This completely belongs to me! Yay! I really like the ending!
The Sailor of light and music
Jillian shrank further into the corner, hoping to get out of the wind. Her long, black hair blew around and wide green eyes observed the trash blowing down the alley through tendrils of hair that blew into them. She loved her corner, for the bricks made up two chimneys, one from each of the apartments on either side of her. The bricks were warm, which the biting wind was not.
Suddenly a man appeared in the alleyway. Jill cowered in the corner, for he looked noble, and he was drunk. A dangerous combination. He staggered toward her after a few moments, finally noticing that she was there. He looked her up and down, eyes coming to rest on Jill's locket.
"Give my the locket, pretty child," he rasped.
No! Jill thought desperately. Anything! You can have anything else! The clothes off my back, my corner, my food! Just don't take my locket! The thought of her locket summoned a memory that came floating out of the depths of her mind like a skirt in a high wind.
Jill's parents had not a great nor small amount of money. They belonged to the lower-middle class, Jill's mother Ruth being a seamstress and her father Andy a fisher. But now their life was destroyed, for the new cook was a carrier of Typhoid, and her mother was dying. Jill herself had made a miraculous recovery, but not without health problems and emotional scars.
Now her father was dead and her mother on the edge of the Death-Abyss and about to fall over. Ruth handed her beloved daughter the locket, a good-bye present. Then she fell into the Abyss, a single tear glistening on her cheek.
The locket was heart-shaped and gold colored, though not made of real gold. The outside was carved with the complex patterns of the ivy vine. On the inside left was a single diamond, and on the right, her parents' wedding portrait. The girl had worn it close to her heart for the seven years since her mother's death.
Even now Jill clutched the locket to her heart. The noble narrowed his eyes and made a growling noise. He picked Jill up by her tattered shirt collar and threw her against the wall. She felt a sharp pang in her head where it hit the bricks, and everything went black and numb. She realized, as she became less and less aware of her body, that she was falling into the Death-Abyss.
Some time later, no one knows how long, there was a ghost, who knew neither who she was, or how she came to be a ghost. Over time, she roamed the streets, learning about her ghostly powers of floating herself through the air, floating other things, mind-reading, becoming invisible, and changing the ghostly mist that was her body into different shapes.
Her memory began to come back in flashes: her family at dinner, her corner on the streets, and other odd bits of information. Then came the memory that she carried with her the way a child carries his trusted blanket, a memory of her mom singing a nursery rhyme that went:
"Hush my baby,
Don't say a word,
You are my baby,
My little bird.
"Hush my child,
Don't make a sound,
You are my child,
My baby hound.
"Hush my daughter,
Don't make a peep,
You are my daughter,
My baby sheep.
"Hush my baby,
Don't say a word,
You are my baby,
My little bird."
Jill had always loved the silly ditty. More memories of her mother came more quickly after that, but she still couldn't remember her name or how she had died, so she started to call herself Ghost.
Finally, one night, when Ghost was roaming the streets, she came across an alley that she remembered as holding her corner. A boy of about thirteen with brown hair and eyes cowered in it. A man approached him, who looked noble and was drunk.
Suddenly, without warning, Ghost's mind went dark. Memory flashed like lightning. I am Jill! This man killed me! He stole my locket!!!
Anger rose in a tidal wave and caused the ghost to blink on and off like lightning. The wave of anger rose red-hot up to Ghost's-Jill's-green eyes, and came pouring out them as if they were overflow drains. The wave kept on and knocked the noble onto the ground. Then a brick yanked itself out of the wall and hit him on the back of the head.
The boy clutched the finely made cloak the man had probably wanted to steal, just as two Jappors, or the King's elite policemen, rounded the corner. One of the Jappors picked up the man. Not seeming to care that the man was drunk and out cold, the officer chided, "You're going before the King on charges of theft and drunkenness." Jill and the boy both smiled. She knew that her locket was in the man's rear pocket; when she thought about the stolen article, the pocket lit up like it was on fire. She carefully floated it up and into her grasp. No one seemed to notice.
Jill made herself visible after the Jappors departed. The boy, Jonathan, gasped. Jill grinned and said, "It's all right. It was me who hit the man with the brick." She hadn't used her voice since she had been killed. It felt like it had made the journey to the holy Ivy-Forest, the home of the Gods and Goddesses and all deceased people, without her, and sounded distant. The boy didn't look too reassured, but when Jill told him about her life, he gradually came to trust her.
Many years passed with Jill protecting street children like herself. Jonathan became Jill's good friend and consultant. He eventually got a job as a trader's apprentice, with Jill's help. As the years passed, he became famous for his fine silks, low prices, and trading skills.
One night, ninety years later, an ancient and wise trader entered an alleyway, accompanied by a transparent girl with long black hair and laughing green eyes. The girl dimmed to a bit of mist as the man lay down in the corner. He fell into a deep sleep, so deep it was eternal. A second bit of mist joined the first. As the two clouds of misty light streaked toward the sun and the holy Ivy-Forest, they combined to make one cloud that eclipsed the sun. All that was left in the alley was an old, worn cloak that looked like it had once been fit for a king and a locket that glowed with a golden light.
©1998 by Sailor Lyra