The boy knelt in the cool damp grass in front of the cloaked figure. Whoever they were, their face was hidden under his hood, and the only thing that could identify them was the voice - deep, calm, and wise.
It echoed softly through the misty field when he spoke.
"You know why you are here, I trust?"
The boy nodded. "I do."
"Does he know?" He directed the question past the boy.
The boy wanted to answer, but knew he was not allowed to speak. Not unless spoken to, he remembered.
Someone else answered for him. His Guide. "No, Sir, he has not been informed of his status yet."
He couldn't tell what the reaction of the cloaked man was, but he spoke again.
"You sustained much damage," he explained solemnly, "You will be unable to return until you are physically well again. It is merely a protective measure, and it happens to many, so you needn't worry." He added, having seen the concern in the boy's face.
"What will happen?" the boy asked quietly, unsure, breaking the one rule. He felt the daggers from the Cloak's unseen eyes. But the voice - it remained unchanged.
"Your body sleeps - for now. Should you remain in this realm, it shall die, in time. However should you wish to return you must find a stable host with whom you will cohabitate until you are ready to return.
"The choice is yours, but you must make it soon. You may either leave your world behind and join the afterlife, or we will aid you in finding someone to sustain you until you are ready."
The boy listened in silence, weighing his options. He stayed in the moor for a long while, staring blankly at the sharp blades of grass beside him, showing no sign of decision, and the cloaked man remained there, calm and patient, until the boy spoke up at last.
"I've made my choice."