The night I first saw the Ghost Runner, it was just my brother and me in the house.
I hated being home alone with my brother, but it happened a lot when I was growing up. I avoided hanging around him as much as possible, even when I was little; he irritated me and I didn’t like to feel young.
I was standing in the hallway outside of his room, the one place he never looked for me. At the other end of the hallway was my room, and next to that was my parents’ room. All the lights were off except the one right behind me, my brother’s, and I was gearing up my courage to head into my room. The darkness terrified me. I had to stare into it long and hard before I was sure I had the courage to rush in and flick on the light.
This time, though, there was something in my room. I couldn’t tell my brother, so I stood and watched it. Whatever it was, it was darker than the darkness, a gray-black figure that rushed from my parents’ room through the wall and into my room.
Choking on a scream, I bolted into the computer room, on the other side of the house, and curled up in the corner shaking. My brother glanced away from the computer screen long enough to snort laughter at me, then left me there for the rest of the night. I made sure the light stayed on and sat awake all night, thinking about the being I named the Ghost Runner.
A few years later, it returned. I was in the living room doing homework when I started to drift off. My eyelids were heavy, but not so closed that I couldn’t see a gray-white figure dash across the walkway between the dining room and the kitchen. That jerked me awake, and I snatched up my homework and ran to my room. Something about my room felt safe.
I finally ventured out a few hours later to get a glass of water, because my throat felt dry enough to be a desert. My shaking hands managed to pour some water, and I went to put the jug back into the fridge when I hit the spot in the kitchen where the dining room can just be seen. A figure sprinted by in the corner of my eye; it looked just like a person, so I figured it was my brother, trying to scare me.
I whirled to yell at him. My jaw dropped. A gray-black human figure was running through our walls and doors, back and forth across the house. The water jug clattered onto the floor, spilling its contents onto the tiles; I ignored it and sprinted to my parents’ room.
But I pulled up short at their door. They wouldn’t believe me that I’d seen a ghost. So I kept the Ghost Runner to myself.
Through the years to follow, I did extensive research on what the Ghost Runner might have been, because although I never saw him again, he still haunted my visions and my nightmares. An obscure article I finally came across spoke about shadow people, supernatural beings that walked in and out of walls.
I figure I’d found the Ghost Runner.