Post-game, Spoilers for Ghost Trick. Even when fate is averted, echoes of the original events still remain.
"So, what are we going to name him?"
The kitten lifts his head at this. This is important.
He still doesn't really understand what is wrong with him. He remembers sharp pain and darkness, and after that…
Just being numb.
The little girl reaches out to him and pats him on the head. The cat can't feel it, but he gives a 'meow' nevertheless. The girl pulls her hand back, startled.
The woman smiles.
"Molly is a nice, name, isn't it? I had a cat called Molly as a child."
That's not my name.
The cat isn't sure how or why he knows this. The little stray cat hasn't had any need for names before.
But there is that feeling again.
Like he had a name once.
And that there was a presence of someone who now is missing.
That was his name.
It seems like the girl disagrees.
"See? He likes it."
Frustrated, he looks at the bearded man for support.
Sissel has the vague feeling, no, a memory, of a human's mind touching his, not this man, but still… He stares at the big beardy man, and focuses his mind.
"How about Sissel?", the father suggests.
The man knows his name!
"Sissel?" The woman asks. "Is that a name?"
The man shrugs. "I'm not sure. But I think I have heard it somewhere. It fits, though."
She nods. "It does. And I suppose it's a better name for a male cat. What about you, Kamila? Do you like Sissel? Is it a good name?"
The girl smiles. "Sissy!"
Yomiel can't believe she stayed with him. It has been several months since he began serving his sentence and few weeks since he had been moved from the hospital wing to the cell block, and Sissel comes visiting him every week.
He listens to her melodic voice when she tells him what she has been doing, and notices how she fiddles with the one unruly curl of black hair that always seems to escape her bun when she tells him of her absentee father who after fifteen years has suddenly contacted her from out of the blue and how she doesn't know how to react.
All Yomiel can do is to listen to her and hope that will be enough. It's not like he can offer any advice either on family relations.
He doesn't deserve her.
And sometimes he wakes up middle of the night, uncertain of what is real and what is a dream, believing he is waking up to a nightmare where she is gone forever.
But the sight of his cell and his splinted legs calms him, oddly enough, and those vague dreams of being trapped in a much more horrible way fade away.
The doctor removes the bandages, inspects the leg and nods approvingly.
"You still need to take it easy, Detective Jowd," she warns her patient.
Alma smiles. "He won't. But I do my best to keep him out of work."
Jowd stands up. His leg still doesn't feel fully healed, but at least he can walk without crutches. "It's fine. I was lucky."
Nevertheless his wife takes his arm and helps him walk from the hospital and to their car. "You don't say. What if it would have hit the artery? Or-", she pauses to search her purse for the car keys. "Or worse."
He waits until they have both settled in the car before he speaks: "Not what I was talking about. I-"
Alma can tell there is something he struggles to say, so she doesn't start the car just yet.
"I could have killed him."
It's Alma's first instinct to tell him 'No, you could never kill someone.', but she can't find it in herself to tell him that.
Because she knows that's not true.
"Listen, you are a good man." That she knows is true. "There was a child's life at stake. If you had seen no other way of saving her, you might have had to use your gun."
Jowd breathes in deep. "Yes. Thanks the gods I missed."
He turns to his wife, serious.
"Alma, you know I'm not interested in any of that spiritual stuff. My stance is that if any gods or spirits or Buddhas are out there, I don't bother them as long as they leave me alone."
He can guess what she's thinking. "I'm not saying I've found religion or anything. But what happened at that park… There was something there. "
He shrugs. "Who knows. All I know is that the mascot, Mino, moved on its own."
"That monstrosity?" The thought of the creepy-looking mascot springing to life is ridiculous, but she doesn't laugh.
"I know what it sounds like. But even more importantly, I did shoot my gun."
She remains silent, waiting for him to continue.
"When the meteorite fragment shot through my leg, I- I guess I thought he shot me. To be honest, I'm not sure what I thought. But I took a shot. And I know I couldn't have missed. No, I didn't miss."
Alma frowns. "But-"
"I know it hit him, he was pushed back and impaled on the metal spike. And yet there was no bullet-wound on him."
"That sounds impossible."
"I even asked the doctors who treated him at the hospital if there was something weird about his body."
He shakes his head. "It was just an odd hunch I had. But they assured me he is a completely normal human."
She struggles to find the right words. "If a god or a demon or a wizard saved you, and that man as well, and maybe that girl, take it as a second chance given to you. It could have led to someone's death. It didn't. I could have gotten in an accident when driving to the store to get milk yesterday. But that didn't happen either. Bad things happen sometimes, but usually we don't get second chances. "
Silence fills the small car, leaving her to wonder if she had managed to convey him what he needed to hear.
"A second chance, hm? I can do that," he finally says.
The medical examiner files the latest report and sighs.
Lately work has been feeling more and more like a dead end, and like there are things out there he could be doing. He doesn't like this vague feeling that's like a half-forgotten dream. He prides himself on his excellent memory, so not having full recollection of something bothers him.
Maybe he should quit.
Or maybe take up a hobby. Astronomy, perhaps.
The man knows gods exist. He has seen them at work, after all. He had stood there, watching the hostage situation, too shocked to act, when a beautiful light had shone from the sky, punished those who'd solve their problems with guns and brought Mino to life to save the little girl and crush the villain instead.
He has visions, dreams that feel real, about the park falling into ruin.
It's clear to him what has happened. He understands how important Temsik Park is, and what the gods want from him.
So he becomes the Guardian of the park, wowing to defend it.
Yomiel wakes up, gasping for air.
The nightmares are back. They never fully left, but they faded, or maybe it was that he got used to them.
But now, five years into his sentence, they're back, and they're… Different. Instead of the feelings of loss and emptiness there is now certainty that he has done something horrible.
He knows he won't be able to get any sleep tonight, so he gets up and reaches for his painting supplies.
The benefits of being a model prisoner.
He has taken to painting his dreams. Maybe that is what he needs to do to keep this new nightmare at bay.
Jowd is startled awake from a nightmare.
Panicking, he turns to the other side of the bed, not remembering what he had been dreaming about, but fearing for the safety of his wife.
Alma is all right.
He only now notices his little girl, standing there by the bed, looking scared and vulnerable in her bunny-pattern pajamas. "What is it, Kamila?", he asks, his own fear immediately forgotten.
The girl hugs her cat closer. "Can I sleep with you tonight?"
Jowd makes room for Kamila between him and Alma.
He has a feeling he wasn't the only one with nightmares tonight.
"So, this is your newest? You have improved a lot."
Sissel takes the newest painting and inspects it with a critical eye.
Yomiel feels slightly uncomfortable showing his work to his love, mostly because most of it is dark and depressing. But he feels like otherwise he doesn't have anything to share. Sissel is always talking about her work at the museum and her thesis, and how she has reconnected with her father. Sometimes it feels like he has nothing to share, nothing to offer.
"Can I have this?" She points at the picture.
The woman lifts one delicate eyebrow. "Why not? I thought this one looked romantic, what with the Cupid-"
"It's not." It comes out harsher than he intends. Somehow that painting in particular feels venomous to him, something he wants to keep away from her, lest its darkness somehow poisons her.
He shakes his head, embarrassed at his foolish and illogical reaction. "Why would you apologize? If the feelings I put into it don't come across, that's my fault. But if you want one of them, there is another painting that has a much more… Positive atmosphere to it."
She takes the offered painting. "A cat? So cute!"
The man smiles. "I was thinking of you when I painted it."
"So, I haven't seen you in a while."
The lanky white-coated man smiles at his friend. "I have been busy."
Jowd reaches for another chicken-leg. "I hear you might get a promotion soon. Should I start calling you 'Inspector' any time soon?"
Cabanela cuts his chicken in small tidy pieces. "Maybe."
"You really need to relax more!"
"Ah, but the tension of the crime-scene, there's nothing like it, baby."
Cabanela's smile disappears. "Besides, you never know… It would be interesting having a bit more influence."
"You're going for the position of the head of the Special Investigation Unit?"
"As long as you make sure to schedule yourself some free-time. Just a while ago Kamila was asking for you, by the way."
"Ah, how is my looovely goddaughter? Her birthday is soon, right?"
Jowd grins. "Why did you think she was asking after you? She wrote us a foot-long list of things she really needs. You can choose your present from that if you'd like."
Cabanela nods. "What kind of things is your baby asking for?"
"A new back bag, a dress, those kinds of things. And of course, magicians string, some book on illusions, and a power drill, which, by the way, she isn't getting."
The other man laughs good-naturedly. "That's good to know. Not that she isn't getting a power tool just yet, but that she'd ask one in the first place."
"Yes, she's interested in that stuff again. Building all kinds of contraptions. Didn't touch that toolbox of hers for a year or so after those… Nightmares."
"How old is your baby, agaaain? This is her eight birthday, if I'm not mistaken?"
The bearded man nods. "Eight, already."
"That it does. You really need to make the time to come to her birthday party."
Cabanela nods, solemn. "I really do."
Lynne opens the door to her apartment. She doesn't know why, but the dark apartment feels empty and abandoned today, less like a home than usual, and she finds herself wishing she wasn't an only child.
She fumbles for the light switch almost dropping her groceries, and wonders where that thought had come from.
Maybe she should get a dog.
Missile is happy.
His new home is great, and he is so happy it was Miss Lynne who took him home from the place where he had been kept in a cage and there had been a lot of noise.
Miss Lynne is great.
But he knows something is missing. He confirms Miss Lynne is still sitting on the sofa, paying attention to the noisy thing with sound and colors that makes him want to bark.
But there is someone else who should be in their home.
Missile gets up and checks the bedroom. Empty. The toilet bowl. Empty. Kitchen. Empty.
He goes to check Miss Lynne's shoes. He has only a vague idea of the smell he is looking for, but it's not amongst the interesting smells she has carried on her shoes from the outside world.
Well, he would wait. Missile has the feeling if he does that he will find this 'someone' he has lost.
He gives a happy bark to inform Miss Lynne of this decision and is rewarded with a ball thrown across the room for him to chase.
Commander Sith leans back in his chair.
His job as the captain of this submarine is a peaceful one, mostly patrolling. Leaves a lot of time to think.
"Do you suppose ghosts are real?"
His attendant tilts his head. "Not likely. But who knows? If I may ask, Sir, what brought this on?"
Sith shrugs. "I suppose I'm just getting on in years. Time to think about the inevitable, I guess. It was merely an idle thought, my good man. Don't concern yourself with it."
"So, what do you want to do now?"
Kamila smiles to her new friend. They have only just met, but it already feels like she has known the blonde girl for a while. She is happy she decided to come to this park. Not the Temsik park that's far closer to her house, but this other one she doesn't usually go to. "Want to play cops and robbers?"
Amelie makes a face. "My shoes aren't really good for running. And can you even play it with just two people?"
"I guess not." Kamila isn't sure why she even suggested such a childish game.
"My dad is a police detective," she says, hoping that would make her sound a bit cooler.
"My dad's a politician. My mom's a novelist."
"My mom is a graphic designer." Kamila tells her, and adds, "Almost like an artist."
"I have a cat."
"Really? I'd like to have a cat, but my mom's allergic."
"You can come and see Sissel. That's his name."
Kamila nods, happy that she has found something they have in common. Something to talk about. "And he doesn't shed any hair either, so you don't have to worry about allergies."
Amelie looks doubtful. "Is it like a toy-cat or something?"
"No, he is a very special cat. He has been with us for…" Kamila stops to think. "Almost ten years. But he is still a kitten."
Sissel is watching Kamila make her final adjustments to her birthday-contraption, when he remembers.
For a moment it feels like there's two of him. One who had spent these ten years with this family, and the other who had been the only companion of a dead man those same ten years.
He remembers watching Kamila grow up, but also how he had died and 'lived' as a human for one night.
There are memories of Kamila and Alma building a labyrinth out of cardboard for him to play in, of Yomiel's unmoving body being left on the sofa for days when he was 'out', of letting Kamila hug him and cry in his fur when she had had nightmares, of Yomiel's presence in his mind when he borrowed his body…
There's a feeling of those two selves settling, intertwining and combining.
And he finally feels whole.
A/N: Even people who had nothing to do with the time-travel can have vague recollections of the alternative timelines. In the game, if you revisit Chicken Kitchen after saving Lynne and Detective Rindge you can hear the chef saying he doesn't know why, but he feels like singing to Memry. In the timeline where the car hit the restaurant and he thought Memry was dead he regretted not singing to her more.
My interpretation is that people can have these 'echoes' of the alternative events when the timelines diverge. For example, Yomiel wouldn't 'remember' anything about killing Alma until the corresponding point in the new timeline. When people reach the point in time where they originally traveled back in time they get their full memory back.
Or, at least Sissel, Missile, Jowd and Yomiel would.