A great big thank you to everyone who voted for “What happened next?” By a wide margin (73.08%), this is what happened next:
Holly winks at Spencer. He blushes. She walks over to his table and writes her phone number on his chicken take-out box.
Spencer watches her walk away. Suddenly, her short bleach-blond hair is shimmering under the blinding sun. The hot sand burns his skin as he races after her. “Spence, let me go! It’s okay!” She jumps into the waves and is quickly engulfed. He dives after her but she’s disappeared. Frantic, he chokes on the warm salt water.
He wakes with a start. “Spence, let me gooo…!” He stumbles to the bathroom and washes the hot tears from his face. He searches his reflection but can’t find the man who looked forward to the chicken special at the food fair. He pulls open the bedside drawer. Her .38 Colt is still there. Still real. He opens his notebook. He was getting closer. He could feel it.
He looks out the window at the rusted fire escape. The sky growing paler as the dawn approaches. The detective had urged him to get back to a normal life. Nothing good could come from this. But, Spencer couldn’t let Damon get away with it. Terrorizing Holly until her mind played tricks and the ghosts finally overpowered her. “It will only be over when I’m gone. Then you’ll be safe.” Spencer had lined up a sublet in Atlanta. It makes him laugh now.
Holding his instant coffee steady, he climbs out the window onto the fire escape. Flakes of rust crumble and fall to the concrete, below. He sips the scalding bitterness and watches the stars grow dim in the early morning light. Holly winks at him. He blushes. She walks over to his table and writes her phone number on his chicken take-out box.