishing thing you do, I’d think you were just fucking with me. You know, for a ghost, you aren’t very ghost-like,” I smile playfully at him.

He shoots me a very unconvincing annoyed face and pokes his tongue out. “I know, I know. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s all bullshit; except for the vanishing thing, yes. And I can like, walk through walls or whatever,” he says, rolling his eyes like that’s the most normal thing in the world, “but I can touch things, smell things. I can’t sleep or eat or drink anything, though, and I don’t have a heartbeat, and the most obvious, I’m cold. If I try to touch other people, they don’t feel it. With the exception of you, apparently,” he finishes with a thoughtful look.

I nod, taking this all in. “So, I’m like, a freak. Great.” Brendon just looks at me like I’m stupid, a small smile playing on his lips.

“Wait, so, you’re sitting here with a dead kid, and you think you’re the freak? You are definitely not like most people I’ve met, Ryan Ross,” he says, shaking his head, but he’s smiling.

“Well, you most certainly are not the poster child for teenage normalcy,” I shoot back.

“Why aren’t you happy?” he suddenly asks, completely catching me off guard. I blink.

“Um, what?”

“When you first moved in the other day, I was watching. It’s clear that you’re unhappy. I’ve barely seen you smile, and the couple of times you have, it’s never a real smile.” He really is observant, although he kind of sounds like a stalker now.

I sigh before meeting his gaze. He’s watching me carefully, as if he’s not sure he should’ve brought it up at all. “It’s just. I didn’t want to move back here. I was happy in New York. I had friends, I liked my school, and it was great there. This place just brings back bad memories.” Brendon doesn’t ask about it, clearly able to tell that I’m not in a sharing mood. I can tell he’s curious though.

“So, why did you guys move back here, then?”

I scoff. “My mom’s fucking job, of course. That’s all she cares about. She’s a lawyer, and she’s always switching from one firm to another, because everyone wants her. She really is good at her job, but I just wish…” I trail off as I realize I’m telling this to a kid I don’t even know.

“You just wish she paid a little more attention to you?” Brendon supplies. I shoot him a look.

“It’s not like I’m some attention-seeking—” I start, but Brendon cuts me off.

“I didn’t mean it like that. I just mean that you miss her. Right?” His voice is soft and calm. I sheepishly nod at him, and he smiles sadly at me.

“My family didn’t really like me too much for the last two years of my life. I was actually almost seventeen when I died; my birthday was two months away, but technically, I was still sixteen.”

“Oh,” I reply softly. “Why didn’t your family like you?” As soon as I say that, Brendon suddenly looks embarrassed, his cheeks flushed. Huh, ghosts can blush? Odd.

He coughs a little before he replies. “Uh, well they’re Mormon, and when I was almost fifteen, I realized that I just didn’t believe the way they did. I stopped going to church with them, which pissed them off, but that’s not the biggest thing they had a problem with,” he finishes quietly. I furrow my eyebrows and look at him as I wait for him to continue.

“I don’t know why I expected them to accept me. I know it’s one of the biggest things that directly contradicts their beliefs. But I just thought…I’m their son, they’d see things differently when it’s me.” He isn’t looking at me anymore. Instead, he’s fixed his gaze on a loose thread in his jeans, watching his fingers as he picks at it. “But I was wrong. They didn’t accept me at all. They tried to ‘get me help.’ They tried to make me ‘normal.’ They tried all the way up until the night that I died. But even through all of their ignorance, I could see that they just loved me,” he finally finishes. He looks up at me, searching for something I can’t place. I’m looking at his expression; I’m trying to get it, what he’s telling me, until it finally clicks. Oh. Oh.

“You—you’re gay?” I ask quietly. I think absently that it’s kind of funny that there are gay ghosts. He looks down once more before nodding.

When he talks again, his voice sounds different; cold and guarded. “Would you like me to leave now?” he asks quietly. I just stare at him until he looks up.

“Wh—no. What? No, why would I want you to leave?” I ask confusedly.

“You don’t… You don’t have a problem with it?” he asks timidly, like he’s expecting me to punch him and banish him from my room.

I feel a bubble of laughter come from my mouth before I can stop it. Brendon looks at me like I’ve escaped from an insane asylum.

“Brendon,” I say between laughs, gasping for air. “I’m gay, you moron.” Several looks appear on his face. First surprise, then relief, and then something like joy. A huge smile overtakes his face.

“I… really don’t see how I could’ve missed that,” he laughs out.

“Hey! What is that supposed to mean?” I ask with my best offended face.

“Oh, nothing. It’s just…y’know. You do wear eyeliner and those ridiculously tight jeans. Not to mention the hair, good lord.” I gape at him, completely scandalized, and scoff.

“The eyeliner totally makes my eyes look awesome, and do you not see how skinny I am? I look ridiculous in jeans that are baggy. And what exactly is wrong with my hair? I think my hair is awesome…” I grumble. Brendon just laughs loudly, teeth baring. He’s got a gorgeous smile.

“Would you chill? I’m kidding with you. Okay, I’ll admit, the eyeliner does make your eyes look kinda pretty. And nothing’s wrong with your hair. I was just saying, straight guys don’t give a fuck about their hair, and yours looks like it takes very elaborate planning and styling to work with,” he giggles out. “Like, what is it? It’s not exactly a faux-hawk, because you’ve got the sides long, and you’ve got bangs, but it’s all hawked up." He pauses, tapping his chin and humming, studying my hair. "Oh my god, I know, it’s a Ryhawk!” he squeaks excitedly. Okay, so Brendon’s definitely a babbler. Also, he’s highly excitable.

“Oh, god,” I mumble, shaking my head.

“No, no, no. But seriously! It’s a Ryhawk. How awesome is that? You’ve created your own hairstyle!” I can’t help but give him a tiny smile. He’s so… bubbly. It’s contagious, I’ve concluded.

“A Ryhawk, huh?” I indulge him.


“It does sound kinda cool, I guess.”

“I know!” Brendon exclaims, babbling on about how my hair expresses what Brendon assumes is my unique individuality.

Brendon is actually really…normal. He’s cool, and fun to talk to. It’s far too easy to forget that he’s dead. That could be a problem.
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