Her voice echoed off the staircase towards the glass dome forty feet above her head. The ghost took a deep breath, or what it remembered as breathing, and moaned loud enough to shake the antique picture frame off the wall.
The girl jumped. But, after a moment, she pushed back her shoulders and stopped her quivering lips. She finally took a step towards the formal dining room, still set with the family’s final dinner.
The ghost had to think fast. She was getting away. With a whirl wind of ether, he made all the glass in the china cabinet shatter and reign down in the little girl’s hair. She ducked, tightening her shaking arms around her head until the tremors stopped.
Again, she stood, squared her shoulders, and kept moving towards the forgotten door at the back of the house. A voice only she could hear called to her.
The ghost was running out of time. He stretched his mind back into a different life, found the right words, and scrawled them on the window pane above the kitchen sink. A warning to go no further.
The girl was not quite at the age of being able to read such words, or to understand their meaning. She shrugged her shoulders, took the key off the hook by the door, turned it in the lock, and tip-toed down the cellar stairs.
The door creaked shut behind her.
The ghost hung his head in shame. He had failed. Again.