“What advice could a ghost offer?” Although Anne meant to insult the invisible apparition, her knees violently quaked.
The wisdom I possess exceeds yours. I lived a treacherous life and have watched others live while trapped in my purgatory for centuries. I have seen. I have observed. I know. My experience and study allow me to understand where your life is heading,” lectured the apparition, though not unkindly.
For the first time, Anne mustered up the courage to look into unseen eyes. “What is my fate? What is your prediction?”
“That you shall suffer the same destiny as me if I do not intervene.”
For the second time, Anne nearly fainted. Hands clutched her arms to steady her. Hands that she could not see. How did she become entangled in this supernatural oddity?
“Calm yourself. I am not here to harm you, but to save you. You must understand, I came to correct a folly of yours.” The apparition chided her as a mother would a child.
“I beg of you, explain so that I may leave this sorcery.”
“Not sorcery, but the work of the Lord.”
Anne looked away. This monstrosity was too much to bare. “Please, just tell me.”
The hands released her arms. Anne heaved a sigh of relief.
“Very well. Your folly lies in offering your heart to a man who does not reciprocate your emotions.”
“Yes. He is a lesser lord than your father. A mistake.”
“Why? Henry is a kind and charitable man.”
“He mocks you as we speak. If I had not appeared, you would have continued to brood amongst your father’s guests. The jeering of Henry and his companions would have driven you from the feast. With the scars inflicted from his rejection, you would have sought a darkened room to haunt. Preferably your chambers, which is located at the pinnacle of a tower. Correct?”
Anne could only nod, for her fear was so stifling. It was as if the apparition could read her thoughts.
“From the tower, you would have mourned the loss of Henry’s love. Or the illusion of it. The agony would become so unbearable that you would fling yourself out the window of your chambers. The plummet would give you a brief freedom, as if you could fly like a dove. Once you hit the ground, death would claim your soul. You would think that the agony is gone, but it does not disappear. In the judgement hall of heaven, God would decide that you are unfit to join the ranks of the holy for the sin of taking your own life. He will give you a sentence of a thousand years in purgatory. Once the time is served, you could enter the kingdom of heaven. Until your punishment is fulfilled, your soul would be doomed to walk the halls of your father’s home. Like me.”
“H-How could you be so certain that this is my fate?” stammered Anne.
The cloaked figure drifted even closer, until it was pressing itself against her. Anne could feel the apparition breathing against her face.
“I committed such a sin and I am now paying the price,” was it’s answer.
***This is not the end! Part 6 is to come!