Ghost needs to go.
Davina blasted victoriously from the depths of the earth and landed elegantly on the clearing forest floor. The gust of wind dispersed and whistled past all the dormant Goyles. Ghost’s hair blew across his face as the gust of wind raced past. He opened one eye and was not impressed. The oak tree above him was supposed to protect him and the dormant Goyle next to him didn’t move. What use was that?
Davina paused, inhaled the fresh air and felt the sun on her face. Something smelt horrendous. Yuck! She was dripping with rancid-smelling worm slime. That smell travelled on the breeze towards Ghost. As soon as the rotten stench violated his nostrils, Ghost began to retch. Davina stood before him reeking of something he could not name and did not want to name. In addition to that, she was covered in manky slime and was looking full of herself. The white staff with the multi-coloured flame was probably something to do with it.
‘Oh here we go! Who is looking all smug’ said Ghost feigning a yawn. ‘This whole thing is getting weirder and weirder. Erghhh! You really stink!’
‘Worm juice,’ Davina replied awkwardly, scraping some of the dripping tendrils from her chin. Davina wiped herself down but looked fidgety. ‘I need the toilet,’ she said. ‘I’ll be back in a moment.’
Ghost frowned. ‘Aren’t you going to tell us what happened?’
‘I will in a mo, I just need to…’ She tilted her head to the right and gestured.
‘What?’ he enquired.
‘Ghost face the other way,’ Davina insisted.
Ghost did as he was told and faced the tree while Davina hid amongst the foliage.
‘I have just seen the ugliest creature alive,’ declared Davina as she emerged from behind a bush.
‘Yeh right,’ snorted Ghost. He had already rolled back into his sleeping position and fully intended to nap as soon as he could.
‘It was like a snake and a worm with loads of mouths and voices.”
Ghost rolled onto his front and propped his chin on his hand and watched Davina continue.
“It was so horrid… it had all these nasty voices kept making all these cruel comments… Then it attacked me.’ Davina re-enacted a back flip and then sat down as if it was the most normal thing.
‘Well I had a little nap.’ Ghost enacted rolling over and going to sleep.
‘Aren’t you interested?’ half smiling at Ghost and his performance.
Ghost pouted, he looked tired and grumpy.
‘Look, okay Ghost, you rest for a short time…’ plotted Davina. “I’ll have a wash then we’ll prepare to move out tonight.’
‘Can’t we have a full night’s sleep?’ pleaded Ghost.
Davina shook her head sadly. ‘We are too close to the Atrox Ghost. There are now twenty of them and when they escape they will tell the Chimera where we are. We have to move as soon as the sun sets.’
Ghost shifted to sitting cross legged. ‘That makes no sense though.’ He said unconsciously shaking his head.
‘When is the best time to attack Ghost?’
‘At night?’ he guessed.
‘So when is the best time to be on the move?’ continued Davina.
‘Erm… I have been thinking…’ Ghost said timidly.
Davina paced anxiously, she anticipated what he was going to say.
‘Can’t you just leave me or get one of the Goyles to take me back?’ He blurted, avoiding direct eye contact with Davina.
A look of hurt appeared on Davina’s face. ‘I don’t get it… I thought you wanted to be part of this.’
‘Well while you were away I had some time to think and I just don’t want to die yet.’ He made a loud huff. ‘Anyway, who said I wanted to be involved in all this weirdness in the first place?’
Davina didn’t want to get into an argument with Ghost but she also didn’t want him to leave. Ghosts eyes were tired, it was obvious he’d had enough.
‘I would prefer it if you stayed Ghost,’ she said patting his arm affectionately. ‘But you do what you need to do. Here is your food. You take one of the Goyles and fly home.’ Davina delivered the words bravely but as she walked away tears welled up in her eyes. She walked over to a nearby oak tree and rested her head against the trunk, her heart was heavy with sadness.
Ghost was visibly relieved and his shoulders dropped. He glanced at the orange algae poking from his bag, dipped in his finger and ate some. The tangy mash tingled on his tongue.
Davina played with the Shamaventus; whenever she tapped it, the staff shot coloured lights at various targets. When the lights made contact with objects, they had strange affects –many completely transformed. Admittedly, Ghost was curious. He hadn’t seen anything like it… although, he hadn’t seen flying rocks called Gargoyles before, and look at the trouble they had caused him.
‘I thought you were leaving,’ said Davina looking up. Ghost was transfixed by the lights coming from the staff.
‘I am,’ he replied as he gradually packed up his things and turned towards the forest. He hesitated before he cautiously walked towards the dense mass of trees.
‘I said you could take a Goyle and fly.’ Davina called after him.
‘No you’re okay. I just thought about it… and I don’t like flying,’ Ghost replied flatly.
‘Ghost why are you so scared of everything?’
‘I’m not scared!’ he defended.
‘You are too! You don’t like flying. You don’t like the Goyles and you don’t like this adventure.’ A lump formed in Davina’s throat as she fought back her tears.
‘I do like the Goyles.’ Ghost paused and turned to look at Davina. Her upset was obvious.
‘Then why are you leaving? I thought we were in this together…’ She trailed off…
Ghost shook his head remorsefullly. ‘Look we haven’t all been bought up to deal with this kind of stuff. Imagine if you had grown up with normal parents who didn’t want you because they thought you were bad luck and now look at the situation I am in. I am about to enter a war with some flying stones. What if my parents did want me back? If I told them about this they would think I was mad and send me away again. I just want to have a home and feel safe. There is nothing wrong with that!’
Suddenly something added up for Davina. ‘Is that what all this is about?’ she said realising Ghost’s confession. ‘You want your parents to take you back?’
Ghost rearranged the grass with his foot. He couldn’t look at Davina, he just wanted a home with parents and to be normal. That was the truth. Davina stood up from beneath the oak and walked towards Ghost. ‘What if you saved the planet? Maybe your parents would want you back then.’
Ghost shrugged, ‘I have to get over this. I want to go home but I don’t have a home – do you know what that feels like?’
‘I don’t really remember how anything feels because I have no memory Ghost. I am sure it must feel painful,’ she replied honestly.
Ghost put his hands in his pockets and paced.‘I’m so confused. I just want to go home but I know you need me. What if I die and never see my parents again?’ he asked.
‘Ghost you mustn’t think like that… I don’t need you. Not if that’s how you feel. So if you want to leave then leave. You have to be free to make your own choices…’ Davina trailed off unhappily.
Ghost made a sigh which revealed he had given in. ‘Davina I really want to go back. I want to be normal again. I want to forget this ever happened. In fact I want to be like you and have no memory.’
‘Having no memory isn’t fun – you wouldn’t know who you were. Right go then and Ghost you will never be normal and you should never want to be normal…’ Davina cried. ‘Just be you, because that is good enough! Now enjoy your journey. Just walk straight and you’ll find your way but I warn you it will be a very long journey on foot.’
‘I have enough food for five days don’t I? Plus I have this new vision so reckon I will be able to find a town or city within four days.’
‘Just make sure you use your new sight properly and Ghost search for direction when you need it. Alternatively, I could send you by wind if you want – it would be faster,’ she offered.
Ghost looked bemused while he considered how strange it would look to arrive home on a gust of wind.
‘You can ride it like surf,’ said Davina trying to entice him.
He considered the offer and smiled. ‘No I will walk. I need to practice being normal and living on human terms.’
There was a turgid silence between them. There was so much to say but it wouldn’t change things. Davina gazed at the horizon, the sun was about to make its decent. She looked over at Ghost who seemed to be stalling. ‘You had better go now then, while you still have some light. Take your pack and find a place to camp – the way I showed you remember?’
Ghost nodded reluctantly and picked up his knapsack. The dark forest was going to be testing, but it was either that or a full blown battle with unimaginably ferocious creatures. At least with this option he had some chance of survival in the forest.
Davina watched Ghost assemble his stuff. She wanted to tell him how much she had enjoyed sharing her adventure with him. There was so much she wanted to say, instead she bit her lip and fidgeted. She was going to miss him.
Ghost realised it was probably the last time he would see Davina. He patted her on the shoulder. He couldn’t hug her, he certainly wouldn’t kiss her, so a friendly pat was the parting touch before he strode towards the forest.
‘Good-bye,’ whispered Davina.
Ghost turned, gave an apologetic smile and waved.
As soon as Ghost stepped across the boundary of the forest he realised that he had just made a massive mistake.