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My feet hardly touch the ground as I run through the dark forest. A thick blanket of fog hovers a few inches off the ground, giving the usually comforting forest a sinister feel. The ground is bare and dry, with cracks spider webbing in several places. The trees are all withered, their branches drooping towards the ground, as if the tips were filled with lead.
I slow down to a walk as the ghost who summoned me comes into view. The closer I get to him, the thicker the fog becomes. He seems to be about eighteen, which is just a year older than me. His white blond hair hangs down over his forehead and his gleaming eyes are a vibrant electric blue. He’s tall with pale skin, which is the norm for both ghosts and seers, like me. He reminds me of the moon, eerily beautiful with his starry sky eyes and luminous moonlit skin. I was being reeled in by his gravitational pull.
The guy stood with his arms crossed over his broad chest, staring at me, his gaze alert and intense. I came to a stop in front of him and crossed my arms over my chest, mirroring his position, not really knowing what to say.
“Walk with me, Annie.” The mysterious figure said, with a half smile playing around the corners of his mouth. He turned around and started walking, not even giving me a chance to refuse or ask how he knew my name. I hurried along until I was walking beside him. He shot a sideways glance at me. My heart swelled and butterflies filled my stomach, then I mentally shook myself, feeling ridiculous for being so intensely attracted to a complete stranger. A complete stranger who just happens to be dead, or is he? He looks so alive with his bright blue eyes and confident stride, but a seer can only be summoned by a ghost or another seer and the only other seer I’ve ever met is my mother.
It takes every bit of my self control to keep from reaching out and touching him to see if my hand passes through his body. The dim light from the moon casts shadows on his face, making him look fierce.
He surprises me with his soft, musical voice. “My name is Silas. I just moved here with my brother. I’m a seer, like you.” He gifted me with a blazing smile, which sent my heart into spasms. Silas paused to brush a stray lock of chestnut brown hair behind my ear, causing me to blush heavily, then continued. “I summoned you here because I need your help. I need to find my fathers ghost and I think he may be lingering around here. I have been talking to the local shades, trying to get information and they told me to find you. Apparently you’re the go-to girl for all things concerning ghosts.”
“Yea, well, I’ve never really fit it well with the normal kids from school. I’ve always preferred talking to ghosts, their far more interesting anyway.” I admitted meekly. When he didn’t laugh or call me a freak, I decided it was safe to continue “I know most of the haunts around here so maybe I’ve seen him. What does he looks like?”
Silas launched into his description of a tall, burly man with a kind smile and laughing blue eyes named Joshua.
I nodded as I took the lead and angled us toward a different direction. “I’ve seen a man that fits your description perfectly. He stays at the old battle grounds not far from here.”
Silas beamed. “That’s great! A battle site, I should’ve known. He was always a history buff. Let me guess, it’s a civil war site, right? That was always his favorite subject.” With each step his excitement over possibly finding his dad increased and he kept up a steady stream of chatter.
After a while I finally worked up the courage to ask the questions that had been burning me up with curiosity. “What happened to your dad? Why do you have to find him?” I immediately felt embarrassed for being so nosy.
“Sorry, I shouldn’t have asked that. It was rude. You don‘t have to tell me if you don’t want to.” I quickly added.
Silas surprised me by reaching out and taking my tiny hand in his giant one. His hands were warm and I hoped he never let me go. “Annie, don’t be afraid to ask me anything. Your doing me a huge favor by helping me and I’m not going to lie to you or hide secrets. My father died in a car wreck a few years ago. After he died he remained close to our home, to watch over my mom, my brother and me.” He stared out at the forest, lost in memories. His voice had dropped into a whisper and I found myself leaning in, struggling to hear him over the sounds of the forest wildlife. “I inherited the sight from my dads side of the family, so my mother couldn't see him. A couple of years ago my mother remarried and it crushed him. He told me he was leaving so I could accept my step-dad as my new father. I begged him to stay and even after he refused I kept hoping he would come back. After awhile, it was obvious he wasn‘t returning. A few months ago, when my brother moved out, I went with him and we’ve been searching for our dad ever since.”
I squeezed his hand. “Silas, I’m so sorry about your dad. I’m sure he’ll be glad to see you.”
We exchanged our favorite ghost stories and legends as we walked. Once we reached the edge of the forest I gestured to the battle field and adjoining graveyard ahead of us. “I usually see your dad around here. There are a few civil war ghosts lingering here that fought in the battle that took place in this very field. He is usually with one of them”
Silas laughed. “That’s my dad. He probably Pesters the poor soldiers night and day.”
“Silas!?” We turned around to see Joshua behind us.
“Dad! I can’t believe that after eleven months of searching I’ve finally found you. Your tough to track down old man!” Silas shook his head in disbelief, staring at his father with a mixture of love, joy and relief.
It was obvious that Silas and his father had a close relationship before. They were both bursting with excitement as they caught each other up on what was going on in their lives, or in Joshua’s case, afterlife.
Feeling like an intruder, I wander over to the battle site memorial monument and busy myself with reading the inscription on it to give the reunited father and son a little privacy.
Later, as Silas and I were headed back to our houses, he took my hand again. I looked up at him and smiled.
“You know, now that I’ve found my dad, I’m going to be starting school over here soon.” Silas started nervously. “And I know that you said you don’t spend time with school people much, but I was hoping that maybe we could hang out some time. No wild ghost chases this time, I promise. Just two normal people enjoying each others company.”
I couldn‘t stop the giggle that escaped my mouth. “We’re hardly what I would call normal, but yes. I’d love that.”
Silas, feeling encouraged by my acceptance, draped his arm over my shoulders and smiled. “Being normal is overrated anyway.”