What she saw, or could not see, was horrifying. As she gazed at the figure, she could not see any eyes gazing back. As she drew in ragged breaths, she could not see the figure breathing in any rhythm. As she sweat like a knight after a fight on the battlefield, she could not see this creature sweating from the heat of the cloak. In fact, if the cloaked figure did not have a cloak, there would be no way to locate where this creature was in a room.
Anne was staring at air. Whatever beckoned her through the halls of her father’s castle was invisible! Sorcery and witchcraft could be the only explanation for such an atrocity.
“Do not stare at me as if I have three heads. As you now know, I have none,” said the creature with a wry sense of humor.
Anne nearly fainted on the spot. It spoke her language. It could see her, but she could not see…whatever it was. “Wh-What are you?” she stammered.
Although she could not see it smile, she could hear the amusement in the creature’s voice. “I am a part of the dead and the living. I am a lost soul that still roams these halls. I am an ancestor of yours.”
“You are in league with Satan!” accused Anne, jabbing a finger into the air.
The creature chuckled. “Silly girl. I have met my Creator, and he has already determined that the flames of hell were a heavy punishment for my sins. Walking amongst the living, envying every breath they take, is my punishment. A sort of purgatory.”
Anne felt as if she was going to be sick. She was conversing with a ghost. A soul! Either that or she was suffering from a delusion. Perhaps the rebuttal she received from her beloved was too much to bare, so her imagination was playing cruel tricks. “I would be able to see a ghost. I would see a shade, like Odysseus when he traveled into the mouth of Hades! Or I would see the form of your former body, such an Aeneas in the Aeneid!”
“I may be invisible, but I am similar to the ghosts Aeneas sees.”
Warily, Anne asked, “How?”
The creature moved towards Anne, which could be detected by the gliding of the cloak. Anne took several steps backward. The creature was not swayed by her repulsion. It continued to follow her until she was backed against a wall. The hovering cloak was only a finger’s length from Anne.
“I have come to help,” explained the creature.
Before Anne could muster a reply, she felt an unseen hand cup her cheek. She bit back a shriek.
“I sought you out to give you advice,” it said, tenderness wrapped in the feminine voice.