MidReal Story

City of Shadows

May 17
Scenario: Urban supernatural events
Create my version of this story
Urban supernatural events
I was walking home from work when I saw the ghost.
It was in the window of the abandoned building on the corner of 5th and Main, and it was staring right at me.
I stopped in my tracks, my heart pounding in my chest.
I’d heard the stories, of course, but I’d never actually seen one before.
And now here it was, a ghostly figure with hollow eyes and a gaping mouth, hovering in the window of an old brick building that had been empty for as long as I could remember.
I took a step back, my eyes still fixed on the ghostly figure in the window.
It was gone.
I blinked, and when I opened my eyes again, the figure was still there, staring at me with empty eyes.
And then it was gone again.
I must have imagined it, I told myself as I hurried away from the building.
Ghosts weren’t real; they were just stories people told to scare each other.
I walked home from work most days, but I’d never been so glad to see my apartment building as I was that night.
I practically sprinted up the stairs to my second floor apartment, my heart still pounding in my chest.
I closed the door behind me and leaned against it, trying to catch my breath.
I must have imagined it, I told myself again.
There was no such thing as ghosts.
But still, I couldn’t shake the feeling of unease that had settled over me.
I needed to tell someone about what I’d seen, but who could I tell?
Who would believe me?
And then I remembered Tom.
He’d been my friend for years, and he was a police detective—surely he would know what to do.
Surely he would believe me.
I pulled out my phone and called him, my hands shaking as I waited for him to answer.
“Emily, what’s wrong?”
Tom said when he picked up on the second ring.
He sounded concerned, and I realized I was breathing heavily.
I took a deep breath and tried to slow my racing heart.
“Tom, can you come over?”
I asked in a hushed voice.
It took him less than ten minutes to arrive, and when I opened the door for him, his eyes widened at the expression on my face.
“What’s wrong?”
he asked as he stepped inside.
“You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“Funny you should say that,” I said as I closed the door behind him.
He just looked at me, his expression a mix of concern and skepticism.
I’d known Tom long enough to recognize that look, but I was determined not to let him talk me out of what I’d seen.
I took a deep breath and began to tell him what had happened earlier that evening as we sat on my couch.
When I was finished, he just stared at me in silence, his expression unreadable.
“So,” he said after a long moment, “you think you saw a ghost in the window of an abandoned building on 5th and Main.”
“Yes,” I said, nodding for emphasis.
“And it kept disappearing and reappearing every time I blinked.”
“Well,” Tom said slowly, “I hate to break it to you, but that’s not possible.”
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“The light from the street lamp was shining in such a way that it reflected your image back at you.
“You saw your own reflection in the window.”
“No,” I said, shaking my head.
“I don’t think so.
It didn’t look like me.
It looked like a ghost.”
“I know it sounds crazy—”
“Well,” he said with a shrug.
“Maybe it was just a trick of the light and shadows.
Or maybe you were just seeing things because you were scared.
You were scared, right?
That’s why you called me?
Because you thought someone was following you home?”
“Well, yeah,” I admitted.
“Because of the ghost.”
“Right,” Tom said with a nod.
“But there are no such thing as ghosts.
So it must have been something else.
A trick of the light or your imagination.”
“But it wasn’t my reflection,” I insisted.
“It moved on its own.
When I moved my head, it didn’t move at the same time.
It moved a second after me.
And then it disappeared when I blinked and reappeared when I opened my eyes.”
“Well,” Tom said with a shrug, “maybe you blinked really quickly and didn’t realize it.
“Or maybe you’re just seeing things because you’re scared and it was dark and there was nothing there in the first place.”
“That might be true,” Tom said with a shrug.
“But in that case, why don’t you go back in the daytime and check again?
If there really is a ghost in that building, then it should be there all the time, right?
And if it’s not there during the day, then maybe it was just your imagination or a trick of the light and shadows after all.”
“Well,” Tom said with a shrug.
“I could arrest it for trespassing if it showed up again.”
I knew he was just trying to make a joke to put me at ease, but it wasn’t working.
I wasn’t sure anything could put me at ease after what I’d seen that night.
And if Tom wasn’t going to take me seriously…
I shivered at the thought and tried to push it from my mind.
Because if there really were ghosts in that abandoned building on 5th and Main…
“I’ve been thinking,” Tom said slowly, interrupting my thoughts.
“You couldn’t see anything in that building, right?”
“It was dark and empty and abandoned.
So if you saw something there, it must have been inside the building, not outside the window like you originally thought.”
I opened my mouth to argue, but then I paused, thinking about what he’d said.
It was true that the windows of the abandoned building were dirty and covered in graffiti, so I hadn’t been able to see inside.
But that didn’t mean there wasn’t anything in there.
Someone could have been inside the building, moving around in the darkness and causing the ghostly figure to appear in the window.
It was much more likely than the idea of an actual ghost haunting the place.
“I think you might be onto something,” I said with a nod.
“So maybe someone is living in the building, or hiding out there or something, and that’s why I saw them in the window.”
“Exactly,” Tom said with a nod.
“So if that’s the case, then we need to check out that building.
We need to go back there and take a look around, see if we can find anything.
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But as we walked back through the park to his car, my mind kept filling with images of the ghostly figure I’d seen in the window.
I tried to tell myself that I’d imagined it all, that it had just been a trick of the light or a reflection of something else.
But I could still remember how the figure had moved so smoothly and naturally, as if it were alive.
As if it were real.
And Tom could see that I was still scared.
Which is probably why he offered to drive me home himself instead of just calling me a cab like he’d originally planned.
“I think that might be best,” he agreed with a nod.
“At least until we know for sure what was going on in that building.”
I hesitated for a moment, knowing that Tom would never let me hear the end of it if he found out I’d taken a cab home after being spooked by some stupid ghost story.
But his concern for my safety overruled my pride.
And I didn’t want to walk home alone in the dark anyway, not after everything that had happened.
“Okay,” I said with a small nod.
“I’ll drop you off on the way,” he said.
“I’m parked over by the tennis courts.”
I followed him through the park in silence, keeping my eyes on the ground and trying not to think about what I’d seen in that abandoned building.
Because the more I thought about it, the more scared I became.
And the more convinced I was that something wasn’t right.
Something wasn’t normal.
Something was very, very wrong.
But what if it wasn’t just some reflection in the window?
Tom’s phone buzzed in his pocket, and he pulled it out to check the caller ID.
“Sorry,” he said with an apologetic frown.
“I have to take this.”
I nodded and waited while Tom stepped away from me to take the call, talking in hushed tones so I couldn’t overhear what he was saying.
I didn’t want to eavesdrop, but the longer he talked, the more scared I became, and the more convinced I was that something was watching me.
I tried to push the thought from my mind, taking deep breaths and trying to calm myself down.
But it didn’t help.
Because the longer I waited there alone in the dark, the longer I felt like something was coming for me.
Like something was going to get me.
Like something really was watching me.
The tap on the window made me jump, and I immediately slammed my hands over my heart, feeling it pounding against my chest as I tried to catch my breath.
It was just Tom, standing outside my car with his hands on his hips and glaring at me like he was ready to drag me out of there himself.
“You should have told me you were coming back,” I said as I rolled down the window, hoping that he couldn’t hear how hard my heart was still racing.
“I would have waited for you at the station.”
“I’m sorry,” Tom said with an apologetic frown.
“The call took longer than I thought it would.I didn’t want you waiting out here by yourself for too long.But we need to go.
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