ISBN 9789899734869-6

2003 Words
Lana managed a little chuckle before swallowing hard. 'I... I went up to Carlton Point yesterday, on my own,' she managed to utter. 'Oh, but that's... well that's... I don't know what to say, Lana. That's just incredible. Well done,' she said as she leaned forward and hugged her daughter tightly. Emma's head bowed before she shook it. 'But that's not the same. Lana's fear was never quite as bad as mine.' 'Nonsense Emma Jane,' said Audrey, 'You two were always as bad as each other. You both have, had, have, oh whatever, such an... an irrational fear...' 'Exactly, Mum. Irrational fears. And if I can get over mine, then surely Emma can get over hers and I won't let a silly thing like fear of the sea stop me from going to London,' she said as she stood up with her hands on her hips. 'Come on, Em. It's London. It's only a few hours by boat. You'll be completely safe, and I'll be with you. Look...' she said as she approached her sister's bed, crouched down and took Emma's hand, 'I'm sorry for being so pushy, but this is such an amazing opportunity, Sis. Let's do it together. Please?' she asked. Looking from her sister and back to her mother, she realised there was nothing she could do. She had to do it. Not just for Lana but herself. If Lana could get over her fear, then she would try her hardest to do the same. 'Okay, I'll do it,' she whispered as Lana jumped up and cartwheeled onto her bed. Audrey shook her head and laughed out loud. 'Scott is going to be so jealous,' giggled Lana. CHAPTER 10 Emma, Lana and Scott stood at one side of the newly dug grave, waiting patiently while Father Hawkins said a few words as Mr Grimshaw was laid to rest. Quite a few people had turned up to the funeral, even though nobody had known him that well. He had no family. An only child, his parents had passed on many years before, he had never married, and he appeared to have no close friends. Both Audrey and Patrick were busy working, so the girls decided to attend the funeral on their behalf. After all, it was the least they could do, considering he had died right in front of them. 'Why are we here?' whispered Scott, as Emma stepped forward to drop a couple of large daisies onto the earth as the hole in the ground was slowly covered. 'Shhh,' said Lana as she frowned at him, 'We were there when he died, Scott. We're just paying our respects,' she said sensibly. Scott looked at her as if she'd gone mad. 'We didn't even know the old man.' Emma turned and scowled at her best friend, and as she did so, she thought she spotted a movement behind a large tree in the distance. Following her gaze, Lana and Scott both turned to see what had caught her attention. 'What is it?' asked Lana. 'Nothing, I just thought I saw someone watching us. It's probably just the shadow of the tree.' 'Thank you for coming, Emma, Lana, Scott,' said Father Hawkins with a nod before he turned back to the others as they all headed out of the churchyard. 'Can we get out of here now?' asked Scott, as Emma crouched down to whisper goodbye to Mr Grimshaw. 'Okay, okay,' she said as she stood up and turned, linking her arms through his and Lana's. 'Did you see that?' Lana asked, squinting behind her. 'What?' asked Emma. 'I could have sworn I saw someone hiding over there.' The three unlinked arms as Lana broke free and walked quickly towards the huge overgrown tree. She saw a person bolt, so she sped up, running across the grass, followed by Emma and Scott in pursuit across the graveyard. But the far end of the graveyard gave way to a long drop to the sea below. Without even a moment's thought, Lana launched herself off the highest point. 'Lana!' cried Scott as he fell to the floor close to the edge with his arms outstretched. But as he looked down, expecting to see a horrifying sight, he was greeted by Lana running steadfast across the beach towards the shore. 'What the...? How the...? Lana?' he whispered. Emma stood by his side, not saying a word. 'You knew? You knew she could... she could jump like that?' Emma nodded, 'I'll let her tell you all about it. But for now, come on, we'll have to climb down the old path over there,' she said, as she grabbed his arm and pulled him back up to his feet, before dragging him towards the edge. The two ran as fast as they could, tumbling down, their backsides getting covered in sandy dirt and moss as they reached the bottom of the cliff. 'Which way did she go?' said Scott breathlessly. Emma looked one way and then the other, but she couldn't see Lana anywhere. 'Lana?' she yelled. 'Over here,' came a reply from the other side of a huge boulder that stood blocking access from the beach. Emma looked on as Scott took off his shoes and waded into the water around the rock until he'd vanished from sight. When he popped his head back around to see what she was doing, he suddenly realised. 'Sorry', he mouthed, 'Do you want me to carry you?'. Afraid of stepping foot anywhere near the water, she shook her head, 'I'll... I'll wait here,' she said as she kicked at the sand beneath her feet. He nodded and disappeared again. On the other side of the boulder, Scott followed Lana's footprints towards a well-covered cave, 'Lana?' he asked as he peered into the darkness. 'I'm right here, Scott,' she said quietly. 'I can't see a thing. Look, what's going on? Can you come out?' 'Erm, just give me a minute.' Scott stepped outside and looked around, taking a deep breath, inhaling the fresh salty air and waited. After a few minutes, Lana appeared looking confused. She kept glancing over her shoulder as if someone was following her. 'What's going on, Lana?' he asked. 'I found him hiding in the cave,' she said with a nod behind her. 'Found who?' 'Him,' she said, rolling her eyes upwards. 'Erm... I hate to break this to you, Lana, but there's nobody here but you and me.' Lana laughed, 'You're so funny, Scott,' she chuckled until she noticed his expression. With her eyebrows raised, she slowly turned towards the young man who hovered behind her and gulped loudly. 'Let's just go back to Emma and maybe everything will be explained then.' Tutting, Scott shook his head as the two of them walked silently back towards the rock boulder. 'Lana? Scott?' said the voice from the other side. 'It's okay, Sis. We're here. We're coming back over now.' Emma sat on the beach some distance from the shore, with her knees under her chin and her arms wrapped around herself. As they waded through the water back towards her, Emma watched as the two of them looked at each other suspiciously. 'Well? Did you find whoever it was?' Sharing a strange look, Scott said no, and Lana said yes. 'Well, which is it? What on earth are you two talking about?' 'I did find someone, Sis... but Scott can't see him.' Emma slowly stood up, brushing dry sand from her black jeans and grey converse. 'It's... it's the boy from the hospital.' 'But... but... he's dead.' 'I know,' whispered Lana as the hair on the back of Emma's neck stood on end. 'He... he told me that his name is... Joe, Josiah. Josiah Grimshaw.' CHAPTER 11 'It's the most bizarre thing I've ever heard,' said Audrey to her husband later that night. 'Apparently, his body has just vanished from the morgue. But not just that, all his medical charts have gone too. It's as if he never even existed.' Patrick was pacing up and down the living room; occasionally, his footsteps would stop as he spoke. 'His file has disappeared from the station too. I can't explain it. Some of the guys are saying perhaps we should just forget about him.' 'Well, perhaps it's a sign, love. Maybe we should just forget...' Lana and Emma were sat at the top of the stairs listening in to their parents' conversation. It had been the strangest day of their lives, well, perhaps the second most bizarre after Lana's tattoo incident. Josiah had spoken to Lana and explained that it was really him, Josiah Grimshaw, the old man. When he waded into the sea during the storm, he was knocked out by a strong wave. Waking up on the beach the next morning, he was a young man. 'I thought I was dead. I opened my eyes, and there she was, my Emelia. I thought she must be an angel, come to take me with her to heaven,' Joe had explained on the beach earlier while Scott and Emma looked at each other with worried looks in their eyes as they watched Lana have a conversation with herself. Well, it had certainly looked that way to them. 'And then I remember being in the hospital in two different rooms. I can't explain what happened. All I remember is that girl, who I thought was Emelia, was there. She held my hand. But then I realised it wasn't her. They just looked a little similar, that's all. The next thing I know, I'm in the other room, I felt so terrible, so old. And then when I woke up again, I couldn't feel anything. I just felt – I don't know, surreal, I guess. I felt like I was floating. That's when I realised I must be dead. I went home and saw my reflection in the mirror, and I couldn't believe my eyes. I was young again. It was me, Joe. Not an old man, not Josiah as everyone else called me. But Joe, that's what she called me. I wandered around town for a while, hovering, but no-one could see me. When I returned home, that's when you two came to my house, and I realised you could see me. It spooked me, it did.' 'It spooked you? But you're the dead guy, Joe,' Lana had chuckled as she became more and more at ease with him. He'd smiled at her before continuing, 'That's why I ran; because it scared me. But then I became curious why you could see me and no-one else could. So I went to the graveyard to watch my funeral. Thank you for coming, all of you. I was touched,' he said as he put his hand to his heart and smiled at her before turning to the others. 'Please tell them how much it meant to me.' 'I will,' Lana said as she looked over her shoulder to Scott and Emma who continued to be deathly quiet. She smiled. When she turned back to Joe, he'd gone. The three of them stayed on the beach for a couple more hours, Lana explaining what she'd been told before she gained the courage to tell Scott what had happened to her at Carlton Point. 'Wow,' he'd said as she'd lifted her top slightly and revealed the beautiful tattoo that adorned her lower back. 'It says Provehito In Altum. Launch forward into the deep, but we've no idea what it means.' 'Maybe it's got something to do with the fact that you can now launch yourself from major heights or something?' Scott suggested. The girls both nodded their heads, 'You might be onto something there. It kind of makes sense, doesn't it?' said Emma. 'But what is all this about? The tattoo, Carlton Point, seeing dead people?' asked Scott as he threw pebbles across the sand in front of them. 'Whoa hang on a minute, I've only seen one dead person. I certainly don't want to be seeing any more, thank you very much,' Lana said, waving her hands above her head. 'No way, no thanks.' Suddenly the sound of distant thunder made Emma jump. 'Oh God, I'd not even noticed the clouds coming in. It looks like we're in for another storm. I'm outta here,' she said as she stood up and immediately began walking towards the long windy path that would lead them back up to the churchyard where they'd left their bikes.
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