I thought it had reached me. I closed my eyes and scrunched up, bracing myself for the hit. Don’t judge me. Have you ever tried to fight a violent ghost? No? I didn’t think so. Now let it go and read on.
A few seconds went by and nothing had touched me. I chanced a look and saw the ghost standing at the edge of the cemetery and he—I could see that it was a he now—was just staring at me, like he wanted to eat me. This was good. Sometimes a ghost is trapped to a cemetery. I’m not sure why really. Some ghosts can go wherever they want, while others can’t go beyond 20 feet of something they are attached to. It could be an object, a person or a cemetery.
I took one last look at the ghost and then left it be. There was no way I was going to be able to just get rid of him right then. There was a plus, though, and that was that he was missing an arm. No, I don’t think severed arms are cool. It meant that he lost it when he was alive and that I knew what to look for while I was trying to find out who he was.
The center of the town was typical. It was full of shops, mom and pop type mostly, but it had a few big names as well. The town had a lot of traffic, cars and people, but then again it was lunchtime so I guess it made sense.
It had been at least six hours since I had last eaten but I was way too amped up to eat anything. I just wanted to get right to work. Nothing gets me going like these stupid spirits. The quicker I got it done the better off I was.
I was two feet away from my bike when a little boy walked up to me. He was maybe four feet tall, about seven years old and had pale blond hair. Now, normally I would have said hello and probably tried to walk away from him, but this kid was different. Maybe it was that he had the bluest eyes I had ever seen or the fact that he just walked through a mailbox; you decide.
“Hi,” he said, in a very happy voice.
“Uh, hi,” I replied.
“I’m Dillon. Who are you?”
“What’s your name?”
“Oh. It’s Wes.”
“OK. How come you can see me?”
“How did you know I could see you?”
“You were staring at me,” he told me.
“Right,” I said. “Sorry.”
“It’s OK. How come you can see me?”
“I’m different than normal people.” Ghost can choose whom they do and do not want to see them. The one thing that makes a paladin different, with ghosts I mean, is that I can see them when they don’t realize it. If they want a human—that would be you—to see them then they have to concentrate. If they want a paladin—that’s me—to not see them then they also have to concentrate. Sometimes they didn’t know that but most seem to have a natural understanding of that trick. Just like other monsters they can sense me so they immediately make themselves invisible to me, unless they don’t know or care.
“Oh,” he said. “How?”
“What happened to you?” I asked him, avoiding his question.
“It’s OK. I still get to see my mommy everyday.”
“What about you?”
I fought back the urge to cry. It doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen. Hey, I’m only human. Well, kind of human, anyway.
“I haven’t seen my mom in a very long time,” I told him.
“Oh,” he replied, sadly.
“You wanna play?”
He threw me off a little bit with that one. “Play what?”
“I don’t know. Tag?”
I took a knee in front of him. “I don’t think I can.”
“How come?” he asked.
“To be honest, it would look a little weird if I was running around chasing someone nobody else can see.”
“Who are you talking to?” A woman came up to me and was very confused.
I quickly took the little Bluetooth headset out of my pocket and put it in my ear. I knew that it would come in handy for something.
“What?” I asked.
“I said who are you talking to?”
“Hang on a second mom. Can I help you?” I turned my head a little so she could see the headset.
“Oh, sorry.” She walked away.
The last thing I needed was to make myself known here. Once she was out of earshot I turned back to Dillon.
“Anyway, Dillon,” I began. “I can’t play.”
“Oh,” he said. “No one ever wants to play.”
“Well, big guy, I don’t think they can see you.”
“No, not them.”
He had my interest now. “Who then?”
“The other ghosts.”
“Dillon, how many are there?”
“I don’t know. I stopped counting.”