The Wraith2

The Wraith by

Addison’s eyes followed the line of the movement in the air. His heart pounded so loudly he could hear almost nothing else.

 

He was sure that something, maybe a man, was there, another being, another memory in the room. His peripherals got motion, something dark floated slowly toward him from beyond, but its movements weren’t human. He blinked several times and rubbed his eyes, but the shadow did not disappear; its shape bellowed, expanding and contracting. Addison stared into the darkness and waited for his eyes to adjust. He was trying to focus on what had caught his attention–unable to against the black backdrop.

 

He turned his head, looking toward the door, as the creature gradually took formation from within the wisps of smoke surrounding it, growing inside the shadows. This time he could see its shape and contours enough to identify it as human.

 

Addison sensed something was different about the body; the creature’s motions seemed controlled and deliberate. He knew what he had seen, a face staring down at him, pale as marble and framed by long black hair, shrouded by a cloak of rags with long black wisps of smoke floating in the air. What was that, and why had it appeared in front of him? Had it been part of his dream?

 

“A spirit and a memory!” The voice came from behind him, cold and hard, without inflection or emotion, but with purpose and finality.

 

Something was reaching out for him, reaching into him.

 

He stood there in awe and felt his life energy absorbed by the creature as black vapour, rags, and hair floated, dancing around his body. Addison sensed the creature’s intent as it reflected towards him, unsure whether to give him back life or death, as it may be.

 

It was a being that had once been part of an army, now just another refugee. Clinging to life in whatever place it found in the wilderness of this world. Without home or family, friends or country, nothing that would help it survive as it waited for what would happen next in its life.

 

Addison stared at the floor as he heard the voice muffled by the wooden boards beneath his feet. “I’ve been gone for so long that I’ve forgotten.”

 

He looked closer and saw that it was a living being—it was also an object, something with a purpose, almost like a tool, made from flesh instead of metal.

 

He had dreamed of this place before: It all seemed so familiar.

 

As Addison turned to leave, he caught his reflection in a mirror. His long black hair gently moved through the breeze, reminding him of a dark mist and within that shadow were all the things he had tried to forget.

 

 


 

 

J. Iner Souster is a painter of landscapes and portraiture, a sculptor who creates musical instruments out of reclaimed materials, metal dresses from handspun metal, and a collection of upcycled FauxBots. He’s also a photographer, musician, illustrator and mixed media artist. His writing has appeared in Spillwords, Friday Flash Fiction, A Story in 100 Words, 100 Word Project, The Drabble, and 101 Word Stories.

Twitter  – @iner

Instagram – inersouster

Facebook – Iner Souster

Artwork by Iner Souster

 

 

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