It's rather difficult to maintain a disbelief in ghosts after one has been possessed by one. Or, in my case, several. As I said to Zac, one would think I would have learned by now just how true the statement 'Things are different here' is for New Babbage. After all, since coming here, I've seen giant clockwork constructs, werewolves, fae folk, zombies, and more. Are ghosts and mental powers that different?
...Well, yes. Yes, they are. But just as real, apparently.
I've slept off and on for most of the past 24 hours. This might have worried me, were it not for the fact that every time I woke up, however briefly, I felt decidedly better, not worse. Hunger, though, has driven me out of bed for now. Hunger, and the need to think.
I'm rather a little surprised, really, that I'm feeling so rested, given that my sleep seems to have been filled nearly constantly with dreams--dreams about the ghosts. They had been delving into my mind and memories when they possessed me, so that could at least try to act as me if the need arose. Apparently, that worked the other way, and my mind is filled with their thoughts and memories. I'm still trying to sort through it all, but one thing is most definitely clear to me.
These were not--are not?--evil people. Even Mac did what he did through desperation, not malice.
The question is, what do I do with such a revelation?
Bookworm chewed thoughtfully on the end of her pen, staring out the window at the dying light of evening. Finally, with the air of someone who must rush to do something before fright--or better sense--prevailed, she set down her pen and went outside.
She descended the stairs, then turned to go to the back of the Mechanix Arms. The sight of the graveyard checked her for a moment, but then she continued to its entrance. She paused again, took a deep breath, sighed, and stepped inside.
She didn't know what to expect, and at first, nothing seemed to be happening. But after a few minutes, she thought she could see vaguely human-shaped forms at the edges of her vision, though they disappeared when she tried to look at them directly, as faint stars would often do. But the number of shapes, and their relative sizes, seemed to match her recollections of the possessing ghosts.
Book swallowed once, feeling somewhat foolish, then spoke. "I can see you, I think. And I think you can hear me." The shapes stirred a bit, as if in reaction. Encouraged by this, she continued. "You'll not be able to use me anymore. Mr. Somerset has made sure of that. And I would suggest you not try it with anyone else. We're on our guard now."
Another stir ran through the shapes, a stir that seemed weighted with frustration. Bookworm waited it out, then continued. "But that's not all I came here to say." She looked down for a moment, searching for the right words. "I...cannot condone what you did to me. But...but I can understand why you did it."
A stillness descended on the graveyard, as if the entire area was holding its breath. "I do not know much about this sort of thing...amend that. I don't know anything about this sort of thing," she said with a wry smile. "But if I discover anything that might help you, I will try it. I give you my word." She waited a moment, but the shapes seemed frozen in place, so she turned away and walked toward the entrace.
Before she reached it, though, she thought she felt the barest tug at her skirt. She stopped and turned her head slightly, and saw, out of the corner of her eye, a small shape touching her. A thin voice, barely heard over the breeze, whispered, "Thank you."
Bookworm smiled, blinking back a sudden sting of tears. Then she turned away and hurried back to her apartment, her heart pounding a little. In the sanctuary of her room, she thought over what she had done. It seemed...right, somehow. 'Though what Zac would have to say about it, I don't know,' she thought with amusement.
"Well," Daniel finally broke the silence. "That was...unexpected."
They hadn't known what to expect when the woman came brazenly into their graveyard. Her first few sentences certainly hadn't boded well. But what she'd said afterwards... They all knew, from their earlier contact with her, that her word was not lightly given.
He looked over at Mac. "Do you think Somerset was right? Might you have ended up killing...Miss Hienrichs?"
Mac started as, for the first time, one of their group used her name, and so truly personified her. He shrugged helplessly. "I don't know."
"What do we do now?" Sofie asked.
Daniel shrugged helplessly, smiling a little at his echoing of Mac. "I don't know."
They each of them drifted away from each other, seeking refuge where they could from a world that had been curtailed again.
((And with this, we come to the end...for now. Many thanks to Nell and Zac for their participation, and to Grendel for loaning me the ghosts. They're coming back to you unharmed, though perhaps a little wiser. *grin*))