Message from Beyond

Title: Message from Beyond
Time Period: February 9, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary:In a rare instance, Beisdean is visited by a ghost of someone he knows. Even rarer, he agrees to help.

Most people are asleep at three in the morning, unless up with a colicky baby, working a graveyard shift, or suffering insomnia. But Beisdean Skye isn't most people, and he's made it a habit to be awake for that hour, sleeping earlier and then later into the morning to make up for the gap in his sleep. Most nights, he sits up reading, sometimes writing, sometimes just sitting and staring into the fire as he imagines himself a candle with the dimmest possible flame, imagining the dimness around himself as a shield against the minds that reach for his.

But tonight, fighting what seems to be a cold settling into his bones and his chest, the hour of three has come and he hasn't awakened. That candlelight he envisions is bright, glowing and inviting like a beacon, despite the fact he is face down in his pillow and hardly fit for any guests.

One by one, the ghosts appear, invisible to one another as they speak to the living, trying to wake him from his slumber, touching him with chilly fingers, shaking him so that he can hear their pleas.

Finally he moves, a groan muffled by the pillow. "It's rude to wake people in the middle of the night, you know," he mutters, voice rough. He doesn't raise his head, but concentrates until one by one, the ghosts disappear. All but one.

This final ghost seems to be… stubborn. Dressed in what looks like a sleeping gown, her skin has the palor of sickness, her dark hair cut short and slickened as if in a perpetual fever. Brown eyes watch him as he wakens, a frown pressing her lips together. If one could say a ghost would be pouting, this one certainly would be.

"He gave away my pendant. Always, he said he would never trade it. Ever," the young woman says in an accent that sounds of the south, of a place in England perhaps not often heard. The way the vowels and consentants form is quite different from most of the accents around these parts… Except for one.

"And he did. He traded it. The cross that mother gave me. My cross. It was supposed to keep him safe." She couldn't be older than twenty, by the looks of her, skinny and frail looking, as she must have looked before her death.

The man in the bed doesn't move, his long, lean form inert for quite a few moments, as if to hope she'll go away. Sometimes they do, if you ignore them long enough. His eye not pressed into the pillow slits open, barely noticeable, and peeks at the frail speaker.

Finally he sighs, sitting up in bed.

"I can't help you, lass. What you owned in your life, it's not my place to tell others what should or shouldn't be done with it, aye?" Beisdean frowns, looking at her, trying to determine just how "old" of a ghost she is — a nightgown's detailing is hard to place as a certain time's style.

"He's forgotten me," the young woman says, sitting down on the edge of the bed with her shoulders slumping. "I could have forgiven him giving it to a wife, a daughter, but… not a woman like her." Her voice isn't quite as frail, seems to be saddened more than disgusted despite her words.

It seems she isn't entirely unaware of his state, though, his illness. "You are sick— I hope it does not linger. You are the only one who can talk to him, who can ask him why he gave away my necklace— who can make sure he's okay."

As she says that, she reaches toward him, as if to feel his forehead.

Perhaps it's that sympathy, the unexpected kindness for him, that makes him continue the conversation instead of turning away. "It's just a cold," he says, looking down and sheepish as she touches his head, her own hands chilly despite her feverish appearance.

"Is this someone here, in Dornie, that I know? I cannot travel on every errand on favors to every visitor who asks," he says diplomatically, avoiding such words as ghosts or spirits — the dead tend to be angered at such terms. "You understand — it would be a tiresome and expensive undertaking if I were to do so, aye?"

"You feel quite warm," the young woman says in a genuinely concerned voice. But perhaps to her, the living would feel warm, whether feverish or not. "I should not have awakened you in your sickness, it could get worse. I would make you some soup, but…" She trails off, without finishing, her empty hands even spreading a little.

"I would not ask you to travel very far," she adds with her pout lessening, perhaps some hint of hopefulness in eyes that no longer carry the spark of life. "No, not sick— never sick as you are. No one should travel sick." As she continues, her voice drops into whispered tones, distant, as she reminises, "I— I never travelled much before. Until now, really. Never further than the next town. Something… brought me here, to you. I did not know why— until I saw. But my brother— he is here. Casper is here."

Her worry for him has him sigh and rise from the bed to put a hand on her shoulder. "I'm well enough. It truly is but a cold, and nothing as serious as yours was, I assure you, miss," Beisdean says softly, then sits again on the edge of the bed, hands moving to rest on his knees, clad in flannel. "And I apologize for making you travel all this way to see me — I hope you aren't disappointed." There's a smirk at that, almost as if he were talking to someone living.

"Casper…" he says, not making the connection to the 'Cas' he knows. "And who did this Casper give your trinket to? What would you have me tell him? I'm sure he hasn't forgotten you, whatever the reason he has to give away your charm. Perhaps he felt he had luck to spare, or that she could use you looking over her shoulder."

Head tilting to the side, she looks at him as if he should know exactly what she's speaking of. And his unrecognition seems to trigger something of an amusement. "You do not know who I mean— of course, he must still dislike his name. He always hated it. Went by a short version, a child's name… I would have thought he'd grow out of that. He's as old as you, now. You do not call yourself by a child's name, do you?"

The nostalgia is short lived as she continues, leaning forward in an attempt to explain. An attempt that seems to be difficult on her. Embarassing and improper, by the way she holds herself. "She had it, the… woman," the way she hesitated on the simple title it seems she's not entirely sure what to call her. "Whose… attentions…" Another word she seems to search for the proper way to say. "…that you were interested in."

Beisdean chuckles and looks down when she asks about his name, then lifts his head, mussed hair falling into his eyes as his brows raise when his 'interests' are mentioned. "The woman…" he begins, and then understanding dawns on his face.

"Mariah. And you must mean Cas…"

He watches her face for confirmation, even as he keeps talking. "My name is, in fact, a child's name, but it is my name, and I have no other. My mother liked it, and didn't know that it was a diminutive for another, but I quite like it, and hope you won't consider me foolish for keeping it, Miss Blackburn. What is your first name, may I ask? If I speak to your brother, I'd like a name so he doesn't think I'm being cruel. What would you like me to say? Besides that he should go by Casper, like an adult."

The mused hair seems to cause an instinctive reach forward to push it out of his face. The ghost of a touch settles the hair back, only to have it fall back again despite her attempts. "Missus Ryall, actually. I was… married when I was sixteen," she explains in a soft toned voice, as she looks off into the distance, as if wondering about something.

Something that must be out of reach, because she shakes her head, touching her forehead with her fingers. "They are too far away, but he is here…" For which she seems to recognize, at least. Whoever it is she is thinking about.

"Priscilla," she adds after a moment. "Though I suppose Casper probably still thinks of me as Priss, his baby sister…" She pauses, her mouth coming to a close. It takes a few moments before she seems to decide her desires, almost as if it's difficult to think. The state in which she must have died perhaps does not help. "I want— I just want to know why. Why he gave my necklace away…" She reaches forward again, grasping at the man's wrists as if this part means as much, despite her worries. "And if he's all right. He's so far from home, and even though he was always older than me he never acted it. He never took very good care of himself."

When his wrists are grasped, he presses his lips together, biting back his urge to pull away, to retreat. The Dead are needy, and most of the times he cannot give them what they ask. This time it's a small thing within his means — and the spirit one he feels sympathy for, despite all of his years of practice in making his heart hard to the ghosts.

"I'll talk to him," he promises. "Rest, and come see me in a couple of nights' time, and I should have some answers for you, aye?"

The relief that crosses her face is obvious, her hands loosening on his wrists. Priscilla's hands move, sliding down to his hands where they grasp, grateful. "I will pray that you recover quickly— good sir."

Then she suddenly smiles, even as the grasping fingers that never quite let go just seem to fade. The colors and sight of her fades as well, even as she speaks, the volume dropping, like the sentances are being spoken by someone walking away. "Perhaps being closer than I was… my prayers will be heard easier. I can not help but think they brought me to you… I will see you again, for my answer…"

By the end, there was barely a whisper. And then nothing.