In a dystopian reality where music is everything, the world is ruled by a Council of corrupt dictators. The greatest punishment possible, reserved for only the worst of criminals, is called Silencing. But one Silent proves that, even if he is a outcast, shunned from society, he still has a voice.


9. Chapter 8: Ghost

            “He’s insufferable! He refuses to trust me, and everything he says is insulting or disturbing or horrible!” Muse was ranting, and showed no sign of stopping. Ghost really didn’t care, though. Hearing news of his brother – who was, in fact, sleeping mere feet away, separated only by a thin wall – was worth it. “I save his ungrateful little ass, and all he does is tell me what a terrible person I am, and call me a liar to my face!”

            Ghost grabbed the girl’s shoulder as she walked by. “How is he?” he wrote, looking up pleadingly. He knew he couldn’t be part of Shade’s life anymore, but he still wanted the boy to live. He wanted him to be happy.

            Muse seemed to deflate, her anger gone in an instant. She looked at Ghost sadly. “He looks like you. I can see it in his face, his eyes. But there’s something broken in him. And he’s thin,” she added briskly. “He needs someone to take care of him. He’s under-age, so he’s under fed. If he leaves now, he’ll either starve or freeze to death.” Well, at least he could count on Muse to tell him the truth. That was something.

            She must have read the pain in his eyes. “Ghost, please, go talk to him. He needs you. He needs a family, and so do you.”

            “No.” Ghost wrote the single word in large letters. Muse shook her head sadly, but didn’t argue. They’d been over this already. Shade would be better off without him, and Ghost knew it. The realization would shock the boy. Shatter him. Destroy him. Ghost wouldn’t let that happen.

            “Fine. But I need a break. I can check in on him later, see how he’s doing. I’ll send Maia down too, but I doubt it will do any good. If he’s half as stubborn as you are, he’s not going to let us in the door.”

            Ghost smiled. Shade would let them in. What seventeen year old boy would refuse to see a pretty girl his age? Or, if he preferred younger girls, Maia was fifteen. Close enough to be cute and sweet, without being perverted.

            He rested his head against the wall and strained to hear the sound of breathing on the other side.

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