Dark purple curtains fluttered in the gentle breeze of the third story window. Drooping watchtowers and old, crumbling, concrete walls appeared before me as I turned along the bend of the long road. As I neared the broken gate, my feeling of unease grew.
My mission was simple and should be easy to carry out, if you didn't believe in ghosts. Still I was frightened and unsure if I ethically should do this, if my freedom was worth the cost of another's. Next to me, I heard the click of a gun cocking and knew that I had no choice in the matter; if I didn't complete the mission then the girl and I would surly die.
With my heart pounding deep in my chest, I stopped the car and carefully pulled the key out the ignition. The silence that greeted me seemed to judge me and the actions that awaited me. Sighing I unlocked the door and climbed out, almost falling flat on my face in the process do to my nerves being fried. Recovering I quickly walked to the back of the car and inserted the key into the lock. With a click, the lock disengaged and I opened the trunk to see my salvation, a young girl no older than fifteen.
Quickly, before I could change my mind, I reached in and scooped her up. I slung her across my broad shoulders. Holding on to her so she wouldn't slip I reached in with my right hand and pulled out a small, flower covered satchel. Once I had slung this over my right shoulder, I reached up and closed the trunk. The pop of the closing trunk filled the air, as I once again had to steady my nerves.
I looked out towards the tower on the far side of the clearing, the only one still standing proud after all these years. The history of this tower, as I knew it, wasn't a proud one. Many young girls have been held captive here and now it was my turn to join the group of villains that placed them there. I shook my head trying to clear it of such thoughts. "Stop being so hard on yourself. You just once again messed up and got yourself involved with some bad people. And this time it's not just your life on the line," I told myself.
I quickly walked past the car, the man with the gun still sat in the passenger seat, and headed towards the gate. Once there, I pushed the rusted gate open and entered. I headed towards my target. Having to wave through broken pieces of concentrate and having to fight the overgrown weeds was just one of the many challenges that faced me. Once I reached the door and used the key, I had to use my whole body weight in order to force the warped, brown, degrading door open. The smell that hit me was unlike anything I could have imagined, mildew, dust, and the tears of many lost souls.
"Okay, this isn't helping at all. Being afraid of…of…ghosts" I whispered the last word to myself, and then more confidently, "Ghosts aren't real. Just like the feeling of anguish doesn't stay around for thousands of years." With these words, I began to climb the first of ten thousand stairs.
Many hours passed but finally I made it to the top. The door that awaited me was much different from the one that had greeted me at the start of my journey through the wretched tower. It was made of solid gold, the framing had thousands of emeralds gleaming in the dying sunlight coming through the window to my left, and the key hole had brilliant bright light streaming through. I was terrified. This door haunted every young man's dreams, and kept every young girl awake afraid that one day they would have to meet it. I knew that it was because of this door the gunman hadn't followed me in, and wouldn't be coming in after me. I was safe from the Hunters as long as I stayed near this door. I was stuck between a rock and a very, very dangerous hard place. With trembling hands, I laid the girl down at my feet on the landing and placed the satchel next to her. Then I removed the golden key from my pocket and inserted it into the key hole. 'I hope the stories over exaggerated the horrors of this chamber,' I thought to myself as I turned the key and heard the click of the lock.
I cringed away from the door expecting flaming arrows to come flying out, or at least something just as gruesome. When nothing happened I took a deep breath embarrassed by my fear and slowly pushed open the door. The sight that greeted me was not something I could have predicted. Sitting in the middle of the room was a machine only best described in sci-fi movies; it had large wires snaking out in all directions. The core of it was aglow in an eerie white-blue color, and if that wasn't crazy enough the machine reached out through the ceiling taller than what seemed humanly possible. I tried to comprehend what I was seeing, but it just didn't want to compute. The proportions just weren't right and what was worse, there was no electricity but the thing seemed to be pulsing with life.
Just then, I heard stirring behind me and when I looked back at the young girl, I saw that she was beginning to awaken.
"This cannot be right! The gas shouldn't be wearing off quite yet," I muttered.
I quickly grabbed the girl up in my arms along with the satchel and entered the room. Off to my left was a queen-sized bed that I hadn't noticed before. In three strides I was there placing her gently onto the bed and setting the satchel down. As I turned to leave the room, I realized the door was gone.
"Where am I? What the hell is going on here? S**t, the floor, and celling is gone! What the hell?!" I thought, fear overtaking me. I turned around and around in circles and realized that I wasn't even in the same room anymore. Everything was white around me the space had no structure. I heard a noise behind me. As I turned around screaming to find that no one there. 'Who's there?' I shouted. All of a sudden a booming voice said, "Welcome James, you have broken the most sacred rule and have entered my house and have disturbed my peaceful slumber. This crime normally has the sentence of DEATH. You have ruined a young girl's life. She can never renter the world that you toke her from. But, I'll be lenient this time because I know your heart is pure and these actions you don't take alone. Your punishment therefor James will be to live within this girl's body, but not be in control. You will be a consciousness within her. A voice so to speak, but you will never have true human form. She will know you by 'I' and she will feel your presence but will never know that you were once a man with a true name and identity. Both you and she will live out the rest of your lives in the only century that you could survive, the twenty-first century. Good luck to you, and may your name be the last one I'll ever have to take."
"What? That doesn't make any sense…" I started to say, but was cut off by an odd rushing sound, louder than the Niagara Falls. I was falling, falling until, suddenly, it stopped and I was no longer…. 'me'.