A/N: Week 9 of the 52 week short story prompt.
London’s streets are empty, it’s quite unusual because London’s supposedly one of the busiest places to be. Tonight however, that is not the case. There’s not a sound. You could literally hear a pin falling to the stone cold, hard floor. An ice cold wind settles over London’s hollow streets. It slices through the trees branches, cutting at the old, worn bark, their moans and cries are heard through the violent winds. Leaves and twigs fall to the ground, they clatter loudly as if it’s been a piece of glass that’s fallen and not a broken piece of old wood. Lost voices and whispers pass in the winds, old songs and faint words, they disappear as soon as they pass – London’s not a place of talk or song anymore. Everything’s been lost. The buildings, once stood tall and proud are now run down, decaying, crumbling as the years go by. Neglect and sorrow fills up London’s atmosphere, gone are the days of busy people, buses, cars and chatter. London’s life has been sucked from it.
There’s no light from any broken building. The street lamps don’t work anymore. The sky is pitch black. Of course, there are no stars; London is still polluted as ever. But the moon is always there. She hangs low and sorrowfully in the sky, her rays of ghostly white light do nothing to help London’s derelict and fragile state. The beautiful, rocky orb turns her face away and focuses elsewhere; it’s much too painful to look at the city she once loved, reduced to a pile of ash and brick.
An eerie mist begins to fall over the city. It starts climbing the city’s crumbling walls, twirling and swirling up through the shattered windows, tickling the old street lamps and settling over the rocky ground. A wail is heard. It’s far away but ever so loud. It pierces through London’s empty streets. Blood curdling, spine chilling, it creeps up and snatches at the joy left in the world, replacing it with fear. A clock ticks from a nearby shop. It’s midnight. The ghosts awaken. Their ghostly white and transparent figures float along the cold floor. It’s as though they’re in a trance – they just float and wonder the old streets of London. Each ghost is a picture of how they died, so for example, there’s a man who still has the blood on his neck from when it was sliced open, another, a woman, still as the rope she tied around her own neck when she committed suicide two years ago. It’s when the woman stops does she look at herself in a shop window. It’s like this every night. She does this every night. She just stares at what’s become of her. It frightens her yet she is unable to look away.
Tonight is different though. She sees something else, behind her. Turning, she sees it’s a car. A moving car – a man and a little girl step out of the car. They’re from the land of the living. They’re both oblivious to the ghosts but the father picks up his daughter and holds her close.
“Okay, sweetie, I just need to get some papers from the old store, they’ve been left here for years and then we’ll be on our way,” the father whispers to his daughter. He wears glasses and has black hair.
She nods; she’s cute, around five and has rosy cheeks with short brunette hair. She turns her face into his shoulder and clutches onto the teddy bear in her hands. Unknown to the father, as he walks down to the shop, the ghosts follow him. Why?Because he’s their only hope to restore London’s life and to save them from hell.