Author's Note
PLEASE DON'T KILL ME... though I haven't updated this in so long that you probably have every right to. XD Sorry. I've had my fun, and now you can have yours (I hope) – finally, the next chapter!

The Origin of the Ghostwriter

Chapter III
Take what you can Get


I swallowed, drumming my fingers along the fence line. I was pretty-much stunned – I hadn't expected at all that anyone else would walk out of there alive. I had hoped, but not expected. After all, the crushing weight of no less than three burning stories of house should've been enough to take out anyone.

Apparently not. My father held his right arm carefully – I could see the point where it'd been broken; his elbow was sticking out at an odd-looking angle. But apart from that, he was actually fine.

"Your dad survived it..." Rick whispered. I began to smile, and then nodded.

"He did!" I almost laughed. "He's – oh my God, he's alive and – just... God, I thought he'd be dead!"

It had been said a little louder than I'd intended, as both the firefighters and my dad looked directly at the fence we were almost hiding behind.

He pulled free from the gentle hold the fireman had on him, just managing to find his feet and stagger over to the wooden picket-fence. I found myself wanting to be over the other side, and before I could even move to go around, I was quickly becoming translucent and falling through. I landed at the other side on all fours, literally having passed right through the thing.

Picking myself up and readjusting my glasses, my father was now right in front of me. We looked into each other's eyes for a good long minute, the both of us in shock.

"I thought you'd be dead after the garage exploded..." I whispered. "Good God, I'm so sorry – you never would've gotten hurt if I hadn't dropped that notebook. You would've stayed at a safe distance..."

"A broken arm is nothing – I... what happened to you?! Your eyes, your skin..." his voice fell to an almost-silent volume. "You fell through the fence."

I heard another shout near the same general area that dad had been pulled free from. An awful sinking feeling overcame me, because I knew very well what was coming.

"...That's what happened to me..."

Dad looked back at the chaos going on behind him. By the time he'd torn his eyes away from it, my head had been directed to the ground, unable to look him in the eye. "Sorry..."

Rick looked over at what once was a very nice house, having now climbed over the top of the fence to the other side. He faltered for a second – he was never at a loss for what to say, even for a moment. It was a new experience for him. "It... well, it doesn't look too good..."

"It doesn't, but... hey, dad? There's something else you should know – I saw them pull Mary out of the wreck – she's... I checked for everything I knew of..."

"She can't be dead," he whispered. "Not both my son and my daughter... no. No..."

He looked on the verge of crying, which was indeed a very rare sight. It was awfully depressing, and it was then when I myself realised just how deep the situation was. As much as I tried to deny what I'd experienced today, it wasn't working and now I knew very well what I was. I'd flown, however briefly, had an extremely startling new appearance and managed to get myself to fall through the neighbour's wooden picket fence. I wasn't just a writer anymore – now, I was a ghostwriter. It was quite concerning just how literal the term had become.

"We found one more! We need urgent medical assistance; she's unconscious!"

I hadn't noticed the ambulance parked outside beforehand, but I did now. My mother was carried directly into it – she wasn't dead because she was definitely breathing, but she certainly wasn't in a great condition, either.

Now the only person that remained was Julie, and it seemed they were having a bit of trouble locating her. I finally decided that I wasn't going to let one more person die in this wreck if I could help it, and I knew that I'd have a lot more chance of finding her than any of the others.

"I'm going to go in and find her," I said shortly. "I don't have anything to lose anymore."

Dad looked shocked at my statement. "But what about the parts still on fire!"

"In this state, do you really think it matters?"

Before either dad or Rick could object further, I ran over to the house. If I could just regain that intangibility I'd had earlier, I'd be able to slip through the weather boards and look for her inside. That same feeling that'd come over me before came again and spread right through me – and so I held it. Though I didn't think becoming intangible would limit my ability to do so, it apparently did, as I couldn't touch the ground anymore. For a few moments, all I could do was dangle in the air, half-stupefied and half-surprised that, with no support whatsoever, I'd again found a fair distance between my feet and the dirt below.

I knew I was becoming the circus of the day – the gasps I tried to block out from behind told me that much – but right now there were definitely other things at stake. Without (much) more hesitation, I slipped through the (perfectly solid) wreckage to have a look from a point of view that no one else could take.

Parts were still burning underneath, and usually my eyes reached a point where vision was obstructed from more and more wreckage. I ignored the burning parts and kept moving through – the fire didn't burn me in any way. It seemed that I could feel its heat, though my internal body temperature remained cold despite.

Every second seemed longer than usual – as though I was wasting a breath of life that may not be restored in the poor girl, on the presumption that she'd at all survived the accident.

When I finally did come across her, she was heavily laden with soot and ash. She coughed weakly every so often, usually accompanied by a slight dribble of blood from her mouth. One weather-board had conveniently fallen straight into her stomach, and others lay riddled over her legs and arms. I saw that her right hand had been impaled by a long, thick nail, and I could only wonder how deep it had gone in – or whether it had possibly passed through to the other side.

"Julie! Oh God... look,I don't know if you can still hear me, but I'm getting help for you."

Her head turned steadily to the side in an attempt to face me, though she still couldn't open her eyes. I'm sure she did try to speak – she opened her mouth – but the only thing it achieved was another spurt of blood becoming choked out.

"Don't speak... there's paramedics outside; they'll dig you out and help you. I'm going to go and tell them you're here."

The poor girl didn't try to say anything again as I made my way up to the top of the collapsed house. Disturbingly, on the way up, my eyes caught another part of ongoing fire quite close to where Julie lay.

I came up from the house and allowed myself to float there for a few seconds, still trying to get used to it, before becoming tangible again and landing on top of some of the debris.

"Julie's directly beneath me! She's alive, but she's going to need some urgent medical treatment!" I yelled. The firefighters and a few ambulance drivers all ran over and clambered up the debris, hastily digging near the spot where I stood. I moved out of the way for them, walking down onto the ground. It really should've been harder to climb down, but I was so light that none of the rubble slipped beneath my feet, and I could stand quite easily on every kind of slant.

I walked back over to dad and Rick and then turned around, watching all of the men digging through the house.

"No use trying to fool myself anymore..." I sighed, turning to look at my pale, glowing hands. "I really am a ghost..."

Dad reached around my shoulders with his good arm; I didn't object like I normally would have. I looked up into his eyes (he was a bit taller than me) and returned the half-hug he was trying to give, resting my head on his shoulder.

"It's all my fault!" I suddenly said, still looking up into the sky with that small, minute hope that Mary was there, confused, but there. "I shouldn't have said anything about the ladder, or dropped the notebook... then no one else would've been hurt – it'd just've been me."

"For God's sake," dad started. "In that kind of situation, no one thinks of consequences like that, and it was your sister and mother's decision to run inside, as it was mine to try and grab your notebook. I'm not sure why you found Julie so deep in the house, but that certainly wasn't your fault at any rate."

I fell silent, still draped over my father's good arm. The way he said it made things sound that bit better than they were. But it didn't change the fact that Mary was still dead and... I was too.

"C'mon," Rick said, breaking up the silence. "we should probably check up on how Leanne is."

"Oh God, yes," I answered. "I hope Mum's okay..."

Author's Note
Yeah, yeah... this took so long, and I really am sorry. I've had it written forever, but I was never satisfied and ended up rewriting it several times... Hope you guys can forgive me for this. I'm going to try and be a better updater. I really wish I could be the same as I was way back at the start, when I updated once, sometimes twice a day...