You eased passed some bushes, the leaves trailing along your clothes, and started into the woods. It had been awhile, but you were certain you were going in the right direction. Swatting at a flying bug, you continued deeper into the woods just outside of Barton. Hiking trails, camping zones, and picnic areas littered this entire area. However, none of them were your goal. Today, you were searching for the secret pond. Well...secret being a bit of an overstatement. Everyone in town knew about the large pond that was hidden just off of one of the hiking paths. The pond was the biggest non-secret secret in all of Barton.
You pulled out the heart shaped flier from your back pocket and skimmed it again. The fortune teller you had come across earlier in the day had given it to you. Headlined across the top of the flier was information for a valentine's festival that was being held at the secret pond. The flier advertised music, food, and a good time. Who could say no to that? Shoving it back into your pocket, you continued deeper into the woods.
Up ahead, you could hear the thrum of music as it permeated through the forest. You grinned and picked up your pace. You couldn't wait to see what the festival had to offer. A few of your friends were probably already there. Mind focused on the future, you side stepped around a tree, took a step forward, and then tripped on a root. As you fell forward, arms flailing, a hand reached out to try and catch you. You watched, no felt, as the hand passed through your form. A split second later you were on the ground with the leaves and dirt.
"Are you all right?!" An urgent voice asked.
You groaned in response and laid there for a few seconds. You couldn't believe that had just happened. Pushing off the ground, you turned until you were in a sitting position. Your ankle throbbed at the movement, but thankfully, it did not feel as if it was sprained. Blinking against the warm sun peeking through the tree branches, you finally looked up at your failed savior. It was a girl in clothes that of ages passed. She held a brown basket in one hand and gazed down at you with concern. Her hair was as white as a passing cloud and her eyes were a blue so light it surely had to be a trick of the light.
She was a ghost.
Eyes wide, you stared at her transparent form. No wonder she had not been able to catch you. Thinking on it now, your arm was ice cold from where her hand had passed through it. You blinked at her and then blinked again.
"Are you well?" The Phantom girl repeated, growing more concern as you continued to sit there in silence.
Her voice was oddly accented. Although it sounded familiar, you could not place it. You cleared your throat in the strange hope that it would clear your mind. "Okay. Er, I mean, I'm okay. It wasn't a hard fall." It occurred to you then that you had completely face planted in front of this stranger. You blushed, your ears starting to burn red. "Really, I'm fine." You wobbled back up to your feet to prove the point.
The Phantom took a step forward as if to help you, then hesitated as she recalled her earlier folly. She glanced down at her hand and pink bloomed across her cheeks. "I apologize for not catching you. You startled me and I could not use my power to ease your fall."
Her words surprised you. "It's my fault, not yours." You tried to comfort her with a smile, "I wasn't paying attention to where I was stepping." An idea crossed your mind, "Actually, I take that back. That tree root clearly jumped out and attacked my foot!" You wildly pointed to the offending branch, "It had it out for me and wanted me to trip!" More wild pointing followed the accusation.
Your small attempt at humor succeeded and the Phantom's frown was replaced with a smile. "I think you are correct." A playful glint twinkled in her eye, "I did see it rise up just as you were stepping over it. Such a fiendish thing."
Any remaining awkwardness was now gone and you grinned, "I should report it to a ranger. Who knows how many people this root has tripped?" You shook your head in feigned disbelief.
Feeling considerably less embarrassed, you patted the dirt off your clothes. You took a gentle step forward with your injured foot and was pleased to find that the throbbing in your foot had decreased greatly. "Were you heading to the festival?" You asked the Phantom.
She nodded, holding the basket with both hands now. "I was. It sounded like a pleasant affair, so I decided to join in."
You nodded at her words, "I was going there for the same reason." Through an unspoken agreement, the Phantom joined your side as you began to walk towards the music once more. Her ghostly form passed through bush and tree alike. You felt clumsy beside her as you dodged, twisted, and hopped over the obstacle course that made up the forest. Secret or not, someone really should make a trail leading to the pond. Despite the mild work out, you continued the conversation. "The only reason why I knew about this festival was because that fortune teller gave me the flier. Then she gave me a really strange fortune; something about an anime convention and a series of unfortunate mishaps that would lead me to happiness."
The Phantom chuckled, "The fortune teller is rather peculiar. I saw her declare that two strangers would marry, and then have a honeymoon on the actual moon."
You laughed as you imagined such an absurd thing. Before you could reply, a new, even louder song blasted from the festival distracting you both. Within moments, and after a hop over a small bush, you finally reached the large clearing that held the secret pond.
The sound of conversation now merged with the sound of the music and the scent of food drifted through the air. Numerous small stands and tents filled the clearing. The place was crowded with people moving to and fro. Kids raced across the banks of the pond and numerous couples had already staked out areas for picnics. From this vantage point, you could spot a few of your friends mingling about. You blinked, surprised by how big the event was. Glancing at the Phantom girl, you noticed that she was surprised by this fact as well.
Sensing your gaze, she turned and faced you with another smile. "I think this is where we part." She reached down into the basket and handed you one of the small presents. Unlike the spirit, the gift box was corporeal. "I know this is not much, but I do hope it makes you feel better after your fall. In spite of the circumstances, it was a pleasure meeting you."
You looked down at the gift, surprised by the gesture. Oddly enough, it did make you feel better. The chance meeting with the girl was almost worth the embarrassing moment of tripping. You looked up and watched as the Phantom joined the people in the crowd. She was probably already starting to give out more gifts. Walking towards your friends, you suddenly grinned. Although you encounter with the ghost had been brief, you had the feeling you would run into her again at one point or another. You didn't need a fortune teller to tell you that much.
Happy Valentine's Day--- Phantom Anon
Will this suit your outfit?
*Zooms away on a Zomboni*
We may be from different worlds, but I still think we have the right kind of chemistry. ^^
Happy Valentine's Day!
~Platonic Angel Anon
Mrs. Elise looked out of the window, her heart beating fast. She held her newborn son to her bosom and ran downstairs into the nippy, wintry air. Her husband had just come back from the war, safe and sound. They embraced, and warm tears streamed down her cheeks.
- Silver Candle Anon
Will you be my late platonic Valentine?
Anonymous Celestial Entity
· Wed Feb 14, 2018 @ 04:48am · 0 Comments