TITLE: THE DEVIL YOU KNOW
GENRE: YOUNG ADULT
I can't have been asleep for more than an hour, maybe two, when my bedroom door swings open with a long, shivering groan. I ignore it-- the door never latches right in winter, and our apartment is draftier than a frilly skirt on a windy day.
But then there's a touch on my foot, the barest hint of pressure on the duvet, and I am instantly, fully, awake.
"We've got company, cupcake,” a voice says from the chair beside my bed.
“Thank you, Captain Obvious. Why did you let it in?”
“Last I checked, I wasn't a doorman,” he says.
Still soundless, the thing continues its path around my bed, moving ever closer to where my head is resting on the pillow. I tuck my chin to my chest, shifting so the blankets cover most of my face, just in case. Ghosts won't try to get physical, usually, not if my oh-so- helpful partner Zeke is around. But it never hurts to be cautious.
“Gross,” Zeke says, and even though I know better I open my eyes.
Inches from me, crouched down to be level with my face, is a scorched, peeling thing--nothing but black skin and grimacing mouth, lidless eyes wide and bright in the darkness. The ghost opens its mouth and the skin around it bursts and peels away from the charred lips. “You
can see me,” it gurgles.