Emine (pt 11)

Arvid collected bottles. Not of any particular sort. Some of them used to have drink in them. Others, fragrances. They weren’t any type of bottle, just ones that were beautiful on their own.

“Why?” Emine asked. She had meant to ask for a long time, but she had never been the type of girl to blurt out whatever she thought immediately. Or maybe she had been, when she was much younger. If that were so, she had long since grown out of it.

Arvid continued to dust off the bottles. Emine helped. “To be honest, I’m not sure why bottles specifically. All I remember is that when Ramar first Bonded with me, she always wanted to get me something. But I had no use for all of the particular trinkets she thought to give me. So I told her I was interested in bottles. These are all of the gifts she has gotten for me over the years.”

They were very interesting. Emine stared into one, made of blue glass and shaped for a human hand to grab around the body of it. “I would have told her I didn’t want anything.”

He chuckled. “Maybe I should have done that too. But she so wanted to give me things. And I… I just never knew what I wanted. I’m glad to have these bottles now.”

Emine tried to imagine a dragon like Ramar holding a bottle like any of these. No cracks, no chips, not broken. Despite all of the force she knew a dragon to be capable of.

While Emine knew she didn’t fully understand, she could comprehend a little more about Bonding.

You are not Alone

Welcome to the world and living of here.
Wherever that may be, where it might lead.
They don’t feed upon your life, just your fear.

There are times when you feel as though a tear
Might fall and bring more (that is how they breed),
Spitting hatred down to create more fear.

They are terrible, beasts coming near.
And on your happiness they try to feed,
But if you come in, we’ll destroy that fear.

Some parts of life you wish to hold more dear
Than the hurtful parts which grow from mere seed.
If you need, I’ll take you in my arms here.

And together we can fight how they leer
Down on us, treating outside as a weed.
I assure you, there is no outside here.

Here I welcome you to stay, not disappear,
In a place where we don’t have to concede
To the monsters who still will end up here,
But I am with you, we can fight your fear.

Next comes the paparazzi

I didn’t believe in ghost stories until a week after my best friend’s death. Showing up at my door, wanting to talk, changed my mind about quite a few things.

“You’re a ghost,” I told her, the second time she tried to steal a sip from my teacup.

She bit her lower lip. “Oh, I hate this. I’m so thirsty.”

It made me a bit sick. “You drowned, you know.”

“Yeah, I know. Yet I’m so damn thirsty. This sucks.” She pushed her hair out of her face, as though the long black strands actually hung there. I wondered if I could poke her, but she was a ghost, so I was fairly certain that would be a no.

“…how are you here?” Wow, my question sounded stupid.

She shrugged. “I don’t know. First I thought I’d made it, you know? Then everyone was freaking out and I wasn’t hit by a car, though it couldn’t go through me…” She waved my teacup around.

“Hey, hey, hey! Just because you can grab inanimate objects doesn’t mean the tea won’t spill!”

“Right.” She put it down. “Sorry.”

I nearly grabbed it to take a sip of my own when the thought came to me. “Wait. People saw you and you stopped a car?”

She nodded.

“Did people see you come here?”

Apparently they had, because when we looked through the blinds, there were a lot of people out there.

I just need all of the scalpels

They woke up in a dark room. On the bedside table lay a note. The writing was a wretched scrawl. If you’re reading this, your memory has been erased. Follow these instructions to get out.

That was nice. The only problem with all of that was that they remembered everything. They got out of bed and burned the note. It hadn’t worked at all. This was fantastic.

They got the key and left the room. The maze of corridors were nothing for them to traverse, as they remembered doing this for years. They eventually found the room they needed to be in. It hadn’t been even an hour.

The doctor was sprawled over the floor, scalpels piercing his flesh and somehow pinning him to the tile. They didn’t know how that had been done. He was still breathing. They leaned over and pulled one out.

With a ragged and sudden breath, the doctor’s eyes opened. “Y-you…”

“It didn’t work,” they told him, irritated. “We had to try again.”

The doctor’s fear left. “Are you kidding me,” he said. “Get me up.”

With a sigh, they pulled all of the scalpels out.

In the midst of the rescue

As the sun began to rise over the mountain, she stared at the blood covering her hands and wondered what had just happened. Her dog pushed into her side, nose slipping by her face. She tried to get to her feet, but her knees weren’t bending as she wanted.

She checked them. They were fine, they weren’t broken. She just couldn’t bend them to get up.

The dog pushed into her again. The girl tried to push him away. “No.” Where had this blood come from? She couldn’t remember.

She wiped her hands off on her jeans. They looked like she would have to get new ones. Her mother had always told her the ripped jean look was dumb anyway.

Her dog grabbed her, mouth on her arm. “Ow! What are you doing? Stop!”

The dog didn’t stop. He started to pull her. She tried to protest, but she couldn’t. He was strong and she couldn’t get up.

As she began to pass out from the blood loss, the dog dragged her past the corpse of her captor.

Not the first, yet the first with results

Rumour had it if one took a candle into the mansion, not a flashlight, the ghosts wouldn’t come after.

This was lies. Blatant lies. He bit down on nothing. A bad habit of all of the years he had smoked. Now he watched the mansion burn. Again. He took his crew up to keep the place from burning up. They managed to get there fast, this time.

“Do we have a culprit?” he asked officer McKenzie.

She had the same expression as he, just without the obvious desire for a cigarette. “Two thirteen year old boys.”

“Find any ghosts before they decided to light the place up?” He wasn’t sure how much of him was joking. He wasn’t really a humorous person. She wasn’t either. At least, not on duty.

“About that.”

She held up a phone. In his thick gloves, he took it up and peered at the screen. “Well I’ll be damned.”

So many times he had put out fires in this place. And there was photographic evidence of something that was supposed to be a ghost.

Emine (pt 10)

“Emine.” Sanni stroked Emine’s hair back, the few strands that were even long enough to reach her face. “I don’t want you to worry too much, but apparently we’re having troubles with the shades.”

Emine tried to remember anything about the shades. “They… they’ve taken over the southwest coasts, right?”

Sanni nodded, leaning back in her chair. Emine liked their new rooms better than Sanni’s old ones. Though she continued to regret saying as such to Sanni. “They massacred the merfolk. It’s why they’re extinct. We’ve kept them at bay… They haven’t been seen outside the water in over twenty years. Since I was your age.”

The dragons spent long enough discussing other things before acting sooner than anyone else might think. “What does that mean?”

“A lot more motion. They won’t suffer a shade on their land.” Sanni’s smile turned a bit wry. “What we have to worry about are tempers. I can count the dragons on one hand who can keep their calm completely when dealing with shades.”

“Ramar more snippy?”

Sanni’s smile twisted as she tried not to laugh. “Don’t let her hear you say that.”