What Ghost

Free Falling

“Cronus?” you called, kicking the front door shut behind you. You took your bag off of your shoulder and dug through it until you produced your flashlight, but before you could even turn it on, Cronus appeared with a candelabra filled with lit candles.
“hey Kanny” he smiled at you, and the two of you instantly travelled up the large staircase and into his room, where you flopped down onto the edge of the now familar bed. You slept here just as often as you did at your actual house, so no cloud of dust rose to greet you. You began pulling things out of your backpack, including your ipod, the book and the sage stick. You had read a small bit off the book before you came over, just enough to make sure you knew what to do. Cronus was instantly playing with your ipod, pulling up a song and tapping along, standing up and dancing around the room by the first chorus. You smiled slightly, rolling your eyes at him and you plunged deeper into your bag, searching for something you didn’t carry often. after a few minutes, you produced the small silver lighter that you had hidden in your room for years for when porrim came over. even though you constantly chastised her for smoking, that didn’t stop you from keeping the lighter. You flicked the metal wheel, expecting the small flame to erupt, but nothing. You tried again, and again, nothing. It sounded empty when you shook it, you sighed in exasperation and tossed it across the room, it landing in the chair by the fire place. Cronus took notice and came over, locking the ipod so the music shut off.
“Kankri?” she asked your name, sinking against the mattress beside you.
“The lighter wouldn’t work, do you have one?” Cronus laughed and pointed at the light candelabra. and suddenly you felt a little stupid. laughing it off, Cronus brought over the candle holder, and you held the smudge stick against the flame until a steady smoke rose from it. it gave off a sickly sweet scent, and you gagged a little at the first inhale. You walked slowly around the room, letting the smoke fill the room and rise up. You turned to find Cronus still intact, staring at the smoke with raised eyebrows.
“do you feel anything?” you asked, and he shook his head, he crossed to the door and called out for Meenah, who came up through the floor.
“what the shell do you want” she crossed her arms and flopped into the chair with the discarded lighter. she frowned when she felt it, reaching beneath her and tossing it aside.
“Do you feel anything?” you asked her and she raised an eyebrow at you
“no, am i supposed to?” she asked, running one of her braids through her hands. You looked at Cronus and the both of you shrugged, Meenah looked up and frowned at the smoke. Opening the window beside her, she stood and headed for the door, passing Cronus with
“Cronus, you know what they say about cigarettes, they’ll kill ya” and she faded away with a laugh that still hung in the room.
“well, that sucked” you tossed the remainder of the sage stick, preparing to dig through the book until you find an answer when you realized the herbs sickly sweet scent ha clung to you.
“Don’t vworry about it Kanny, if evwery porkchop was perfect, wve wvouldn’t havwe hotdogs” Cronus said as he jumped and landed in the center of the bed, already unlocking your IPod and resuming the video.
“Cronus, i’m going to go take a shower, i smell like that stuff now” you said, collecting your bag from the floor. Cronus waved you off with a see you when you get out and began singing along to the video, you couldn’t help but smile at the dorkiness of your best friend, and you fleetingly thought for a second if him and Porrim would get along.
The thought passed as quickly as it came as the smell of the sage threatened to make you sick. You made it to the main floor, taking the stairs a little harder than normal, including the ones leading downstairs. You had to turn your flashlight on at this point, you made it hastily down one flight of stairs and made it to the first landing, you glanced down the empty hall before thudding down the second set of stairs. The stairs creaked more than normal, but you brushed it off as you hadn’t been this way in a while.
You suddenly realize that you made a grave mistake, as you are now laying flat in your back, staring at a fresh, kankri sized hole in the staircase above you. You flashlight had landed near you, but had turned off. You rubbed at your back, grumbling to yourself as you reached out to grope for your flashlight. You fingers enclosed around the cool thickness of the flashlight, but you couldn’t find the switch. the more you felt it, the more confused you became, you brought it close to your face. Surely the switch was here some ARE THOSE BONES You let out a small scream and flung the thin bone away from you, scrambling back until you hit the wall, you found your flashlight beside you, shakingly flicking it on, you shined it and sure enough, meters away from you, laid a small skelton, the thick dress had mostly decomposed around the slight frame. You started to panic, you needed to get Cronus.
“Cronus?!” you shouted as best you could at the hole
“Kankri?” a voice asked, but not Cronus’s. You turned and sen Feferi standing beside you, looking at you in puzzlement.
“Feferi, i need cRonus’s help to get out of here, there are bones in here” you whispered to her, scared of your own voice and afraid the bones would hear. You shined the flashlight over and showed Feferi, and she instantly perked up.
“Kankri, that’s me!” she rushed over to the skeleton and sat crossed legged beside it, placing one of her tiny fish on the rib cage.
“what?” you eventually managed
“these are my bones, thats me” she repeated, picking up the creaking arm and staring at a object that rested loosely against one of the fingers. she plucked it off and held it in her hands, smiling at it.
“I remember now” she told you quietly, you carefully sat near her. Feferi or not, you weren’t thrilled by the idea of being so near a skeleton.
“what do you remember, Fef?” you asked, she smiled at you
“I remember how i died”
“it was a really hot day, i mean it was so hot outside, so Eridan and i were playing inside that day. Mom was gone, and Cronus and Meenah were out. Uncle was the only one around, but he was locked in mom’s office” Feferi began as she held in one hand the object she pulled form the bones and in the other, the slim, bony hand it came from.
“We we’re playing hide and seek, i hid upstairs, but Eridan found me pretty easily, and we started running, Ms Rosa always said not to run in the house, but she wasn’t there that day either, she went with mom. I lost Eridan on the second floor, and i made it upstairs to the balcony outside the back yard” small tears welled in her eyes at the memory
“it’s not his fault, and i don’t think he knows that” and to add to your complete and utter horror, Feferi began to cry. You hugged her as she cried, and after a long ten minutes, he sobs turned into hiccups and she pushed away from you slightly. not leaving the embrace but not leaning on you entirely anymore.
“I fell, from the balcony that day, I remember falling, it was the most terrifying peaceful thing, i remember the blue sky above me, the feeling of falling, but i didn't even have time to be afraid. I was falling and then nothing, this darkness that i couldn’t escape, and then i woke up in my bed in the house, I thought it was all a dream, but i couldn’t find anyone that day, so i just played by myself, they came home several days later, by then i had kinda pieced together what had happened”
she wiped the tears from her face, and when she smiled at you, she looked so much older than an eight year old that your heart broke, you hugged her again and this time she hugged you tightly and pressed the small, cool object into your hand.
“Give this to Eridan, and tell him it’s not his fault, and that i love him, all of them”
She hugged you again and giggled as she disappeared, waving at you as she went. You sat there for a second before you started to call for her, but she didn’t respond or come back. Meenah did poke her head in the hole and laugh at you,
“I can’t believe you fell through the stairs, guppy. c’mon, up you go” she smiled as she offered her hand down, you clutched the object and used your free hand to grab Meenah’s, she hauled you up with ease. slapping you in the back when she got you level. She began a witty remake again but you cut her off.
“Meenah, i’m so sorry” she raised an eyebrow
“for what, the staircase? it’s fine” she shrugged and stood, helping you stand you stopped her.
“It’s Feferi, i’m sorry” you tried to start again
“what, did Fefi pull a prank on you, don’t worry Guppy, she’s just takes after me” she laughed and you shook your head.
“Meenah, I’m sorry, she’s gone” Her laugh died out and she stared at you confused
“what do you mean gone”
You held up the small object into the beam of the flashlight, it turns out it was a small ring, silver with a purple gem in the middle. Meenah’s jaw dropped and she started stammering, none of her sentences coming out right when you Eridan shout from behind you.

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