The Waking of Ghosts by Lilliana Rose
At the Lost Souls academy, students aren’t your everyday alumni.
Rejects from clans, packs, and covens walk the halls, but there’s something more sinister haunting the academy...
Zarya kept to the concrete path that pushed away the patches of green grass, full and lush
from a gentler-than-normal summer and overwatered by the city council. Her breath eased,
despite her keeping a fast pace and the heaviness on her shoulders as if she fought off the
memories, but they continued to chase her. The park was doing as it was designed, offering a
sense of peace for those who passed by and gave the city a chance to breathe, instead of
concrete over every inch.
Nature wasn’t somewhere Zarya sought in the modern thoughts of being mindful and at
peace. She preferred the high-rise buildings, tons of concrete, smell of heavily polluted air, and
buzz of life in its business as well as the tension of how the paranormal lives resided undetected
with humansat least most of the time.
Zarya looked ahead to see how much further until the edge of the park. She wanted to get
back walking on the sidewalks, the cars rushing past on one side, and the comfort of buildings
on the other with people dashing in between.
A swirl of wind picked up a handful of fallen leaves, breathing false life into them as they
floated upward, circling in the air.
Her skin prickled.
Her thoughts tangled.
She tried to discern what was attacking her. A ghost? A typical mundane mugging? It wasn’t
something she wasn’t used to.
A rush of energy came from behind, but Zarya reacted too slow, side-stepping out of the way.
The bolt of energy partially hit Zarya, knocking her to the ground. The path hit hard on her
backside, sending a shooting pain up her spine, and her breath rushed from her lungs. Zarya’s
mind raced thinking of what had just happened. How could she have missed sensing a ghost?
She’d never had something like this happen before. Her skills were reliable, good, and she
always had enough time to prepare.
The air chilled around her. It smelled of a rotting ghostly spirit. Yet, she wasn’t sure.
She sat, stunned, hands by her sides, ready to push herself up, so she could fight back.
But no one was there.
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