Some said what I had was a curse. Most others said it was a gift. I only really saw it as a major nightly annoyance. When I was little I dreaded going to sleep and having nightmares. I used to wake up in tears, still hearing their awful voices, still smelling their foul breath, still feeling like slimy hands were clutching onto me. Now the dreams are nothing more than lost hours of sleep in my mind.
You see I can see the dead. I was born with the ability, nothing I can do about it. Adults tell me that in old times masters of this sight used to be able to see transparent ghosts at all hours of the day. I'm glad I can't. Isn't the spirits interrupting my sleep enough, I really don't need them bugging me while I'm trying to sit through a potions lesson as well.
Most of the adults don't appreciate my take on these powers. "Why don't you understand how special this gift is?" They would ask me. "Why do I have to let something I have no control over dictate my life?" I would argue back. This was usually followed by a long lecture on the evils of my generation and how I should be grateful for what I have. I've learned to tune this part of the conversation out.
I just don't understand what everyone thinks is so special about my gift. It's not like I've ever been able to help any of these nighttime phantoms. As far as I can tell the only thing I've ever been able to do is royally tick them off. I've woken up with enough cuts and bruises to tell me that.
But that's enough background it's time to start the story...
It was the beginning of December. Everything was cold and dead and buried under several feet of snow, this time of the year was a haunting hot spot. I usually got twice as many dreams that were about ten times as intense as usual. So I wasn't surprised when after I fell asleep I suddenly found myself in a small claustrophobic cave. Whispers in every language filled the small space. The small fire that was burning low in the center of the floor was throwing off unnaturally thick shadows that seemed to slither along the walls. I felt the fire giving off a cold fierce enough to freeze my breath.
I slowly approached and the fire grew, the cold intensified. When I was about a foot away from the inferno I saw what looked like the figure of a young girl trapped in the heart of the flames. She made eye contact, her irises were a deep and shocking blue. She opened her mouth and let out a scream that shook the very walls of the cave.
I woke up gasping in a cold sweat and cursing under my breath. That had been the worst one of the night. I looked at the other girls in my dormitory. They were all fast asleep. Good, I hadn't woken any of them again. I threw back the covers and the hangings. It was cold outside the comfort of my bed, but I needed to walk around a bit before I went back to sleep. I made my way over the window in hopes of getting a vague idea of the time, but I found the window seat taken by a small figure with honey blonde hair, sharp blue eyes. I noticed burn scars along the side of her face and up her arms.
She leaped up and clapped a hand to my mouth to block my scream. The girl I had seen in the fire was in my dorm and by the looks of it, very much alive.
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