Soft footsteps fell on the wet earth splashing bits of mud unto the young woman's boots. She paid it no heed and continued to walk onward. The rain began to fall again but seemed to ignore it, her fingers still clutching at the small bouquet of flowers she held in her hand. She breathed in her eyes cold and distant, fixed on someplace and some time ago that had once been real, but now could only be seen by her.
John watched the woman walking again, he stared at her but didn't dare approach her. She was a ghost, he and everyone in the village were certain of it. For the last five years at exactly the first day of September she would appear. Dressed in a sorceresses garb and clutching a small white bouquet. Her face was like fine crafted porcelain that never chipped and faded but remained forever beautiful.
John followed her enchanted by her beauty. He carefully kept his distance though, more in awe then in fear. He remembered five years ago when he had first saw the young woman on the road. His hair had still been completely brown then, his face slightly dirty from the days in the field his throat parched. He had been foolish and attempted to attract the ghost attention with idle talk. She had not even looked at him as he had rambled on inanely. Then out of pure desperation he had asked her where she was going. He shivered slightly the answer still haunting him till this day. "I'm going to see my father", she said her voice filled with a river of anguish and pain.
The storytellers had picked up the tale of the young woman, twisting and turning it to their own fancy. To some she was a scorned vengeful lover, to others a noble heroine of some great heroic endeavor, to others a demon in the guise of a woman. He believed none of it. In his mind she was just a women looking for something that was no longer there, a thing so valuable to her she could no longer stand to live as normal people do. He glanced about him and noticed the fearful eyes from the windows.
It was not long before the reached the end of the village he continued to walk onward finally resolved to see where the ghost would lead him.
"The rain is getting heavier you should go home before you get sick." He stared in amazement at her still back, not believing his ears. "Go home now, for your home may not always be there tomorrow." She said the last part so softly he hardly even heard it. He shook his head numbly and walked back toward his house.
She then continued on her way her eyes coldly staring ahead of her. The rain continued to beat on the hapless earth, with heavy clouds turning day into night. She walked on for hours but not for a moment did she bend or waver or show any sign of discomfort, except for her hands having moved slightly to stop the flying away of white petals. Soon the land she walked on began to grow darker and barren. Soon she was in the middle of a patch of earth darker then the darkest hour. A terrible sensation ran through her as she paused in the middle of this place.
She looked at the ground where bits of brown leaves lay from her previous visit, her eyes then traveled unto a solitary white stone with the simple words, HERE LIE THE CITIZENS OF SAAIRAG. She bent down and gently placed the bouquet of flowers against the makeshift tombstone.
She began to tremble; she had to do it she knew she had to. She began to wring her hands a wave of guilt washing over her and tears began to fall.
"I'm so sorry, I really am. This is all my fault but -- " Her voice cracked and she fell to her knees shaking and shivering as if for the first time noticing the cold. "But I can't do this anymore, I'm sorry its all my fault, It's all my fault you're all dead. I'm sorry daddy, I'm sorry everyone. I'm sorry that I'm alive and your not, but I can't live like a ghost anymore. I just can't, I want to live. I know I'm selfish but I can't come here anymore, I'm sorry I just can't, please, please, just let me live. Please, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry."
The tears would not stop coming and soon exhaustion finally claimed her and she fell asleep at the crypt. When she woke up the sun was shining. Her clothes had become muddied her face, her eyes red and dry. She then walked home, and for the first time in a long time the villagers saw a young woman on the road and not a ghost.