...She carefully turned the corner, her fingers feeling for what her blind eyes could not see. Opalescent blue orbs, frosted blue, wide, childish. The voice had guided her here, the black clad stranger who had beckoned her and the rest of her friends today. He seemed so desperate... She knew not his name, but her young mind propelled her forward, to help the one which requested it of her. A light whistling of wind, the gentle splash of rain, and the rolling thunder, along with the scent of mildew told the girl that rain was here, and that it would soon become a torrent. Russet hair plastered to her forehead, and she pulled up her hood to protect her from the brunt of the chill. A low, whispery voice, as if the speaker’s throat had been slit and healed again, echoed through the air, and the blind child spun quickly behind her, only to turn once again at the light touch of a hand on her shoulder... or rather, the chill of a hand on her shoulder. Of course, he could not touch her. He was a ghost after all... or at least that was what he claimed. She could hear his heavy, soft velvet cape whipping back and forth in the rain.
” You came.” “Y-yes. You said that you needed help. I’m here to help you.” The hand released her shoulder, and she heard him back away. No sound of footsteps, only the rustling of fabric against dried leaves and decrepit grass. This was a place of death, and she knew it. She shivered and realized just how much she wanted to run away now, helping the Spirit be damned. Yet, something kept her strong, perhaps a force of will.
” I never said that I needed help, young one.” He rasped. She was almost certain that he was touching his throat, as the warbling in his tone expressed, probably adjusting the clasp that held his soft, flowing cape. A pause, and suddenly the voice spoke again.
” Child, what do you make of me?” Taken aback at the forwardness of the questions, the blind girl stepped back, “O-oh. Well... I think that you’re very tall.” She started, trying to recall that she could understand from her four remaining senses. “You seem to have a nice voice... Though I think that you often sound disappointed or sad... You smell of ether and another smell I can’t put my finger on...” She inhaled, trying to place the scent. It was sickeningly familiar... a crude mix of wood and perfume... not sandalwood... unless it was old and mildewed. Perhaps a better word to describe it was ashen. As if something had been burned into a fine dust and scattered in the wind. It wasn’t unpleasant... only jarring. “And! And your cape is so soft! I wish I had one like it!” She finished, smiling in the direction of the softly flapping cloak. The rain began to fall harder, the air permeated with an aura of sickening dread. Something between fear and dread, a variation of regret, perhaps?
” No. Who do you think I am?” The Spirit repeated the question. The word ‘am’ echoed in the area... Some screamed, some whispered, and others choked out with a sob. The one that the Spirit had uttered had been neutral, without emotion or inflection. It simply was.
” Do you make me out to be a man, a traitor, or a monster? Is there any rhyme or reason to this encounter?” A pause.” What do you make of my nature, Callie?” Callie toyed with the fletch of an arrow she had withdrawn from her quiver. “I can’t say that I rightly know, Mister.” She answered truthfully, her brows creased, and her mouth turned downward. How was she supposed to answer this? “You are a good person. You haven’t harmed me or my friends... and You’ve been guiding us through the wilds for this long. I don’t see a reason you would be considered a monster outwardly...” Why was he asking if he already knew this? A breath of frigid wind passed her left and Callie realized that He was moving behind her.
” But you know that outward Impressions are not to always be trusted, don’t you?” he quietly asked, the chorus of other echoing voices expressing those exact feelings. ” You have learned firsthand that what appears is not always what is.” A sigh, and Callie assumed that He had lowered His head, saddened by something. “Don’t be sad, Sir. I don’t know what’s going on, but surely there’s something I can do for you?” She turned to him again. Rain dropped down Callie’s nose, but she heard not the sound of rain pelting the form of the Spirit. Perhaps he was too insubstantial to feel the cold and the wet?
” Of course, Callie. There is a task which you and your friends are intended for.” “Well, what is it?” Silence. Only the rain and the dry leaves crunching under the fat droplets’ weights. A quiet whisper came directly in front of her, where He was, and a brisk wind passed in both sides of her. Murmuring echoed in the air but was too soft for even Callie to hear.
” Then it would not be achieved. I must let you discover that on your own.” Hesitation. ” Callie. If your favorite toy broke…, would you fix it?” “Of course! I love my toys!”
” How would you achieve such a thing?” “With patience and by doing anything that the project needed!”” Callie…, Is it possible to fix porcelain?” Callie hesitated. “If you had glue, you could piece it back together, right?” “But there would always be pieces unreturned to the original. Some pieces will have been turned to dust. It is impossible to return something shattered to its total and former glory, correct?” She sighed. “I guess you’re right...”
” Tell me then, Callie. Is it possible to fix a broken China Doll?” “Well, I mean, you could try, but it would be really...” But Callie had felt the presence disappear, faded into the roaring storm and the invisible lightning. The Spirit had already vanished, and He had left Callie with a curious riddle... The riddle of a Spirit who seemed unable to share what tortured him.
Can you fix a broken China Doll, Callie???