Intro

Pollepel Island — Brian's Room


Pollepel Island is nearly silent this time of night.

The majority of residents in the crowded castle are already tucked safely into their beds, left dreaming, or in many cases nightmaring about life outside the stony walls. Only the echoes of snores and true insomniacs reflect across the concrete.

But there's no rest for the wicked. Or in this case, the dead.

Sitting in the sill of one of the windows — and fully able to fit (thanks to intangibility), a profile of the castle's resident specter can be seen within the pane of glass.

Undeniably, Samara is fatigued. She's been tired for days on end, but the images of death and dying from the warzone she'd literally floated through eat at her conscious self. Beyond that the idea she might not be dead also weights heavily on her mind. She holds her hand up to the glass only to let it pass through the solid object and pull it back again, out of the chilly air and into the haven of the castle. There's a curious pull of her lips as she does so. Focusing a little more she presses her fingers to the glass, this time, taking care to stay on this side of it, touching rather than moving through the reflective surface.

"Can't sleep?"

"Or are you afraid you'll get blown away?" Having just had to get up the billionth time to take care of Kasha. The baby is finally laid down once again under a thick blanket. Brian himself is heaving a blanket over his bare shoulders and pulling it close rather rapidly. It's cold. As he nears the window, his teeth may or may not be chattering somewhat. It's difficult to tell. Pulling the blanket in close, he peers at her hand reaching out to the window. This would be his cue to continue his insistence that she's not dead and that she can turn off her power that she can join them all. But instead..

"Hi." He says softly. "You ok?"

The smile becomes sadly reflective at the first question and more ironic at the second. Blowing away during sleep happens all too often; it's a rare day when she wakes up where she slept. Her gaze shifts to him, causing the reflection to emulate the back of her head, but only until she remembers herself. She shrugs a little at the last question as her finger reaches out and gently taps the glass. There's no, noise, but she's certainly touching it, trying to focus enough to do more than just graze its surface.

An odd, albeit sad, kind of smile spreads over her lips. If Brian's right, and she is alive, she doesn't want to live like this forever.

She lets her lips twitch into an easier smile as she presses her hand flat against the glass. She removes it moments later, leaving a distinct handprint on the dusty pane, simple evidence of her own existence. Oddly, she looks at her own hand and narrows her eyes; there's no trace of dust. It's these impossibilities that make no sense to her otherwise borderline logical sensibilities.

"Look at that."

His remark is made with silent happiness as he leans forward to peer at the handprint. "Good job, Sami." She's endured enough badgering tonight to earn her name at least once. Leaning forward to rest against the wall, he closes his eyes for a moment. Obviously very tired, he wills himself to stand back up straight and peer at the window again. "See? You can just make little steps like that. When I first had my power, I could only make like two copies of myself without getting totally wasted. And now you know.. I'm all over the place."

Samara's smile brightens at her trick, like it's some kind of pick-a-card party trick. She shrugs as if to say it's nothing. Even that simple action was more exhausting than she'll admit.

Yet, even with the hand print, she's still not convinced she has an ability, nor does she want it if it means being stuck like this forever. Mild determination takes over, reflected in those profiled eyes. She squeezes them tightly shut. She'd tried twice that day on the roof and made to progress towards corporeality, today she imprinted a window with her hand — maybe if she can force it…

She can feel her fingers do their little magic, pressing them tighter together the way she does to interact with everything around her, not that she does much of it. Silently, she wills the rest of her body respond in kind.

Moments later her eyes reopen drowsily. Her skin has, again very visibly paled in the reflection and her eyes are slightly bloodshot from the sheer level of focus.

Heavily her eyes close.

Blinking himself out of his sleepiness, he watches attentively. "Come on Sami." He encourages with a tight voice. Keeping the blanket around him snugly, he watches the strain she undergoes in the reflection. And then her eyes start to close, oh fuck. "Don't pass out Sam. Sam, don't pass out. Hold on you can do this. Fight through it." Bear down. Dig deep. Give it all you got. The grass is greener on the other side. He inhales deeply and holds it, watching the window closely.

But it's too late. She's already asleep. Quickly gone under the influence of her fatigue and already-tired body. Her head nods forward heavily, exasperated by the sheer level of concentration and work the action took. Her breathing slows, and her eyes twitch. Whether natural or not, she's already dreaming.

The reflection remains the same, sitting there rather peacefully within its nook next to the window.

The empty space next to the window doesn't.

The translucent body of an auburn-haired sleeping beauty, the eerie not-quite-there pretend princess — has assumed the nothingness, not wholly there, but not invisible either. For the first time in years, the reflection appears to be reflecting something.


Pollepel Island — The Pier


She turned away, what was she looking at?

She was a sour girl the day that she met me

The bleak predawn of morning on Pollopel Island paints everything in the scenery a shade of blue or gray. The skeletal trees wind up, reaching for the skies, reaching for warmth that only spring can provide. But spring isn't here. It's not coming. Not yet.

The weathered planks that form the rickety pier are overlaid with an almost garish paisley pattern of bluish white frost. Everything is washed out, colorless. There's nothing vibrant about the world at all. No shining yellow sun, no pink of a tiny blooming flower, no red breast of a fat robin. Nothing.

Hey! What are you looking at?

She was a happy girl the day that she left me

Standing at the end of the pier, a woman as washed out as the rest of Samara's scenery gazes out onto the water. Her breath puffs out in white clouds, again there is no color to it. Her eyes are brimming with tears as she dallies for a few more minutes… knowing she's not allowed to be out in the sunlight but needing to see it all the same. It's been almost six days with no natural light, nothing but the muddied filter through the old panes of the castle.

Even though it's welcomed as it is, Delia Ryans misses the greens and golds of summer. She misses all of it.

She turned away what was she looking at?

She was a sour girl the day that she met me

She looks down to see the woman staring abck at her and frowns. This isn't how she wanted her life to turn out. Nothing was supposed to be this way. "I was going to be a dancer…" she whispers to no one in particular. "I was going to be a dancer, or a cheerleader for some huge football team… and marry some rich guy because he wanted a trophy wife."

The young nurse turns her hands palm up to look at them. Cracked and weathered from the cold, she curls her fingers inward into fists and squeezes her eyes shut, willing all of her own pain to just go away. It's a selfish moment, she's allowed to have one in private.

Hey! What are you looking at?

She was a happy girl when she left me

The young woman curled on the rock askew from the pier watches Delia intently; her gaze transfixed on the other. Samara isn't one to point out the rules, too aware that she couldn't live without the sunlight. Yet even her sunlight is nothing more than gray skies upon fragmented skin; the life of the incorporeal leaves much to be desired.

But there is something strange about the words. Carefully she unfolds herself from her perch and approaches the red-head. She has no words for the living, no way to communicate with any other than Rue, but then there is the reflection of the water, her simultaneous grace and prison in the corporeal world. She's held captive within its image, yet it's her only mode of communication, her only means of any speech.

What would you do?

She comes from behind the red-head, her reflection refracting her concern from her lips to that of her constant companion — her window friend, the woman that everyone else can see her as.

The auburn-haired lady of the water turns to face Delia, reaching out to tuck one of those stray red curls behind the other woman's ear, only to stop in that action, she's intangible to everyone but Rue — a fact easily forgotten when living amongst the alive. Loss is something Samara has had to contend with for years from a very young age. She lost every dream, hope, and endeavor just over four years ago. She lost her family. Her hope. Her future. Loss is something she can relate to, and in that loss, more than anything she finds compassion.

What would you do if I followed you?

No matter, it's possible that the fingers lacing through that wild hair would just discounted to the wind. So the lady of the lake reaches out one of her milky hands and grazes a touch at the other woman's hair. Like a ripple on the water, color spreads from Sami's fingertips. Color that hasn't been seen in four years. A shade of bright coppery red that spreads out in a circle over the body of the entire woman in front of her.

Turning, Delia looks right at Sami, into her eyes and mimics the action, placing both of her cold hands against the ghost's cheeks. Her skin, hair, clothing, everything becomes more vibrant. As though touched by the daylight instead of predawn.

What would you do if I follow?

"I didn't think you'd actually say anything," the redhead emits gently, giving the ghost a touch of a smile. "You're the mirror friend, aren't you?"


Pollepel Island — Brian's Room


"Fuck yeah I was right."

Slapping his pockets Brian instantly frowns. Of course in this castle like no one is going to have a cell phone. And that means no cameras. No way to prove to her. But oh well. Standing up on his toes, Brian leans forward. Letting the blanket sag around his shoulders he tries to peer at her face.

A warm smile spreads across his lips before he makes the next obvious move. Touch it! One hand comes forward gingerly, going to try and rest against the kind-of-there shoulder. "Sam?"

Brian's hand moves through her — while Sami can be seen, it seems she still can't be touched. Like most phased objects her existence is without question; she's undeniably there, just intangible to the world at large.

Don't turn away, what are you looking at?

He was so happy on the day that he met her

The sound of her name causes enough stirring to bob her heavy head, allowing it to tilt upwards slightly, exposing the faint sheen of moisture around her still-closed eyes. A single tear trail lines one of those cheeks with salt-laden water as untouchable as the woman who shed them.

Despite the random reflection of tears, her lips curl as though she's smiling. The smile gains strength, but Samara's appearance doesn't. She flickers out of existence, back to the nothing she's used to being, only to flicker on again like a faulty television set.

Say, what are you looking at?

I was a superman, but looks are deceiving


Pollepel Island — The Pier


Mesmerized like she's been touched by an angel, Samara's eyes watch the spread of colour, awe grasping her innermost parts. The warmth of the colours leaves a gooey feeling in the pit of her stomach. After spending so much time in the dark, hidden from the world, unseen, and lacking true human contact apart from her one friend, this place, Pollepel Island is heaven.

The gentleness of the touch — even if it is cold — draws something Sami didn't know she was still capable of doing. Moisture lines her eyes, accompanied by a quiet sniffle, as she reaches out to squeeze the redhead's shoulder. She opens her mouth to speak, but the sheer brilliance of the moment bids her silent awhile longer, allowing silent, beautiful tears to trail down her cheeks. A glance is given to her own usually pale skin, it's become rosy, vibrant, complete again, the way it was when she was more than a ghost of herself — more than half a person.

Again she opens her mouth to speak, the words and breath catching in her throat. The hand is drawn back to wipe the tears from her face. "You can see me," she finally whispers, fully aware of the miracle it is to finally be seen.

The rollercoaster rides a lonely one

I paid a ransom note to stop it from steaming

A crooked smile is given to the ghost as the redhead nods. A few moments are spent with Delia's blue eyes sweeping over the other woman's form before she turns toward the east. She shutters her world against everything by closing her eyelids and taking a deep cleansing breath of the cold air. The sting of it as it warms up within her own body gives a little bit of a crackle to her breathing before she lets loose a wretched cough.

The giant orange sun finally peeks up over the horizon, spilling color and warmth onto everything it touches. Delia's eyes are still closed as she waits for those rays to wash over her, the tiny Mona Lisa smile plasterd to her features as if a permanent fixture. "It's times like this, huh?" she says softly. "Just feeling the sun warm up everything after it's been so cold for so long."

The warmth of the sun is something Samara hasn't truly felt in years. Another stray tear falls from her eyes, but this one is caught by the back of her hand as she twists to watch the Eastern sky. The rays melt away every worry, fear, and loss that weighed on the ghost girl for so long; all of the uncertainty rolls away underneath the sun's influence. Her tears dry as her eyes trail back towards the castle.

"It's beautiful," again she whispers like volume could ruin the perfection of the moment; of this place. But it's more than that. Fear negotiates her tone of voice — not fear of harm or death and dying, dear of loss… all over again. "How are we talking? I haven't spoken to anyone except Lanny in a long time."

Hey! What are you looking at?

She was a teenage girl when she met me

"You forgot what color looked like…" Delia says a little louder, opening her bright blue eyes to the ghostly woman. Tucking her hands into the pockets of the long coat she's wearing, the redhead looks down into the water. It's still black, there's no color on the Hudson, as though the entire world became a kodachrome photograph except the mirror that Sami is used to being seen in. "You even dream in black and white."

Taking a hold of Sami's upper arm for balance, the young nurse leans over and peers into the water. The pale reflaction looks back at her, a negative version of the woman herself. Someting dark, perhaps even sinister. Twin eyebrows twitch as they stare each other down, but unlike her mirrored self, Delia has a friend. "Don't forget color… even if you can't see it. It makes everything a little less bleak."

"It's been four years since I've really seen colour," Samara counters with a sad almost smile, but it's astonishing to look at the world and see it in such vibrant ways. Even her own reflection looks different in this world, lighter, happier. And now in different clothes. "Brian denies it, but… I'm a ghost. I died four years ago in the bomb. I watched everything rip to pieces. I don't think many people would remember colour after dying through that."

Her chin turns up in an effort to meet Delia's gaze, seeking the first bit of genuine eye contact she's had in a long time. "You're not alone you know." With a slight, nearly regretful flash of teeth, Delia earns another smile, "I was going to be a dancer. I was going to win over audiences across the globe, meet a wonderful man, and then retire to a quiet ranch somewhere on the east coast." Her hands shove sharply into her pockets, as her voice takes on a slightly bitter edge, "I didn't graduate high school. Didn't go to my prom. Never went to Juliard." More ironically, she tacks on, "I'd never even been kissed before I died. And then, like dying wasn't enough of a burden, I got to watch my family cope with it. Got to see them glance at mirrors and instinctively knew I had to hide from them just so they could move on. Yeah… the world isn't as it should've been for anyone. Really."

What would you do?

"Maybe you're not dead… I know a lady who is 'dead', her body died… but she's still living in the subconscious minds of people. Her name is Hokuto." Delia smiles somewhat as she talks about her mentor, a sort of sad smile that one gets when they're remembering someone fondly. "Maybe you're like that too. Not dead and not alive, just somewhere in between."


Pollepel Island — Brian's Room


What would you do if I followed you?

Knitting his brow over her, he folds his arms over his chest. "Oh what the fuck." Now he's the helpless one. Leaning hard against the sill, he peers down at her tear. Not much he can do here. "Sam? Can you hear me?" Probably not. Then she starts flickering, and he doesn't have much options. All he can really do is watch, and wait. Memorize everything that happens. In another body, Brian is quickly writing down everything that happens to Sam in this instance on a tiny notepad. Maybe that will prove it to her when she wakes up, if she wakes up anywhere around here.

What would you do if I follow?

Samara can't really hear him, still under the influence of whatever dream state has taken over although, she does shift in her spot along the window. Her body reflexively leans closer to the window. She flickers off again as she continues to shift, only to roll through it, disappearing somewhere in the night to wherever the wind might blow her.

The girl got reasons, they all got reasons


Pollepel Island — The Pier


Hey! What are you looking at?

As the sun climbs ever higher into its days work, the colors of Sami's world become that much more vibrant. The imperfections of the island and its constructs are glaring but at the same time beautiful to someone who's been without for so long. Every moss filled crevice of brick, every dry broken branch that's mottled with colorful fungus, feeding from the bare nutrients it provides. The insects and small animals that feed from them. A fluffy little titmouse creeps out from a small burrow in the ground and creeps toward some dry berries that had fallen to the ground weeks ago.

Dried enough to peel the seeds out, the tiny creature peels at the fruit until a creak of the boards under Sami's feet startle it to stillness. Turning its head, its beady black eyes freeze on the ghost for a breath of a moment before it scurries back into its hiding place. Here, everything can see, smell, feel, and hear Sami.

She was a happy girl the day that she left me

The day that she left me

Too busy to notice the miniscule mammal, Delia peers back down into the black water and watches her reflection as she speaks to Samara. "The only way I can reach you is if you're dreaming," she reveals, turning eye the ghost as the color slowly drains from her body and seeps into the water.

But only the redheaded woman, everything else remains the same.

A single trickle crawls up the planks and winds its way up Delia's ankle and under her clothing. As the color drains from her face and hair in copper and rose ribbons, tiny pitch colored spiderwebs creep under her gray skin and shoot through her hair in streaks of black.

She was a happy girl the day that she left me

She was a sour girl the day that she met me

As though it wasn't formed of water but a living entity, the Hudson river reaches up in vinelike tendrils and wraps itself in coils around Delia's legs. In turn, she grips Sami tightly, almost painfully so. As the water drags her new friend over the edge of the dock, Delia shrieks and clings to the ghost as though her very life depended on it.

"No… no don't…" Her frightened eyes that were once bright blue turn pitch black as they widen in shock, "Don't wake up! Stay!! I don't know where I am… I can't find my…."

The day that she left me…

The day that she left me…

With a swift motion, Delia Ryans is dragged into the inky depths of the river.

The day that she left me…

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License