Imagine being the only person who can save hundreds of lost souls, cursed to remain restless for eternity. That is what Verinna Fey is faced with. Not really sure what she has to do, she is lead by Christopher, one of the Ghosts, into the Underworld. What trials lie in store for the two of them... you'll have to read to find out.
‘And all the things that you never ever told me, and all the smiles that are ever gonna haunt me. Never coming home, never coming home. Could I? Should I? And all the wounds that are ever gonna scar me, for all the ghosts that are never gonna catch me if I fall.’
What is life? Is it the beat of your heart as it pushes blood through your veins, the breath in your lungs, your brain telling the rest of your body what to do? Or is it more than all of that? For if all of these things are present, you can still be dead if your personality, or that which we call a soul, is gone. So can there be life if there is no body to contain it?
The main reason I was thinking about this as I went for a late afternoon jog was that I was pretty sure that I was going to die from pain and exhaustion. Just collapse on the pavement, with no-one any the wiser. I hated running, but I was determined to become fitter, probably due to some innate notion that young-adults should be ‘healthy’, mostly because we care far too much about what others think about us than we should. Or maybe it was just me. Anyway, running seemed to me like the easiest (not to mention cheapest) option to increase the amount I exercised. And who knew if I would have to do some running-for-my-life in the near future; maybe Scream would have been different if Drew Barrymore had been a better runner?
I did like the calming, steady beat of my feet against concrete, the slightly pleasant ache that I always thought of as my body congratulating me for my hard work, and the feeling that nothing else matters at that moment save dragging air into your lungs and keeping your legs moving so that you can get from A to B. But I still hated being out of breath, sweaty and in pain. Not being able to breathe had always been one of my worst fears.
I stopped by the park which was to be my turn-around point, gasping and groaning to myself, and hobbled over to the swings, clutching my side as if it would help eradicate the stitch there.
“Never again…” I muttered to myself, as I did every time I decided to go against my better judgement and put on the trainers and tracksuit bottoms again. I stretched and yawned, my eyes streaming so that I had to rub my eyes like a fatigued child and blink a few times to get my vision back in working order. I hadn’t slept well for a long time due to recurring, strange nightmares that plagued me. Someone superstitious might have tried to read into them, or take some kind of warning, but I didn’t believe in anything supernatural.
I closed my eyes and lazily swung for a while, listening to music on my iPod which I had changed from the upbeat music one is supposed to listen to whilst running, to Tom Petty’s Free Falling. The sort of song that I often wanted to screech at the top of my lungs, but social etiquette usually didn’t allow such practices. And anyway, it pretty much summed up my life at the moment; free falling, going in no particular direction, both exhilarating and terrifying.
When I finally opened my eyes, I looked up at the darkened sky. The sun was completely covered with clouds, which made everything very gloomy indeed. I wondered whether it might rain and looked around, then jumped a little in surprise, although it shouldn’t have shocked me to see another person at the park. It was a tall man with blonde hair, who was staring at me intently. I smiled, a little nervously, and I saw his mouth move and his expression turn very serious. It took me a second to realise that he was talking, and that what he had to say was obviously important, but I couldn’t hear because of the music. I looked down to turn my iPod off, and I felt warmth on my back as the sun emerged from the clouds again. When I turned back to the man, he was gone. There was no way that he could have left in the seconds that I wasn’t looking at him. I sighed and rubbed my head, and put the little episode of what must have been a hallucination due to lack of sleep and an overactive imagination.
Shaken up, I briskly walked back home, constantly looking around. I had the feeling of paranoia, that someone was following me, which was ridiculous as there was no-one around. But I had goosebumps on my arms and a chill down my spine, which had nothing to do with the temperature. I was glad when I was finally through my front door, which I locked behind me, feeling somewhat safe in my own home. Sweaty and dirty, I decided that a shower was the thing that I needed to make me feel better. Under the hot water I relaxed, and most of my worries disappeared for that moment in time; however I couldn’t forget the man at the park who, no matter how much I tried to tell myself otherwise, seemed so real.