Faded Soul: The Neighbor

Sophary’s heart fluttered as her thoughts scattered from her mind like frightened birds. The man gave her a smile then disappeared.  

“Miss Harris?”  Mr. Al’s voice came through a speaker in the elevator. “Do you need some help?”  

Sophray’s mouth opened and closed as she looked up at the camera in the elevator.  She was perched on edge of the elevator, holding the car on the floor. She looked back at the empty hallway and shook her head.

“Ok,” Mr. Al seemed concerned. “Get inside.  I’ll come up on my rounds to check on you.”

“Yeah,”  Sophary nodded absently and stepped out of the elevator.

The hallway was warm and bright with nary a shadowy tract for anything unsavory to lurk. Nonetheless, Sophray edged along the wall keeping both ends of the hallway in sight.  She reached her door and fumbled in her tiny purse for her keys.  She dare not look down lest the strange figure pop up and… and…  

Sophary let out a titter that grew to a full laugh.  What exactly did she think that ghost man was going to do?  Rob her?  Ruffle her perfectly coiffed hair? Slither through her body? Her fear was ridiculous.  

“Well someone had a great time!”

Sophary let out a small yelp.  

“Easy, love,”  Her neighbor, Kieran swaggered down the hall in his pajamas with a basket of laundry under his arm.  His warm hazel eyes twinkled with amusement.  “How much have you had to drink?”

A thousand witty things circled her brain as she stared at his handsome face, but she blurted out: “How are you doing laundry alone?”

It was Kieran’s turn to laugh.  

“Here,” he said, walking past his door.  A mischievous grin lit up his face. “Let me help you with your keys.”

Sophary blushed and offered her purse.  

As soon as Kieran touched the glittering bag, the lights in the hall winked out.


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