Story A Day, Day 29 – Second Chances

Header image by Anagoria under Creative Commons 3.0.

Priscilla stared at her ghostly hands in wide-eyed disbelief, trembling at her realisation.

She was fading away. The end of her second chance, her life as a ghost. Her true end.

She continued to tremble and begun to sob quietly, barely able to contain the wild panic she was feeling right now. In a desperate attempt to calm herself she walked to the edge of the viewing platform and collapsed to the floor against the railing, taking in her final view of Ferra Vale’s sunset before the end.

Slowly, she heard footsteps approaching slowly. It was Sylvain. He sat down next to her, still cautious.

Still in panic. Priscilla hugged him tightly the moment his knees touched the floor and attempted to hide herself in his chest and her long, slim black hair curled out, nearly lunging. Sylvain’s arms froze briefly and made a brief look of surprise on his face for nobody in particular before realising the nature of her reaction, then hugged her back. She was trembling violently now with each sob, flickering slightly in some places, most of all her hands and wrists. He wasn’t 100% sure what he would do would be the right thing, but he tried his best to comfort her.

“You’re here now. No more abominations roaming the streets at night, they’re gone. Nobody trying to take all our money. It’s safe. You’re here now, high up in Ferra Vale. The sky’s a bright orange, and the sun’s barely started falling below the vale.”

He wasn’t sure if what he said worked, but she repositioned herself still buried in his arms. Her crying subsided slightly for a few seconds before coming back worse than ever, Sylvain’s best guess being that she’d realised what she’d miss after she was gone. He tried again.

“It isn’t like this. We’ll see each other in the next life. Surely you’ve got so many memories of this one. What about when you brought Len’s oh so carefully designed plans crashing down around his head? Or even when you pretty much did it again in your second life and saw him throw a fit like a spoiled child?”

Priscilla laughed wildly at this, still crying as if unsure which of the two she felt like doing. She continued until she could barely breathe, and ceased crying and laughter to catch her breath. Eyes red and still watering, her hair curled haphazardly in all directions she looked up at Sylvain, their faces only inches away from each other.

She sighed and looked down briefly.

“I was so afraid when I died for the first time. I thought that would be the end. But what do I do now, Sylvain? Where do I go? I can’t think of anything beyond this. I was so happy for this second chance and now it’s over.”

He brought her in closer.

“Again, you shouldn’t think of it that way. It’s just like the first time. You think it’s the end, but it really isn’t. Don’t think of this as your end. We’ve been to hell and back. Like this is going to stop you. Just like-”

Priscilla leaned him and kissed him long enough to cut off the rest of the sentence and made a smile that looked pained but still showed her strength.

“I know my memories, silly. Living or ghost we could take on anybody.”

Sylvain smirked. “And this isn’t any different.”

He looked at the sunset and Priscilla followed suit. For a moment they both wanted to reposition themselves but feared doing so would ruin the moment and so remained where they were, and the discomfort melted away into nothing, as did voice during the next few minutes.

Sylvain stared at his translucent hand, and made his mind up. His hand started to flicker.

“You know what? If you’re going, I’m going.”

Priscilla gasped in surprise and looked at him, eyes still wet before showing her gratitude. Her reply was one remembered well by the stories told:

“We’ve banished abominations, we’ve taken down the most sinister of plots…”

Sylvain continued, smooth as the flow of the stream’s straight and steady advance through the woods:

“We’ve lived through two lives and we’ve conquered every challenge life and death has thrown at us. If I am to face what’s ahead. I want to do it with you.”

Their spectral forms shimmered before falling away, blown by the wind like dandelion seeds.

Stories say that they are reincarnated as two lovers in another place and before the beginning of a new cycle, their apparitions appear on the very same viewing platform in Ferra Vale at sunset. They replay this same scene over and over, recounting tales living and ghostly, believing their only lives to be the two they themselves lived, with no memory of each cycle, fading into the unknown together.

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