Sumera looked gloomily towards her fellow classmates as they gathered around the tour guide. The tour guide, trying to sound as interesting as possible, explained the paintings and carvings that were displayed on each side of the wall. It was tradition for her school to visit the legendary place where the dominant religion, Imariusm, began. Pictures of Chimaro and his family were hung about, along with images of Emphillium areas and the common storms that tore through back in the day. But they were the same pictures Sumera and her classmates saw every year, would it hurt to explore the more important places?
“And here you’ll see a portrait of Lord Chimaro’s grandfather,” the tour guide explained, offering the sight of an old man who looked both strict and prideful, “Lord Chimaro received his grandfather’s wisdom when he first asked for his ancestor’s help. This wisdom was what turned the tide for the better during the Spiritual War.” Sumera sighed, turning her attention away, only to take a few steps back in shock when she saw an unexpected face staring down at her.
“You sure don’t look that interested, Sumera,” the person said. He was leaning against the wall that came and made a corner with the wall she was leaning on. Head in hand, he was smiling a bit, Sumera smirked at the expression.
“Neither do you,” she reminded him of how bored he really was. He sneered in response, setting his arm to hang at his side.
“Eh,” he began, “Same stuff tends to get a little boring after ten years.” Sumera smiled a bit in response, probably the first smile she shed all day. She wasn’t all too excited about going on the field trip, but hey, it got her out of schoolwork for the most part. Sumera had to fake her interests to convince her parents that she wanted to go. It took a long while of begging and pleading, but her parents finally paid for the trip to the tour of Lord Chimaro’s castle, “But I hear the southern halls are full of dangerous traps,” he yawned, “I bet they’re just trying to keep us safe.”
“If that’s the case, why haven’t they fixed them yet,” Sumera asked. She crossed her arms and gave an impatient glance, “Huh, Simio, do you know?” she urged him to speak. Simio just smiled, he was use to Sumera’s ignorance. It was because she stopped listening after the seventh year that she didn’t know the rumors by heart like he did.
Simio shrugged off Sumera’s annoying urges, “Part of the history I guess,” Sumera stopped, expecting more. Simio quickly brought up the current rumor, “Besides, they think Chimaro would mind.” Sumera’s expression didn’t change, as daring as it was to defy anything that said she couldn’t.
“He’s dead,” she reminded. Simio thought Sumera would say something like this, though it was still shocking to hear. It was probably for this reason alone that some people thought she needed help, others thought she was possessed by an angered soul and so on.
Sumera chuckled from how immobilized Simio had become from such a simple statement. Of course she believed Lord Chimaro was real and that his spirit may be still lurking around, but some people were just too defensive with their religion. Something she didn’t want to handle, so she avoided it. Sumera started into the direction where the tour was destined to go. Simio panicked a bit, grabbing Sumera by the shoulder and yanking her back, “Sumera, if you tamper with anything, Lord Chimaro may…”
“Kill me?” Sumera finished; turning around, forcing Simio’s hand from her shoulder. Simio frowned; he feared his friend was being a little too reckless. Sumera smirked again, “I’m not afraid. If I were, I wouldn’t have that big bad book of naughty records, now would I?”
“Yeah, you’re going to regret all that later…” Simio said. Sumera just smiled and continued on her way.
“Don’t squeal Simio,” she said. Some of the other bored classmates watched as she took another dare to go on alone. Some even talked about her behind her back, whether it be about something good or bad. Sumera just ignored it for now, knowing that if she made a scene, she wouldn’t be able to do what she wanted to do. And that was go off on her own and explore the castle a bit; was her plan right from the start. But none of the students would tell on her, Sumera could believe they enjoyed watching her get in trouble. She wasn’t the class clown or anything, just the daredevil.
Being on her own, Sumera was kind of surprised she hadn’t fallen asleep walking. It was incredibly boring; possibly worse than being with the tour group. Not to mention the atmosphere was freakier now that she was alone. Too quiet, air was still and being surrounded by tons and tons of artifacts. Sometimes she thought she saw the eyes of Chimaro and his family in a painting, follow her around. Looking back at them, the eyes were still, looking at whatever they were meant to face.
When not fantasizing on paintings and possible presences, Sumera found herself looking at the vases and the carvings. Now that she actually had the intention span to look at them, they weren’t half bad, though they told the exact story as the testimony. The only thing she didn’t get was the man, who was more than likely Lord Chimaro, was on the ground praying while tons fought before him, “Wonder why Lord Chimaro’s not fighting in this one…” she saw a few more artifacts like it too, all displaying the same thing. Sumera stood up straight then, “Hmm…” she pondered as she continued on her wander.
Sumera remembered all that she had learned about those artifacts, that Lord Chimaro sculpted them himself. The tour guide would always say that Lord Chimaro fought alongside his ancestors. At these times, she’d never get a close look at his productions. When smaller, she’d be butted out because the other kids would crowd around tightly to see. As she grew up, she developed immunity from looking at much during the tour. But now that she had the courage to go off on her own, it was a different story.
“Hehe,” Sumera began, “My teachers would kill to see me be this interested. Too bad they’re not around to see this,” she continued on her way. Her attention swayed from one object to another until it finally barely passed a glance at anything. She went on daydreaming, thinking of her past performances and what more she could do in the future to tick her acquaintances off.
Sumera couldn’t help but laugh at times when she messed up. Like when she attempted to slip a stink bomb in the principles office, make him think he ripped one without even noticing. She spent that night crawling through the vents, stink bombs in a fanny pack as she squeezed through. Of course, her hair had to get caught around a loose bolt.
Remembering how much of a pain it was to try to release herself. Things got worse too, the stink bombs set themselves off. Good thing Simio was there that night; he got a janitor to help her out. She could’ve sworn she’d die of over exposure to unbearable fumes. A bunch of police became involved that night and she took the unjust heat of her principal the next morning. And lets not forget about getting grounded by her parents at home.
For the most part, Sumera thought about all her past stunts. She wasn’t really aware of where she was going at all, that she was turning down a hallway she wasn’t really suppose to be in. The place was unfamiliar, she could see that, but it wasn’t clicking anything in her head that maybe she should go back to the familiar places of the castle. Not that she’d listen to her self-conscious anyways.
After awhile of getting lost, Sumera felt a shiver go down her spine, her entire body shook in response, “Ugh,” she just said, noticing now that she was getting colder, “Should’ve brought a sweatshirt, shouldn’t they have this place heated or something?” It wasn’t sticking to that one temperature either, it seemed to get colder and colder as she made it closer to the source.
One step in general made her stop in her tracks and cover her shoulders with her hands. Shivering all over, “My holy souls it’s cold…” she said. Sumera forced herself to move on, despite the vapor she saw expand from her mouth, “It wasn’t this cold back with the group…” she thought to herself.
What she wasn’t aware of is what appeared when she left that spot. At first hazy, the object was in the shape of a man, a very pale man. His eyes settled on Sumera as she walked onward, they being neither too strict nor easygoing. Sumera was still unaware of his presence, which he had decided to follow her from behind. But when she turned to see if something was there, she saw nothing. The man had become intangible while moving; as if there were still a few things he must get use to in order to stay visible to the mortal eye.
Sumera walked on for a little while until her mind finally got something, she was lost! Leaning on one foot, she groaned in aggravation, “Of course…” she said, blaming anything in particular. Turning back from the way she came, she tried to find objects she recognized on the way. There were very few since she choose to ignore them. This in turn made it seem like the odds were against her, she was turning in every wrong direction known to mankind, “Glad I didn’t walk into a wall yet,” she joked to herself.
The man didn’t get it, why she didn’t seem like she knew the way of the castle. She had come all that way. But then again, the man hadn’t seen this girl at all before, which brought him to the conclusion that she was new and probably lost. He smiled; beginning to mouth words in to what direction she should turn. Sumera didn’t react, which confused him even more. He repeated himself; no sound came from his lips.
And as the spirit grew just as frustrated as Sumera, Sumera turned down another wrong path, which led even deeper into the castle. The man reached out and touched her on the shoulder, Sumera froze and shivered, “S.. so… c.. cold,” she stammered. The man’s hand had went right through her flesh, which surprised him completely.
The man looked appalled, Sumera hadn’t reacted to neither his voice nor touch, what else could he do to get her attention? But he did not give in that easily, floating in front of her. He was still unaware that he was invisible to her eye. Sumera walked into him and stopped again, her and his form stood in the same exact spot. A shiver went down Sumera’s spine again, she watched as her breath extended from her mouth. She thought it was abnormally cold since it wasn’t even this cold outside.
The spirit was not amused by the position; he floated out in front to face Sumera’s sudden wide eyes. He watched in confusion as she grew paler and paler, shaking in place, “G.. ghost!” Sumera yelped. Her first reaction was to stay still, but reality snapped in her head soon after. Turning completely around, she ran into the direction the ghost had faced with a cry of fear.
The spirit floated in place, just as confused as when Sumera first saw his body. But then he smiled, remembering something important; he was dead. His soul roamed the castle’s rooms and halls both day and night, and all that his living guests could see him as a cold, pale man floating a couple inches off the ground.
The man followed Sumera everywhere she went, noticing she was bringing herself even further from the group she had to be with. As Sumera attempted to out run him, making distressful sounds from time to time and nearly knocking an artifact to the ground due to a sloppy turn, this spirit pondered on how he could help her get back. He looked to where Sumera was heading and quickly floated ahead to block her from going, “No!” his mouth formed to say, though not a sound could be heard.
Sumera slid to a halt, recuperated her balance and turned immediately with a scratchy cry. The spirit was relieved that she didn’t come down the hallway, looking to the foreign text that said “Caution” to the modern day people. He floated after her again, at first staring into space as he grew even more baffled on how to get Sumera back to the tour group.
Then his eyes widened, he snapped his fingers as an idea came into mind. He inspected where the next few turns would be, figuring out which one Sumera needed to turn, then flew out in front of her every time she made a wrong turn. His hypothesis was proven right, Sumera turned around completely where ever he appeared and most the time ended up going the way he wanted.
A grin widened on his face. He continued his new way of guidance to the living soul, listening to Sumera’s weakening cries, as she was growing short on breath. She yelled less and less as the navigation continued.
The man was having so much fun with this, when Sumera was just a hallway away from where she needed to be, he flew to the side of the door and pointed his hands into that direction. Sumera stopped and the spirit looked up at her in confusion again until he realized his mistake. She released a loud scream and turned into the hallway just right of the one he wanted her to go into.
He rushed ahead of her and tried to scare her back, but since there was no hallway to turn down, she cried out again and ran right through him. Sumera was surprised; she thought she’d ram into the ghost, not fuse right through. And what more was that she felt the same freezing temperatures as those other times, she connected the two together and realized that this man stuck around her for a long time. This only arose more panic, was this Lord Chimaro? Was he out to kill her?
She was so frightened that she wasn’t able to interpret most of the signs she flew by. They looked like a blur, as did any other object around. But it wasn’t just her speed that was affecting her sight, but the fact that the lighting was getting darker. She heard the boards creak from beneath her, she saw a few holes in the ground and tried to avoid them as best as she could.
But one such hole caught the tip of Sumera’s shoe. And with as eager as she was to get away from the ghost, she tripped and fell with a loud thud. She scrambled to her hands and knees; her sight was going all over the place as she saw the hazy figure of the spirit near her. Sumera tried to stand up, the floor creaking with each movement she made as she shifted all her weight on her right leg.
The floorboard her foot was on creaked loudly, soon turning into a moan. She cried out in terror, the floorboard had snapped and her right leg went through. It felt like her entire body would go through. But luckily, though still very painful, the board didn’t fall. The split ends scrapped along her legs until they seized her at the upper thigh, stabbing deeply into it.
Sumera felt faint, she could hear the pounding of footsteps in the distance and thought she blacked out. The hazy white figure of a man was no longer there, his body turned invisible to the mortal eye. She felt something cold on her wrist; the spirit was trying to pull her out, save her from the position she was in. But he kept forgetting that his contact only vanished the second it touched her flesh.
Sumera looked into the direction where she heard running, though her sight was limited from the darkness, she was still able to make out Simio, “There she is!” her friend yelled to the other interloping people who were just behind him, “Oh, Sumera…” he groaned as three or four men in uniform ran up alongside him. One of them turned to Simio.
“Head back to your class,” he demanded. Simio looked uneasy, especially with the hoarse breathing Sumera was producing. She was in pain and he could sense it, Simio wanted to stay and make sure she was okay, “Go!” the guard ordered. Simio did as he was told, he ran back from where he came.
“Ah!” Sumera sobbed, her thigh was throbbing, “Help!” Already, the guards were trying to find a way to get to her without damaging anymore of the floorboards. The break of the one had made many of the others weak. Sumera tried to pull herself out, but not only did it hurt too much, but the boards began to incline even further downward when she dropped herself. She yelped; a guard lunged his arm in and grabbed her wrist, immediately diminishing the amount of weight that she put on the floorboards. And sure enough, they seized from falling anymore.
“Don’t move!” the guard demanded; Sumera was shaking tremendously. But she obeyed, finding how unbalanced that move made the guard. Sumera wasn’t light either, the guard’s stance was not strong and the dust made it easier for the guard to slip towards her.
The spirit watched as two other guards came to help. One held onto the guard who held a grasp on Sumera’s wrist and the other tried to take the load from the one guard. But the boards continued to incline with more weight pressing down on it. The first guard slipped, his weight crashed down on the weak boards and they snapped in half.
Sumera went completely through as soon as the guard’s grip loosened, nothing held her up and as she fell from the first floor, all she could see was the embracing darkness around her. All she could hear was her cries of pure terror and then the thud that ended it all.
A piece of the board came down and hit her in the temple of her head, she lost consciousness immediately and didn’t feel the pain of the second blow, where the other half of the board struck her rib cage. The spirit rushed down to see if she was okay, but his frown deepened when he realized Sumera was dying.
He looked to the staircase, it was blocked with debris, the guards wouldn’t make it down in time to save her. His eyes wandered around panicky in hopes to gain an answer. But then he stopped, looking down at Sumera once more. His eyes grew strict, as if he were accepting his faults and determined to fix them.
The spirit neared Sumera’s body; he had made a decision and made the saluting gestures to promise he’d stand by this decision. His body re-appeared to the mortal eye, lighting up the darkness as it had lain out just as Sumera’s had been. The spirit closed his eyes and slowly floated down to fade into Sumera’s body. His form wavered a bit, then disappeared. And the second it did, Sumera gasped in the first breathe of her second life.
- Title: GotSP - Chapter One
- Artist: Wolf Rider
Gift of the Secondary Pride
Sumera is known as the daredevil at school; when at a fieldtrip to a museum she's been to at least 20 times, she stows away on her own, only to meet someone no one would ever expect to meet again.
This is the first chapter of the novel I've written, unpublished. Make sure you read the Prologue before reading this.
- Date: 05/19/2009
- Tags: gosp chapter