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What is your favorite kind of spirit?

Elves/Fairies/Elementals 0.18518518518519 18.5% [ 10 ]
Extraterrestrials 0.037037037037037 3.7% [ 2 ]
Dragons 0.055555555555556 5.6% [ 3 ]
Ghosts/Poltergeists 0.037037037037037 3.7% [ 2 ]
Deities 0.074074074074074 7.4% [ 4 ]
Angels/Spirit Guides 0.2962962962963 29.6% [ 16 ]
Vampires/Werewolves 0.092592592592593 9.3% [ 5 ]
Thought Forms/Mythical Entities 0.037037037037037 3.7% [ 2 ]
Demons 0.14814814814815 14.8% [ 8 ]
Animal Totems 0.037037037037037 3.7% [ 2 ]
Total Votes:[ 54 ]
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I wrote a piece a while back that deals with this same subject! I was wondering if I can enter it in this contest as well as my other piece? Thanks! smile
nipperofnoses's avatar

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Darkstarzz
I wrote a piece a while back that deals with this same subject! I was wondering if I can enter it in this contest as well as my other piece? Thanks! smile


Hmmm... I was originally intending to have all the submissions be new, but I just checked the rules I wrote for the contest, and it seems that I didn't specify that. Therefore, to be fair, I'll allow some older entries since it seems a bit rude to change the rules at the last minute. ((I'll have to adjust the prizes due to the problem with Memphis as it is. I don't want to stir up too much commotion.))

So feel free to post your other story. The rules don't say otherwise, so I'll stick by them for this contest unless they absolutely have to change, then I'll get more specific in my next one. Thanks for pointing that one out. wink

Take care,

Melissa
Reincarnated_Alphonse


Hmmm... I was originally intending to have all the submissions be new, but I just checked the rules I wrote for the contest, and it seems that I didn't specify that. Therefore, to be fair, I'll allow some older entries since it seems a bit rude to change the rules at the last minute. ((I'll have to adjust the prizes due to the problem with Memphis as it is. I don't want to stir up too much commotion.))

So feel free to post your other story. The rules don't say otherwise, so I'll stick by them for this contest unless they absolutely have to change, then I'll get more specific in my next one. Thanks for pointing that one out. wink

Take care,

Melissa


Oh. Well, if that doesn't give me mixed feelings, I don't know what will! What would you think of me rewriting my older piece? Even though you say I can submit it as it is, if I edit it anew, will that make it more suitable?

Sorry for making you go against your thoughts, and no problem in letting you catch that little loophole!
nipperofnoses's avatar

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Darkstarzz


Oh. Well, if that doesn't give me mixed feelings, I don't know what will! What would you think of me rewriting my older piece? Even though you say I can submit it as it is, if I edit it anew, will that make it more suitable?

Sorry for making you go against your thoughts, and no problem in letting you catch that little loophole!


Haha, sorry for giving you mixed feelings. I've been a bit under the weather for the past few days, and so I haven't been communicating as well as I should be. It's alright if you submit it as is since I just gave you that permission. Editing it is just editing the same story, which I encourage all the contestants to do before the deadline to give themselves the best chance at this contest. I might consider it sort of new if you were to use your old story as a sort of outline though and make it longer, more detailed, better, and brighter. That takes a lot of work though. Are you sure you're up to such a thing close to the deadline? I did give you permission to submit your old story, after all. wink
Reincarnated_Alphonse


Haha, sorry for giving you mixed feelings. I've been a bit under the weather for the past few days, and so I haven't been communicating as well as I should be. It's alright if you submit it as is since I just gave you that permission. Editing it is just editing the same story, which I encourage all the contestants to do before the deadline to give themselves the best chance at this contest. I might consider it sort of new if you were to use your old story as a sort of outline though and make it longer, more detailed, better, and brighter. That takes a lot of work though. Are you sure you're up to such a thing close to the deadline? I did give you permission to submit your old story, after all. wink


I certainly can try it. I was/am attempting to write a romance, but it has been harder than I thought to spark emotion in the way I desire it to be sparked.

And no worries abotu the feeling down thing, as my good old pal Newton once said, There is always an action and a reaction (translated, it means if you feel bad now, you will feel good soon!)

My old piece is exponentially more... gory? Along the lines of blood flying through the air and whatnot. Not sure at what level to stop for the PG 13 level because kids nowadays watch Saw!

It is also much more fantasy-esque than realistic. Does your contest encompass both? And, another question, if I am unable to finish both, would you accept both stories as-is, or do you prefer finished stories?

Now that we are both online at the same time, I guess I have a few more questions than usual >.<
nipperofnoses's avatar

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Darkstarzz


I certainly can try it. I was/am attempting to write a romance, but it has been harder than I thought to spark emotion in the way I desire it to be sparked.

And no worries abotu the feeling down thing, as my good old pal Newton once said, There is always an action and a reaction (translated, it means if you feel bad now, you will feel good soon!)

My old piece is exponentially more... gory? Along the lines of blood flying through the air and whatnot. Not sure at what level to stop for the PG 13 level because kids nowadays watch Saw!

It is also much more fantasy-esque than realistic. Does your contest encompass both? And, another question, if I am unable to finish both, would you accept both stories as-is, or do you prefer finished stories?

Now that we are both online at the same time, I guess I have a few more questions than usual >.<


A bit of violence is okay. It's when it gets too descriptive that it stops being PG-13. When it stops just being "gory" and starts being "nauseating" to most people is about when you're crossing the line. wink Yes, there are a lot of kids who watch Saw these days, haha, but Saw isn't PG-13 so far as I know. Have it less violent than that, and you should be fine.

And I don't mind fantasy-esque. Just write. Just have fun with it! That's the point of it. smile

As for stories being finished or not, we're planning to put the winning stories in our outgoing newsletter, which means we can't use ones that haven't been completed. I'd like to be open to that, but it just won't work in this case. sad If you get to a good point of resolution in the plot though, I won't know that you were planning on writing more. wink

Anyway, I hope that helps a bit, and I wish you luck!
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Last minute entry. It's actually 1,499 words. But I'm assuming I missed a word somewhere.

Title: A Journey

Author: Reili Takamara



Life was a strange thing. To one girl, it was the most fascinating thing. This little girl was a very adventurous young spirit. She seemed like she was from a different time. She enjoyed the small things in life. Tiny things that made her laugh and giggle. She wore flowing white gowns that followed her as she twirled. And with age, this did not change. She found herself drawn to the spiritual realm. It was over time she found herself on a swing from two extremes of life.


She loved dancing, and was just as rambunctious as she was kind. She didn’t put down others beliefs as they did her. She loved being active and doing a variety of different things. People would invite her out just to try something new, and even if she failed fantastically at it, she was happy to have tried it. Paint balling and go karting were two of her favorite past times.


Despite how happy she seemed. She liked crossing over to the other side of her personality. The one that enjoyed unprotected magic circles, and playing red rover with the poltergeists. This was the side that made her think that violence was an okay way of showing her affections. She was the side that scared most people off. She was a completely different person when she talked about things she personally enjoyed. And this was why she never talked about herself.


She put herself into a position that was likely to get her hurt. She let her feelings show. And welcomed anyone into her heart. She knew that everyone needed to feel loved at some point. And if they would let her, then she would be more than willing to help heal them. Small things would help. Sometimes people needed a hug, or someone willing to listen. She vowed as long as people needed her, she would be the one they could rely on.


At some point, after constantly putting other people first. She found herself in a great depression. She didn’t blame her friends, she never could. This was her problem and her own burden. Not knowing what to do with herself, she took to walking. It was by chance that she found herself at a fall festival. Her sister at her side, convinced her to get a reading done.


It was different. She knew she was a little spiritual. But she wasn’t in the mood. The woman told her, that as much as she loved her friends. It was time to step away and be a little selfish. That she was feeling unappreciated and that her friends do not know how she feels. It’s time to put yourself first. In many past lives she was a male who fought in many wars. Now it’s time to heal those wounds. Be careful around those who may pretend to be your friend.


Not really understanding her, the girl thanked the woman and went on her way. This had opened up new doors to her. And soon she started looking into past lives and tarot readings. She guarded herself a little more carefully. She didn’t build a wall to keep others out, but instead made a moat, so people trying to reach her would have to work a little harder.


She took lessons and learned a little more about connecting with her higher self as well as any spirit guides. She always made time to mediate. It was how she kept calm. She was maturing into a wonderful young woman. And even though she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. She believed that all good things would come in time.


She was lost. Wandered into a cave, what seemed to be long and endless tunnels, twisted and made the journey almost unbearable. She was starting to feel a little claustrophobic, with the walls closing in to her. But as she journeyed deeper into the underground cave, it became more open and wildlife became apparent. Different types of plants sprouted along her pathway. At first it was just a few, but a few became many and many became a whole jungle. Soon she came to a small clearing. She noticed a couple of animals hiding in the forest before, but there seemed to be ones that stood out at the shore of what appeared to be a small lake.


It was night when she saw these vivid colors swirling above her. Almost pitch black, save for the colors that trailed behind her. Heat that made her feel incredibly warm. Walking in her bare feet was something she wouldn’t normally do. But for some reason, she was excited. This feeling of euphoria that bubbled up in her chest. Giggles caught in her throat that couldn’t seem to get out. Something amazing was happening she could feel it. She spun around several times wondering how on earth it could be so beautiful here. The crystal panel above was transparent enough to let the stars shine through.


A raven, a bat and a bear watched her from the edge of the jungle shore. The girl wandered up to the Raven and asked,


“Are you my spirit animal?”


To which the Raven replied,


“Alas, fair child, you are not here yet.”


Walking further along the shore she turned to the bat,


“Then could you be my spirit guide?”


“Not right now.” Replied the bat before flying off.


She shrugged and asked the bear,


“Are you my Power Animal?”


“I am not,” came a deep voice, “Perhaps one day.”


The girl was saddened but went on her way. There were no other animals. The three that she had asked watched her with a keen eye. She pulled up her skirt to dip her feet in the water. That was when she noticed a large swan swimming towards her.


She was in awe of its beauty, but thought this couldn’t be it. She was a predator, she was vicious. A swan would be all too boring for the likes of her. But she could not help but feel drawn towards it. Licking her lips she asked,


“Are you my Spirit Animal?”


The Swan’s voice was sweet and melodic,


“Can you think of anything more fitting than a Swan?”


The girl stared at the Swan. It was so… wrong for her. Elegant , beautiful and pure. She was none of these things. But then again she was. Snap dragons and water lilies started to bloom and the swan started to move away to the middle of the lake.


“Where are you going?” Asked the girl.


“To dance, won’t you join me?” She spread her wings as far as they would go, as if she was offering to take her flying.


The girl’s movements were small and hesitant. She had stepped into the water, only that she wasn’t breaking the surface. Droplets fell from her bare feet causing ripples in the water. She was overjoyed to see the effect that started from her spreading to the shores. She twirled and danced on the tips of her toes. So delicate, so sure. Her white dress flaring out wildly. She felt like a princess. She felt she was every bit as pure, elegant and beautiful as her swan counterpart.



The girl thanked her Spirit Animal for revealing itself to her. She didn’t have any questions for it, but she enjoyed being in its company. Daylight broke and she felt herself being drawn back into the world of the living. When she awoke, something told her to go downstairs. And she of course listened. There was a slight ringing noise that refused to go away until she got to the basement where she set up her wiccan altar.


Lighting up each differently color candles, she breathed deeply. She inwardly recited her personal incantation for her daily spiritual mediation.



Please bring your light upon me
Protect me and those around me
I am ready for any wisdom
Or any message you may have for me
Help me to create an openness
To allow spirits and higher powers
To inspire me
To encourage me
And to Guide me



Focus on breathing. Calm and relax. She cast a protective circle around her and her surroundings. She instantly felt any and all tension leave the room. The ghosts were disappearing from the back of her mind. No longer stuck in the past, she let herself move forwards. Taking a few minutes, she let feel her new freedom of her imaginary wings. She was at peace with herself. When she finished meditating she closed the circle and thanked her guides.


Picking a few books out of the bookcase, she opened a few books. Animal Spirit Guides. Swan… Elegance. Loyality. Confidence. She turned to another book. Herbal Grimoire. Snapdragons… Deceptiveness. Graciousness. Flipping a few pages she found the last page she was look for. Water lilies…. Rebirth. All that is true and good. Enlightenment. Peace. Good fortune. Closing the book, she was satisfied.


This was her Rebirth.
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Okay guys down to the final stretch, and then I'll be helping Reincarnated_Alphonse judge these and see how you guys did. wink You've still got a few hours to get in those last minute entries! Go, go, go!

After this, I will probably be hosting a new writing contest for everyone. So keep your eyes peeled, and I will post links when it's up. 3nodding
I will link my stories in an hour or two! Just attempting to finish them in as awesome a way possible!
nipperofnoses's avatar

Invisible Friend

Reili Takamara


Thanks for the entry, and good luck on the contest! smile
nipperofnoses's avatar

Invisible Friend

Darkstarzz
I will link my stories in an hour or two! Just attempting to finish them in as awesome a way possible!


I look forward to reading them. smile
Reincarnated_Alphonse


I look forward to reading them. smile


Awesome! I have finished with both-- unable to do the full-fledged makeover I wanted to do for my older piece, but I did upgrade it a little!

Did you want me to post them here, link them, or post them in Fiction Press? (It's a site I use to log different stories)
Please forgive my double (and triple post).

I doubt that both stories will fit on one post, so here is the first one.


The Library


He could almost see the sun rise through the tree tops, beams of light flickering through the crystal clear dew drops of a new morning, giving the day a fresh, crisp start. He stood on the steps to the university library, hands behind his back, face serene, head tilted back and eyes closed, as if he was basking in the new day’s light. Nothing. With a small sigh, he lowered himself to the ground, spreading palms on the pavement, and rubbing them on the rough gravel. Nothing. The wind picked up, pulling a torn newspaper into fanciful flight, leaping and ducking and twirling as if in a dance, pirouetting through the air. A few dried leaves took up the newspaper’s example, and leapt into flight; the wind and the soft crackling of leaves were the only sounds of the cold morning. No cars, no people, not even any birds. No fogging breath, no soft snuffling. Not even the shuffle of cloth. The man mutely sighed to himself again, and wrapped his arms around his legs, letting dust and debris rattle sweep through him. The new dawn’s light cast him no shadow, the dew drops reflected no man on the library’s steps.
___

Here she comes. The man looked up, infinitely tired eyes morphing into a semblance of happiness. A small smile spread over his face and he could feel heat spread over his cheeks. The only thing to warm him in this eternally cold world known as reality. Her metallic black hair cascaded over her shoulder, tucked into her bright red scarf. Her boots skidded softly over the pavement, her hands stuffed into jacket pockets, head bowed as if to keep out the cold. Her head was stuffed into a large crimson beanie, and it was warmly snug against her forehead.
She strode swiftly to the doors of the library, and started fumbling in her handbag for the keys. The man stood, and brushed off his pants as if they were dirty.

He coughed once, to clear his throat, smiling. He made no sound, no vibrations, but as with everything in his twisted perception, he is aware of everything he says and does. Only him. His smile dropped a bit as the thought passed through his mind. He shook his head, and nervously walked up behind the girl. She mumbled to herself as she ransacked her purse for the keys, breath puffing out in bursts of fog. A dog barked in the background as the man gathered his courage. Death does not excuse one from acting with proper manners.

H-hello?
He asked, face warm, a half smile on his face. The woman turned her head, suddenly, and his heart soared with joy. Had she finally heard him? Had he been able to talk to her after so long? His toothy smile faded into a sunken, dismal frown as the woman’s eyes glanced through him. She smiled a bit and waved. The man glanced behind him, melancholically noting the old man and the dog that had stolen the woman’s attention. The pair disappeared into the distance as the woman shifted through her purse.

She mumbled to herself about keys as the ghost stepped backwards in grief. He shook his head as a stoic frown appeared on his face. He can’t give up just like that! He moved back to her, noting the way her loose hair danced in the wind and shone like onyx in the morning sun. This was a familiar sight from him, but as always, he couldn’t help but shyly stare, and look away as if she would notice him. He passed his hand through the door handles, willing his fingers to become substantial. Not dead a full year and he can already unlock door. Or, well, at least he could imagine so. The woman took to pulling the door handle in a heated motion, and something clicked as she staggered backwards with the free handle. She held the polished metal in her hands, and looked at is with shock, her eyes growing wide. She looked around, and seeing no one, a smile touched her lips as she gave a small laugh in the cool air.

The man smiled in happiness and blushed upon hearing her laughter over the ever constant buzzing of the ethereal world. He pushed back the ghastly sound, and strode into the library alongside the woman.

--

He could almost imagine the smell of the ink and musk of the university’s ancient tomes. He had always visited this place as a sophomore, when he was alive. That was where he met her. And where he died, but no one could help that. He was just glad the gunner died before he had the idea to kill anyone else in the library. She was sitting in the same spot as that day, near the front desk, her chair swiveled to the side for comfort. She shook her hair free as she combed her hands through her hair, and breathed in them to warm them up.

What would she read today? The man drifted up from his spot to look over her shoulder. She held a pen above a scribbled journal, tapping the pen in thought. She raised the tip to her lips as she pondered something. Her lips glistened as she bit them, and she wrote some thought down.

She jumped after a while, hearing a knocking on the door.

A voice echoed, and the woman jumped up in alarm. She wore a tight, dark turtleneck and black jeans, the man noted as she trotted to the door, smiling nervously. She spoke, a soft, lilting sound. A deep laugh boomed, and a tall, old man strode into the library, turning around the handle in his hands, a smile on his face.

He turned aside to a picture of a cheery auburn-haired young man smiling, in a fierce bear hug with a friend. The old man nodded to the picture, and picked it up. “Been 10 months since the shooting.” The man said, smiling in a low, blunt voice.

The woman’s smile faltered a bit. She replied softly, so softly, the ethereal man couldn’t hear.

The ghost drifted to her side, looking at her, and vainly listening to her reaction.

“Steven was a great young man, wasn’t he, my dear?” The professor said.

“Yes, he was very smart and kind.” The woman frowned. “How will we fix the door, Mr. Harrison?”

Steven’s heart thudded. Or, his ghostly equivalent at least. Was that how she thought of him?

Even before he died?

How would she feel if she knew that the only reason he was there on the day of the shooting was because she was another year old-- He looked to the woman again, and discovered her packing her bag. He spun his head to the window to discover the encroaching darkness of night. He sighed to himself. The buzzing in his ears grew a bit louder. Each day he struggled against his fate to stay on this world, the stronger his fate pulled at him.

What if the library is haunted? He thought, smiling at the dark irony. He cannot rest until she becomes happy, and he knows the key to her happiness is at the library. An idea popped into his mind, and he shook it away. Until the morning comes, he must wait. He followed the woman to the door, watching the way her hat cocked to the side, and her scarf left a small area of soft skin showing. He bit his lips to cut off his warning. He knew she wouldn’t hear—couldn’t hear. He would have to let her go. Into the quickly growing night. Dark, like the void he spun into when shot, pain arcing throughout his body and then gone. That odd feeling of being sucked away, and then the sudden realization that life will still go on. His parents will always love him, his classes will do fine without his contributions. But what if she is put in harm again?

She is gone, the library is dark, the door is fixed for the most part. The steps beckon to him again, reminding him of the insomnia he faces. He takes a step forward and is forced to his knee with dizziness.

Can he even get dizzy?

Images blur around his eyes, flickering and moving. What are these? He caught one, and focused on it—Her. In the mirror, taking off her hat, removing her scarf, washing her face. He is knocked back into the whirlwind of images.

He surged to his feet, dizzy but strong. Almost like when he tackled the gunner to the ground when he pointed the gun at Her.

What was that?

Images tickle his mind. What are these?

He could feel Her. As if she were there, with him, in his eternal cold. Was she… dreaming?

The steps beckoned, so he sat down, wrapped his arms around his legs, and pondered what had just happened.

--

She was back, and she was sitting in her spot. He had come in with her, and was in his spot, keeping his eye on her. Nothing of importance. His picture was broken. She had knocked it over when she came in, and she sort of cried. Small tears in her eyes as she swept up the glass. He smiled at how much she cared. She had placed his favorite novel in the spot. He had smiled even more at that. It made him feel as if he truly had a reason for staying on Earth.

This day has been good. The buzzing was low, and he didn’t feel as cold as usual. Something bad was going to happen.

He was on his feet when the professor left. He expected to follow Her out, but she stayed, writing in her journal. He sat and watched her carefully.

About an hour after the professor left, she stood and paced across the library. He followed her, walking at her side. She picked up the novel she had placed in the spot of his picture, and took it to the chair he had loved to sit in until the closing of the library. She curled up with a dusty old blanket, and opened the book, and began to read.

She drifted off to sleep under his watchful eye. The steps beckoned, but he wanted to stay with her. He reached his hand out to pull up the blanket as his mother had done for him as a child. His fingers brushed through the material and he clenched his teeth. He knew he would fail, but he had to try. The pain he knew came regardless. He put his head in his hands as he succumbed to the buzzing of the undeath.

The voices called to him. You’re Dead. And they buzzed, and grabbed.

He knows, he knows. And then he was snatched away from the ethereal event by oddly mortal feelings. The dizziness was back, twenty fold times more powerful. He shakily looked to at Her, her long hair flowing over her body, her arms snuggly beneath the blankets. He could see snippets of someone. Auburn hair, a large smile with gray eyes. He was in his chair in the library. He had a dusty blanket pulled up, reading about Isaac Newton. He looked over, shyly, and quickly snapped his head back when he saw she was looking back at him. She had snapped her head back as well. She looked back just as he did, and their blush grew even larger. He said the same thing he said every time they were along together in the library, the only thing he ever really said to her.

This is my favorite book.

Dizziness caused his vision to waver. He was in his chair, she was at her desk. He no longer watched the illusion, he was part of it. He looked around and imagined her sad face sweeping up broken glass. He turned to her. Don’t cry over spilt milk or broken glass. He said with a shy smile. Her eyes widened and he could feel the dream cracking.

He was blinded by nausea and dizziness as he found himself on the floor in front of his chair. She had woken up, her hair messy, her hands on her chest. Her head was bent, and he heard sniffling.

He could kill himself for this mistake. Too bad he was already dead.

--

She hadn’t slept at the library for several weeks. He had watched her each day. She never fixed the glass, but always softly dragged her hand over the book as she came in and left the library.
He smiled every time she took the time to remember him. It gave his spirit a small tug whenever he saw it, and he could push the buzz back for another day. Another cold, soundless day of intrusion on the mortal realm.

The professor left early. “Have to go grab a sandwich at the corner, my dear, would you like to go with me? I do it the last Friday of the month…” His voice faltered. “My grandson and I went every last Friday.”

Steven Harrison. He watched his grandfather leave the library. Had he already forgotten that fact? Has undeath already begun to take its toll? Then why was did he feel oddly mortal? She took out the blanket, and began to read in the old leather chair in the library. Fall’s cold wind tapped at the windows, and the library glowed in the small fire that Professor Harrison left in the fireplace.

Her face glowed from the flicker of the fire. He sat next to her, his back to the side of her chair. He closed his eyes and he could barely remember how to dream. Her breath slowed, and he was almost at peace, the crackle of the fire and her soft breathing all he needed to fall asleep. His eyes opened slightly, a bemused smile on his face. Almost at peace.

Her arm fell from its perch under her chin, and situated itself next to Steven’s face. It was so close, so warm. A warm dizziness stalked his mind, and when his eyes closed again, it pounced. Her hand twitched, and touched his face and his mind was thrown into orbit, expanding in every which way, until he could feel every bit of her.

He saw through her eyes a young auburn haired man in his chair, this time, with the fire blazing.

This is my favorite book. A twisting sensation, like he was being ripped from his body. Almost like when he died. His vision blurred, and he saw out of his own eyes, watching her.

He smiled at Her, and she smiled at him.

Are you cold? He asked gently, as if to preserve the dream. She shook her head, blushing, hair swishing through the air.

Don’t be like that, He said shyly, his smile growing as his face grew warmer. I can see you shivering. Here, have my seat. He stood. He moved slowly, so as to not wake her from her dream.

She took his spot graciously, and she pulled the blanket up to her face, covering her mouth and nose.

He had an idea. He strode to a bookshelf, one he has looked over several times since his death in times of boredom. He grasped a book with a smile, as he had not held a book in quite a while.

He took it to her, Contacting Ghosts from the Ethereal.

Interesting huh? He smiled, and she looked at it puzzled.

Let’s talk sometime. His smile grew wider as her eyes blinked several times. He knew what would happen this time.

--

She was reading the book, the contacting ghosts one, he noted. She was curled up in the chair, nearly a month past. Halloween. He smiled.

“Are you out there?” She called nervously.

Yes. He smiled, crouching in front of the chair.

“Can you show me you are here?”

Hmm.
He stood. He has only caused one abnormal event in his deathtime. He focused as he tried not to smile. His hand reached into the long since fixed door handle and wiggle around. A tiny click revealed his efforts. It was masked by the crackle of the flames.

She frowned and read on for another hour, until she rose. It was midnight.

She searched for her bag in the semidarkness, and pulled out her journal and a pen. She wrote for a while, disheartened. In time, she began to drift to sleep, pen in hand, head to the side.

Steven smiled to himself and blushed.

--

She woke up the next morning, shaken awake by the Professor. He was holding the door handle; broken again.

He was laughing, and she picked up her journal, to follow him to the back room to start the day.

I’m sorry I broke it again.

She dropped her journal and took a step back.

“What’s wrong my dear?” Mr. Harrison called from the back.

Steven smiled, sitting in his spot, watching her.

She shook slightly, and covered her mouth with her hand. She picked up the paper, shaking. She read the message over and over again, and looked down the page, where she wrote a note to herself of which page of the Isaac Newton tome she was on. The name was underlined with a tiny doodle of a chair and a fire.

The ghost blushed, quite happy at his attempts of communication.

“Do you think Steven is still here with us?” She asked all of a sudden, startling the humming Mr. Harrison into silence.

He smiled a sad, small grin. “He is in our hearts, always with us there.”

--

That night, she stayed at the library again. The first day of November, and it was cold in the closed library. She read for a while, talking to the air, but getting no response.

The buzzing stopped now, whenever she sat in his spot, in his old chair, with his old blanket.
She smiled to herself, and she pulled out her journal, and wrote until she began to fall asleep. Steven took a deep breath, ready to exhaust himself again.

--

He collapsed to the floor. As well as an insubstantial being with limitless energy could collapse, that is. He was feeling awfully mortal, and dizzy. The world spun around him, just as it had done last time. The buzzing clawed at him, just out of reach. He calmed himself, forcing himself to listen to her calm, smooth breathing.

She woke up some time later, hair a mess. In a startled motion, she picked up her journal and scanned the page. Her heart jumped when she read a new message. Just like the last; she didn’t write it.

She began to cry to herself, in the darkness of a new day. She held the journal to her chest, tightly, and sat back in the old leathery chair.

Beams of sunlight made their way into the library as the sun rose, as crisp as the air of the beginning day. Treetops danced in the breeze, and tapped at the window of the library. The air was still within the library as she calmed herself for another day of work.

After some time, her eyes red, she collected herself and set to ordering books, leaving the blanket draped over the chair, and the tome lying on the seat, with her journal on top, scattered with small drops of wetness. It slightly smudged the ink of the page, but not by much.

I’m sorry I broke it again.

And further down the page,

I am always here if you need to talk. -S
Here is the next one!

The House of Andorri


The sword slid through the air as if slicing the midday sky into parts, showering the heavens in a rain of scarlet liquid. The terrible blade cut through the flesh, bits of warm vessels and muscle clinging to the edge, pulling a mess of blood and gore from Syntle’s neck. He fell to his knees, eyes darkening, black hair framed in a celestial halo of scarlet, blood spouting as if a drain was unblocked, letting free rein to the murky liquid. Soft orange eyes faded as he saw his enemy smile down on its prey, blood specks flicking across his vision. His hands reached for his throat, but realized he could not move, only fall.

It seemed as if time slowed, head being turned to the side, gore erupting from the wound in a grotesque explosion. Blood trickled from his mouth as he smiled his last smile; the embrace of the God of Death, arbitrator of war, come to take him into the afterlife. He hit the ground as the specter of death wrapped its claws around his soul and felt thunder slam through his mind and body, pulling them in all direction at once, yet also compressing him as well. His physical body merged with his corporeal, and was ripped apart in short order.

A cold fog rose upon the battle field, whispering between the red-stained blades of grass, rolling over lifeless bodies, twisting between the legs of those still fighting. The mist seemed to penetrate Syntle’s body, sliding between his hair and eyes, merging with his soul and compressing into his body.

In a rush, the fogs spun around his fallen corpse, whipping the plants and fighters, dripping with the blood of the dead, mushrooming above Syntle’s cadaver.

He was thrown back into his body, standing, sword at the ready. Syntle could only gasp in fear, breath gone from the effort of fighting. His heart beat, blood racing through his throat, head pounding with the stress and blood-lust of battle. A man leaped up from the side, a man he recognized. He was distorted, blurred almost. His curved blade twisted over his head and under his arm, swinging towards Syntle. In the flash of a second, Syntle did what he realized he didn’t do before—take advantage of the enemy’s strange technique.

Parry? No, that’s what I did before. Instead of letting the dancing blade past his guard, he slammed the hilt into his enemy’s face, feeling and hearing the crunch of bone, the warm specks of blood being ripped out of his face. The strange man crumpled in a sigh of pain, and Syntle stood, sword tip on the ground, panting. His face burned with fire. Not just any normal pain; the pain he felt just a moment before, when he died… or had he? He felt his left cheek and gasped. He raised his blade horizontal to his face, turning it to reflect the crimson sky.

Crisscrossing over his face, scars, as if Death had clawed them itself were throbbing and burning with a sickening green fire. His left eye shone in the same shade of necro-green, the whites of his eye now black, his soft blue turned green. He could see muscle through the slashes on his face, green-tinged blood pumping with every squeeze of his heart.

He looked up in trepidation. He closed his right eye, seeing only through his corrupted eye. Death’s curse indeed; he saw spectral soldiers rising from mutilated bodies. He focused on one such phantom, chainmail torn, a terrible slash down his torso; gore and rib bones glistening in otherworldly light. Syntle’s pupil constricted as thunder shook through his body. The wrenching sensation began again, ripping away from his body in an arc of vile green lightning. Sparking at his eye and twisted down his arm and blade, it struck the body that once belonged to the spectral being.

In his emerald sight, he saw the phantom fade out to nothing, and then solidify instantaneously, proceeding to reverse all motions as if living backwards. It laid back down into its body and its corpse rose, as if being pulled up by an unseen force, looking unnatural. Blood and gore flew from the ground and synthesized with the body once more, making the man gasp for breath. Broken chainmail shivered on the ground, and leaped to respond to the magic’s call. Wounds sealed closed as spilled blood was reclaimed, torn skin and flesh rejoined once more. He looked around in confusion, and fell to his knees. In seconds, he was praying in another language, raising arms to the sky, tears streaming down his face. His chainmail tugged at his movement, as whole and complete as it was before its desecration.

Syntle closed the eye, forcing the molten blood that was flowing from it to stop. He fell to his knees and covered his eyes with shaking hands. A cry tore through his throat as if Death were to claim him once more. His Queen. His Honor, his Duty.

Blood dripped from his left eye as he pressed a hand over it. He could still see through it, a faded world, mute of all colors. Only phantoms of the soldiers sluggishly moving. His right eye spotted their bodies, his left their spirits, but he pressed his eyes closed as soon as the power shifted within him once more.

He sobbed again. A necromancer? Me? His hair flowed down his back, twisted into a warrior’s tail, dancing over the tabard he wore in the name of his Queen. Crusted blood coated the symbol on his back; a dark blade cutting through flickering flame—the House of Andorri, the mage slayers.

Then, a sword plunged through his back-through his clan’s symbol- forcing its way through the armor and penetrating even Syntle’s chest plate. His cry was caught in his throat as thunder erupted once more.

His body melted and was ripped, pulled and pushed, torn into pieces and thrown away. He saw through double vision, as his spirit attempted to flee his desecrated body. He was forced back into his body by sickly green claws, a sickening sensation crawling through his soul.

He was back on the ground, hands over eyes. His ears detected what he hadn’t before- the crunch of hardened soil behind him. With a heave of strength and pain, he grasped his blade and spun around behind him. He roared in anger, a shout full of pain. The blade slid through the soldier’s body as easily as a knife through butter, unearthly power seeping though his veins.

The sword slid through the man’s neck, giving an end to the death-bringing arc his sword enacted upon the enemy soldier. Blood splattered onto Syntle’s face, yet he did not give a shudder. He was staring at the man, through duel vision.

His mortal eye perceived the man falling, torso and right shoulder sliding apart from the lower body and left arm. Blood showered and glistened sickeningly in the midday sun. Its face was a mask of unbelief—as if it was impossible for him to die in such an ignoble manner.
He did not know the Andorri House’s creed.

The spectral eye was another matter entirely, another place or dimension forcing its image upon Syntle’s own sight. He saw the body fall, with the same details as his mortal eye. What took dominance-however was the man’s spirit. A dull grayish purple, falling back in the same motion as his physical body.

The body—with a closer glance, only the soul- was pierced by a dark, scarlet spear of light. First his chest, then his head, arm, leg, stabbing him as if rain fell from underneath. The tips split into cross, several eerie branches that branched out above the man. With a crack, the crosses doubled in on themselves and morphed into erratic claws, piercing the man again, tugging his soul out of his body, taking what is rightfully theirs. His spirit’s eyes were bleak, flashing fear and alarm. The crimson hands stole from the dull world of Limbo, the world of the confused and the forgotten, the soul of a man who reeked of the evil that he lived his days for. The spirit had not a chance to scream for help, but melted into the ground, a demon’s hiss and an outreaching hand.
He wanted help.

Syntle watched in shock, not even five seconds passing in the span of this horrid moment.

In a quick decision, Syntle snarled, his lips curling back in anger. Let the man rot in the underworld. He threatened my House, he gets what he deserves.

A fleeting second passed, and a flaming arc of soulfire stabbed through the ethereal ground. Syntle was saved only by the reflexes that saved him before. He dodged to the left, and the flame split into pieces, tendrils darting through the air after him, twisting in the fog of the other world. In his right eye, he saw a hard gust of wind, the tinge of smoke in the air, the heat of fire—magic was of both realms. His left saved his life.

A battle cry ripped through his throat, dodging the crazed enemy’s final spell. Or was it the denizens of that unearthly realm attempting to drive out the intruder?

“For her majesty, the Queen!” A slight infection was said with the utterance of her majesty’s name. Syntle’s eyes narrowed in anger. He gripped his sword in both hands. He knew how to defeat a mage. Be it mortal or not.

“For the House of Andorri!” His dark blade cut through the air, slicing the flame in half due to wards long since forged into his blade.

It disintegrated into the air, leaving ashes floating on otherworldly wind. Syntle gasped with the exertion of battle. His mind reeled—he could see into the realm of the dead?

His future did not seem too bleak after all. His mind’s fog cleared—and idea emerged from the darkness.

A Mage Slayer who can see magic? The thought excited him. Then reality let itself be known. His eye burned with fire—real enough to Syntle, yet not burning him. He confirmed with his right eye that the flame itself did not appear to the eye, only the glowing green scars.

The only magic to have been in this dimension was the catastrophic spelled artifacts of the powerful ancients of the past. Up until now, no other magic had been strong enough to rip a rift into the physical world.

Syntle looked up, and glanced around, for the first time in a while noticing the progression of the battle around him. His fellow slayers fought tooth and claw, and were pushing back the mages’ advance.

Have they really no experience of what just happened? The Mage Slayer thought to himself. He glanced at his sword and at the dead man on the ground. The same mage who had been stolen into the underworld.

Through his eyes, he saw repetitions of what had just happened—the underworld claiming souls as it’s own. Nightmarishly dark crosses sprout from the bloodied earth, then grasping and clawing the unworthy below.

A quick scan of the sky and he noted that the dimension of the dead was quiet from above. No one worthy would fight a war based on hate.

Syntle ripped the robe off the cut torso, wrapping it around the left side of his head, as if he had taken a head wound. The man’s blood was enough to cloak the green glow—for now.

He had a battle to win.

“For the Queen! For Andorri!” Syntle shouted into the air. Men in the battle, as far as hundreds of meters away heard his cry.

“Aye!” A roaring response surged over the plains of Andrea.

Syntle wiped his blade clean on the enemy’s other half. He slid it home, gripping the leather sheath on his back with clenched hands.

A Mage Slayer turned Mage. The commander thought to himself. His tied hair whipped in the wind as he heard the sudden slam of power to his far left. Turning, he saw several of his disciples deftly striking at a group of mages. Fire danced around the enemies’ hands— seen through Syntle’s left eye, even through the cloth.

A battle was in progress. Sort out problems later. Use all advantages to their utmost power.

The House of Andorri’s creed.
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