The preparation for my first days haunting got off to a fantastic start. I had already discovered that spirits didn’t seem to need any sleep. No matter how many hours passed, my energy levels never seemed to dim at all.
I wasn’t hungry either. Odd considering that the feast had ended more than twenty-four hours ago and I’d only barely picked at my food.
At least not needing sleep left plenty of time for planning all of the different ways that I could torment Solen.
When I had made that exhilarating dive from the top of the waterfall a few hours ago, my only desire had been the yearning to experience what a fall like that would feel like. When alive I had often wondered what it would feel like to fly. I had even considered joining the older boys in their cliff diving demonstrations of bravery and strength. But I never found the nerve to go through with it because I was too scared of making a mistake and hurting myself or worse.
The reality of what I had dreamed didn’t quite go the way that I had envisioned though. The first few moments of my dive had been perfect, exactly what I had always dreamed they’d be with the wind rushing by me, and that feeling of adrenaline and freedom that made me almost feel like I was a bird in flight.
It turns out though, that there’s a lot of time left over after that initial rush for second thoughts to work their way back in, and plenty of time still to reach full blown irrational panic as you watch the suddenly rock-solid looking surface of the water rush up towards you.
Apparently panic wasn’t considered a deliberate act by whatever new set of laws I was working to though. Somehow in the midst of all that blind terror, my scream and silent pleas for my fall to stop, turned into a very real set of metaphysical breaks.
After a few more moments passed, I realised that the wind was no longer whistling in my ears and my body still hadn’t hit the water. I opened my eyes and found myself floating a couple of centimetres off of the dark surface of the water like some sort of weird human shaped pond-strider.
Of course, the second that I managed to drag in my first choked breath of relief, my concentration broke. I plunged into the icy cold, the water closing over my head as I sank down to the muddy bed of weed on its bottom.
It wasn’t until I waded out on the opposite bank of the river that I realised that, although I had automatically held my breath the moment before I went under, there hadn’t been that familiar burning pressure telling me that I needed air.
It was kind of obvious really once I thought about it, after all, what use did spirits have for oxygen? It wasn’t like I had a corporeal body to process it.
I made another startling discovery as I sat shaking on the bank. My hair and clothes should have been sopping wet, but I had somehow climbed out of the river just as dry as I had been before I went in. Clearly spirits just didn’t get dirty? Or at least I hoped that was the case as clearly bathing would be a thing of the past for me now.
With each discovery a little more hope flared to life in my chest, and I spent what was left of the night trying to discover exactly what else my new spirit-form could do.