A young girl’s voice startled me. ”Do you want to see me?”

The terror in my stomach threatened to overflow my senses, but Sammy’s expression gave no indication that she heard the interruption, which left me as much curious as frightened. The two emotions battled until I slowly nodded yes. 

In response, a girl about my age appeared. Her short, black hair fell an inch or so above her thin shoulders. She wore a black “Ramones”t-shirt, black shorts, and white tube socks with black stripes.

“My name’s Mary,” she said. “Don’t worry, Sammy can’t hear me.”

I failed to locate my voice, but I am sure my eyes grew wider. 

“I should have known.” Mary shrugged. “You’re just like everybody else.” And she vanished.

“Wait!” I called out. “I’m not!”

Sammy looked off into the distance. The smoke from her cigarette no longer moved, but hung frozen in the air, twisted and in the shape of clouds.

“Come back,” I whispered. 

Mary giggled. She stood behind me now. “I’m right here.” 

“I’m not,” I said, “like everybody else.”

“I know,”Mary said. “You’re Johnny Caution!”



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