13 years ago.
"Quinn, stop fidgeting and just hold my hand, we're crossing a main road," Judy Fabray scolded her impatient five year old daughter. Quinn huffed and still continued to squirm in her mother's grip as the idea of going to her first dance class became more and more exciting. Quinn shoved her little hand into the pocket of her white, cotton dress as she felt the familiar cold, metal cross necklace brush against her fingertips. It had been given to her by her grandmother when she was born. She treasured the necklace more than any of her other belongings, and thought that it always brought her good luck as her grandmother had promised her it would.
She drew the necklace out of her pocket and tried to put it over her head with the free hand that wasn't being controlled by her mother. Just as she was about to slip it over her dark blonde head, she was tugged sharply by her mother to cross the road. The necklace fell to the ground with a slight clang as it hit hard tarmac.
Quinn gaped in horror as she was jerked forward by Judy. "Quinn, move faster! This is a busy road," her mother shouted at her. Quinn began to tear up and soon her eyes were threatening to overflow with salty tears. Upon reaching the sidewalk, Quinn broke free of her mother's loosened clasp and ran back into the road to retrieve her necklace. She grinned to herself when she reunited herself with the keepsake and then looked back to her mother who was shouting frantically at Quinn, running into the road herself. She looked away from her mother, suddenly realising that a huge, SUV was heading straight towards her and before she knew it, everything fizzled into darkness.
"Clear!" I doctor shouted, and an electric shock was sent through the little five year olds bloody, bruised and broken body. "Clear!" He shouted again for the process to be repeated. They'd been trying to save little Quinn Fabray's life for almost ten minutes now but the screen still held no promise of life. The doctor sighed and motioned for the others to stop. He rolled up his sleeve and looked down at his watch. "Time of death-"
The doctor stopped dead in his tracks and slowly looked at the heart monitor which was now showing a faint heart beat that was constantly gaining. He furrowed his brows in confusion and utter disbelief. He thought as himself as a damned good doctor but even he had little hope for saving a five year old child that had been hit square on by an SUV.
"I don't believe it," he muttered to himself in shock. "This is impossible!" All the nurses and surgeons were at an utter loss for words, all they could do was momentarily stare at the revived infant. The room erupted with exchanged shocked conversations, shortly followed by making sure that Quinn was stabilised.
The doctors called Quinn a miracle and eventually when she woke up, that was all they would say to her. Of course, Quinn didn't really comprehend that she had actually been dead for ten minutes until she was much older but she still enjoyed all the attention that her accident was giving her.
Two weeks after the accident, Quinn was finally allowed to go home. She was excited for so many things. Her own room, her toys and no more people prodding and poking her. In the car home, she gazed out of the window, relishing the views that she hadn't seen for almost two weeks. California really was a place to miss.
As the car pulled into the driveway, Quinn was bouncing in her seat, tugging impatiently on the child locked door. Her father climbed out of the car, opened the front door of the house and came back for an eager Quinn. As soon as the car door was opened, she ran straight into the house, up the stairs and into her pink and white coloured room, only to stop dead in the door way.
She cocked her head in confusion as she eyed up a strange man that was dressed in a frayed, brown suit which had suspenders attached to hold his pants up. He wore no shoes, only tattered socks, and he was covered in scuffs and dirt from head to toe. He stood in front of Quinn's bed, staring out of her window with a remorseful look on his face. His unkempt, mousy brown hair was hid underneath a tatty flat cap and he rubbed his unshaven face. The strange man didn't even acknowledge Quinn, until she spoke.
"Who are you? This is my room," Quinn spoke up bravely, coldly staring at the man.
He jumped slightly and looked at Quinn directly. His eyes had seemed lifeless and drained but now, looking at the five year old, everything came flooding back into them.
"You can hear me? You can see me?" The man all but shouted as he kneeled down to Quinn's level with his mouth agape.
"Yes," Quinn said, not quite sure how to answer such absurd questions. Of course she could see and hear him. "But what are you doing in my room mister?" She asked defiantly.
The man fixed her with a hard stare and pushed himself to his feet. "Do you know girl, I haven't spoken to anyone in almost 90 years?" He said calmly as he started walking towards Quinn who was beginning to feel slightly scared. "And now, on a chance day that I decided to visit my old house, here you are. A rarity that can see and hear me. I need something from you, please, help me so I can move on from this world," he begged her, moving even closer.
Quinn backed into the doorframe and shut her eyes tight, holding her little arms up to ward the advancing man away. She had no idea what he was saying, she had no idea how he got into her room and she had no idea what in the world happened next.
When she didn't feel her hands come into contact with anything, she reluctantly opened her hazel eyes which grew wide as she screamed for her parents. The man stood inches in front of her, simply looking down at her hands that had passed right through his body.
After the Fabrays had found their daughter with her arms stuck out into the air, crying hysterically and shouting about a man that was right in front of her and then complaining about the same man not leaving her alone and scaring the daylights out of her for weeks, they decided it was time to move. Though it seemed they would have to do that an awful lot for the next few years. Nearly every house they moved into almost always harboured another strange person that only Quinn could see that would harass her all day and all night for a favour. Her parents were at a loss. They took Quinn to doctors and psychologists alike but all of them seemed to think it was either her age, or her imagination. They found nothing abnormal with Quinn, physically or mentally. In the end, they felt obliged into believing Quinn when she said she could really see these people.
As Quinn got older, she realised that it was wise not to tell people about what she could see, as no one else seemed to share the trait. She learnt that the people she saw were actually spirits, ghosts, the departed. It didn't matter what she called them, she could see them all the same. She eventually learnt that she could ignore them, if she concentrated hard enough; Quinn was able to tune them out, well most of them. The more persistent ones always seemed to wriggle their way around her guard.
By the time Quinn was eighteen, the Fabrays were moving again, though this time it was for her father's work. They were moving to Lima Ohio which Quinn was all but pleased about, but she figured a fresh start wouldn't be so bad, at least in Lima, people wouldn't whisper about how the Fabray girl talks to herself.
Russell Fabray parked up in the drive in front of their new house. It was a little smaller than the one back in California and the neighbourhood was dead. No cars, no people outside- it was like a ghost town, an idea that sent tingles down Quinn's back. She shrugged them off as she stepped out of the car.
"Mom, dad, can I just have a look around town whilst the moving van sorts everything out?" She asked her parents, really hoping they'd say yes. There had to be more to the town that what she'd seen. Her parents looked at each other and gave her permission, though she was told to be back before it got dark.
Quinn slung her shoulder back around her and felt the clunk of her SLR against her leg. She was always taking pictures, she found photography fascinating and had actually cried with happiness when her parents gave her the camera two years ago on her sixteenth birthday.
She walked north of the house, along a little path that seemed to lead away from civilisation instead of towards it. Quinn let out a frustrated growl when she realised she was heading nowhere. Tall trees shadowed over the path from both sides, blocking out most of the sunlight, holding a spooky air between them. Quinn shuddered and was about to turn around when something caught her eye.
At the end of the path was a broken down, deteriorated house. Bricks were missing, all the windows had either been smashed or were boarded up and vegetation had completely overgrown the area surrounding it, crawling up the frame of the decaying building.
Quinn grinned to herself. Maybe it was because of the whole connection she shared with ghosts, but she loved creepy, abandoned places. They made such cool pictures. She made her way towards the building, overstepping tall grass and weeds in the front garden. She stood in front of the door and gently tried the handle. To her surprise the door clicked and as she turned the handle, it opened. Cautiously, she stepped inside. The house inside looked just as declined as the outside. A ten inch layer of dust seemed to coat everything that was to be seen. Old, broken furniture littered the large hall way and there were bits of rubble and debris scattered everywhere. The best bit was the huge, open staircase that led up from the hallway towards the upper section. Quinn rifled through her bag, eager to get her camera out and take some pictures. This was by far one of the coolest abandoned buildings she had been in. Normally it was just warehouses which had long been emptied of anything of remote interest, so this house really was exciting for Quinn. It still held a story, something from when it was in its fullest, when people actually lived in it, when-
"Hello?" A sweet voice cut Quinn off from her thoughts. She whipped her blonde head around the house, looking for a person to match the voice with. "Over here," the voice giggled and she watched as a petite brunette started to make her way down Quinn's beloved open staircase.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know this house belonged to someone, I was just…" Quinn motioned to the camera in her hands as she fumbled over her words, feeling stupid for just walking in like that.
The other girl laughed an infectious laugh that Quinn couldn't help but smile at. She eyed the girl, she was beautiful. Wavy, chocolate brown hair with a set of matching eyes, her complexion was immaculately smooth with olive skin, and her lips were full, offering a huge smile to Quinn. The girl was wearing a navy dress, tied by a thin brown belt around her middle. Her flats slapped against the floor as she glided her way towards Quinn.
"Oh no, it doesn't, this place has been desolate for years. I just come here sometimes to… get away from stuff you know?"
Quinn smiled back this time. "Yeah actually, I mean, I love taking pictures of places like this. They just hold so much time, so many stories- it's fascinating to me," she said dreamily, unaware how intently the girl was staring at her.
"Rachel," the girl said, folding her arms behind her back and breaking Quinn from her trance.
"I'm Quinn, I just-"
"Moved here? Yeah I guessed as much. You don't really see people wondering around Lima with a tan like that," Rachel said, gesturing to Quinn's bare arms. Quinn laughed and shoved her camera in her back. She had a feeling she'd probably have to come back to get some decent photo's when there wasn't a distraction.
"So, Quinn, would you like a tour of the grand house?" Rachel asked with hint of sarcasm as she motioned around the crumbling building.
Quinn laughed lightly and nodded without a word. She'd only been in Lima for less than an hour, but already her previous outlook on the town had dramatically changed. This girl was interesting, Quinn could just feel it.