Author's Note: Just a cool lil' fact, I'm a ghost hunter with Ghost Scene Investigation of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I've actually been to and investigated Waverly Hills Sanatorium! It's an intense place! Anyway, here's some of the ghost hunter jargon that you might need:
EVP:EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena. EVP's are voices or sounds caught on recordings and are not heard when the recording was being made, but are found after the fact. Voices heard during recoding are considered "disembodied voices".
Intelligent Haunting: Spirits that are intelligent and can interact with their surroundings. It is believed that these ghosts will try to manifest themselves and be seen by the living whenever possible.
Residual Haunting: This is the most common types of ghosts. Mostly related to tragic events, this in when enough energy is produced it is literally burnt into an area or object. When this happens this event will replay itself, as if in an infinite loop when the right conditions presents itself to trigger it. No one even has to be present for this to happen. A residual haunting is the opposite of an Intelligent Haunting.
Personal Experiences: Basically it means you experienced ghostly activity. Either you saw a ghost, heard unexplained noises, or an object moved on it's own accord, ect.
That night, I got on the family computer and researched Port Royal. I read that the island suffered two devastating earthquakes in the past years, one in 1692 and 1907. Both hurricanes left portions of Port Royal underwater. The local government had tried to rebuild, but it seemed like the island was cursed. A hurricane, flood, fire, and a cholera epidemic hindered the progress. Eventually, everyone stopped caring. Today, Port Royal is a shadow of it used to be, what James made it to be. No more than two thousand people live there. My heart ached for James. He told me stories about Port Royal when we were together and he worked so hard to make it a nice place. All his work was washed away.
Going back to the search engine page, I skimmed along the results. A peculiar page caught my eye. I opened it and read. A notable ghost hunter TV show actually investigated the ruins of Fort Charles. Citizens of Port Royal claimed they saw spirits of Red Coats that died in a hurricane, attempting to capture Jack Sparrow. The most prevalent claim was the spirit of James, looking woefully at the sea on the ramparts. He also made nonexistent doors slam shut
I scrolled lower on the page and found the actual investigation and evidence. They had several EVPS, photo anomalies, and personal experiences. I looked at the pictures they took and didn't see anything compelling, so I decided to listen to their EVP's. I grabbed my earbuds from my Ipod and plugged them into the computer. I clicked the first one.
"Why are you still here?" One of the ghost hunters asked.
"….my own fault. I need to see Myra…" A fate voice said. My heart leaped and sunk at the same time. That was James' voice! He was ghost and was stuck on earth because of me! I couldn't read anymore of the page, but I did anyway. From their personal experiences they concluded that the Fort was indeed haunted and that the spirit of Red Coats were residual hauntings, but that James was an intelligent haunting. That was the final straw for me. James knew what was going on. I never felt so bad in my entire life.
As I shut down the computer and walked to my room, I thought about my time with James. He was my Obi Wan Kenobi in brocade. I remembered how he used to teach me, help me with my homework and how he was always there. He was my north star, pointing me in the right direction in my life's journey.
I sighed and looked around my room. I saw how much it changed, how much I changed. Gone were Barbie dolls and toys, replaced by an easel with a brown, paint-spattered tarp under it and a guitar next to it. My room, once painted flowery pink, was now rocker girl purple with posters and pictures all over. Makeup, clothes and accessories were everywhere.
Curling into bed, I knew what my next plan of action was. As I began to fall asleep, I groped under my pillow for what I needed more than ever: James' medal. I clutched it in my hand so tight that the medallion made imprints in my hand. After all those years, it still smelt like James.
As graduation and the end of Senior year came closer and closer, everyone was talking about graduation parties and presents. Lana received cherry red classic Mustang from her parents. Michael's parents bought him a top of the line laptop that he did everything but shower with. I chose to combine my present and party into one: a vacation with my family including Michael and Lana to Jamaica. That was my next plan of action. I was going to help James to get where ever he needed to go; whether that was Heaven, or with me. I just wanted James to be happy.
Graduation night came all too quickly, for my parents at least. Mom had been crying since the beginning of that month, knowing I would soon be graduating. I tried to make her feel better by telling her she still had my little sister Emma, but she only cried louder.
"She'll be graduating soon too! Those ten years will just fly by!" She wailed. I steered clear of that topic with her.
On the morning of graduation, I got up early too avoid my mother. Her depression was contagious. I'm a nostalgic person, and when she started talking about my childhood and how I was no longer a child, I cried right along with her. I had other things on my mind that day, such as to remember to wear James' medal, even if I did keep it tucked in my shirt all day.
"I'm leaving! I love you!" I yelled to everyone in the house and rushed out the door before I could be apprehended.
I had an hour to kill before I had to be a graduation venue for practice, so I drove around aimlessly. I finally did arrive at the venue twenty minutes early. Little by little, my fellow classmates trickled in and our practice started. After we finished practice and took our graduation pictures, we were told we had to go to class. Few listened.
"Let's go get some real food for lunch, not cafeteria 'fake 'n bake'. I'm starving." Lana said as we all headed to our cars.
"You mean you don't want to eat your last school cafeteria lunch?" Michael joked.
"Bleh! Hell no! My last one was on the first day of first grade!"
I laughed at my friends banter and we decided to eat a the local burger restaurant. We all drove there and once we got our lunch, we talked about Jamaica.
"So, what your plan?" Lana said with her mouth full.
"I dunno." I shrugged. " I guess I'm just gonna sneak down to the old Fort, find James and talk to him. I'll go from there. I just want you guys for moral support."
"Yeah, I'll be there for moral support, but I'm also going to prove the existence of life after death. That my friends, will get me into Harvard." Michael said confidently.
I reached across the table and smacked him. "You are not going to exploit my guardian angel for scientific purposes!" I said through gritted teeth.
"Okay! Okay! Sorry! Geez!"
"Good." I said, satisfied.
Graduation is blur to me now. It all happened so fast. I was obsessed with having the cheer after my name was called to be loud, but I was almost in a daze because I was actually graduating, that I didn't register it. I was upset James couldn't see it. I knew he would have wanted to. I shook it off, knowing it was recorded and there were plenty of pictures that I could show him. I did remember openly wearing James' medal.
At three o'clock the next morning, I was awoken by Emma screaming in my ear, "Wake Myra! We're going to Jamaica!" She climbed on my bed and started jumping, "C'mon, get up! We're going to Jamaica! We're gonna see dolphins and sea turtles and seahorses…"
"I'm up!" I groaned, rising up from my bed as though I were the dead in a coffin.
I had just gone to bed the previous hour after Skyping Lana and Michael and was not a happy soldier. I wandered down the hall and I found my mom in the master bathroom doing her hair.
"Do we have to leave at three in morning?" I asked, leaning against the door facing.
"No, no. We have to leave at four and be at the airport by six. Plus we have to pick up Lana and Michael and drop off Rosko at your grandfather's." She explained. Her graduation depression had worn off over night. I knew when I moved out that August things were going to get worse that before.
"Gotcha…" I said groggily and wandered back to my room. Emma had left my room in favor of watching Spongebob Squarepants downstairs. To this day I still wonder why that particular cartoon is on at 3 A.M..
I had all my luggage packed as soon as I learned the trip was official, which was five weeks prior. All I had to do was get dressed. My grandpa wanted to go, but his health restricted him. He quickly saw through my plan, even though my parents didn't.
"Tell the Commodore I said hello." He said to me on graduation night.
A little after four, my parents, sister and I loaded up the family car and headed to my friends' houses. Lana was as I tired as I was, Michael was still awake. He had been playing some online videogame since we all signed off and was completely engrossed in it.
For most of the journey to Jamaica, I was either asleep or playing with the laptop grandpa bought me for graduation. Michael passed out about fifteen minutes after we took off and didn't wake up until we landed.
"Myra?" Emma asked, leaning forward towards my seat.
I turned to face her, "Yeah?"
"Are you going to find your guardian angel?" She asked innocently. My eyes widened. How did she know?
"How did you know?" I asked.
"Andrew told me. We're related to him. He said that he knew you when you were my age. He's my guardian angel. He also said that James didn't leave and that he would never think of doing that, not intentionally anyway, whatever that means."
So 'Mr. Andie' was still here and was my little sister's guardian angel? The thought made me smile and was heartwarming. I knew that James and Andrew were close when they were alive, but Andrew stopped coming around when James left.
"Is he here now?" I asked.
"Yep!" Emma smiled. "He's right here!" She said pointing to the empty seat next to her. Things like empty seat next to you or no one being around you when you talk to your guardian or touch them always seemed to be. I think that they manipulate it. Then I realized that I couldn't see Andrew. Did that mean I couldn't see James?
"Andrew says that you can't see him because your older now, but since James was your guardian, you could still see him." Emma explained.
I smiled, "Thanks Andrew."
A little after 8 'o clock local time, we arrived in Port Royal. In the taxi ride to our hotel I observed the little town. There were no big companies there, everything was family owned. From what I read, the only thing that remained of James' Port Royal was Fort Charles. The hotel we stayed at was small, but nice and clean.
I don't know if it was just because I knew James was near, or it was something else, but while I was in Port Royal, I felt his presence everywhere. I wanted to go to the Fort as soon I as put my luggage in the room I was sharing with Lana, but once I sat down on the bed, I was so tired, that I fell asleep.
At five in the morning, I awoke with a start. Today was the day. I was going to see James and get this mess cleared up. I jumped out of bed and woke up Lana in the bed next to mine.
"Get up! We're sneaking out to the Fort!" I said shaking her.
She groaned and rolled over. I went into the bathroom and grabbed a paper cup, filling it with ice cold water. I walked back to Lana's bedside and unceremoniously threw it on her.
She gasped and sat straight up, "You bitch!"
"I know. C'mon we're going to the Fort."
Lana wiped her face and looked at the clock on the bedside table, "It's on five ten!" she exclaimed.
"Yeah, so? I want to go before my parents wake up. I want a little privacy when I see James again." I said as Lana got dressed.
"By privacy, you mean me and Michael?" She asked.
"Yeah. I had nightmares last night that my parents came and took pictures."
"Ah, seen but not heard. Gotcha."
Next, we had to rouse Michael. We tried for several minutes to wake him when Lana got the idea to drop the phone book on the floor, making Michael think it was his laptop. That got him.
Slowly, the three of us crept down the hall, just as I thought we got away with it, I heard, "Do you want to end up like that Alabama girl?" It was Dad.
I sighed and turned around, "Dad, I'm going to see James…"
"I don't care, missy. It's not safe for you to leave without us." He said sternly, as Mom came up behind him.
"I think they should be able to go. Myra's leaving for college soon and we need to learn to trust that she can take of herself. You have your cell phone right?" She asked.
I nodded and all three of us pulled out our phones.
Mom turned back to my Dad, "See? All of them have their phones. This is an intensely private matter for our daughter. I doubt she wants her parents ruining it." She said, winking at me. I smiled.
Dad sighed an was silent for a moment, mulling it over. "Ok, but call us when you get there and when you leave. Come straight back here afterwards."
"Thanks dad!" I exclaimed and hugged him tightly.
We quickly made our way outside and hailed a cab. The drive to the Fort was the longest and shortest drive I ever had. I was nervous, making the drive short, and excited, making it long. I held Lana's hand the entire way there. I'm sure I annoyed everyone because I fidgeted so much. Then the Fort came into our view and dominated it. The large, black stoned, square Fort almost reminded me of Azkaban. Well, Fort Charles was the Azkaban of pirates.
The cab pulled up right beside the Fort's entrance. After I paid, we got out and surveyed it. From the outside, it looked pretty much intact. The inside was probably another story.
"Are we going in?" Michael asked.
"Yeah, but I feel like I'm gonna puke though." I said.
"Hey, don't be nervous." Lana smiled as she looped her arm around mine and Michael did the same. Slowly, they led me inside.
"James?" I called. My voiced echoed. I let go of my friends and walked up the stone stairs. Michael and Lana stayed a few feet behind, giving me space.
"James?" I said, searching every room on the second floor.
"Hello Myra." I heard from behind me.
I turned around and there he was. James. He looked no different than the last time I saw him, dressed in his Commodore uniform. He was a ghost now, meaning that anyone could see him. I briefly looked past him and saw Michael's eye bulge out of his sockets. He screamed and ran off.
I was finally seeing my James for the first time in years. "James," I said, and jumped into his open arms. For a split second, I worried that I would go straight through him, but I didn't. He gave me the biggest hug I had in my entire life, then and now. Instead of the feel of solid human arms around me and body pressed against mine, James felt like static. It made sense since he was nothing but human energy. I latched onto him as though my life depended on it. Suddenly, all those years of being without him hit me. I sobbed into his chest, he gently soothed me, slowly rocking me and rubbed my back and arms.
"Sshh, there is no need for tears." He said.
I pulled back and was able to look into his beautiful green eyes again, "I know, I just missed you so much. Why did you leave me?"
"I did not intentionally leave you. I had gone to the Other Side where I found Jack Sparrow. I became angry and tried to fight him, which is not allowed. I lost my guardian status and now I am trapped here on Earth. I cannot go any further than the proximity of the Fort." He explained with sadness and frustration clouding his eyes.
"It's always 'bout gettin' your status back, eh? If I were you, I'd keep a better hold on it." A slurred voice said from behind me. I still clung to James and couldn't see who it was. Lana and James could.
"Why do you always appear at the inopportune moment for me?" James asked.
"Holy shit! You're Captain Jack Sparrow!" Lana exclaimed, gawking and pointing at whoever was behind me. I didn't care, I was in James' arms once more.
"I see I'm not welcome here, I best be on my way even if I know how to get your status back. It's never a good idea to leave Timmy alone unsupervised anyway…he may join the Navy…"
"Wait! You said there was a way I could be with Myra again?" James asked.
"Yep, but I'm not welcome." I heard footsteps.
"Sparrow." James growled.
I heard the squeak of shoe soles turning. "All ya hafta do is apologize. And mean it! Apparently the ability to apologize and mean it is a big thing up there."
"I offer you my deepest condolences for any harm I have caused you. I apologize."
James' apology was through gritted teeth, but nonetheless, was it sincere.
"Shit! He's gone! Myra, I can't see your guy anymore!"
James smiled and didn't let go of me.
James was by my side the rest of trip and the months before college. He routinely checked on me at college. Eventually, he took on other souls to guard, and I don't see him as much as I used to but every time I feel the warm spring air, or see the beautiful redemption of rain whilst the sun still shines, I know it's James and I know he is still there.