Phantasm

I never truly left this world. My ghost remained, and somehow, I wasn't surprised. There were so many other things I had to do. I couldn't leave this world yet. I was a ghost, a phantasm, a shadow of someone who once lived a very wicked life. So here I was, circling the place where my body once hung from the rafters. Applewatch.

At first glance, this place appeared to be a warm, welcoming place. I knew better. This was nothing but a blight on the site of a cold and unwelcoming region. It snowed today, just like it did yesterday, and the day before that. Snow was transient, cold, ruthless. And as I closed my transparent eyes, I knew that Applewatch was the perfect place for me to die. I, like snow, was cold, ruthless… transient.

And the only person I ever cared about, ever truly cared about, was as shattered and broken as the windows of this rural farm. She was my Silencer, a woman with pitch-black eyes and a halo of platinum blonde hair. A small, sad smile appeared on my face. Her hair was also like snow, it was white, cold-looking, yet I knew better. Her hair was warm, and her eyes would crinkle in joy every time she saw me.

She loved me, secretly loved me, and I knew the whole time. And I loved her. This was why I was so angry when I thought she had betrayed me, betrayed our Brotherhood. For a split second, I tried to hate her for her betrayal. But I couldn't. And that made me angry. But she was not a traitor and even now I tried to hate myself for doubting her.

She was Listener now, and she often visited this shattered farm. She had dug me a grave, and every week, a fresh bouquet of Nightshades and Lilies were placed there. I knew full well that coming to this place pained her greatly, but she paid her respects, through tears and petals of Nightshades and Lilies. Even now, as I ran a hand over the cold gray stone, I wished I could see her… and tell her how I feel.

But that was something I didn't even do when I was alive.

I doubted my Silencer, The Listener, would be able to see me. I was a phantasm; I was supposed to remain transparent, invisible to the naked eye. But that didn't stop me from wishing. That was the last thing I wanted to do here, and only then would I pass to the other side.

Please, please Sithis let her come…

I almost jumped as the sound of thudding hooves reached my acute ears. And for that, I laughed at myself. A phantasm, a ghost, a shadow… was jumping at nothing? I almost believed that my intelligence had dropped when I'd died as well. Bristling, I remembered that Arquen ate my brains, so it would or could actually make sense.

The thudding hooves came closer and closer, until they came to a complete halt, and I watched as my horse, my Shadowmere, came into view. She tossed her midnight-colored mane over her shoulder, and her red eyes glittered like beautiful rubies in the snow. But it was not Shadowmere's beauty that caught my eyes…

It was hers…

My Silencer quickly dismounted Shadowmere in a wave of black robes. Her hood was down, and I could see the platinum halo of her hair. A sad little smile appeared on my lips.

Sithis had granted my wish.

She seemed to not have noticed me, as she tethered Shadowmere to the rotting fence, her heavy-lidded black eyes unfocused and dark as she went from the rotting fence to Shadowmere's saddlebags. She had come to replace the wilting Nightshade and Lilies on my grave. How would she react when she saw me? And more importantly, could she see me?

That was when she lifted her head.

The bouquet dropped to the snowy ground, scattering purple and red everywhere. She seemed frozen, even hesitant as she approached me.

She mouthed, unable to speak,

"…Lucien?"

I stood stock-still, waiting for her at my grave. She approached me slowly, as if I were a bird prepared to take off into the sky. But I remained there, watching my Silencer raised a black gloved hand to touch my cheek.

My eyes closed as her touch went straight through me. I was a phantasm, and I couldn't be ravaged anymore. I opened my eyes, looking into hers as they filled with tears.

"Lucien…"

I didn't know what set me off, but I grabbed her shoulders, my touching not going through her, and brought my ghostly lips upon hers. A second passed, and I released my Silencer, saying very simply,

"This is your reward, Silencer, for your love and devotion towards me until the bitter end."

A tear fell onto her cheek, rolling down until it dropped to the snowy ground, melting a little hole in the ice. I sucked in a fake breath, and said quickly, carefully,

"I loved you too."

And then, I disappeared.

For I was a phantasm, and I was not allowed to stay with my only love forever.