Lady of the Wraiths

  The curtains of a window in a street in Phalscam were closed, but the window remained open.  Dorus, the Silencer, guessed that the owner of these curtains had purposely left the window open in order to hear any unusual noises outside. The owner of these curtains had suspected his presence, which didn't make his job any easier. But then again, it was a job he had successfully performed many times before.

  Most of his kind decided to do what they did because they had picked up on it relatively young and chosen to dedicate their life to this purpose. A Silencer must dedicate their lives to what they do... it is not a job that can be taken lightly.

  Dorus took his job very seriously. In his previous life he had come to the conclusion - independently, as all Silencers must do - that all humans are reincarnated, over and over. New body, same soul. He surmised that only a finite amount of souls existed, hence only a finite amount of bodies should walk the Earth.

  But this was not so. The human population was rising at an alarming rate. That meant that the same amount of souls were possessing less bodies. So where did that leave the rest of the population?

  Through an inordinately large amount of research he discovered the truth about the Wraiths. The soulless bodies, walking around, talking to neighbours, going to work, buying food, taking out mortgages. The Wraiths looked like ordinary people, and even acted like ordinary people. But inside... there was nothing.

  Dorus slowly brought a hand up to the wall of the house. He was standing out of sight of the neighbours. He had been crouched behind the wheelie bin round the back of the house. Now he peered round the corner, up at the open window. He was half hidden by the outreaching branches of a tree, and he wore a dark red robe. Very slowly, he glanced behind him, just to be sure he wasn't being followed, and then turned his head back up to the window.

  Inside, the curtains moved with the wind. The bells of a nearby church told him it was eight o'clock.

  Dorus had discovered the truth about the Wraiths - now he needed help and guidance. He wanted to help. The idea that living among the normal people were soulless impersonators, with no mind and no conscience... well, it scared him. It would scare anyone if they knew the truth.

  He found, after an even larger amount of research, the Consortium of Silencers. They had a website, but it was not very obvious and very difficult to find. When Dorus finally cracked the URL, he was faced with a page, simply giving the address of their Headquarters. He duly wrote to them, asking for more information. His first reply letter said 'Go away'. He wrote to them five more times before they accepted his determinism, and welcomed him into the Consortium.

  He was once taken to their Headquarters and put through a series of tests. He displayed a surprising aptitude for the things they asked of him, and he began training to become an official Silencer. 

  Which was a good thing, because they might have killed him otherwise.

  Dorus took a full thirty-seven minutes to reach the front door. When he did, he began the painfully slow process of trying to open it. Wraiths never locked their doors, because if someone came in, no matter how quietly, they would know about it. Which was why Dorus was proceeding so carefully.

  Despite his initial amazing competence at the Silencer training, as well as his many, more recently acquired skills in various martial arts, Dorus was unable to prevent his own death. It was a stupid death. A pointless death, a ridiculous death, one that nobody of hi calibre should have had to suffer. Basically, he got into a car crash, splintering his ribs and tearing his lungs. He died, choking on his own blood, because some idiot in a volvo was too busy arguing with his girlfriend to give his full attention to the road.

  It was lucky for Dorus that his beliefs turned out to be right, and he was reincarnated. But something happened, marking Dorus out from all other Silencers before him, as well as all humans, as far as he was aware. He remembered his previous life. Everything. There was nothing he didn't recall. He was acutely aware, even as a new child, that he still possessed an adult mind. Of course he'd played along and tried to be as much of a child as he could for his new mother, Debra. But it was so boring. Unfortunately, this new mother, who insisted on calling him Jake, noticed things. Dorus's  room was always so tidy. At the age of five, he expressed a desire to wear oxford shirts. Words like 'accumulate' and 'bothersome' started to creep into his vocabulary. Once she found him writing in romanji to his old pen-friend in Tokyo.

  Debra, of course, assumed that her son Jake was a genius, and so he went to a slightly better school, and kept her happy by churning out a few award-winning essays or musical compositions a year. Dorus was a clever man, but he was an even cleverer boy. Even if he was hideously bored, most of the time.

  At the age of sixteen, Dorus left home, blatantly expressing no desire to stay with the woman, although he thanked her for bringing him up and promised to write to her. He never did.

  Of course, he hadn't wasted his childhood just being at school and making friends. He'd been training his mind, which was still sharp and agile. And he'd been training hard at a Silencer in the absence of the rest of the Consortium. He hoped they would take him back.

  This evening was the climax of his training. Now, he was finally going to kill a Wraith.

  The door opened. Dorus crept inside.



The End

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