Sorry for the long absence. Depression had been making me bleh but I am starting to feel better, and want to thank everyone for your patience. I am sorry for lack of updates and will try harder! -strikes heroic pose-
I was sorta aware of waking up and my eyes opened just slightly. The light kinda hurt so I closed my eyes again and rolled over, feeling super weird. Like… I didn’t know what was wrong but it felt weird. Like the way the blanket and sheets were rubbing against my skin. I buried my head in the pillow, trying to go back to sleep but after a moment I felt weird… like something was struggling to get in my nose; my throat felt kinda clenchy and my chest felt heavy. My head gave a freaky throbbiness and I rolled over again, gasping loudly as air swept into my body and it felt so freaking weird!
I tried to sit up but I couldn’t, it was like my body was paralyzed and maybe it was. But then I moved my arms and was able to prop myself up. I felt so heavy. “Specter?” I saw him sitting by the bed I was in. “Oh good, it wasn’t a dream.”
“No,” he said slowly, eyes searching my face. “Are you feeling all right?”
“I feel… weird. Heavy. Like…” I looked down and then remembered what I had done. The experiment. It had worked? I shifted my body and pushed back the blankets, looking at my legs. My… human-y looking legs. “WATCHER!” I screamed happily. “I HAVE LEGS! I always had legs but now they’re LEG-LEGS!” I lifted my hands and then began touching my skin. “I have skin! I really–I’m alive!” I moved forward to drift into Specter’s arms but it didn’t work. I just sort of tipped over the side of the bed and then would have fallen in the ground if Specter hadn’t caught me.
He gave a laugh. “Hey now, no trying to fly. You can’t do that anymore.” He moved towards the bed, sitting me up in the bed and then sitting next to me. “You’re alive. I didn’t–I never thought–you–the experiment… when you said it would fix you, I didn’t think you meant you’d be alive.” He touched my hair and then my cheek, and my entire body got this weird, weird feeling like this prickly feeling.
“That felt nice. It felt… so…” I looked up at him and he stroked my cheek. His fingers felt so warm. It was an amazing feeling that made me go all prickly again. It set waves of pleasure through my body. “Wow.”
“How would you like your first kiss as a living person?” he asked and I shivered, then nodded. He bent forward and his lips went against mine. Oh–my–Watcher. I had never, ever, ever felt anything like this. It was like all the feelings I felt before when we kissed or had sex was multiplied by a bajillion million. In fact it made me feel all… wobbly and… swimmy and… my head felt weird and my throat and chest again and then it kinda hurt, actually, just a bit and I couldn’t take it anymore so I pushed him back. I gave a loud gasp and felt better when the air came into my body. “You didn’t breathe, did you?” he asked, eyes in little slits.
“Um–no. Was I supposed to?”
“Yes!” he roared and I pulled back a bit. “Sorry. Yes,” he said again, this time softer. “You’re alive now. Living people need to breathe.”
“O-okay.” Breathe, breathe, breathe in, breathe out. I focused on my breathing, suddenly paranoid that if I didn’t I would stop but then Specter distracted me with a kiss. A small, quick one. I beamed. “Kissing when alive is really… nice. Like, super nice. It feels so different!”
“Good different, I hope.”
“Very.” I snuggled close to him and touched his arm. I ran my finger along his skin, delighting in the feel of it.
“We didn’t get a chance to talk yesterday–“
“Yes, you’ve been out for nearly twenty hours now,” he said with a frown. “Yesterday was pretty–pretty insane. I guess it’s good I was so freaked out since if I had been a little calmer I would have not been so… ah, willing to let you go through with the experiment.”
I moved my fingers up to the sleeve of his shirt. I slipped one finger underneath and massaged the tattoo of the grim reaper. “You would have stopped me from doing what I wanted?”
“Yes,” he said without hesitation. “I would if I thought you would get seriously hurt from it. And I hope you’d do the same with me.” He wrapped his arms around me, lips against the back of my neck. “Watcher… your hair is an amazing color.”
“And I didn’t have to dye it,” I giggled and he growled playfully, tickling me. I shrieked and my entire body jerked and spasmed since it never felt like that before. I shrieked until it felt weird and my shrieking stopped as I gulped in some air. Specter stopped at that, letting me settle down and breathe. “What color is it?” I asked and tugged at my hair so I could look. “Whoa, that is weird!”
“Maybe you’re part berry.”
“What? Part what?”
“Berry. Colorful people. Like your hair.” He ran his fingers through my hair and then I twisted my body so I was stretched out facing him. “Your eyes are very brilliant too. And you have freckles.”
“I do? I WANNA SEE!” I tried floating but that didn’t work so I pushed myself off of him and off the bed. I took one step and promptly tripped, crashing to the ground and pain went through me. I tried to go non-solid before I hit the ground but of course it didn’t work and I fell flat, face-first against the floor.
“Owwwww!” I wailed as I got to my hands and knees.
“Chance! Are you okay?” Specter jumped out of bed and pulled me to my feet. “Where’s it hurt? You’re not bleeding anywhere. Did you hit something sharp?”
“N-no, just the f-floor,” I sniffled. “That hurt. I’ve never felt that sort of pain before.”
“Next time you fall you put your arms out. And whatever you do, don’t let your head hit the floor… you could get a concussion.”
I nodded miserably as something strange happened in my chest. I put my hand against the spot and realized it was my heartbeat going faster. “I have a heartbeat,” I whispered, distracted now. “I have a beating, living heart. And other organs! And I have features! Please, help me to the bathroom! To the mirror!”
He did so slowly. I was awkward taking steps and I could tell if he wasn’t holding me up I’d fall. But we got into the bathroom and I found myself staring at an unknown reflection. It was like looking at someone else completely. I reached up and touched my skin, my jawline, my nose–I did have freckles! I touched each of them and then leaned in close. My eyes were a bright color. I touched my ears, stuck out my tongue, examined my teeth, and rubbed my eyebrows.
“Wow,” I breathed out. “Wow.”
“My thoughts exactly,” Specter said.
“Really?” I turned towards him carefully. “You think I look ‘wow’?”
“I think you’ve always looked ‘wow’ but… wow. Seeing you alive is… well, it’s gonna take some getting used to. But definitely wow.”
“Hello?” called out a voice. Doctor Rosso, or Rood, or whoever she was. I was going to have to figure out what to call her.
Specter helped me into the bedroom and I beamed when I saw Kay was there too. “I have freckles!” I exclaimed. “And–and–and I’m alive.”
“I need to run some examinations on you,” the doctor said, lifting up a ste… steth-a-scope. “I need to make sure your health is normal.”
I lay back down on the bed and the doctor began examining me. She listened to my heartbeat and I squealed with delight when she let me listen in. She checked my blood pressure (I had blood in me now, pumping through my body!) and listened to my breathing. She looked in my mouth, my ears, and shined a light in my eyes. She had me do an eye chart to check my vision and it was fine. Then she had me squeeze this ball with my hand to check my strength, measured my height and my weight, and then hit my knee with a little hammer for my reflexes.
“Everything is fine,” she said, pulling a needle-y thing out from her bag. “All that is left is a blood sample.”
“O-okay…” I watched as she took a little rubbery thing off the needle and then as Kay rubbed a spot on my arm with a cold little bit of cloth that smelled funky. Then Dr. Rosso pushed the needle into me. “OUCH!” I yelped, jerking. She made a tsking sound, demanding I hold still. I tried my best but felt kinda ill watching the little tube fill with red liquid. My blood. My blood.
She pulled the needle from me and snapped it off, tossing it in a bag Kay was offering her. “That is all. I may need a urine sample and a semen sample, to—stop giggling–to make sure everything is–stop giggling!” I managed to clamp my mouth shut and stop. “Make sure everything is as it should be. What are you doing?”
I was looking closely at my hands now, studying the little lines creeping all over them and the slight pebbliness on my skin and the bluey-liney thingamabobs and it was just so pretty. I looked past my hands at the doctor and smiled. “My skin has details now,” I said. “All of me does! Oh! Think I can grow a beard now?” I looked at Specter who smirked under his own beard which actually now that I really noticed it, was kinda big and wild and it looked better all trimmed. I’d have to talk to him about that.
“I see you’ve trained him well,” the doctor snorted as she packed up all her things. “Come on, brother. We have some work to finish.”
“I’ll b-be there in a minute,” Kay said and his sister shrugged, leaving us alone. I slithered out of the bed and tried to stand but just fell. Specter was there to catch me again though. “I w-was thinking perhaps t-tomorrow we could go shopping and g-get you some clothes, and your own necessities.”
“Us? Go out? Shopping?” I asked, eyes going very big at that thought. “I can go out in public now? I–I can! I can go out.” I looked at Specter’s face kinda really startled by this thought. “Out in public! Where people are!”
“Up where they walk and up where they run?” Specter said with a weird snorting sound. I tilted my head, not really sure I understood what he meant. “Never mind.”
“Well, um, in any case–shopping. For–clothes? I need to buy clothes? Hmm…” I looked down at my body. I was wearing a shirt and something covering my private area which felt really odd. I wriggled and then closed my eyes, trying to phase into more comfortable clothes until I felt a throbbing feeling in my head and my eyes actually hurt from squeezing (I didn’t know that could happen) and I sorta forgot to breathe again. I sucked in air and opened my eyes, seeing weird lights dancing around.
“Did you try to phase into clothes?” Specter folded his arms and raised his eyebrow. “And forget to breathe?”
“Maybe. I dunno. Yes,” I finally admitted. “I have to put clothes on? That’s going to be so weird. How do you remember to do all this stuff?”
“And take baths or showers,” Specter pointed out. “Brush your hair. Teeth. Get your hair trimmed sometimes.” He then laughed as I crinkled my nose up.
“Ew. But–I can’t wait to try food and stuff. Everything feels different when I touch it.” I ran my hand down the blanket. “Everything smells different. Like stronger and sharper and more… more… strong. So I bet food tastes amazing!” I perked up at that. “Can we eat? Wait. How can I tell when I’m hungry?”
Specter and Kay both exchanged a look that made me feel a bit like a little kid. I frowned. It wasn’t my fault I’d have to learn stuff like getting dressed and when I was supposed to eat. But then Specter was smiling and wrapping me in his arms. “Don’t worry, Chance. I’ll help you with everything.”
I smiled and snuggled back, feeling comforted.
It was when Kay brought us food that something really awful happened. I didn’t think anything of it, I REALLY didn’t! But he brought in a huge tray full of food for me and Specter, setting it down on the small table. He explained he had already eaten and I asked if he’d stay in the room with us. He smiled and nodded. “Good,” I said happily. “Though I guess being alive will make it more difficult for me to be your puppy.”
I really didn’t see anything weird about that, but Specter certainly did. He was up in a flash and before I realized what was going on he was towering over Kay who was against the wall and shaking. “WHAT?!” Specter roared.
“N-n-n-n-no!” Kay stammered, hardly able to get the sound out of his mouth. “No, no-no-n-n-n-no! It’s not–no–not l-l-like–not like–no!”
“And what is it like?” Specter demanded, one hand curling into a fist.
“He f-f-followed me–around the l-labs all the t-time and everyone j-just started c-c-calling him a puppy d-d-dog and–and that’s all! It’s j-just because he f-followed me around!”
Specter looked at me. I was sitting up now, eyes huge. “Is that all?” he asked.
“What else would it be?” I asked in return.
His body relaxed and he backed up. “I see. My apologies, Professor. I just… I…”
“I underst-stand,” Kay stammered as he straightened up and adjusted his glasses. “B-but–but–no. N-never. Trust me on th-that. Never.”
“Straight as an arrow, are you?” Specter asked with a smirk.
Kay went deep red and he began fumbling with his tie. “Uh, wh-what? No… I mean… it’s not th-that. It’s other r-reasons. Um.”
I looked between the two of them and tried to figure out what was going on. Was ‘puppy’ another term for lover or something? I wrapped my arms around Specter and nuzzled his arm. “I love you,” I said.
He put an arm around me. “Mhm, me too.” Then he winced, took in a deep breath, and slowly said, “I… l… lo… lo…”
“You don’t need to say it,” I said, coming to his rescue. “Not all the time. ‘Me too’ will be fine. I know you love me. You don’t need to say it as much as I do.” I snuggled closer to him, all warm and happy. I kept repeating it over and over in my head when he said he loved me. Mmmmm.
“So what do you want your first taste of food to be?” Specter asked. “We have chicken… potatoes… green beans,” he said with a little nose crinkle, “and some fruit.”
“Ummmm.” I tapped my chin and looked at the food. It all looked so yummy. It was a shame there wasn’t any dessert stuff there. Well, fruit could be a dessert but I was thinking more along the lines of chocolate. I always liked sweet stuff, it seemed to taste the strongest to me as a ghost. “Potatoes,” I finally said and cautiously picked up the fork. And immediately dropped the fork. Frowning, I tried again this time a little more carefully. My fingers felt all clumsy and big. I held on tight and scooped some potatoes up. “Here goes!” I said and then slowly–so I wouldn’t poke my mouth with the fork–put it in my mouth.
Immediately hotness filled my mouth along with other things. Like there was this weird thing, and this other weird thing, and it was weird! “Mmmmph!” I bent over and spit it out on the paper towel. “Whoa! What is that?”
“It tastes so–so–so–so loud! Um, strong! Wow. That was so hot.” I stuck my tongue out. “Ih ih urhhn?” Specter just squinted. “Is it burned?” I asked the proper way before sticking my tongue out again.
“No, it’s not that hot,” Specter said and then took a bite. “No, it’s fine. It must be the flavor that caught you by surprise.”
“Must be.” I eyed the food then decided to try the chicken. It didn’t have one of the weird flavors but it had a different weird flavor and it did taste weird–and just as hot. I spit that out too. The green beans went the same way, and then the fruit which had none of the hotness but it tasted so weird! Then I began crying. Not loud, just tears going down my face and they felt so weird. Everything was weird. “I’m never going to be able to eat!” I sniffed, rubbing my eyes.
“No. No, you’ll be able to,” Specter said, trying to comfort me. “You just are used to things being difficult to taste, and bland. Maybe once the chicken cools some more you can try it.”
I did, and even though it still tasted weird I forced it down. But I couldn’t eat the potato or green beans until Kay ran out and came back with a new plate. “These aren’t s-salted or buttered,” he said and set it down. “T-try that.”
I did and it tasted soooo weird, almost yucky. Well the potato did. The green beans were okay. Then Kay put just a teensy bit of salt and butter on the potato and I kept trying it until it became something that didn’t taste too yucky. “I guess my cooking is going to become interesting now that I can taste,” I laughed. “I do want to try to cook though. Hmm, and now you can’t lie about my food.”
“Lie?” Specter paused, a fork full of food just in front of his mouth. “I never lied.”
“Liar. I know you lied about some of my food.”
“So. Um.” Kay came over with a new chair and sat down, looking a bit nervous. “I w-was wondering if I could t-talk to you sometime soon. About… about…” He nervously ran his fingers through his hair. “About who y-y-you are.”
I blinked then bowed my head, staring hard at my food. “No.”
“B-but I know who–“
“No.” I shook my head. “No. I don’t want to. Not right now.”
“B-but you’re unmistakably a D–“
“No! Please! Maybe later. But not right now. Please.” I gave him a pleading look and his face got all wrinkled and his mouth formed a thin line. “I got back some of my memories when I saw Specter. And now–now I’m all alive. I want some time to… to figure this living thing out. Maybe some other time you can–we can talk. But I don’t want to deal with trying to push through the fog right now.”
I could tell he wanted to argue but I was grateful when he didn’t. He just got back up to his feet. “Very well. But pl-please think about–about it.” He looked at Specter then back at me. “If you n-need anything just c-call.” With that, he left us alone again.
I went back to eating and then we moved to the bed to watch some TV but as I got up to go I tripped over something and hit the floor hard again. Specter lifted me into his arms and carried me to the bed, setting me down. “You’re going to need to get used to your new feet,” he said with a smile.
“I guess so.” I stretched out and looked at my bare feet, wriggling my toes.
“How come you didn’t want Professor Rood to tell you who he thinks you are?”
“Iunno. I just don’t want to think about that right now. My head feels really foggy right now and I don’t want to try to deal with that. I have a lot of other things to think about right now. Do you–do you think I should just listen to him?”
Specter rubbed his beard. “I think that’s your decision.”
I began inspecting my hands, tracing the lines along my palms and then picking at my nails. I very lightly touched the blue veins along my inner wrists and that caused this super strange feeling that made me squirm and whimper. “My wrist feels funny!” I said. “It has this almost-not-there feeling that just feels… uuugh I don’t like this. It won’t stop!”
Specter examined my wrist and then gently gave me a few scratches which made the feeling go away and I felt so incredibly stupid not to know what an itch was. Specter gave my head a pat then turned on the TV. We snuggled up on the bed and watched TV for a long time. I had so many questions but I wasn’t sure how to ask them. Eventually I had this weird feeling down near my groin and for a second I wondered if it was just the living feeling of, um, wanting sex. But it was a less pleasant feeling, and not quite in the right place so finally I whispered the problem to Specter who suggested maybe I needed to use the bathroom, which I wasn’t quite sure how to do. That’s not something I ever did as a ghost. At least not that I remembered. Specter gave me a few, um, instructions and luckily it was something pretty easy, if not weird.
I wasn’t sure about sleeping but I guess I eventually fell asleep and then had super vivid dreams, at least vivid compared to what they used to be. Like everything else, I supposed. I’d just have to get used to it. And in the morning, despite waking up with this awful feeling in my mouth and throat (I figured out on my own it was thirst), I was so excited. I was alive, and Specter was back, and everything was so wonderful.