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  #26  
Unread 17th of July, 2008, 08:07
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Alice felt a wave of dizziness run through her. She wasnt sure how long shed been sitting there. A cold nausea had sent her reeling to the couch, her back pressed firmly against the cushions as if to steady herself. Had she passed out? Alice stared down at her phone, still clutched in her palm, then gently switched it off. Jeremy was not on the line.

The knocking came again, louder.

Her legs were stiff, tingling slightly, as she gripped the arm of the couch and slowly pushed herself up. Twisting towards the direction of the door, she glanced into the darkened kitchen. She should have felt nervous, but there had been something oddly calming about the voice in the static, sure of itself, commanding.

"Jer...emy? Is that you?" she called, fighting to regain her balance as she stood. The nausea had begun to pass. Taking several clumsy steps forward, Alice wearily unlocked the deadbolt and opened the door.
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  #27  
Unread 18th of July, 2008, 08:05
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"Yes it's me," the reassuring voice of her brother came from the other side of the portal. "The phone went dead so I ... why am I talking to a door? Open up Al."

Opening the door a crack the nurse peeked out and saw that it was indeed her brother. "Anyway after you called," her brother continued once the door had opened. "I came - shit Al you're bleeding."

Raising her hand to her face, Alice realised that her nose was bleeding profusely.
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  #28  
Unread 18th of July, 2008, 08:47
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Alice opened her mouth to speak, stopping abruptly when she felt the warm blood on her fingertips.

"Oh, I...." she gasped, swirling away from Jeremy towards her couch. Reaching for a crumpled napkin sitting on her coffee table, Alice fell back into the pillows and sighed weakly. "I'm sorry," she stammered, I think I passed out. Work was a madhouse, I hadn't eaten all day," she lied, gesturing towards the open box of cold pizza in front of her.
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  #29  
Unread 31st of July, 2008, 20:16
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"Right," Jeremy said, an awkward silence that followed throwing doubt on whether he believed her. "Well you're a nurse, I don't need to tell you of all people that you should probably go to bed early. I'll give you a call tommorow to see you're okay, if that's all that's happening..."
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Unread 15th of August, 2008, 10:23
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Alice shot Jeremy a defiant look. There's a certain kind of desensitization that comes with being a nurse. A little bit of blood wasn't going to rattle her, even if it was her own. In fact, Alice swore half the senior nurses on her unit were immune to disease - just try telling one of them what to do.

"You're right, Jer, " Alice said, sweetening her expression with a convincing smile. "I'll get some sleep... and you should get back to work....I'm feeling better already, promise."

Leaning forward slightly, Alice reached out and gave her brother a hug. "Thanks for checking on me Jer."
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  #31  
Unread 15th of August, 2008, 10:50
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"Alright," her brother said hugging back then moving to the door. "Don't be a stranger."
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  #32  
Unread 18th of August, 2008, 07:24
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Alice closed the door behind Jeremy, locking it securely. He knows I'm hiding something, she thought. Still if Alronzo was out there, perhaps she shouldn't risk getting her family involved. Especially Jeremy. As objective and level headed as he was, he would never accept the truth - and that could be dangerous.

Family, Alice thought. Alice had always found it difficult keeping a level of professional detachment to her patients. Still - one learns quickly when tending to the sick that sometimes kindness can be as painful - and one would do better than to ask a dying person how they are feeling. She was always careful not to overstep those lines, as some things are just better left to family.

Turning back to face her empty apartment, Alice eyed the busted light fixture in the kitchen, then hurried to her computer desk. If Alronzo's attack was random, then why Ben?Why not lash out at the first person to see him die? After all he had not gone after her first. No, if he still remembers who he is, then there is a reason he wants Ben, Alice thought. I need to find out what that is.
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  #33  
Unread 21st of August, 2008, 18:25
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After a quick check of her email account and finding only spam - then again she was critically low on "Che@ap Vi@gr@" supplies - she began digging up information on Alronzo. It seemed that her former patient had been quite wealthy in life, a vigorous but low-key businessman who had amassed a sizeable fortune, one that was due to be passed on to his closest living relatives, siblings that had never to her knowledge visited him. Even stranger, according the the date on some of the articles the man was active just days before he came into her care, indicating his decline was both sudden and rapid.

Turning her attention on a whim to sites about the supernatural, ghosts, visions and mysterious voices, the young nurse began digging for any hint of information of what had happened. Quickly discarding the multitude of sites by neo-pagans and glitter-goths, Alice found herself on a series of obscure forums and blogs that were themselves unhelpful except for the backtrail of links she managed to follow, eventually finding herself on a site calling itself Anonymous-Liberty.com

The site apparently consisted of a single - and rather barren - page espousing a libertarian philosophy. What caught her attention about this page was that it also spoke of the supernatural. The makers of Anonymous-Liberty posed the question of supernatural involvement in the world and claimed to have a large database on the subject. It also asked any and all who had experienced contact with the supernatural fill out a simple (and anonymous) form about their experience.

Another check of her email revealed a unread message.
Hey Alice its Ben Just emaling you to make sure this thing works and uh, to check again we saw a ghost in the alley right? The hole thing wasnt just another bad acid flashback or something.

Hoping your not a drug induced halucation,
Ben

aka, Guy-From-Alley
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Unread 6th of September, 2008, 10:20
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Alice slumped in her chair. It was still too early for an obituary to turn up, still the information she uncovered on Alronzo was puzzling. She thought back to the day he was admitted, she remembered he had been driven to the hospital by a man - possibly one of his assistants, she guessed. Still she couldn't recall any close relatives showing up to pay their respects. who was laying claim to that fortune now, she wondered.

The nurse clicked the reply button to Ben's message.

Ever since the voice first appeared, she had been feeling like she was being watched, as if something was always there in the corner of her eye. She stared at the blank window on the screen in front of her, the cursor flashed back at her, waiting. Anonymous-Liberty, what was a crack pot political website doing with an archive about ghost encounters? Surely they weren't serious. Should she...

Alice twisted her lips and tapped on the keys, "Alright...."
Flipping back to Anonymous-Liberty, she began to carefully fill out the form, briefly describing the alley encounter in as much detail as she could, but cautious not to reveal too much info about where it actually took place. She submitted it quickly, before she could reconsider, then clicked back to the blank email message:
Ben,

Hey. Yes, it's Alice here, girl from the alley.... Listen I was thinking about what you said in the car - I think that ghost was looking for someone specific. If I'm right he might approach you again. Stick to public places, don't be alone. Can you think of any reason why someone might want to find you?

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  #35  
Unread 26th of September, 2008, 22:07
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An email came back within seconds, it seemed the guy was sitting on his computer.
"Someone?" Sure I ant prefect and pissed some people off. But a ghost? Maaaaan. Why do you think it was looking for somone?
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  #36  
Unread 6th of October, 2008, 02:14
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Huh, good he's still awake, Alice thought. His spelling is terrible too. Now that she thought of it, she remembered the distinct odor of alcohol and smoke about him. He was probably still high. The nurse wondered if she should tell him about the vision, the message and the blood. That's crazy enough for him to believe, maybe.
"Well the guy was filthy rich, apparently he had a pretty big inheritance set up too, and not a single visitor ever came. Don't you think that's strange? I don't know... either way you should be careful okay? I meant to ask, by the way. Has anything... weird been happening to you lately? You know like dreams or anything?"
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  #37  
Unread 18th of October, 2008, 21:15
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Ben's reply was promt:
"Strenge? Now that you mention it there was this ghost that atacked me in an alley...

Maybe hes family didnt like him, they might not visit him then, he could have been a bastard in life - seemed that way to me now. You think maybe he came back from the dead just because they didnt visit him? But why would he come after me?"
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  #38  
Unread 16th of November, 2008, 00:41
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Alice rubbed her eyes, straining from the white light in front of her. Okay, 11pm...if Ben just sits tight for now, he should be alright. I'll check on him again in the morning, Alice promised to herself. Morning... Alice closed her eyes, her body was aching with exhaustion. I can't just sit around waiting for morning, waiting, while Alrozno is out there. I must...find Alronzo. Slouching forward, Alice buried her face on her desk, the computer screen still flickering with Ben's email message. "His patient file", she whispered to herself, reluctantly succumbing to sleep.
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  #39  
Unread 19th of November, 2008, 16:24
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Alice woke with a start, the shreds of the nightmare that awake her vanishing into mist before she could begin to recall them. Her head hurt - no doubt a result of the keyboard imprinted from its use as an impromptu pillow - and she was tired, not suppressing considering all of the events that happened yesterday.

A golden sunrise poured in through the window, lighting a rich, vibrant peaceful world outside her window, that almost made her question the truth of what happened last night. But the memory of the voice, and the bloody napkins on her table proved otherwise.

A check of her phone showed a missed call from Charlie in the middle of the night, but he hadn't left a message. Returning the call, he didn't answer. The downside to one of them working nights and the other day was the phone-tag that sometimes resulted. Checking her email while swiftly getting dressed, Alice found an email from Ben. A link to a local newspaper's obituary section, mentioning Alfronzo's death and his funeral later today, as well the question: "Is this is worth looknig into?"
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