- 15 Aug 2010
- United States
PostedJan 06, 2011 3:59 pm Last edited by RadiantSongbird on Jul 13, 2011 3:10 pm. Edited 1 time in total
Oh, this looks very interesting, very emotional. Can't wait to see more.
Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it so far! c:
CHAPTER THREE:: THE KIND OLD GHOST
I heard the birds singing, and when I opened my eyes, I saw the sun shining through the trees. I sat up, my eyes scanning the village. It was quiet, maybe an hour or so after dawn. Getting to my feet, I tried to remember what happened to make me fall asleep outside, but my eyes were drawn to my younger sister walking outside. She looked over my shoulder without acknowledging me, and her face twisted into a look of terror. I watched her turn around and run off, yelling for my mother.
What was behind me? As I turned around, I saw the bloodied corpses, the mangled, torn handiwork of the tiger that had killed Lin and me the night before, I realized something was wrong. Was I dreaming? This was just a nightmare, and I would just wake up, right? Lin would be coming to lick my face and wake me up any time now...right? Right?!
"Oh, hello, there."
My gaze slowly turned from my dead body to an old man who stood a couple feet away. He must not have expected me to turn around to face him, because when I did, he gave a big toothless grin and his eyes lit up. "So you can see me?" the old man asked. "Well, that's interesting! It's been a while since I've seen another ghost."
"I'm sorry, but what do you mean?" I asked, and he only responded with a chuckle. Did he think I was joking? I realized this had to be a dream. This had to have been some kind of odd dream that came from eating bad fruit or something. I just stared, hoping he would see that I didn't understand what he meant, but it took a while for him to notice my blank face before he stated, "You didn't realize? You're dead, my dear. I saw it. That tiger really got angry when you hit him."
The tiger...the memories flooded back, smashing into me like a tidal wave. I remember seeing the tiger snarling over Lin's body, I remember it approaching me when I cracked it on the head with the quarterstaff. I remember frantically beating away at it when it lunged and tore me apart with its claws and fangs. I stared, gaping at the old man, who just grinned again. "See? It wasn't so hard to figure out. So, you're--"
"Wait, can others see me since I--"
"You won't let me finish?" the man frowned and wrung his hands. "Since you're dead, no, only other ghosts can see you. Well, other ghosts or sorcerers."
"Sorcerers? Like magicians?" I had remembered learning that a sorcerer was someone who practiced all sorts of magic. They could summon up great monsters, they could make themselves invincible, or they could enchant a weapon to make it burst into flame on contact...at least, from what I had heard. The old man looked silently at me, as if expecting me to ask another question, so I decided just to ask it. "Were you a sorcerer?"
"Oh, dear, no," he replied, laughing loudly, and making me wonder if anyone could hear us. "I wasn't a sorcerer, but I worked for one for a while after I died." He turned around, as if others could actually hear us, when he said, "This sorcerer worked against the emperor probably before you were born. He'd take ghosts and make them spy on the emperor, and then pretend as if he could predict the future...or something like that. He wasn't the nicest person around, so it was little wonder that he himself died maybe a year after he trapped me."
"So what can we ghosts do? Can we--" I paused, before leaping up in an attempt to fly. After flapping my arms wildly for a couple seconds, I realized I wasn't flying upward, but merely hovering a couple inches off the ground.
"No, you can't fly like a bird can, per se, but you can hover. And since you are intangible, you can pass through--" he stuck his arm out just to have a man walk straight through it, "solid objects."
"What about possessing people? Can we do that?" My eyes were wide with wonder as I asked the question. The amounts of fun I could have would be boundless! I could possess someone and mess with others, then I could leave the poor sap to fend for himself! I knew it was wrong, but since I was already dead, what was the worst they could do?
"Well, you can, but it's really messy, and the human has to consent to possession," the man explained, shrugging his crooked shoulders, "It's a lot easier to possess a corpse or an animal or even something like a tree. I'm sure you can figure it all out for yourself before you pass on."
"Yes, before you pass on to the next life. You became a ghost because you had something you needed to finish, or, at least, that's what the sorcerer told me, even though I didn't expect something like that to happen to me."
"What do I have to do?"
"That's for you to figure out. I'm afraid I can't help you with that." With that, the old man began fading, and he glanced down at his semitransparent form. "Well, I guess I found out what I had to do. I guess I just had to help enough newcomers out." Chuckling, he grinned his toothless grin once more before saying, "Now you take care, and I'll see you in the next life!"
"Wait!" I cried, right before he vanished. "Is it possible for me to come back to life...?"