Morgan was pulling her by one arm. It felt like her shoulder was about to pop out of the socket. Teri flew backwards, sliding across the smooth hallway. Morgan wrenched Aiden free next. As his head came out of the liquid shadows, Teri saw his eyes were closed. He wasn’t moving.
The ghost girl paused for a moment to take in these new developments and then started reaching for Morgan. She had her back to the creature while she pushed the hopefully unconscious Aiden to safety.
“Look out,” Teri called.
Morgan whipped around and sent a fist crashing into the shadowy face. The ghost flew backwards, disappearing into the shadows. Teri was about to congratulate Morgan when the grey face and hands erupted again. Morgan threw her arm back and then swung her whole body forward. A grey hand reached up and caught Morgan’s fist. Teri could see her straining. She knew Morgan wasn’t holding anything back.
“Just run, Morgan,” Teri said.
Morgan pulled backwards, but she couldn’t seem to free her fist. Those thin, grey fingers were a vise. Teri ran to a nearby wall and pulled open a small glass door, grabbing the fire extinguisher on the other side. Any other time, Teri would’ve been embarrassed by how high pitched her shriek was. She was too busy bashing in the ghostly girl’s face to care at the moment.
It certainly didn’t feel like hitting a ghost, more like a solid wall. Other than being knocked to the side a bit, the ghost didn’t react at all. Teri struck again, and again. The flat eyes turned to look at her. She’d gotten its attention.
“Bad idea, bad idea,” Teri said as she struck at the bloodless hand reaching towards her.
Teri fumbled with the spray hose and quickly realized she had no idea what she was doing. She took a few steps back and turned to Max.
“Shine your phone on the directions here.”
“You’re stopping to read directions at a time like this?” yelled Morgan. “I need help here.”
Max looked like he didn’t know if he should do as Teri asked, help Morgan, or make a break for it.
“Now, Max,” Teri said.
Teri’s eyes flew over the directions. As soon as she was done, she concentrated, pushing her brain past a wall of exhaustion. She backed up through time as far as she could before stumbling back into synch. Her hands were shaking, but she grabbed the hose with more confidence this time, pulled the pin, and squeezed the handles together. A wave of smoke and foam slammed into the darkness. Everywhere the spray hit, the shadows fled, replaced by a soggy classroom door.
Morgan pulled her hand free and stumbled back. “How did you know that was going to work?”
“I didn’t,” Teri said as she helped Morgan and Max scoop up Aiden. “It’s a good thing it did, because I’m too exhausted to go back and try anything else.”
“Geez, I’m in trouble and you just pull something out of a hat?”
“If you think you’re angry now, you should’ve seen when I stopped to read the directions on that thing.”
“Oh, you—I’m going to…” Morgan trailed off. They were breathing too hard from lugging Aiden down the stairs.