|Rhia Van der Geist|
I’ve always been able to see them. Ghosts I mean. Not saying I see them all the time, but when they want to be seen, I’m the one staring straight at them. Creeps people out, which is probably why I was stuck at the orphanage until I was almost old enough to work.
No one wants to adopt the creepy quiet girl who sees things that aren’t there.
Until someone does. And yes I was way too happy and excited about it to even question what a weird older man living alone would be allowed to adopt a 15 yr old girl, or why he would want to. All I cared about was that I had a home. One of the few things that made me happy back at the orphanage was reading, since the other kids all thought I was weird, so when I saw the old man’s Library I thought I was in heaven.
It was a pretty sweet life for a while. The old man had a lot of money and didn’t ask me to do anything weird. Not only was I able to go into the library whenever I wanted, but when he noticed me reading books about ghosts and life and death, he started showing me some of his personal collection on the topic. Turns out he was fascinated with it too, and had all kinds of secret tomes on the other side of the veil as he called it.
He taught me things, spirit magic, he called it, little tricks like lighting a candle, how to feel the presence of a ghost or other kinds of entities like it, even how to see them as long as they had a physical form. It was a strange kind of bonding experience that brought two people most of society kept at a distance a little closer. Or so I thought.
The night before my 16th birthday, he told me that he was a part of a society that was tasked by Pharasma’s church to study the veil and keep it intact and that with all the promise I’d shown, he wanted to indoctrinate me at a ceremony the next night. I was so excited I don’t think I slept more than an hour.
When the time arrived I felt like a princess. He’d had some younger female members, acolytes he called them come to his mansion to prepare me, sacred baths, mystic symbols drawn in henna on my skin, a ceremonial robe, as bizarre as it all was it felt special. Until I drank something and woke up naked chained to a freakish altar dedicated to Urgothoa with 50 chanting cultists around me and a priestess standing over me with a scythe.
Turns out, I am special. I’m tied right into the veil between worlds, and by killing me as I became a woman, at the peak of whatever ceremony they were performing, they’d create a permanent tear in it, allowing all forms of undead through.
I should have been terrified, but the only thing I felt was rage. All around me I could see ghosts. Not the sad or quiet peaceful ones, the angry hate filled ones that want to make people suffer, and somehow, as the blade was about to fall I gave them what they wanted. I gave them the cultists. I told them to kill everybody in that room and somehow that’s exactly what happened.
I’ll never be able to forget what I saw that night, or the sounds of the screaming. After it was all over, the angry ghosts left, but I was still surrounded by others, for some reason tied to me now. I commanded them to free me and they did, even helped me as I ran like hell from that place.
I’ve never been alone since, wherever I go I can see into the spirit world, talk to them, command them when need be. They aren’t always willing, but I’m not always nice about it either. I figure it’s either a gift or a curse so I might as well do something with it. I help people. People who have problems with things going bump in the night.
I’ve learned a lot, studied the books I took before I left, learned from other people in the field even been taught a few tricks by ghosts who had something interesting to teach. Hell I even killed a vampire once, she was pretty new to it, but it turns out if you can hide from them, you can get them by surprise and kill them like anything else.
I guess I hunt the dark creepy things out there so other people can go on living their perfect lives. I’m fine being a freak, normal is boring.