Adam awoke, as he usually would. He found that he lied in his exact bed as well. It took him a few seconds before everything flooded into his mind.
Jumping onto the floor beside the bed, pain rocketed through Adam’s body. It was strong enough to cause him to fall right back down. He lied there with his feet dangling over the edge.
Taking a glance to his left, he noticed Charlotte had been lying there this entire time, eyes shut. She had returned to her original appearance and seemed to be wearing a navy blue sweater and black pants.
“Why… what the hell?” Adam stood up a second time, this time with his weakened body in mind. He still had to hold onto his nightstand next to his bed to keep his balance. “Why are you sleeping in my bed!?”
“I must recharge my energy, especially after that act I was doing last night.” Charlotte’s eyes opened, and she rose up from the bed in a robotic-like fashion. “I have to make sure my body doesn’t fade away, so moments of rest are required to stay existing.”
“Uh… whatever. ANYWAY! What was all of that!? What happened last night?” Adam looked down at his hand. “I think… Yeah—I used some crazy power? World Mirror… right?” He held his head. “It’s kinda fuzzy… although I DO remember you attacked me.”
“Correct. I couldn’t be nice. You didn’t know how to use the power, so I had to physically and emotionally beat it out of you.”
“T-That’s messed up…”
“But now that you have accessed that power, I’m going to help you figure it out.”
“…It sounded like you needed this power for yourself, though. I wanted you to tell me about it.”
“You collapsed before I could.” Charlotte shrugged. “But… I have to apologize…” She fidgeted around, clearly distraught. “I’ve had my memories altered with, it seems. While helping you, I hope to uncover the things that I have forgotten.”
“Are you serious…? Of course, your memories were messed with…” Adam had the energy to start walking around his room. “If that’s the case, then how can we be sure this World Mirror stuff is accu—”
Adam stopped walking just in time. Pieces of glass were scattered all over his wooden floor. A glance up revealed that an old, small television that he barely even used was broken. Someone had thrown a remote directly into it—the device still lodged inside.
“I have to apologize…” Charlotte began. Adam turned around and noticed she was facing away from him. “I didn’t know how to get the television to work so I could see that news thing…”
“So, you threw the remote into it?” Adam seemed more disappointed than angry. He carefully walked along his floor so he could reach behind the television. Picking up a cord, he waved it at Charlotte. “You could have just plugged it in. I’m pretty sure it still works decently enough.”
Charlotte turned slowly back toward Adam, seemingly glaring at the cord to the television. She turned back around a few moments later.
“I have to apologize—”
“Enough apologizing.” Adam sighed. “Now, here’s a question. How did you manage to get all of that information on me if you barely know how to work a simple TV? I assume you would have to look up things on a computer and whatnot.”
Charlotte lied back down on the bed. “Since I’m a spirit, I can do things such as pass through objects, as you saw last night. Or possess people.”
“Possess? You can do that too?” Adam was puzzled. “How did you manage to use that to get info?”
“Well, it’s quite simple, really…” Charlotte began an explanation but paused. The next thing Adam noticed, she was fast asleep.
“Uh, hey? Wake up?”
“Must… recharge… energy…” Charlotte was able to mumble those words before the walls started to echo her loud snores.
“What the hell is even happening at this point?” Adam glanced over at his nightstand and noticed his cell phone and the envelope Pam gave to him were there.
“Damn… this envelope is covered in my blood.” Adam looked down at his clothing. It was torn to shreds, covered with dirt and his blood. “I need a shower.”
Adam opened up the envelope to check the damage done inside. There was a note folded up but was miraculously not covered in blood like the outside was.
“I could open it now… I figure almost dying last night was considered a low point. But…” After hesitating for a few moments, Adam put the note back inside the envelope. “Not yet.”
Setting the envelope down, he picked up his cell phone. Cracked, but seemingly still functional. Although it was difficult for Adam to read what was on the screen. He sighed, putting it down as well.
A few minutes later, Adam was in the shower. He had his head lowered, the water flowing through his hair. The dirt and blood on his body were starting to come off, but he figured some extra scrubbing was necessary.
“I don’t feel that pain I felt when I woke up.” Adam looked around on his body. There did not seem to be a scratch on him. “That… World Mirror power. Did it heal me?”
Adam raised his hand, almost touching the showerhead. “I guess I can consider this something along the lines of a Concept…? How do I even use it?”
Adam peeked outside of the shower at the bathroom door. He had locked it, yet knew that Charlotte could just phase through it if she wanted. Or bust it down simply with her strength.
“I’m not sure if I can trust her. She did beat the hell out of me last night, after all. If I do have some incredible power, I need to figure out how to use it. Just in case…”
Adam closed his eyes and held his hand in front of him.
“World Mirror, ACTIVATE!”
“Well, that’s all I can think of.” Adam was calm on the outside but was dying of self-embarrassment on the inside.
Adam turned off the shower and got out. After drying off with a towel, he put on clothes that matched the ones he wore the day prior.
Walking out of the bathroom, he was met with Charlotte standing right in front of him—her eyes seemingly empty.
“Uh, hey. Did you enjoy your nap?”
“I have to apologize…”
Adam sighed. “Not this again.”
“When I woke up, I used my phasing ability to pass through the walls to look for you. I ended up in the restroom for a brief moment…” Charlotte bowed. “Please forgive me, I didn’t mean to look!”
“Huh? I don’t care. It’s fine. You’ve been acting really freaking meek ever since I woke up.” Adam lightly patted Charlotte’s shoulder. The cold that he felt jogged his memory swiftly on something he had seemed to lose focus of.
Charlotte was, in fact, a ghost. A spirit—Adam was interacting so casually with someone who was no longer considered alive.
“Hey, so… How much do you know about ghosts?” He asked her.
“I know Phantonics has rounded up quite a bit of detail on them. I was much more focused on trying to search for the World Mirror, however. So… I didn’t have much time to look into it.”
“Right… Okay…” Adam scratched his head. “Well, why not start there? If you learn more about ghosts, you’ll learn more about yourself. Maybe how and why you ended up as one?”
“That could be…” Charlotte nodded—a tiny smile forming. “Let’s start with that, then!”
“All right. I have an idea as to how we can teach you all of that stuff. I’ll have to see if he’s available.” Adam walked back into his room—Charlotte following closely behind. He picked up his phone and sat on his bed, staring intensely at the screen as he pressed it.
“What are you doing?”
“Trying to see what these texts I’ve got say. Kinda hard to, since someone smashed up the screen.”
“Stop,” Adam stated bluntly. “Okay… They’re from Faith and Brandon. Both of them are talking about the same thing, actually…” He glanced up at her. “About the noise in the woods last night…”
“That was definitely our little bout, wouldn’t you say?” Charlotte giggled.
Adam seemingly became unnerved—Charlotte noticing his body tense up.
“What? You don’t have to worry, I made sure nobody was around. There’s no trace of my energy there, as well—and they don’t have the means to detect your power.”
“…How exactly did you remove all traces of your power?”
“Huh? I’m an Ouderkirk. I have complete control over phantonic energy. So making sure I didn’t leave any behind was easy. I just… absorbed it back into my body. Pretty simple.”
“…We were in the woods north of town—literally behind my house,” Adam began to explain. “After hearing the strange noises, Faith said people went to investigate it.”
“Yeah…?” Charlotte was puzzled as to what was upsetting him.
“You would think they’d find obvious evidence that there was a fight…” Adam paused, looking intensely at Charlotte.
“They found nothing.”
Next: Chapter 9
Previous: Chapter 7
SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THE HEROES OF REQUIEM ON PATREON: