Katana held low, I faced Peter. He stood there, holding me with his intense gaze. He looked like a marine with a solid build and an unwavering presence. Realizing I still held the saya at my side, I released it, and as I raised my sword with both hands, I leaned into the shadows between worlds.
Silence fell like rain washing the world away.
Fading into pale etherealness, the saya drifted on a current of time. Peter melted away, a smoky wisp gobbled up by the quiet. The hallway was my translucent window on a foggy world.
Creeping through the ghost restaurant, I peered through walls and the floor, searching for Peter. I spotted Laura’s ghost in the dining area along with three other souls. Pausing, I gazed into a room, once empty, but now full of ethereal furniture. A table stood in the center surrounded by six chairs. Behind the wall, a sofa so pale its texture hid on the other side of the shadows. A refrigerator stood in the far corner like a taunting specter.
I had stepped backward in time again.
Glancing back, I searched the empty ghost hallway for a clue: the wraith, smoke in the paleness, footprints. Anything.
I crept along the hall glancing in all directions for anything out of the ordinary. As I approached the closed office door, a disturbing feeling rippled through me. I recalled following the wraith, how it paused, a smoky disembodied dress turning towards the formerly empty room, and floating along the hall again.
I passed through the door like a ghost into the office.
There, I shuddered realizing I had followed the wraith’s precise steps.
Spinning around, I scrambled back towards my world, but the shadows held me. Focusing on the scent of damp air, the routine creak of the building, and the taste of blood, I dove through the shadows. Below me, Laura’s movements sped up. She walked to the stairs remaining a ghost. The floor gained some color like a haze blocking my view of the young woman. Suddenly, the shadows released me.
Ringing exploded in my ears, dampness clung to me, and Laura’s scent tickled my nose. Falling against, the closed door, I gasped. The ringing faded, and I could hear footsteps in the hall.
“Kandy,” said Laura. She tapped on the door. “Are you okay?”
It hadn’t been Peter escaping me here in this office, but my tumbling through time that had resulted in meeting Peter again in hall twisting around each other in time. Nor was it Peter I had been following in the hall. And back when I had been sitting on the stage, no wraith had lured me backward in time. I had simply dozed off.
I opened the door, finding Laura’s bright expression, and let go of the world.
As Laura faded into a ghost, her expression grew long with fear as she witnessed a smoky darkness.