Rose Weber was alone in the graveyard, she was sure of it. But what she wasn’t so sure of was for how long? Rose shouldn’t have come, she should have stayed in hiding, but when she come across the obituary that Brittany Young had died in a “car accident,” human nature had demanded closure, a chance to say good-bye. Damn human nature, it might be the death of Rose, it had been Brittany’s. Rose sighed, eternally optimistic Brittany, of the five them; Brittany had always held out hope for a normal life, that the past could be put behind them. She had hoped to have children, families, a better life. Rose had always rolled her eyes and said, “Yeah, sure, whatever.” But she had never flat out told Brittany that there would never be a normal life for them, maybe Brittany’s hope had been Rose’s hope too. Now, Brittany, and hope were dead, buried in a small town graveyard; in Kentucky. Brittany had been a California Girl to her core, she had grown up on the beach surfing, because it was the only time she had felt at peace. To bury her, here in Kentucky seemed like sacrilege. Brittany’s car had gone off a cliff in California, they had declared her intoxicated and driving too fast. Rose rolled her eyes again at the memory of the obituary, they had shipped her to Kentucky, because the obit had claimed she had family here. All lies, Rose thought vehemently, none of them had family, they had been abandoned and had been raised by the system. Brittany had run away, and moved to California, because as she claimed, “the ocean had called to her.” Brittany never drank either, none of them did, with the exception of Max, because, “liquor burned like fire but, in a good way.” Drinking meant loss of control, and loss of control meant the freak-shows that they were lost control; bad things happened when they lost control.
They all had similar back stories, Brittany, Rose, Max, Kris and Zed. Abandoned kids, growing up without a home, without family, all had found themselves living off the streets, doing whatever it took to survive, some more desperate or more resourceful then others. Rose had met Max when she was 12 and he was 16, she had tried to steal his car. Only it hadn’t been his car either, they wound up stealing the car together, and selling it splitting the money. They had a good system worked out, no one paid much attention to kids who just stood around looking bored. They would spend a good amount time watching and waiting for the right opportunity. Max was better at boosting cars then Rose had been, but Rose had great talents for distraction, she would skateboard out into traffic and “accidentally” get hit by a car, Rose would scream bloody murder, claiming her daddy was a lawyer, and would sue the person who had hit her, most of the time they would pay whatever they had in their pockets to get her to shut-up, when they didn’t, Rose ran. But everyone was so focused on the “accident” no one noticed or remembered anything about the cars that were stolen until much later. Rose and Max had been a good team, made some good money. Rose had warned Max about their final job, that something had felt off, she had refused to do it, Max had gone ahead without her and boosted a car under surveillance by federal agents. She wouldn’t see Max for a long time after that, but when she did, he would be different. Max introduced her to Brittany, Kris and Zed, saying they needed her for special jobs. But first, she had to be willing to do some special training. She should have said no, she should have walked away, like her instinct had told her to do, but she would do anything for Max. So instead of turning away, she had stayed, and now they were all dead, except for Rose.
Rose was certain her days of running and hiding would soon be at an end. She couldn’t hide forever, would she have a car accident like Brittany or drown like Zed? She had managed to stay ahead of them for now.
A whisper a movement caught the corner of her eye, Rose didn’t move, she closed her eyes and felt around, the graves were old here, but they still had life left in them. “Someones coming” the whisper said. Rose felt them. They had parked far enough away that she wouldn’t be alerted by them, they had been watching her the entire time, but once they had started moving closer, they had disturbed the dead, and alerted Rose. That was the thing about a graveyard, the ghosts were often disturbed more by the living, then the dead disturbed the living. They were trying to be quiet; to attack her from behind, Rose crouched down low, beside Brittany’s grave, whispered “Good-bye,” and felt the pull of spirits around her, drawing on their energy, she faded in with them until she became a ghost herself. She waited until the two suited men, who had lost sight of her. Came running to the spot where she had just stood. They began searching the area, one got on a walkie-talkie, “Sir, we lost sight of the girl.” Static, “are you wearing the goggles?” came the terse reply, static “No, sir.” “You Idiots, why aren’t you…” then static.
Rose stood and walked down to the men’s car, and saw the goggles inside, she needed to stay invisible, but if they had found a way to see ghosts with the goggles, then they might find her yet, she needed to hurry out of the cemetery, she could only hold onto the ghostly energy for so long, she wasn’t sure what would happen if she stayed a ghost too long, and she didn’t want to be here when she let go of the ghostly energy. The “special training” that Max had talked about had been experimental training. Max had turned Rose into a ghost, a ghost on the run.