The Ghost’s Call
By Ines and Jaya
A cold rain drummed against the mist-covered windows, the fierce wind nipping at my face. I took a stiff step forward, and damp leaves squelched beneath me. Shivering, I let my hand trace the cold stone ledge beside me as usual. The cobblestone felt smooth against my touch, however, my hand suddenly brushed against a neatly carved dent etched into the stone. Out of curiosity, I veered around and peered through my sopping wet hair at the inscription in front of me. Examining the disorderly letters I realised that it was a riddle.
Wander through the sea of wooden soldiers,
Follow the path with the rolling boulders,
Eventually, a stone ruin you shall see,
A towering building covered in ivy…
Disregarding this, I continued ahead until in front of me an old and withered tree stood with its branches held in salute. The words of the engraving rang in my mind as I stared at the wooden soldier stood in front of me. My curiosity taking over, I stumbled into the forest. Maybe there was something to this riddle after all?
The air was bitter with fear, and the atmosphere filled with menace. Dark clouds loomed over me as I crept in further, mounds of moss dampening the sound of my footsteps. After what seemed like hours of searching in vain through the vast forest, I sat down bewildered as my blistering feet could carry me no further. In the distance, I heard a bone-chilling scream. Beside me, pebbles vibrated vigorously, rolling in the same direction. Subconsciously I muttered, “follow the rolling boulders.” Before I knew it, I was on my feet racing mindlessly through the maze of trees. Thinking that I’d never come out of this godforsaken forest, there it was, a clearing. Frantically, I bolted towards it.
Ivy slithered up the crumbling ruin. It seemed like no living soul had ventured into the neglected structure for centuries. Gingerly, I staggered into the building, and my breath hitched. The interior was even more dilapidated than the exterior. The vines draped around the walls were the only thing that kept the mansion from collapsing. A hushed whisper shattered the silence. My body trembling, I moved towards the source of the sound. A shimmer of mist appeared in front of me, taking the form of a ghostly young girl with a white blood-splattered dress and lifeless matted hair. The sight of her sent chills down my spine. Soulless eyes the colour of frost examined me cruelly. A numbing feeling swallowed me whole and a maniacal scream travelled through me. The last thing I remember was a shrill laugh echoing endlessly ...