Dracul finds the kid high up on the fire ladder, outside the familiar window. On the regular spot where the boy can be found almost every night, gazing longingly in through the glass with tired eyes, hidden by the darkness when the lights are on on the inside. He sits there, silently observing the motions of the everyday life.
I stared at Kenji, mouth open.
"Are you serious?"
"Well, why not?" he asked, sitting down again. "Your ghost isn't going anywhere, so rather than sitting around twiddling our thumbs, waiting for Pinky, let's go out and do something."
I looked at him in silence.
When I got to college, I was the only freshman in the senior dorm. I had planned to go to another school but at the last minute I changed my mind. Richards Institute where I had originally planned to go had a wonderful fine arts program, which was my field; but I had been accepted at Rodgers University, and when push came to shove I just couldn't give up the opportunity to go to one of the Big League schools. So by the time I decided to go to Rodgers and applied for a room, the freshman dorms were all filled.
I had been here a lot since moving back to New Zealand about six months ago. I had been living in Greece, on a sort of working sabbatical from the local university. Since I lived two blocks from here it was the first place I went for a drink after I moved in. Once I walked in I had kept coming back. It was... different I guess.
Finn rolled over on the pavement as he started to feel lightheaded. His eyes shifted restlessly in their sockets, watching as countless pedestrians stepped carelessly past his weakening form. They side-stepped, creeping around his huddled body as if he were vermin. He wanted to spit at them. He wanted to give them all something to really be afraid of.
I opened my eyes. The night's sleep was leaving my body and I was returning to consciousness. With a contented sigh I pulled the covers up beneath my chin and turned on my side. A glance at the small clock on the nightstand told me it was 10 p.m. A good night's sleep without strange, incoherent dreams was a luxury I didn't get to enjoy very often. I hadn't felt so rested in weeks, maybe even months.
The rain was pouring down as Jeff's car pulled up by my building. The water pounded against the roof of the car and slithered down the windows like liquid snakes. People were hurrying past on the street, huddled under umbrellas. I pulled out my keys from my pocket and grabbed my bag which had been resting on the seat next to me.
Matt, sitting on the passenger seat, turned around to look at me.