My past, at least what I could remember of it, wasn't exactly one I was proud of.
Yes, I had paraded around for a period of time as a 'paranormal investigator' and promised, for large sums of money, to rid people of the spirits plaguing them.
Being a skin splitter didn't simply mean draining things while they were There; anything that originated from There (even if it was Here) was fair game to leech off of.
Splitters weren't the only things that could get from Here to There-things from There had been able to permeate the veil separating our worlds for centuries.
Ghosts, poltergeists, spirits, djinns, fairies, goblins, slenderman, whatever name each particular society and time chose to give the witnessed creatures from There.
I liked to call them silk spinners-because of how, with time, their existences weaved larger and stronger, and how I'd witnessed many that looked like horrendously large spiders, descending from the sky on silver threads that only I could see because of my link to There. Someone once told me that the threads were the fates of each and every living thing, the very material that composed the barrier between our worlds, and that my 'silk spinners' had the ability to use fragile destinies as a bridge to cross to our side.
But silk spinners were only a small portion of the natives of There; most stayed in their homes, lived their lives with good or bad just as we did, and didn't do a thing to bother us.
It was only when they were journeying Here that they started to look like spiders instead of limitless forms, turning into shapeless lumps like a sideways snowman with hundreds of spindly legs carrying its massive body that was an almost luminescent colour, like the reflection of light on the surface of a pearl, that had no real categorization in human terms.
Yes, they were beautiful. But soon after they arrived the silk spinners had to enter physical hosts to exist on our plane any longer. People, objects, even houses.
Some were simply curious and left soon after they saw our world. Others didn't.
Namely the one I had just drained for the second time.
The case was freshened in my memory, all of the strange happenings reported by a family after they had moved into a vintage house from the 1800s.
Things moved or thrown around, strange voices and even knives being rearranged into patterns, not to mention the fact that the youngest son, maybe a few years old, would get out of his crib at night and stare at a certain corner of the house.
I'd showed up, drained the dark energy I picked up on, the weird things stopped, I got my money, case closed.
But what was this then? If the silk spinner I'd obliterated with my persistent leeching had survived, did that mean it...wasn't one? Could it have, instead of being from There, have been from Here and then somehow separated from its original material form?
Was it a...ghost? One that I had discouraged from haunting the house, and instead got it to haunt me?
But I knew for a fact that I couldn't siphon energy from things that came from Here. This had to have passed through There at some point for it to be possible.
So now I was dealing with some creepy psychopath who was also probably immortal and immune to my life-juice sapping.
As if things wouldn't get any worse.
But, naturally, they did.