Jaclyn’s Ghost Chapter 1
Jaclyn’s Ghost by Dorlana Vann
Ghosts, Mystery, & Fashion
Can this diva solve her own murder, or will she be stuck in limbo forever?
Another One Bites the Dust
Jaclyn Jade felt a prickling sensation as if a trillion tiny needles penetrated her entire body just beneath the surface of her skin. Gradually, the tingling faded, but the overwhelming contentment made it difficult for her to shake the suspicion that something was terribly different. As her eyes began to focus in the dark room, she searched her surroundings for answers. Okay, so she was in her bedroom, and since even the earliest part of the morning brought an orange glow through her sheer curtains, obviously, she’d woken up in the middle of night. Besides the eerie serenity, the other oddity was that she stood in the middle of her bed.
Her scan stopped abruptly when she spotted an unfamiliar six-foot silhouette in the shape of a man. It moved, causing an involuntary shriek to burst out of her mouth. As she attempted to run, she stumbled over a huge lump in her bed and fell, face first, onto the floor. She regained her footing in a flash and then dashed out the door.
She stopped in the hallway, right outside the bedroom door, placing her hand on her chest and tried to regain her composure. Feeling the fabric of her clothes, she looked down. Crap, she’d slept in her Keten Maye original cream-colored gown. “He’s going to kill me,” she whispered.
She listened now, doubting what she had seen because no one had followed her out. She reached inside her room until she found the switch and turned on the light.
“I didn’t mean to scare you,” a man said who suddenly stood right across from her.
She sucked in a deep breath and responded appropriately with another piercing scream and ran back into her room.
“I know you’re confused,” he said from behind her. “If you will give me a moment, I can explain everything.”
“If you don’t get the hell out of my house this instant,” she cried and turned around, “you’ll be explaining everything to the police.”
The intruder stood in the doorway, his face covered by the shadow of his hat.
She needed her phone, but it was on the table by the bed. As soon as her focus drifted toward the bed, the heap that had caused her to trip earlier grabbed her attention. Was someone under there?
“What’s the last thing you remember? Give yourself a moment. It’ll come back to you.”
She smoothed her dress. “The party,” she blurted. “That’s it; all that champagne.” She nodded her head in satisfied realization. “I just partied a little more than I should have. Keten must have brought me home and stayed over. He does that all the time. I must have been sleepwalking and caught you in the middle of, who knows what. “Keten! Wake up! Keten.”
“Pretty shoes.” The man nodded toward the bed.
“I say, your boyfriend sure has pretty shoes.”
Jaclyn located a foot, wearing a pink, pointy-toed sling-back, which stuck out from under the blankets. Not Keten. When she recognized the shoe, she pulled her dress up a little bit to see her feet. She wore the same pair. Did a friend, who had the same exact shoes, spend the night? She would have noticed that before. She would have remembered shoe duplicity.
Jaclyn put her attention back on the stranger. He wore a black jacket over a double-breasted vest and dress pants. Clearly, the suit had been bought off the rack, but still, it was a bit much for a burglar. Nothing made sense. She wondered why he hadn’t left when he had the chance. If he wanted to hurt her, why hadn’t he even tried? The way he leaned against the door frame, his arms crossed, made it seemed as if he was amused by her chaos.
“Did someone hire you to pull a prank on me? Is that it? Are you an actor? Just tell me what’s going on, who you are, and who’s in that bed, and maybe I’ll tell the cops to go easy on you.”
“If that’s truly what you want.” He held up his hands and took a couple of steps inside the room.
“Now you’re starting to piss me off. Just tell me what’s going on!”
He sighed. “Poor bunny, that’s you in the bed. Well, the former you. You see, now you’re you, and that’s just a body.” The man walked until he stood a handshake away.
Jaclyn tried to ignore the hazy luster around him—too much to think about at that moment—but she couldn’t disregard his attractive face, his square jaw, and his deep black eyes, which at that moment seemed insanely sincere.
“Oh… my… goodness.”
“I know. It’s really crazy.”
“No. You’re psychotic.” Without giving herself another chance to chicken out, Jaclyn marched over to her bed and tossed back the bedspread.
Her mouth fell open as she took a step back. It had to be a trick. It was just someone who resembled her and had gone to lot of trouble to play a joke. The girl had the same long dark hair, the same skin tone, the same nose, the same one-of-a-kind party dress …
Jaclyn decided to wake the imposter and tell her to take her boyfriend and get the hell out of her apartment. But when she reached down to shake the woman, her hand went smooth through the shoulder like it was made of smoke. Jaclyn jerked her hand back and took an apprehensive breath. Was this really happening?
“It’s screwy seeing yourself like that,” the man said.
She stood there, examining her body in the bed as the same peace she’d felt earlier embraced her. “Why am I not freaking out? Shouldn’t I be upset, screaming, and freaking out?”
“When you die, the psychological need for your physical body ends. You instinctively know that you don’t need that body anymore.”
“I look really pitiful,” she said. “What happened? I’m not sick or anything.”
She eyed her phone, close enough now that she could grab it and call someone if she wanted, and laughed to herself. Who? What could she say? She noticed a container of pills and a bottle of champagne beside the phone on the nightstand. She tried to pick up the pills. Yet again, her hand had no substance and went through the bottle. “Ahh, this is driving me crazy. Can you pick those up?”
The man stared at her blankly, and then a small, concerned expression seemed to grow across his face. “What?”
“Something’s wrong with me. Would you mind?” She moved out of the man’s way so he could get to the table. He inched his hand really close to the bottle and then snatched it back again.
“Oh, just forget it,” she said.
“No, it’s no problem. I want to help.” He picked up the bottle and studied it, turning it one way and then the other.
“Well? Does it say what they are?”
“There’s no marking of any kind. The torpedo must have left them. I would have tried to stop him, but by the time I arrived—”
“Hit man, assassin, hired gun, torpedo.”
“Hit man? That’s ridiculous. I’ve accepted every ludicrous thing you’ve said so far, but now you’re actually trying to tell me, what? That I was murdered?”
“You must have your share of enemies.” The man nodded as he stared down at the body in the bed.
Jaclyn couldn’t believe his gall. “Wait, who are you, and why are you in my house?”
“The name is Logan Smith.”
“And why are you here?”
“I live here.” Logan crossed his arms as he leaned back against the wall. An arrogant smile appeared on his lips as well as in his eyes. “Just your friendly resident ghost.”
“As in boo?”
She ran her hands through her hair and exhaled in defeat. “Well, that would explain your glow.”
He shrugged his shoulders.
“Does that mean I’m a ghost, too?” Jaclyn stared at her hands. “I look the same.”
“But you’re not.”
She thought about it for a second. “Okay fine, I’m a ghost.” This warranted sitting down, but when she went to sit on the edge of the bed, she fell through to the floor. She stayed there with her head poking up through the mattress. She crossed her legs under the poof of her dress and sighed as she considered her demise. “You’re wrong,” she finally said. “I don’t have any enemies. At least not ones who would want to kill me.”
Logan sat on the bed. “Then, it’s a mystery.”
Jaclyn glared at him. “How did you do that? How is it that you can sit on the bed?”
“There are things you’ll have to—”
“And where the hell is my light and tunnel and stairway to Heaven?”
“It’s complicated,” Logan said. “Well, not really. Some people go straight to Heaven and others, for some reason or another, are rejected.”
She stood up and faced him. “Rejected? You’re telling me I didn’t make it into Heaven. What then? You can’t seriously be saying I’m going to—”
“Hello,” a man’s voice spoke from behind her.
Jaclyn shook her head and turned around. What now? She had her hands on her hips, ready for combat, but was ambushed by the new man’s appearance. His beauty rivaled Logan’s masculinity. What was this? An audition for a Calvin Klein ad? She opened her mouth to protest his intrusion, but her voice turned out to be just as flabbergasted as she was.
“Give her a break,” Logan said. “She just bit the dust.” He stepped beside Jaclyn and then gestured to the new arrival. “May I introduce Charles Charles.”
“Charles Charles?” Jaclyn said, coming out of her trance.
“I’m taking her now,” the man said.
“Taking me? Taking me where?” Panic caught in her throat. She had just found out about this rejection thing and needed more time to process what had happened.
“Exactly where you should be, Butterfly … Hell.”