"Why can't I keep my mouth shut?"
You mutter to yourself again for at least a dozen times now as you slowly made your way through the forest, heading towards a run-down castle standing at the edge of the other side, abandoned for at least a few centuries ago.
You and your travelling buddies had made a stop in a village for the night to rest up and stock up some supplies. There, one of your buddies picked up an old story about the castle being haunted by the ghost of a dead prince, his name lost in the forgotten history. It is said that in the darkest hour, the ghost can be heard wailing from within the castle walls, his cries can be heard even from the village.
Of course you, being skeptical of all things supernatural, called the story a bogus and on impulse, accepted one of your buddies' challenge to spend the night at the place.
Standing at the front of the castle, you finally pick up your courage to cross a stone bridge that leads into the interior of the structure...only for the bridge to crumble at the middle, dropping you into the moat full of freezing cold water.
You struggled, failing to swim to the surface as the cold waters already sapped away your strength. As your vision started to blur, you thought you saw a figure swimming effortlessly towards you before you blacked out.
You suddenly wake up with a jolt and found yourself seated on a chair facing a long table. A quick look around in the darkness partially lit by the moon outside the arch windows, you guessed you must be in the castle's dining hall.
"You are awake..." A cold and monotonous voice that came from the other end of the dining table, sent chills down your spine as you make out a figure sitting on the other end of the table. White glowing eyes stared intensely at you as you flinched, before realizing you are garbed in medieval clothes.
Noticing your confused look, the figure stood up and floated towards you, unhindered by the table that 'split' him in half, the moonlight revealing a white haired man wearing an elegant tunic, his skin the color of a dead corpse.
"I was the one who pulled you out of the water and changed your wet clothes, peasant..." He explained, smiling eeriely as he noticed your rising panic. "I admit that I am a little...excited. It has been a long, long time since a brave living soul dared to come here..."
Without waiting for you to answer, he started to tell his tale as he moves away from you.
"My kingdom was once a thriving place where everyone prospered under my rule..." He whispered, but somehow you can hear his voice clearly in your mind as he hovered near an arch window, looking outside. "But of course, where there is light, there are shadows that hide out of sight, waiting for a chance to take everything...My subjects had warned me many times that my uncle, the Archduke, planned to overthrow me, but I dismissed the rumors as he did numerous services to my father, and then to me. Little did I know, he bribed the castle guards to look the other way as his troops stormed the castle on that one fateful night..."
Suddenly, the door behind you bust open with a loud bang and armored knights, partially transparent, rush in and take the prince by his arms before dragging him out of the dining hall.
You check your watch which is still strapped to your wrist only to find that it is a few minutes to 3 AM, the so called 'Witching hour'. You decided to chase after the knights to a now untamed garden where they tied the prince to a pole, while a balding old man with a huge frame, also partially transparent, laughed at him.
"My traitorous uncle wanted me to hand over my power to him but I refused, knowing that my people will starve under his rule." The voice in your head muttered in distaste as the prince spit at the Archduke in the face. Enraged, the old man slapped him, his rings lightly scratching the young prince's face in the process before he issued orders to kill him slowly.
You watched in horror as the knights' spears stabbed through the prince's torso, one by one as he coughed blood the color of the night.
"An undescribable pain shot through my body every time a spear embedded itself into my flesh. With it, my hatred for my uncle grow...I swore to him that I will come back and haunt him to his death bed."
With that, the prince wailed loudly in an inhuman screech and you are forced to cover your ears to dull the deafening scream as the knights, along with the Archduke, involuntarily took a few steps back.
The watch hit 3 AM and instantly the ghosts of the past disappeared along with the pole. The prince's scream creased as he dropped to the floor, a growing puddle of murky-black liquid forming from numerous stab wounds on his chest.
You rush over to help the prince only to be stopped by his white eyes as he slowly picks himself up, his spilled blood flowing back to his wounds as they closed before his tunic fix itself leaving him whole again, his pale face unmarked from scratches caused by the Archduke.
"Since my death, he blotted out my history of reign, my name included, trapping me in the realm of the living." The prince muttered. You back away as he made his way towards you but too late, he have you trapped against a wall. Leaning forward, the prince let his words echo softly through you.
"Let the whole world know about the tragedy, peasant...So that I can end my own torment...My name is..." He whispered his name to you before an urge to sleep overtook you.
"...ke...wake...wake up...WAKE UP, YOU SLEEPY HEAD!"
Your buddies found you laying on the front of the castle in the morning, strangely enough, in your normal clothes. You thought it was all a dream until you notice the crumbled stone bridge and a familiar shadowed figure with white eyes at the other side of the bridge before it faded away.
"What's wrong?" One of your buddies asks you as he picked up your bag. You shake your head.
"Nothing...Let's go, guys."
- Princely Anon