I scratched my face and yawned as I rolled over in what I at that time thought was my bed. Guess what, it wasn’t. It wasn’t near my bed.
It was grass, which was soft and … wet. Yuck!
I sat up and looked around. The graveyard.
I then began to brush all the dirt and mush off of me and tried to make my dress look kind of decent. I failed. This was pretty understandable since I had been curled up in a ball with my back pressed against my tombstone.
A bit pathetic… just a bit.
I laughed at myself as I stood up and looked around once more. No one was here and it was kind of foggy, which only made the graveyard even creepier. Wasn’t a graveyard almost beautiful and well kept? At least this one was. It was kind of beautiful with the green lawns, white tombstones, and the few, but huge willows. It was here my mortal body was laid to rest. And oh boy did it rest.
Never had I ever thought I would be sitting here dead and wondering over a graveyard. Well… knowing me and my freaky mind I probably would end up here dead or alive wondering about those things.
I wanted to just sit there for a moment, but I knew I had to get up, so that’s what I had done. I had gotten up and as I had done that the purpose for that action had disappeared from my mind and I was now looking lost.
Why was it again that I couldn’t just sit there and be sad next to my own grave?
“Because that would make you a total loser” some chick said as she walked towards me with a rapid speed, which was very impressive since she was very high heels, gorgeous black ones, on a damp lawn. She was gorgeous with her angelic face, huge green eyes and her long, blond, perfectly curly hair. She was taller than me, but who wasn’t… and those heels didn’t help either. She was wearing a pair of denim jeans and a cream coloured silk top, with her hair up in a stylish ponytail.
And here I stood with my dirty dress, leather jacket, black military boots and a messy braid. I had never felt more ugly and peasant like, and I was normally around Vion all day long.
But there was something about this girl that made my instincts say ‘KILL, KILL, KILL’... and it wasn’t my jealousy over her looks. Plus she looked sixteen and didn’t really have any boobs.
Wow way to reason with your jealousy Ghost… focus on her lack of boobs. Just because I had been hit by the boob train and gotten out of the wreck with a pair of airbags.
Focus, focus, focus, Ghost! I chanted to myself and mentally slapped myself. I needed to start asking the important questions and not stand there like a complete idiot staring at her.
“You said it out loud. You know the whole why thing, you said that out loud” she answered my questions without me asking them. This one was a freaky one. But then again who was I to talk. I looked at her and tried to figure out the weird vibrations she was sending.
Then it hit me.
“Just like you” she answered and smiled one of those perfect toothpaste commercial smiles. I wanted to slap her for looking so perfect. Those eyes reminded me of someone I knew…
“You were a Kirehe, weren’t you?” I asked and I saw something flicker behind those green eyes. Something that I wanted to know what was.
“Yes.” She said and her eyes turned cold. There was the answer to the weird vibrations. She was a Kivalay, a Valayá with all her past Kirehe powers. Those were classified as a level 10 +, the plus because you never knew what they were capable of. They were rare and dangerous. It was the top five Kirehe that took care of those. My group.
“Now a Kivalay… does that mean I’m one too?” once I had started asking questions it was like I couldn’t stop. That dam was burned and all the water was running wild. I needed answers and I needed them now.
“Yes, my dear Ghost. You’re on the top of the ‘To Kill List’ now. Congratulations” she looked at me like she couldn’t be bothered with all my questions… and once again I wanted to slap her, this time because she was an annoying bitch. But sadly I needed her help.
“How do you know my name?” she was kind of starting to freak me out. She was a Kivalay and a strong one at that.
“You’re the Ghost, the famous Kirehe, the number one, the one who beat a level 7 Valayá as an eight year old all by herself, and not to forget the one who kicked Ralnor Night, our leaders arse. Everyone knows you, Ghost” she said this through clenched teeth like it actually hurt her to state all of those things. She actually sounded jealous. And this one was strong and in very good control of her powers, whatever they must be.
I had gotten my name because of those things and because of my powers.
But I had been branded and I had been left for dead several times. I was nothing special or some kind of important, so I didn’t act like it. If there was anything Nova had teached me it was that if you want to be alive then don’t flaunt yourself, act cool and mellow.
And I had wanted to live. I had fought for eighteen years, but I had lost in the end. And I couldn’t see anything special about myself now. No matter how strong I had been or how strong I had born to be in the end I had failed and I had died.
I had been killed.
“Who are you?” I croaked and looked at the ground. Terrible memories of my hard childhood flooded my mind. But it had been good with rays of lights. Nova had always been there even if she couldn’t always protect me, she had been there. There was only so much a giant forest spirit could do when it came to raising a child. A baby, only hours old, she had been given as an offering. I had been nothing more than an offering, something they willingly gave to the forest spirit to eat.
All that because of a fucking tattoo.
“The name is Annabell Night, daughter of Ralnor Night” her voice cut through my thoughts and brought me back to my surrealistic reality.
And I remembered.
I remembered her, who she was and how she’d died. She had been killed under a mission seven years ago. It had killed Night, only mentally of course, her father, the leader of the Kirehe headquarter in London.
I had only been eleven at that time, but everyone had been heartbroken. Except Rion and Vion, they had been cool and calm as always. They weren’t affected by anything… or almost nothing, my death had supposedly shaken them to their core.
She had been killed by another Kivalay, a man, about sixty when he died of cancer, who had been a manipulator of the four elements. Jones Hiatal.
He had died before I came to the order, but I do remember being told that he had held some of grudge against Night, and killing Annabell was his revenge.
“You remember me” she said and I nodded. I had been living at the Kirehe headquarter with her for three years without coming on friendly grounds with her, I had never understood why.
She looked at me for a couple of minutes before her whole attitude changed and her features softened. Right there she looked like her dad so much it was almost unbearable. I missed that old geezer, he had brought me into the order and given Nova and I a roof over our heads and reliable food every night.
Annabell stretched out her arm and held her hand out before her. I guess she wanted me to shake her hand. I had never really understood that gesture… I mean come on after making a deal you want to make some weird physical contact with the other person? Weird, just plain weird.
Despite thinking it was a weird gesture that I genuinely tried to avoid with all my power, I decided to be friendly and not act like the whole thing freaked me out.
So I shook her hand and smiled a weird smile.
She must think I’m a freak now. Good job Ghost, well done! I mentally face palmed.
“Come on, let’s go to my apartment” she said and started to walk away, expecting me to just follow along. Looking over her shoulder to see if I was following, she laughed, probably because of my confused expression and said “yes, I live a semi normal life now, now move your behind and follow me”
That made me genially smile and I ran after her so I could walk beside her. But holy fuck she took long steps, and in those heels! I had to take my hat off for her, because she knew how to walk in heels and do it with what seemed like no effort at all. It probably wasn’t…
We arrived at her flat about ten minutes later; we had of course been walking with the normal speed of a Kirehe. This was about 100 km/h. You know the normal speed.
It was a beautiful flat, with white walls and pink and pastel everywhere. Not that I had imagined it any other way. It had a kitchen that kind of melted together with the living room and two bedrooms and of course a bathroom that was really big for an otherwise small apartment.
I liked the apartment and as I sat down on her cream coloured sofa I wondered what it would be like to live here. If you looked away from the fact that I wasn’t a pastel kind of gal, then it was decorated much after my style. Simple, but cute.
She sat down in a chair, which looked very expensive, across from me. There was now a coffee table between us, which was white and looked like something from Ikea. But I wouldn’t place Annabell as the Ikea type of gal.
“so Ghost… you wanted to know my story?” she said and snapped her fingers, making a mug which was of course had white and pink floral print on it, fill up with steaming tea and fly to her hands.
“My powers were basically those of a witch’s. I grew up in the Kirehe headquarter here in London with my dad; you see, my mum died giving birth to me. So it had always just been my dad and me against the world. That made me extremely competitive and I wanted to be at the top. I wanted to be ranked number 1. My dad said that it wasn’t necessary, that the powers of a witch were not meant to be at the top, that they were meant as a tool to the healing process, that I could be an amazing healer. Do you think I wanted to become a healer? I didn’t have the powers of a healer, I had… have all the awesome dark powers that were meant to destroy a Valayá, not heal those who did the killing. But I made the mistake of falling in love and that stopped me from going to the top. I wanted to be near that person all the time, so we trained together. But he was always better than me, and he ranked higher than me.” She took a sip of her tea and I just starred at her.
The daughter of the leader of the Kirehe headquarter, she hadn’t had the same life as me, but she had been under hard pressure to reach her dreams, and she had fought to reach them only to lose to the one she loved. Seeing the way she starred into nothing, made me think that maybe she still loved the guy, maybe that was why she hadn’t passed on to the afterlife. But that was not a question shy little me, that feared everything associated with awkward, wanted to ask.
“So I gave it my all on mission against a Kivalay, but he was there and I couldn’t stay concentrated, so I lost focus for a second. That’s when the Kivalay rained fire down on me and trapped me inside an air prison, somehow removing all the oxygen but still keeping the fire alive. So I burned and was suffocated till I died. My soul instantly removed itself from my grotesque corpse and I hovered over it for a couple of minutes. Just being a detached soul, just floating around, being invisible. I watched him kill the Kivalay and I watched them surround my body as Matter Hilwhel lifted my corpse up in his arms and carried me home”
Tears dripped down in her tea as she remembered her death. Her death had been painful and horrible. If my death had been like that I would cry too just by thinking of it.
But I had been surprised to find out it had been Matter that had carried her corpse home. I wasn’t surprised over the fact that he would do it; I just didn’t know they knew each other, let alone were on the same team. That must have meant that she was ranked as at least number 5, since Matter had always been ranked number 3. He would never have let a comrade’s corpse stay behind. He loved his comrades and he was loyal to those he loved. I wondered if it had been Matter who had carried my body home after I had died. I kind of wish I remembered my death and what had happened before it. What had caused it and who had killed me.
And I wanted to know why I had chosen to stay behind and not pass on to the afterlife.
“So do you want to move in?” huh? What had she just said?
“Huh?” I so cleverly responded and she rolled her eyes.
“Snap out of it birdy, my story wasn’t that sad! So do you want to move in?” she looked at me, expecting a certain answer, which she knew I would say. I nodded and she smiled against her tea cup as she was taking another sip.
“Excellent!” she said and gave me the biggest smile to ever be seen. She was really starting to freak me out a bit with all her happiness. She seemed nice and all… but she didn’t really seem like someone I wanted to be around in the beginning. It seemed like she wanted to murder me, but then something came over her and made her all smiley and laughing. Type in Moodswings.com and you would find a huge picture of Annabell Night, with the text:
BEWARE OF MALFUCTIONS IN HER BRAIN, ALSO CALLED MOOD SWINGS.
Yup… that’s what the text would say. She should probably have that as a sign around her neck.
“So I want to teach you something real simply, but very necessary if you don’t want to die again! Mask your Kivalay vibrations as normal human vibrations; this will be a human with a little more dark matter inside of it than necessary” she said and stood up, placing her mug on the coffee table and then placing her hands on her petite hips, as she looked at me expectantly.
Okay, miss mood swings, let’s see what you got. I got up and took a deep breath, then looked at her, ready for anything she would throw at me.
“It’s pretty simple; really, you just have to concentrate on masking the wavelength of your vibrations, making them into those of a human. Which is about 0.000437 mm per second.” She looked so young and like ‘listen to me I know everything’, that I wanted to roll around on the floor laughing so hard that I would cry. I restrained myself from doing just that and tried doing what she said.
So I concentrated and focused on the vibrations that emanated from my body, it was easy to mask them, as it was just like making myself invisible, which was one of my powers.
As I opened my eyes again, Annabell was frowning.
“Well done, just what I expected” I think she tried to sound kind of happy, but she failed and instead looked and sounded like she had just bitten into something sour.
I looked at my feet, trying to figure out what the hell I was supposed to do next.
“Thanks for the trick… I’m very grateful” I mumbled, the awkward silence making me freeze up and even more awkward than before. I wanted to dig my own grave up and crawl down there with my corpse.
That’s when I felt a familiar pull in a direction headed north. I had to go check it out. There was only very few creatures who had the power to communicate via the mental link, only five Kirehe, but mostly forest spirits.
I still didn’t know what had happened to Nova. Was she still alive? Where was she? These questions needed to be answered and that was the main reason why I needed to follow that pull.
“I’m going back to the graveyard. I need to realize that I’m actually dead” it was a good excuse, and sadly it was partially true. I needed to do that, but not right now.
If it continued to look like this, I would have oceans of time to kill, which could be spent on a nice day while sat in front of my tombstone staring at my name engraved into the solid block of black marble.
“Well... I’ll be here if you need me” Annabell said, but I didn’t really listen as I was already running out of the door.
I ran all the way to the graveyard. Or should I call it a cemetery? Was that a nicer way to say it? I could just call it ‘the place with all the dead people’… I think I was going to start calling it that. Yes, good idea.
Maybe, I should get help. Psychological help. Ooh what the hell, I mean I was already dead. I couldn’t talk to a shrink about any of my problems. Not a human shrink anyways... and the Kirehe didn’t have shrinks. They believed in ‘kill a Valayá and your problems will be solved’.
When I finally reached the place with all the dead people I didn’t realize how out of breath I was before I stopped up and nearly fainted. I had to hold onto the nearest tombstone to not smash my face down in the pretty lawn. That would have been a shame.
Classy, Ghost… classy. Once again I mentally face palmed.
But everything was erased from my mind as I saw the silhouette of a beautiful white wolf laying in front of a tombstone about a kilometre down the path of gravel, that went from the start of the graveyard all the way to the bottom.
I forgot all about my need to breathe and started to sprint down the path. The closer I got the more it occurred to me that the wolf was grieving. She had rolled herself into a ball and pressed herself against the giant black stone. She looked so fragile as she laid there.
“Nova!” I screamed with my arms fluttering around me like I was some sort of Hummingbird that was trying to take off.
She looked up and as soon as our eyes locked, recognition struck and I had one hell of a monster wolf on top of me.
I gasped for air as everything near air had been knocked out of me as we had collided. She licked my face, and since her tongue was as wide as my head and longer than my head and neck, I was dripping wet of saliva within a few seconds.
“My baby Kirehe” she purred through our bond and I clasped my arms tightly around her neck and I swore that I would never let go again.
I wouldn’t keep that, not literally, but I would never disappear again. Not until we both were ready for me to pass on.
Nova was immortal and she couldn’t die. Therefor we had to be separated at some point. I had just never expected it to be when I was eighteen.
“I missed you so much, my baby” she purred out loud and I smiled at the sound of her voice. There was nothing animalistic about it, unless sweet, caring, light and angelic was animalistic. It was rare for Nova to speak out loud, as I was the only she ever really talked with, so she saw no reason why to remove the mystery of whether she could talk or not.
“I missed you too, my wolf mother” and that’s when I started crying, or maybe I had been crying the whole time. I just knew that I was with my wolf mother again and that I was safe. Nothing would hurt me now.
Giant balls of salty water mixed in with the saliva in my hair and I laughed. She had been happy to see me so she had licked my face, multiple times. Now she made me sit on the gravel, while she looked me over, seeing if I was hurt or anything was wrong.
I sat there patiently, waiting for her to be done. I had tried this so many times, it happened every time we came home from a mission, and then mama wolf needed to look her cub over for injuries. You couldn’t say I wasn’t loved.
I laughed once she was done as she gave me the lick of approval on my nose. I kissed her on hers and ruffled the fur on her forehead.
“I love you, mama wolf” I said to her and tears tumbled up in both of our eyes. She put her forehead against mine.
“I love you too, my cub” she replied and I smiled. This was my mother. I cuddled into her warm fur and threw my arms around her neck once more. I felt happy and I felt… alive.
Nothing could go wrong, nothing could ruin this moment. Nothing but this…
“Ghost?” his voice made me snap my head in the direction it was coming from, which was from behind me. He looked like he didn’t believe his own eyes. I wouldn’t have either if the tables had been turned.
I let go of Nova and she turned around and walked a couple of metres away. I just stared at the man before me. It seemed like forever since I had seen him last.
As we just stood there, staring at each other, I didn’t know what I should do. So we just stared, until I could finally let the words out.