The Last Act of Anastasia

Tina had the blankets pulled over her head. She cranked her little snake flashlight as hard as she could to keep it lit.  Its cute smile made a shadow on the protective sheet. Tina’s dark skin was ashen and she whimpered a little. The ghost was back and it would eat her for sure.

She had tried screaming for mommy but she swore and told her to go to sleep.   So Tina cranked away til her arm ached and she began to cry.

The air was whistling around her room.   Mommy, when she came, said it was the window, but Tina knew better.  The whistling slowed and the sound became a moan. Tina dove for the flashlight but her arm ached and she could only get the smallest flicker of light.

“Please don’t eat me!” Tina screamed.  

“Shut up and sleep!” her mom shouted from down the hall.

“My mom always yelled at me too..” came a tiny voice.  It sounded far away but Tina knew it was right above her.

“Don’t hurt me!” Tina yelled in a loud whisper.

“I won’t hurt you,”  the tiny voice sounded sad.

Fear and curiosity fought and fear lost.   A sheet couldn’t stop a monster anyway. Peeking out she saw a little girl like her floating above her bed.  The girl looked way too thin and had a fluffy dress on with lots of ruffles.

“You’re little like me.  I thought ghosts were all scary,” Tina said in a quaking voice.

“I’m a ghost?  That makes sense,” the spirit began sobbing “I suppose that means I’m dead.”

“Well you’re not for real dead, you’re still here,” Tina said, trying to calm the transparent child.

“No, it means Jesus doesn’t love me,”  the girl sobbed harder.

“Jesus loves everybody!  Maybe he just forgot for a while,” Tina began to cry too.  It was so sad. “How…”*gulp*”did you…….die…” the last word was a whisper.

“I got sick.  I was coughing a lot and it hurt so much,” her voice was lost in sobs. “Mommy and daddy tried everything.  One day I went to sleep and now I’m here,” the ghost looked down at Tina. “Am I really dead?”

“I guess… everyone says ghosts are dead anyway,”  Tina tried to smile “Well since you’re here we can be friends!”

“We..we can?” the girl asked.

“Sure.  I’m Tina, who are you?”  Tina felt much better that the ghost was a little girl like her.

“Anastasia,” the girl said, brightening a little.

“Nice to meet you, Anastasia,” Tina said.

Anastasia giggled. “You look like the girl who cleaned my bedroom.”

“That isn’t me for sure.  I don’t even clean my own room,”  Tina snickered.

“GO TO SLEEP!”  the yell seemed to shake the room and Tina dove under her sheet again.

“I wish mommy would stop yelling.  I don’t like it,” Tina said.

“Can I help?” Anastasia asked.

“I dunno how you can,” Tina answered. “Ghosts can’t touch anything, can they?”

“I’m not sure..” Anastasia said.  She started trying to grab a stuffed animal without any success.

A roar echoed through the room followed by a shrill siren.  Tina jumped up screaming “There’s a fire! I gotta leave!” She ran to the door, grabbed the handle and let out a screech.  “The doorknob burned me!”

Smoke began pouring under the door and Tina coughed.  Anastasia stuck her head through the wall. “The whole hall is filled with fire.  You’re stuck!”

“Mommy! Mommy!” she screamed.

“Oh my God, Tina!”  I can’t get to you! I’ll get a fireman to rescue you!  Don’t worry baby it’ll be ok! Help will come soon! Be brave!”  She screamed and sobbed.

Tina remembered fire safety lessons from school.  Grabbing a sheet, she stuffed it under the door and dropped to the ground.  Tina curled into a ball and began to cry. “I don’t want to die! I don’t want to burn to death!”

Anastasia’s lip began to quiver, bet she swallowed and scrunched her face. “I WILL SAVE YOU!” she screamed.  She began to flicker for a few moments. She began to become solid, and looked like she was still alive. Anastasia stared at herself in shock.  Shaking her head she spun and crashed into the window, sending glass flying everywhere.

“I’m gonna get you out of here! I won’t let my only friend die!” Anastasia yelled and grabbed Tina, the ghost’s tiny fingers digging into the girl’s wrists.  Anastasia let out a scream and pulled. Tina shrieked as she left the floor. The ghost looked like she was in pain, but she hauled Tina through the window.

Tina screamed as she floating 50 feet above the ground.  “Don’t drop me!”

Anastasia answered with a groan and they began to sink to the ground.  A few minutes passed and Tina found herself on the ground. Above her, Anastasia panted.  “I feel strange..”

“What’s wrong!  You saved me, you’re a hero!  You should get a prize!” Tina said, struggling for breath.

“Something is calling me.  Mommy, is that you?” Anastasia started to fade.  “My mommy found me! I am going to be with my family!” she looked down at Tina “Thank you for being my friend, I’ll miss you!”

Tina began to cry “I’ll miss you! Make sure to hug your mommy!”

Anastasia opened her mouth and blinked out of existence.

Tina heard a voice from around the corner “The hell you won’t go in there!  My daughter is up there! She’s only 7! You can’t abandon her!”

“Mommy?” Tina shouted.  A moment later her mother flew around the corner and tackled her.

“Tina! Oh my God! How did you get out!” she was crying and smiling at the same time.

“Anastasia saved me,” she sobbed, hugging her mommy.

“Who’s Anastasia?  Never mind, you’re safe!”  her mother squeezed her so hard she squeaked.  They hugged for a long time beside the burning building.

Published by Robert C Hartwell

I live in Northeastern Vermont in the US. I am currently working towards becoming an author. I am the proud father of two great kids.

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