The spirit was sucked into the world and had less than a second to prepare before it slammed into a living body. It used the last remnants of its magic to pull itself inside the creature and take over. Once inside it stretched, trying to acclimatise to life again after centuries of being trapped in the netherworld. This new body felt...odd. The spirit knew it wasn't the one who had released him, otherwise he would feel the surge of power immediately. He couldn't feel much. He could feel the breeze and that it was a cold night, and that was all. He was strangely unaware of his surroundings. He couldn't see, he couldn't hear. He tried to move and found he could not. This was strange, he had never experienced anything like this in taking a body before. Could he have entered a dead or dying body? No that was impossible. He would have sensed that immediately. This creature was definitely living. He felt stronger already in just the few minutes he had been part of its life force. He summoned power to himself and muttered the words of a simple spell. This should return his senses to him.

In a moment he was able to see around him. He was in a graveyard. It was night. He couldn't see the one who had summoned him but he could sense her presence close by. He would have to find her, but that was impossible right now. It didn't matter, he could wait, build up his power, get to know this strange new time he had been catapulted into. His hearing was coming back now and he could hear a strange hum, he had no idea what that was. There were other more familiar sounds too, somewhere an owl hooted and a mouse screeched, the wind moaned as it blew through the trees. He could feel but not move. The wind felt strange as it blew past his skin. Except it didn't feel like skin. He was higher off the ground than he had been as a human. He couldn't feel a heartbeat. He turned his vision around and looked back at himself. If he had been able to speak he would probably have muttered some ancient curse.

The groundskeeper looked at the tree. The tree looked back at the groundskeeper. This old oak had been planted in the ceremony long before the old man was born. Despite living here all his life the groundskeeper had never felt like a true citizen of Spooksville. He was a cynic and rejected the ghosts and superstitions which the rest of the citizens loved. And now a tree was talking to him.

"Its finally happened Marty" he said to himself "You've finally lost it."

He looked down at the shovel in his hands. At sixty years old he prided himself in not having lost his muscular physique, the only reason he could keep on doing his physically demanding job. That wouldn't mean anything if he was due for a trip to the funny farm. He loved his job and didn't want to lose it, especially not after the arguments he had had with his employers over his retirement. But they couldn't get rid of him, he was the only person in Spooksville who would work in the graveyard. When they advertised the position the only people who applied had wanted the job so they could conduct midnight seances, commune with the dead, that kind of thing. Most of Spooksvilles citizens avoided the graveyard like the plague. That was the way Marty liked it. Since his wife died ten years ago he hadn't wanted to see anyone else. He talked to her sometimes, in the graveyard. But that wasn't crazy, because she didn't talk back. Unlike some trees he could mention.

"Got to stop talking to myself" he mumbled. He glared at the oak "Damn tree."

"Damn you, old man" the tree said back clearly.

"What?" Marty asked despite himself.

"Nevermind" said the tree "I have a proposition to make."

"Who's there" Marty asked, looking suspicious, he made a round of the tree, checking behind it.

"Satisfied?" asked the tree.

"That you're a talking tree? Hell no!" Marty said, looking closely at the tree. He muttered something about microphones.

"You waste time, human" the tree said impatiently "I need your help, to procure me a new body. In return I offer you riches and power beyond your dreams. Are you listening to me?" the tree shouted as Marty walked away.

"Goddamn talking trees, I knew it was a bad idea to use wood polish at night." He looked back over his shoulder. He could have sworn the tree waved one of its branches at him angrily. He walked back to his house at the edge of the graveyard, ignoring the cries of the oak tree behind him.

"So you're back" said the tree.

Marty took a deep breath. Having thought it over he was pretty sure he wasn't going insane. He stood in front of the tree. "So you're a..." he looked as though his next words were very difficult for him to say "a magic tree, right?"

"Yes, for now" said the tree "though I am actually a human. When I lived my name was Edward Kingswood. I was skilled in the use of voodoo and other magics. I was imprisoned in a jar by a vengeful witch for, I estimate, two hundred years. Earlier this night I was released from this prison and took possession of this tree."

"Well that explains a lot."

"And now I require you too find the one who released me, that I may possess this soul and have the power to take over the world."

"Right... and why should I do that?"

"I doubt you would have come here unless there was something I could offer you."

"Yes. You know a lot of magic. Voodoo, that's good." He paused.

"Yes?" said the tree.

"I want you to bring my wife back."

"Back from where?"

"The dead."

"Oh. Hmm... yes, I can do that. No problem. Just bring me the one who released me and you will have your wife back."

"Why can't you do it now?"

"I don't have enough power now. When I have control of the world I'll have enough power."

"Alright, so who released you?"

"I do not know her name. It was a young girl."

"There are lots of young girls in Spooksville and I don't know any of them."

"It is no matter. I do not require you to find her. I shall do that myself. I only require you to take me to a place where there are many people. A town square maybe?"

"How about the shopping mall? It's always full of people."

"Fine, we must go there now."

"But it's the middle of the night. There wont be anyone there."

"When do people gather there?"

"Well it opens at nine. In the morning" he clarified.

"Then we shall go then. And so will begin my plan to take over the world." The tree laughed an evil laugh.