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*Figment Halloween15 Contest entry. Cover by Norecux* Giselle seeks to reunite with her long-lost love until she realizes she’s dead. ©2015

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Giselle Agar gazed into the window of the mansion, looking for him. It had been an hour and she still hadn’t seen him. She knew he was somewhere here, somewhere in this building, but it was so huge he must have gotten lost in the swarm of people.

Where are you, my love? Giselle wondered, her gaze moving rapidly. I’m here for you.

She turned away, realizing that she’d have to search the mansion herself to find him. It didn’t matter how long it would take her—she would find him. She wasn’t going to lose him again.

Giselle had never meant to leave Ambrose. He had been the love of her life, after all, despite their arranged marriage. It had been that godforsaken ship that had plunged deep into the seas, drowning it and her. She never thought she’d see Ambrose again.

Giselle swore she’d been dead. It was only after the first couple of days of her eyes opening, seeing and being in the world that made her realize that she hadn’t drowned. Somehow, she’d survived.

She was in the building now, in what appeared to be the ballroom. Everyone was spectacularly dressed in the finest petticoats and waistcoats Giselle had ever seen. There was a young man in the corner, playing elegantly on a beautiful, ebony piano. If Giselle hadn’t been looking for Ambrose, her breath would have been taken away.

She passed by the guests, wondering if anyone would be surprised to see her. But no one seemed to take notice of her. They must be so caught up in the event that they don’t see me, Giselle thought. The thought was disheartening, but she didn’t have time to worry about that now.

As Giselle mounted up a flight of stairs, she saw another room, this one barred with double doors. She peeked into room and saw a long line of people seated down. There seemed to be some toast going on, but for who? She stepped inside the open door.

That’s when she saw him. Standing the middle of the room, wearing a breathtaking waistcoat and smoothed hair, was her beloved Ambrose Amadeus Baldwin.

The room froze in that moment. Giselle found her footsteps moving quicker and quicker, until, finally, she fell into a run, all ladylike manners forgotten. In the back of her mind, a million thoughts raced through her head—What does Ambrose think happened to me? Is he all right? What will he say when he sees me?—but she was too happy to see him to worry about that. 

I’m coming for you, my love, Giselle thought. She threw her arms over him—

And phased right through him.

Giselle stumbled for a second before turning around. No, that couldn’t be right. How could she have just phased through someone? That wasn’t humanly possibly. It had been like her body wasn’t solid, like she had been transparent, like she had been a ghost.

Giselle froze. Slowly, she approached Ambrose, standing just a few inches away from him. He was looking right in her direction, right at her, but he didn’t acknowledge her. Ambrose wouldn’t ignore her like that, not unless—

He can’t see me.

She took a step backwards, looking at Ambrose again. Holding a breath, she slowly reached her hand towards his arm. She kept stretching her hand, gradually coming closer to him until she got to the point where she should have contacted with his arm.

She didn’t.

The room was spinning around her. Suddenly, it all made sense. No one had acknowledged Giselle when she had entered the ballroom; no one had seen her when she entered the dining hall; and now Ambrose, her fiancé, couldn’t see her at all. It was like she wasn’t even here.

She hadn’t survived the sinking ship that night. She had died.

No one knew she existed, because she didn’t. She was in a netherworld; Ambrose was alive.

As long as he lived, they would never be together. 

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