Melissa heads off into a forbidden part of town where her fiance has just been buried. She's hoping to visit his grave once more and find some sort of closure in his sudden death. But, secretly, she's holding out hope for something else...
Melissa wove her way through the dead weeds and brush and took no thought into the fact that the autumn chill was making her shiver. Out of the corner of her eye, dark figures began to appear. Once or twice she heard a twig snap. She might have mistaken her own whimper as the shrill call of a Weeper, a small black and white bird that usually accompanied funeral processions to grave sites, but she too ignored the sound, determined to reach the Domain.
The silk handkerchief in her hand felt alien in a way. It once belonged to a living being, to someone so full of life that she could have never imagined that that person could ever die. But he had.
Above her the sky was darkening. It usually did in this part of the woods. She was getting closer to the forbidden forest: the place where the dead were buried and where supposedly ghosts protected their souls until judgment day.
A dark form suddenly stepped out in front of her. Melissa stopped in her tracks and held her breath. It was not of solid form or liquid composition but both. The figure sort of sifted in and out of sight, its dark form curling with the slight breeze whistling through the bare trees. It nodded at Melissa, then spoke.
“You do not belong here, mortal. This is the place of the dead.” It shifted momentarily, its voice drawing to a whisper. “Get away from here.”
The tears came before she could even begin to speak. “Please, I just have to see him. Just once more.”
Melissa looked deeper into the dark figure, trying to find a scrap of a face. The ghost shifted out of sight then reappeared, this time with a friend.
“You know we cannot allow you here.” The second ghost began. “Once the dead have been buried, access to their graves is forbidden.”
Melissa had heard lore about the ghosts of the Domain before. She had begged the palm reader in the corner market many times when she had been younger to tell her all she knew about the forbidden forest. Denied access wasn’t entirely a new notion.
“All I ask is for one more good-bye. You know how much of a saint Robert was.”
The two shapes turned towards each other, conversing in undistinguishable whispers. Finally, the first ghost turned back to her.