The Plea- "Ghost Girl"
A little girl of the age five sat in the center of a sandbox entertaining herself by digging a hole to bury her barbie doll. Dark hair that shone in the sunlight with the colors of a rainbow framed an eerily pale face set with oak leaf colored eyes. She wore a red t-shirt with Mickey Mouse emblazoned on the front and blue jeans over her white Osh Kosh B'Gosh tennis shoes. She was singing a nonsensical song with the delight typical of children.
She did not mind the fact that she was alone. She had quickly become used to the other kids staying away from her. She wasn't even bothered whenever one of the other kids would call her "Ghost Girl." Her mother had always told her that if she ignored them they would go away. so far today it had been working.
A shadow fell cross the hole she was digging. She looked up, smiling in a friendly manner. A pudgy boy with four of his friends standing a few feet behind him was standing next to the sandbox's edge. Her friendly smile fades as she saw the look of trouble in his eyes. His wolfish grin broadened, sending chills of foreboding down her back. "Hey, Ghost Girl. Wanna play a game?"
"What kind of game?" she asked warily.
"The kind of game where we hit you to see if our fists go through you."
The girl didn't need anymore warning than that. She dashed to her feet and bolted as quickly as her little legs could carry her. She could hear their shouts and laughter as they chased her past the jungle gym and swings. Her chest ehaved, and her heair whipped straight back. Her cheeks were flushed, and she could feel her heart pounding violently. Something, some strange pressure was building slowly in the pit of her stomach. She did not know what the feeling was, but some instinct told her it should not be released. She got the feeling, however, that she wouldn't be able to stop it as the pressure grew steadily stronger.
Suddenly, she ran into a dead end. She turned, eyes desperately seeking an escape route. She stood with a chainlink fence to her back and two houses to either side of her. She had unkowingly run into a trap. The five bullies closed in on her, cutting off her last exit. She backed against the fence, trying to put as much distance between herself and them as possible. They advanced on her slowly, grinning those wolfish, hungry smiles of theirs. The pressure was growing even faster now, coinciding with her growing fear. She tried to hold onto it with all of her will, but she could feel it straining at the edges of her control. Then the leader punched her in the stomach. As the wind went out of her, so did the pressure.
White light exploded outward from her small form. The chainlink fence was disintegrated instantly. The five bullies were thrown backwards several yards, where they lay motionless. The light slowly faded back into the girl's body. She swayed and then fainted from a sudden swell of fatigue.
Across town in a white house with blue shutters a man felt a chill run down his spine. He sat up straighter in his chair. "Already?" he wondered aloud.
He had been expecting this feeling, if not so soon. As sirens wailed in the distance, he picked up the phone and hit two numbers. He listened for a moment before speaking into the phone. "Give me Nathan." He waited for another minute and then spoke two words, "She's awake."
After three more attacks with ten more children being put into the emergency room the girl's parents decided to homeschool her. The neighbors would eye her warily and pull their children closer to them whenever she walked past them. She was just as frightened as the neighbors and tried to stay in the house as much as possible.
Her parents did not understand it either, but her father began teaching her how to control her temper. There always seemed to be some hidden knowledge deep within his eyes.
One day while her parents were away shopping she called her only friend Jack to ask him to come play at her house. When the two of them went outside she suddenly stopped with an odd expression on her face. "What is it, Brook?" Jack asked.
"I don't know. I have this wierd feeling. . . I can't explain it. It's almost like an itch I can't scratch, except this feeling is inside me."
After a moment she shrugged it off, and they continued towards the back of the house. They played hide-and-seek and other children's games unti dusk when Brook's mother called them in for dinner. The entire time they were out there the feeling did not leave Brook. As she went inside she ooked around one more time, not really knowing what it was she was looking for but hoping for some sort of clue.
In the shadows of the trees behind Brook's house a seemingly young looking man pulled back further behind one of the trees as Brook's gaze swept past him. When the door closed he turned to leave. It would be up to him to keep an eye on her now. Keep her safe, Nitaro. She's our only hope.
Brook, now 16, was on cloud nine. The new guy in town had asked her out on a date. Michael Morelli was the definition of cool in every teenager's eyes. He drove a motorcycle, wore a black leather jacket and sunglasses all the time, and he had a way with the ladies. Every girl wanted a chance to date him, and every guy wanted a chance to kill him.
Then, he heard the stories of the "Loner Ghost Girl," and for some reason no one could fathom he became obsessed with finding her. One of the guys from the high school brought him to her hosue, hoping this would make him leave his girlfriend alone.
When the two were introduced Michael bent and kissed her hand. Brook was charmed. Before she knew what was happening she had agreed to a date that Friday night. Now, Friday had come, and she was desparately searching through her closet, not satisfied with any of the clothes she owned. Suddenly, in the middle of her frenzied search a cool thought occurred to her. What if he doesn't come? What if this is all just a joke?
The thought made her freeze. Had it all been a joke? It would make sense. Why would anyone want a date with the town freak? And the fact that Brent was the one who introduced them made her even more suspicious. Was thsi supposed to be revenge for putting him in the hospital when they were five? The doctors and all the parents had told her parents the kids had developed amnesia that blotted out the memories of her "attacks." That had been the reason no one pinned anything on her. In fact, the children who had ended up in the hospital were punished for picking on her. She had a sneaking suspicion her father had something to do with that, as he always came away from the meetings with the other parents with a small smile on his face that she did not understand.
But, could Brent have remembered despite the parents' reassurances? If the children really did remember they would want revenge. I won't take that chance. I'll just keep wearing what I am. And when he doesn't show I'll go out into town to the local hangout with Jack just to show them I didn't fall for their stupid prank.
Out of nowhere, that feeling of "that itch inside" returned full force. She had not felt it since that time when she was ten going outside to pplay with Jack. To describe it now she would say it felt like a pice of her was missing, but she could sense or feel it close by. It was as bizarre to her now as it had been at ten. Downstairs, the doorbell rang.
Brook tried to calm her heart, which had leapt into her throat. It's not him. See? Listen to how Father talks to the visitor as if he's an old friend. Calm down, Girl, and stop acting so foolishly, she chided herself.
"Brook?" her father called. "Could you come down here, please? There's someone I'd like you to meet."
"Coming!" she called back, hurriedly throwing the extra blouses back onto their hangers and into the closet.
She joined her father and his guest in the living room a minute later. when she locked eyes with the stranger she felt a jolt and felt as if she had found the source of "that itch inside." He appeared to be her age, maybe a year or two older. He had a pale face with high, prominent cheek bones, dark eyes, ans short, wavy, dark brown, nearly black, hair. His eyes . . . now, they were what caught her attention and held it. She had a strange sensation of passing through a millenia looking into those eyes. His black shirt clung to his broad chest, showing off his tight abdomen nicely. His blue jeans had to be snug-fit with the way they hugged his hips and legs. His feet were covered by black combat boots, which Brook found an odd choice but dismissed it.
What he saw was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life. The women from his home were beatiful, but this woman made them all look plain comparitavely. He felt a strange twinge at his center when he looked into her black eyes. Her raven colored hair was half up in a clip with the bottom half hanging down past her shoulder blades. She was tall and graceful, her shapely long legs were shown off nicely by her black skirt that was hanging down to her knees. She wore a rose red sleeveless shirt with it. She had a casual air about her, but there was a layer of cracling electricity beneath that exterior. Nathan Kaashaan, cool headed man that he was, fell hook, line and sinker that moment for a girl that was forbidden to him without even recognizing it.
"Brook, this is Nathan. Nathan, this is my oldest daughter, Brook. you met Jade outside, of course," Brook's father introduced them, looking at his oldest with fondness.
"Nice to meet you, Nathan," she said, her voice music to his ears.
"And you as well," he said, bowing to her.
She smiled. "And they say chivalry's dead," she murmured, eliciting a chuckle from her father.
"Weren't you going out tonight, Sweetheart?"
Her gaze darkened slightly. "He probably won't show up."
Just as she said that the doorbell rang again. Her father excused himself to go answer it. Brook sat on one of the couches and invited Nathan to sit as well, but he opted to remain standing. "Where do you go to school, Nathan?" she asked, curious.
He hesitated for a split second. "I'm . . . homeschooled I guess you would call it."
She brightened. "Really? I am too!" Her gaze darkened again immediately as if remembering why she had to be homeschooled.
Her father returned wiht a slight worried frown. A young man followed closely behind, dressed in a similar fashion to Nathan with an additionof a black leather jacket. As soon as the young man stepped into the room Nathan's mood darkened. There was something off about this guy. He could not quite put his finger on what was wrong, but he knew something was.
"Hello, Michael," Brook greeted the newcomer, getting to her feet.
Michael bowed over her hand and kissed it. "You look great! Ready to go?"
"Sure!" She kissed her father on the cheek. "Bye, Dad! We'll be back by ten, I promise."
"I promise too," Michael chimed in.
"Okay. Brook, may I speak with you for a second before you go?"
"Of course. I'll be right there, Michael."
He shrugged and went outside. Nathan looked through the window and saw him standing next to a motorcycle, smoking a cigarette. He tried to shake off the feeling that something bad was going to happen. "Yes, Dad?" Brook was saying behind him.
"Be careful with this one, Brook. I don't like the feel of him," her father said, voice full of concern.
Brook laughed. "Oh, Dad, you always worry so much. Relax! I'll be careful, I promise."
"Okay. I love you, Daughter," he said and kissed her forehead.
"Love you too!" she said and practically danced out the front door.
Nathan continued to watch out the front window. He saw her say something to Michael, a disgusted look on her face. He quickly put out the cigarette and said something, face apologetic.
Brook's father joined Nathan at the window. "Be careful, Nathan," he warned.
"About what?" Nathan asked.
"I saw the look in your eyes when you saw her. Don't let the Elders get wind of your feelings or you'll be sent to The Desert for the rest of eternity."
Nathan arched an eyebrow. "You're not telling me to free myself of these feelings?"
He shook his head. "No, I would be a hypocrite if I did. I don't regret marrying Marie and having Brook and Jade. If somehow I get caught I'll accept the punishment without remorse for my crime. I love Marie, and I don't regret that one bit. If you decide to give in to your feelings you had better be damn sure you believe the gain outweighs the cost. Otherwise, you'll get the punishment without any source of reconciliation." The older man's gaze took on a faraway look. "We were wrong about them, Nathan, so very wrong. The Elders have no idea what the reality is here."
Nathan gasped. "That's blasphemy, Vrakshaan!"
He looked grim. "Don't use that title here. Yes, I know what it is, Nathan. It doesn't matter anymore." He sighed heavily. "I have a feeling my time here is almost over, Nathan. When I first saw that boy I saw my end here."
"What is he, Sir?"
"He's human, but he's got their taint from the olden days. Keep an eye on her when I can't. I want you to come over every day. Take her out, get her to trust you. When my time is up you will have to take over her training. You will be the one responsible for telling her the truth."
"That is a heavy burden, Sir."
The other man's gaze snapped onto Nathan. "Are you suggesting you can't handle it, Laeshaan?"
Nathan stiffened. He bowed. "It would be an honor to accept this duty, Sir."
The older man nodded once. The two fell silent, staring out the window.