|The one reassuring idea about most haunted areas is that they seem to be contained one way or another. If one sees a haunted house, all they need to do is either venture inside and escape it, or flee from it altogether. The Haunted Woods, although seeming endless at times, can be seen all once. One merely needs to scale the highest tree in their vicinity and hope for the best.
Someone might argue that ghosts and other ethereal creatures can and have dwelt in the air, but I cannot imagine that would be very comfortable for said beings. Air dissipates and floats: who would want a dwelling place such as that?
Even so, there is one place for the intangible ones with the perfect balance of motion and the stationary.
It is the water- dwellers who should be the most afraid around the Month of Collecting. The water they breathe, the plants they eat, the room in which they sleep, everything has the potential to be haunted, especially toward the month's last few breaths.
No one in Maraqua seemed to realize this except for Gelda.
The Koi shuddered as yet another unnatural chill settled in her tail. It was much more than the days getting colder, of that she was certain.
She slammed her windows shut and dove under the covers, breathing carefully despite her racing heart. Her friends had just called her paranoid after she'd begged for their help in driving away the ghost in her kelp garden.
"Prove it," they'd said. "Scaredy-Kad," they'd said. "You're paranoid, Gelda," was the worst of all.
But she just knew it wasn't the water- wind cooling her and stirring up her precious plants. Gelda snapped her head up from her bed. No. She wasn't going to be driven truly insane before she found tangible proof of the spirit's existence. Something had to be done.
Night reluctantly settled on Maraqua. Good. Whatever the nightmare was would be coaxed out of its hiding spot, and the Koi would be prepared.
Gelda wasn't entirely sure what she had to face, so she inched softly toward her garden with a string of garlic and a book in one fin, and a homemade spear in the other. She curled up her poised body, ready to spring, trembling and fearful as she was. She was afraid it would come, she was afraid it wouldn't.
She didn't have long to wait.
The kelp grass rustled.
Gelda barely had time to blink, let alone raise her weapons, before exactly what she feared was nigh upon her...