Site Write Challenge
Kahlilah (Lilah O'hara) responded
Your character is given a chance to recall one person from the dead. Who do they summon and what happens? Knowing that time is short before they have to return to the world beyond, what is the last thing you want them to depart with/knowing?
Chuck had replayed it over and over, not in his head, in his visions as he drifted on limbo. He was dragged out of his cell by two beautiful women in ceremonial black robes. It was winter, he had no shoes, but he had been so badly beaten he couldn't walk anyway.
He drifted in and out of consciousness, dried blood nearly blinding his vision as it caked down his forehead and lingered into his eyelashes. He could still see the barren trees as he was dragged, they were dead in the cold. The ground wasn't completely covered in snow, but the earth was frozen and brown.
They dragged him up to another small group of women, all in those same black robes, standing around a shallow open grave. Even they couldn't dig that far into the ground with it this frozen. Chuck was forced onto his knees before the grave, facing it, and caught a glint of his old hunting rifle in one of the women's hands. She was tall and slender with a beautiful ageless face, red hair like fire and eyes of a blue-green sea.
Those eyes... those eyes he had spent fifty years with. Eyes that were supposed to surrounded by pale, sagging skin and wiry, gray hair. Even in her prime Lilah wasn't supposed to look this good. Heck, she even had all her teeth and they were pearly white. He couldn't remember the last time Lilah had teeth.
When he felt the cold muzzle of the rifle touch the back of his bruised skull, Chuck assumed there was supposed to be some irony in her choice of weapon, but it was too complete an ending for him he didn't muse on it.
He heard his wife's voice behind him in a manner more seductive than any private, intimate moment they had spent together. "Goodnight, Chuck."
Then there was a loud bang, a pink flash of his own blood.
It was these images and others of his past that had kept the ghost company over the years. He wasn't sure why, or what to do with them, just that they were there, always, over and over like a record stuck on it's rim.
Then one day, Chuck was tugged out of his limbo and presented before the same beautiful woman that was his transformed wife. The warlock, he knew now, but didn't know how. Kahlilah. She was holding out a stone that swirled with something purple and black and demonic. Chuck assumed she had used some foul magic to bring him back.
Next to her were two others, always with the black hooded robes. The same forest, although it was springtime and the trees were just starting to cast shadows with it's leaves on this moon-filled night.
"Hello Charlston," the cool voice purred from plump, red lips. Like blood, he thought.
"What do you want?" the old ghost asked none-too-kindly.
"Where did you bury Brede and Nell?" came the response.
Chuck huffed, a sorry little laugh. "What? So you can dig them up, too, and use your fel magic on them? I don't think so, Lilah."
He saw the beautiful woman turn ugly in a sudden rage. Lines raised around her eyes and on the outside of her lips as she frowned. "Where are they?!" she snapped.
"What's in it for me?" Chuck raised his head, protruding his chin forward. Oh yes, he knew he had the advantage here. For a moment, he tried to move his limbs, too, only to realize he was not whole. He was just a ghostly spirit floating over his decayed corpse that lay in the open. They must have dug up his grave for this.
"You deserve your fate," Kahlilah spat, but this time more controlled. "Our children did not. Where are they?"
Chuck watched with a sort of bitter joy at the little crystal wavering in it's light, and Lilah's eyes growing in it's panic for an answer. He was sure there were only moments left before he was put back into his limbo, so only moments to decide which would be best. Nothing or the truth. Either would probably kill his murderer's plans. Whatever they were.
So, he decided. "At sea. I put them on a one of my old boats and let the current take them. Tied some stones to their feet and put a hole in the bottom," Chuck laughed bitterly at his old wife's anger.
He continued to laugh even as he faded out of the living world and back into his limbo. Even as the murder of two of his seven children began to replay, he at least had some satisfaction at seeing those angry blue eyes roar like a storming ocean.