I woke up on the forest floor, the leaves tickling my face. I couldn't quite remember how I got there. I stood up and brushed off my pants. That was when I saw him. He was a tall, thin figure with an angular face and piercing green eyes. His limp brown hair was almost down to his shoulders. But his most prominent feature was the fact that he was slightly see through. I began to back away.
"Stop." He was trying to sound authoritative but it was his tired, defeated tone that made me stay.
"What is your name?"
"Do you know who I am?"
"You're the l-late king."
He gave me such a long stare that I began to squirm. It felt like he was staring into my soul. In fact, he might as well be. Finally he spoke.
"I need your help."
I was surprised that a specter would need my help.
"You have to tell the castle who the murderer is."
"Murder?" I shook my head in confusion. "It wasn't a murder. It was a suicide."
"Suicide?" The ghost's brow furrowed. "Why would they think it was a... The knife! That is what was slipped into my hands! And now no one knows the truth! You have to tell them!"
I met his eyes meekly and shook my head. "Sorry. I can't. I just can't. I'm a slave. No one will listen to me anyway. I'm sorry." I begin to walk away.
"Pity. I'm sure there would have been a large reward. Land. Gold. Freedom."
I stop and turn around. I wasn't sure what to do. The whole thing sounded dangerous to me. I didn't even know whether to trust him. But...
"Okay. Who is the murderer?"
The king suddenly became very interested in the leaves below his feet.
"You don't know it is?"
"He was wearing a hood!"
I shrank back and he started off again in a more gentle tone.
"Elliot, no one even knows it's a murder yet. You should at least tell them."
I nodded. "When?"
He was taken aback."Why, today of course. They must know immediately."
"I can't. I am already behind on my work."
"Oh alright. Tomorrow then." And before I could answer he was gone and I was alone in the clearing. As I began to gather up the firewood I dropped I was beginning to wonder whether it was really just a dream.