The little girl in a cold October night

October night, two weeks before Halloween. I was shocked at how cold and foggy it was as I walked out of my evening class to the bus stop. As I was waiting for the bus, a little girl walked over. She was in a tank-top and shorts, and she was barefoot.

by Lynn WL

It was 7 PM and I just got done with my evening class. I was tired and hungry, and couldn't wait to get home. But it would be a while before I could savor mom's delicious pot roast because my car was being repaired in the shop, so I had to take the bus home. Yeah, I was still living at home although I was in college

I was wearing my favorite outfit: a tank-top, distressed jeans shorts, and flip flops. I was shocked at how cold it was as I walked out the building. Where I live it very rarely gets cold in October. There must have been a strong cold front. It was my fault for not checking the weather forecast, but it had been a super busy week. I had 2 tests and a paper due. It was still warm when I left the house in the morning and even when I walked between classes earlier.

I had been bringing a light jacket with me when I had evening classes for it could get a little chilly at night. But this was downright cold. I wasn't sure how much the jacket would help, but I put it on and started walking to the bus stop. Not only was it cold, it was foggy as well. I was shivering despite wearing the jacket. I passed several houses with Halloween decorations. The glowing Jack-o-lanterns looked really spooky in that foggy night.

I finally got to the bus stop. I had like 10 minutes before the bus arrived, so I sat in the shelter. Meanwhile, my exposed legs and feet were freezing. There was no one else there which was unusual. Traffic was lighter than normal too. Many people must have decided to stay home and stay warm.

Suddenly I saw something... someone walking on the sidewalk towards the bus stop. Through the thick fog all I could see was that it was the figure of a child. As it got closer I could see it was a little girl. She was walking by herself, and she was in a tank-top and shorts just like me, but she had no jacket on. What the fuck?

Little girl in a cold October nightShe was walking very slowly like she wasn't sure where she was going. When she was within a few feet from the bus shelter, I noticed something else. She was barefoot! Now, I love walking around barefoot too, but not in that kind of weather.

She stopped as she got within a few steps from me. I could clearly see her face now. She was about 7 or 8 years old. She was very pretty with a rather messy long dark hair and bangs that partly covered her right eye, just like mine. With the clothes she was wearing and everything, she actually looked like the kid version of me. But her complexion was rather pale, and her eyes kind of dark and sad.

I was still bewildered as to why she was there by herself dressed like that. "Hi, sweetie!" I greeted her. She stood still and looked at me but didn't say a word or smile. "My name is Lynn, what's yours?" I asked her with a smile hoping to get a response.

"Jenny," she replied very softly while bringing her fingers to her mouth and started sucking on them.

"Hi, Jenny, aren't you cold? Here, you can wear my jacket." I was taking off my jacket, but she shook her head and said "no."

Again, I was surprised. "So, what are you doing here by yourself?"

"I wanna go home."

"Where's home?" I asked her, and again, she shook her head.

"Do you live here in the city?"

"No, over there," she replied pointing towards the mountain. I live on the other side of the mountain, so she could be talking about my town or the neighboring one.

"Where's your mom and dad?"

"Mom and dad got hurt, and they took them in a big car."

My heart skipped a beat. It sounded like she was describing an accident where her parents got hurt and was taken by an ambulance. But they somehow missed her? She probably wandered off the scene, and now she was left here by herself? I thought I had better call the police.

"Hold on, OK Jenny, I'm gonna call for help," I told her as I turned to the other side and reached for my backpack to get my phone. With phone in hand, I turned back, but she wasn't there! Fuck! Where could she have gone in that split second? No wonder people didn't see her earlier. I panicked. I called out her name and walked out of the shelter and looked for her all over including in the wooded area behind it. "Jenny! Jenny... where are you?!" But there was no answer or any sign of her.

I was flustered. If something were to happen to her, I would be devastated. Then something occurred to me. Could she be... a ghost? After all she looked kind of pale, and she didn't feel cold. That thought sent chills down my spine in that already freezing night. I decided to call the police anyway. I was about to dial when my bus arrived, so I thought I would do it later. I couldn't afford to miss the bus. They don't run that often in the evenings. If I missed this one, the next one would be like 2 hours later.

The bus driver looked at my bare lower limbs and smiled. I smiled back and walked towards an empty seat. I sat by the window and put my backpack on the floor just in case someone needed to sit next to me. I couldn't get my mind off Jenny. The bus started to move, and I tried to look out the window but it was too dark, and all I saw was the reflection of the inside of the bus.

I was going to get my phone when suddenly I saw something in the reflection... there was someone sitting next to me. How was that possible? I definitely would have seen anyone sitting down. Their head was covered by my body, so I couldn't see their face. So it must be someone short. My heart beat faster as I slowly turned my head towards the seat next to me to see who it was. Oh my god, it was Jenny! She was sitting there quietly sucking her fingers.

Startled, I screamed and jumped up, scaring all the other passengers and the driver. All heads turned towards me. Thinking there was an emergency, the driver pulled the bus over and walked to my seat. But Jenny had disappeared once again, and I was left there looking like an idiot or a loco.

"You OK, Miss?" asked the driver.

"Well uh... yeah... I'm uh... I'm so sorry. I just saw a little girl sitting next to me. A girl that I met at the bus stop and then disappeared right before I boarded the bus," I replied, trying hard to regain my composure.

"A little girl? Did anyone ever see a little girl on this bus?" asked the driver looking at the other passengers. Everyone shook their heads and said "No."

"You're a college student?" he asked as he looked back at me.

"Uh huh..."

"Been a long day?"

"Yeah, it's been a long week actually, I'm so sorry..." I replied feeling really embarrassed.

"I understand, I have a kid in college too. Take it easy, now," he said as he walked back to the driver seat. Some of the passengers smiled sympathetically while a few others laughed and shook their heads.

I was embarrassed, but I fucking knew what I saw. I wasn't imagining it, and now I was scared. The closest bus stop to my house was several blocks away. What if I met Jenny again there? I know what you may be thinking. "You're scared of a cute little girl?" But at that point I didn't even think she was human. At least, not anymore.

So I called my dad and asked him if he could pick me up at the bus stop. "Hey dad, I'm on my way home. Can you pick me up at the bus stop please?"

"Why? What's wrong, Angel?" He has always called me that since I was a little girl. "Is it too cold outside?"

"Yeah, but I'm also fucking scared, dad!" Unlike mom, who often slaps me when I swear, dad tolerates my potty mouth.

"What happened?"

"I'll tell you later. But can you pick me up? I'm like 15 minutes away."

"Is somebody trying to hurt you or something? Should we call the police?"

"Oh no, nothing like that. I... I think I saw a ghost. But it's a long story."

"Ok, Angel, I'll see you in a bit. Bye." He sounded relieved, and so was I.

Dad was already waiting in his car with the hazard lights flashing when I arrived. "Take care now and have a good night," said the driver as I stepped down. I thanked him and ran towards dad's car.

"Have you been reading ghost stories or watching horror movies again?" asked dad after I finished telling him what happened.

"Jesus, dad! I've been so fucking busy studying for 2 tests and working on a paper these past 2 weeks. I haven't had time to read stories or watch movies." He just chuckled which kinda irked me cos he wasn't taking me seriously. He was still treating me like a little girl.
But I was thankful I didn't have to walk all the way home in the cold and foggy October night with the possibility of being followed by a ghost.

I decided to go to bed a little earlier, but before that I wanted to see the weather forecast so I'd know how to dress the next morning. So I turned on the TV to watch the 10 o'clock news. Right before the weather there was a report of a fatal accident that took place at around 6 PM earlier. It happened right around the corner from the bus stop where I met Jenny. It involved a young couple and their 8 year old daughter. The little girl died instantly, and her parents were taken to the hospital in critical condition.

My jaw dropped and I had goosebumps all over. I also cried.

Fast forward two weeks to last year's Halloween night. I went to my boyfriend's apartment as he was hosting a Halloween party there. I dressed up as Samara from The Ring. The weather had warmed back up, and it was quite balmy that evening, so I decided to go in bare feet as Samara was a barefoot character.

I had a swell time at my boyfriend's scaring all the trick-or-treaters. They screamed and I giggled. It was almost midnight when I got back home and pulled my car into the garage. The house was dark. Everyone must have gone to bed. My feet were quite dirty, so I had to wash them before entering the house. There's a faucet right outside the garage, making it quite convenient.

I was startled as I turned around after washing my feet and saw someone standing in the driveway. It was a little girl. A late trick-or-treater? At that hour, all by herself? That was odd, I thought. She walked closer, and then I recognized her. It was Jenny! She looked exactly the same as she did the last time I saw her. Messy long dark hair, pale face, dark eyes, tank-top, shorts, and bare feet. I froze and put my hands over my mouth. I wanted to scream but I couldn't.

"Trick or treat..." she said.

"Oh no... no...! Jenny, you're... you're dead! Get away from me!" I said with a trembling voice.

"But I want some candy," she said with her dark eyes staring at me.

"No... I don't have any candy. You go away, just go away!" I exclaimed as I turned and ran into the garage.

"I'll come back for candy..." I thought I heard her say as the door was rolling down. I quickly got into the house, bolted the door, and ran upstairs to my room. I was still shaking as I sat on my bed. I left all the lights on all night, and had a hard time sleeping.

It's been almost a year now, and Jenny the little girl ghost has not made anymore appearances. But this is October, the spookiest month when supposedly the veil between our world and the yonder is really thin, and Halloween is right around the corner. Normally I would be excited this time of the year as Halloween used to be my favorite holiday. But this year I'm a bit nervous.


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