Chapter Thirteen- New Body
In a wing of the school that no one used and everyone avoided, a cold wind rushed through, making the remains of curtains flutter. All the doors were boarded up and all the windows filled in. The wind stopped moving and blew violently in one spot. A shadow began to move and the wind took shape. DJ formed out of the wind. He was a shade, a spirit that cannot pass on because of ties to this world. DJ walked down the hallway making no sound, sure of his destination. When he reached the edge of the hallway, he stopped and bowed his head as if in prayer. The wall slid open soundlessly and DJ walked in. Here the walls were corroded stone covered in thick slime and plants that don't need the sunlight to survive. Shreds of the red patterned wallpaper hung on the wall, lending a sinister air in the eerie light. The edges of the stone were jagged, eroded by the acid that dripped from the ceiling. DJ walked until white gleaming bones appeared through his wraith body.
He stopped walking and dropped to one knee. "Master."
There was a low growl, the sound of rocks crashing against each other. Smoke appeared out of the gloom.
"You have failed, djamphir."
DJ gritted his ghostly teeth. "Yes, I have. But I came to ask a favor, Master."
The beast in the dark pulled its lips apart and revealed gleaming white serrated teeth. The beast laughed. "You have come to ask for your body back. You want another chance at your mission, djamphir."
DJ nodded. "Yes, Master."
The beast laughed and the grinning skull of a djamphir rolled to DJ as the beast shifted positions. Bones cracked as they grated against each other beneath the beast’s weight. "Now give me one good reason I should give you your body back, djamphir. You have failed once, you will fail again. And remember, you are dead. You couldn't show your face around here anymore."
DJ nodded. "But Master, I will not fail again. Give me my body back and I will succeed."
The beast shifted positions and a spine with the hips still attached rolled out of the gloom. "What makes you so sure of your success if you try again?"
DJ looked at the gleaming bones, not wanting to look at the part of his master he knew was visible. "Because the warlock won't be anywhere near."
The beast laughed and a leg rolled out from its nest. "You said that this time, yet the warlock showed up anyway. And this time he won't let the Keystone girl out of his sight thanks to your mistake."
DJ wanted to pound the floor in frustration, but knew it wouldn't work. "But I will succeed."
The beast laughed and another leg rolled out. "How sure you sound."
"Because I am sure, Master," DJ said through clenched teeth.
The beast shifted positions again more bones snapped. "Look at me, djamphir."
Fighting back fear, DJ looked up. His master had completely come out into the surreal light green from magic stored over centuries. The serrated teeth were surrounded by a black scaly mouth. Thick, oily smoke lazily curled up from nostrils on the beast's snout. Bones snapped and two arms rolled out as the beast moved into the light. A thick, long neck followed, along with the beginnings of a monstrous body. DJ forced himself not to look away.
The giant dragon looked down at DJ's ghost. "Go ahead, touch the bones, djamphir. They are now yours."
DJ reached out and touched the bones. They jumped in the air and formed a skeleton. The skeleton stood and turned its head, facing DJ. It raised one arm and pointed at him.
The dragon laughed. "Go ahead, touch it."
DJ reached out and touched the skeletal finger with his. There was a flash of light and the bones jumped inside DJ's ghost. He shuddered and twitched as skin reformed over the bones. DJ screamed as organs reformed and snapped into place, along with muscles and tendons. The dragon laughed. There was a flash of oily light and DJ was on his hands and knees, alive again.
The dragon laughed again as DJ slowly got to his feet. "Do not fail this time, djamphir. She must be here by the lunar eclipse, or it won't work. If you fail," the dragon laughed and a shiver of fear ran down DJ's new spine. "You will wish for me to kill you. Now leave!" The dragon roared and jets of flame soared from his mouth and knocked stalactites from the high ceiling. DJ scrambled back and ran back the way he had come.