A Ghost of a Tale – Pt 1

Testing? Testing? Is this thing working? What even is modern technology? Whatever.


Hey, Sam, can you help me with this? Sam? Sam? Sam!

That damn girl. Where did she get off to this time?

~Phoenix

So here’s the thing, I’m a ghost. Yup. You heard me right. Dead. Have been for… Ra, how long has it been? If I was born before Alexander the Great… Hmm. It’s really not that important. As Sam would say, I’m older than dirt.

Speaking of Sam… That girl could make a ghost want to bash his own brains out. And she doesevery day. The only thing about that? I have no brains to bash out!

Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about my life as Sam’s babysitter. Basically, I serve as the reverse of a battery. So, in a way, you could say Sam is my battery. Every other morning, depending on how much magical energy she regains during the day, I steal her energy.

No, not in a malicious way. It’s to keep her hidden from the Hunters. You see, the Hunters track her by energy signature. If I take her energy, then they can’t find her. Even better, once I have her energy, I pop in and out of the ether, releasing the energy all around the Pacific Northwest, keeping them running all over the place.

So long as she’s safe, that’s all that matters.

What? You want to know why I help her? How a ghost from ancient times came to be in the twenty-first century instead of moving on?

That’s a long story. But the gist of it? Sam saved my father from slavery. Naturally, since I couldn’t pay her a life-debt—since she was a girl out of time—I took matters into my spectral hands after I’d been put to death.

Because Sam and I had had a language barrier, I was left to interpret everything she’d ever said. Her wild hand gestures helped me learn her name, but that hadn’t been enough to find her. I didn’t know where she lived or where she came from.

Over the centuries, I scoured the world and learned new languages, but none of them matched hers. I learned them, hoping to hear the syllables she’d spoken, hoping I was getting closer to finding her. I had no idea just how far in the future she’d come from.

As time went on, I heard the tales and rumors told about her. They gained momentum, and I realized she was in danger. My search became more and more frantic. I needed to warn her. But she was nowhere to be found.

When it was the Middle Ages, I finally discovered an archaic language similar to hers, but it was still wrong. I was getting closer to finding her, and that gave me hope. I stayed with these people, far North of my own home in Egypt.

It was several hundred more years, but finally, I found the English language. And that was it! It was the closest I’d heard to Sam’s language, but the clothing was still wrong, the accent still wrong, the people wrong.

When they started voyaging across the ocean, I took a chance, following a group of guild mages. They offered me the safest route, considering I could leech their magic. But more than that, I was able to learn more about them and their beliefs.

It was no surprise to me that the Sibyl was now seen as nothing more than a myth. Over a thousand years had passed, but they still feared her. They wondered if her ghost would someday come back for them. They were morons.

Another two hundred years passed before I found her, but she was just a child. She couldn’t even see me. And as creepy as it may sound, I watched her grow up. Please don’t tell her I told you that. So far as she knows, I found her on her thirteenth birthday when she finally came into her powers.

It was a miracle I found her at all, and even that had been a fluke.

I saw Sarah—Sam’s mother—and had mistaken the woman for my friend. Albeit an older, more mature version of Sam, but she really had been an astonishing match for the girl I remembered. But then I heard someone say her name, and my hopes were crushed… until Sarah called to her daughter.

I knew it was Sam the second I saw her. She was a bubbly little eight-year-old. But she held the same light I’d seen in her over two thousand years before. But shortly thereafter… her mom died, stealing a great deal of her light. I couldn’t do anything for her, and I felt useless. I’d finally found my friend to try to repay the life-debt I owed her, and I was useless to her.

It was another five years before she could finally see and speak to me. Since then, it’s been almost another five years. She’s no little girl anymore. She’s an adult… one that acts like an obnoxious child, but I don’t mind—not that I’d ever tell her that. If that’s what makes her happy, then I’ll protect her light. Her light, and her.

I’ll do anything to keep her safe.

Next: A Ghost of a Tale – Pt 2