i have no explanation for this
Bare feet padded lightly down the empty palace corridors, wandering toward the source of a guttural wail that rang through the night. Words of encouragement from a garbled voice that echoed throughout the confines of their mind urged them forward, coaxing them into the foreboding darkness of the abandoned wing.
“I knew you’d be back.”
A gust of air greeted them upon entering the desolate bedroom, and the silken hem of the elegant palace robes that adorned their body dragged through accumulated ash. Sudden, smoldering heat prickled at their back, fanning over the shell of their ear. There was a sense of familiarity that came with the way the voice whispered their name; it was almost comforting, kindling a notion of belonging.
“You just couldn’t stay away.”
The subtle pressure of clawed phantom fingers gripped their chin, turning their glassy stare to the extravagant portrait hanging on the wall.
“You know me, just as I know you.”
They shambled toward the painting, reaching out to smooth their palm over the grandiose depiction of the late count. The vibrant crimson eyes seemed to glow, gradually becoming brighter until they seemed a separate entity from the canvas altogether. It was as if the rest of the world fell away, the luminescent scarlet optics demanding every fiber of their attention.
They recognized the creature before them as the one at the center of the artwork mounted in the dining room, and they could do naught but heed its instruction to follow it, trailing along behind the hulking white apparition with a dreamlike gait. Chilled wind whipped at their hair and clothing when they stepped out onto one of the balconies overlooking the garden. The spirit called to them from below, coercing them onto the ledge.
“Come to me.”
Arms wrapped around their waist before they could take the final step forward, pulling them away from the fatal plunge that awaited and back against Asra’s chest. The ghost departed with a shriek, leaving them to tremble in the magician’s embrace upon their return to reality.
He nodded, clutching them tightly to his shaking frame. “I’m sorry.”