7 May 2006

This is the first time I uploaded a Word document onto ff, so I am not sure if everything will come out as it should.

Disclaimer: No Rest for the Wicked ( w w w . f o r t h e w i c k e d . n e t ) is owned solely by Andrea L. Peterson. When I'm Sixty-Four is by The Beatles, copyright Apple Records 1967.

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Yours Sincerely, Wasting Away

-?-?-?-?-

It was a rather strange day. It was one those days where it was bright as if the sun was out, but the skies were grey, ready to drizzle. The air was cool, but the breeze was warm. At one moment everyone shivered and reached for something wooly, the next moment they were drinking down icy water. Yes, it was a strange day, and made even stranger by the sudden haunting of one house.

Now, these folks were no strangers to the heebie-jeebies. On a weekly basis, if not daily, they encountered some sort of ghost or restless bones clattering about. They had become used to the evil presences, knowing when one came and what to do. What they did was ask the Boy to reside within the haunted home or garden or whatever for one night. By morning, the spook was gone.

They had gone along their lives, and knew by this strange weather that there a big haunting. They expected a slew of ghosts ready to be excorcised in whichever manner the Boy chose. Nothing out of the ordinary, no sir; everything was as it was supposed to be, except for the spook.

The spook in question was unidentifiable. They couldn't tell if it was the Devil's minion, or if it was just a powerful ghost. No one could tell if was a man or a woman. Some said that it was a woman because it sobbed and cried like one. Some said that it was man because it raged like one. The others went to the Boy and begged him to help.

The strange thing about the Boy was not that he literally didn't know what fear was (not that wasn't strange), but because he was able to survive through the night with the worst things imaginable from the most twisted nightmares. He would survive and stroll back out with a slight frown and a small complaint on rudeness.

It was almost comical at times, but he had become so useful that they showed respect towards him and his family. He was a dumb one, but he was kind and always eager to help.

It was also mentioned amongst young ladies that he was particularly good-looking.

A group of people came to him, asking for help with this nasty ghost. He grinned and agreed, taking with him a portion of food and good spirits. They led the way, explaining carefully that the family had evacuated due to the unruly ghost and its evil powers. They explained anything and everything, hoping that they hadn't missed a detail.

The Boy nodded. His grin was gone, but the rest of his face said different. His recklessness scared all of them, but could they do? They wandered off, returning home, hoping that he wouldn't fail them.

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Someone was there. Emily stepped lightly, barely disturbing the dusty floor, and tread silently towards the door and to the soft, pale light. She peered out, surprised to see a roaring fire.

Emily pushed her ebony hair out of her face, clutching the door frame. What should she do? She stepped out into the hallway cautiously, padding towards the roaring flames. It looked rather pretty, or maybe that was just her strange mind. Emily shook her head. Such thoughts, really, where in then world did she come up with these things?

"Hello!"

Emily froze, frightened. She dragged her unwilling eyes away from the fire and towards the voice. Who was this stranger? He was a young man -strong, with blonde hair- who was sitting in the main room, smiling as if he hadn't a care in the world.

"Good evening," she replied quietly, suddenly wary.

His smile grew ever so slightly. "Have you seen the spook?"

"The what?" she asked.

"You know, the ghost?" he clarified.

"No!" Emily replied, bewildered.

He slumped a little. "Shame." He looked at her and then brightened up. "Why don't you come by the fire? It's real cold right now and the fire is nice and warm."

Emily felt the smallest of smiles creep into her lips. There was some strange innocence within this young man, and such happiness, that she found herself sitting next to him with her arms around herself.

For some reason, she couldn't feel the cold or the heat.

"Why are you here?" she asked, watching the flames intently.

"I came here to find the heebie-jeebies."

"You already told me that," she said. The fire stirred something within her, something painful and ugly.

She didn't have to look at him to see his shoulders shrug. Her grey eyes hardened.

"Say," he said after a moment. "Have you seen a spook? I was told that it was a right evil thing that made lots of noise."

Emily flinched. Tears boiled within her eyes, prickling her lids.

"Are you okay, Miss?" he asked.

She nodded. Emily clutched her self, digging her nails into her skin. She couldn't feel any pain. An icy tear tumbled down her trembling skin.

The scream swelled within her. A horrible shriek was ringing in her ears.

All of it quieted. The young man was wiping away the frigid tears, his skin too hot against her skin.

Why was she so cold?

Emily looked at him, looked at his concerned blue eyes.

"Will you be alright, Miss?" he asked, still ever-so-polite.

Emily nodded, leaning against him. He was warm, like fire. Something shrieked at her, shrieked for her to get away and go to safety. Stay away from the roaring fire; try not to be a hero that will remain ashes forevermore.

She felt his arms -warm, safe- around her slight shoulders as she shut her eyes to sleep. Tonight, she felt more happy than she ever did. But she could see the angry fire spitting, killing. She could feel it crawl across her skin and into her bones. She shrieked for help, for water. She shrieked louder, the sound coming from deep within her form. Cold tears, each one more cold than the next, streamed down her aching cheeks.

All the while, the young man whom she didn't know, stayed there holding her without hearing a single sound fall from her lips or had seen a single tear slide down her cheeks. He held her until he, too, fell asleep.

-?-?-?-?-

The Boy awoke to harsh morning light to find that she had gone without a word and without a noise, leaving his skin cold for a moment or so.

He gathered his things, confused. He hadn't seen a single spook. Maybe it had gone away before he had come. He went back home, asking for the young woman whom he had spent the night holding.

Emily, with long, black hair and unusual grey eyes, had died by fire three years ago tomorrow.

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I had felt like writing something mildly fluffy involving the Boy and a ghost. I got the idea from the line "Yours sincerely, wasting away" and from a vote incentive. I am a little worried that the Boy didn't have a big enough role.

This is yet another result of a late-night writing binge. I have been a good girl thus far and have avoided such writing. I apologise for any and every mistake that still remains here.

Reviews are appreciated, both negative and positive.