The Ghost of Ackerly Green Publishing

The Ghost of Ackerly Green Publishing
March 23, 2018 CJ Bernstein
CJ Bernstein
In Further Tales

So first off, happy Friday night. Second, apologies for any typos, I’m hurrying to post this. Third, I just had a productive conversation with a ghost. Sort of. I don’t know his name or who he is exactly, but I do know he isn’t connected to the pins or the app or the chronocompass. He’s not even connected to Ackerly Green Publishing.

 

He’s from Neithernor.

 

Which means 1) I still don’t know exactly what’s happening here, and 2) we have a whole new thing to figure out.

 

I got to the office just after 7pm and I could hear him walking around inside. I took a minute because I couldn’t wrap my head around what I was doing, or why (besides MAGIQ!) but I opened the door, and he was there. I could see him in the dark. He’s not like a translucent movie ghost. He’s more like a blur that sometimes comes into focus. Like something in the corner of your eye. Almost like the more you ignore him, the easier it is to see him. If I kept the lights low it was easier to track him around the room. He was frantic, worried, pacing.

It seemed like he was trying to see me the same way I was trying to see him, until he stopped pacing, realizing I was there. I could make him out more clearly. He was in clothes from another century (not sure which, 17th/18th?) and he had this blue coat on. Parts were light blue, some were darker blue, and the colors looked like they were moving. Changing. We stood there staring at each other, unsure what to do.

I came prepared to record the whole thing, but my phone only picked up my half of the conversation so I have to piece together what he said from memory and connect it with the recording of my voice: (I didn’t know how to format this so I stole Martin’s method for his interview with Augie since he knows what he’s doing.)

 

G: Can you hear me?
S: Yes, you?
G: Do you know why I’m here?
S: No. I thought it was about the pins? (I showed it to him but he didn’t seem to recognize it.) It’s our company mascot. Ackerly Green Publishing.
G: That is this place?
S: Yeah. Do you know anything about it?
G: No.
S: Do you remember anything about yourself? Where you’re from? Maybe what you’re doing here?

 

G: I am lost to myself. There are holes… in my mind. I want to remember but there are missing pieces. I don’t know why, but in looking for them I was drawn here.
S: To the office?
G: Something is happening here.
S: I know. I thought you were part of it.
G: I am lost. I saw a light. I followed it. But I cannot remember what I was searching for. What I thought was waiting beyond the light. I found you here.
S: Sorry.
G: Can you help me somehow?
S: I don’t know. I have friends who know more about this kind of thing. Well, not really ghosts, so much as magic…
G: Magic.
S: Yeah.
G: I know magic.
S: You do?
G: I was killed by magic. I saw others fall.
S: Who fell?
G: The Monarchs.
S: You’re Monarch’s Mountain? Are you talking about Neithernor? The war?
G: The massacre.
S: Is this because we’ve been to Neithernor?

 

He didn’t answer.

 

S: Maybe you got lost and followed someone through a door? Maybe that was the light?
G: I do not remember… I looked across…

 

He stopped.

 

S: You looked across what?
G: It was dark, cold. I looked across…

 

I’m embarrassed to say it took me way to long to realize what he was trying to say. I finally caught up and frantically yanked my phone out of my pocket…

 

S: I got a weird text yesterday… I mean, a weird message. I think it might be for you.

 

I showed him the phone. He looked closely at it and repeated the phrase…

 

G: I looked across the cold and silver swirling sea.

 

Suddenly it was like all the heat and sound left the room. The lights went out. And it’s like we weren’t in the office. It was like a cold, black void.

And I could see him glowing in the darkness. The look on his face was like something had dawned on him. I could barely hear him–

 

G: I remember. I looked across the cold and silver swirling sea. I was the one who first saw them coming. I was the one who knew. I saw it all begin.

 

And then the lights came back up, I was back in the office, and he was gone.

So, Mounties? WTMF?

Notable Replies

  1. Well the Book of Briars always used to send us to someone who needed help. It seems our pins are cut from the same cloth. We’ll have to try to find a way to help him.

    I guess ghosts can’t drink tea, can they? Can they?

  2. Blue coat + overlooking a large body of water, to me, = Ebenguard (or Ebgorad for him?).

  3. Gotta say, your reaction would have mirrored my own. What on Neithernor is going on here… Are… I don’t even want to say this, it makes my stomach turn to even think this to be the case, are all the ghosts I have heard some of the other guilds report… Fallen warriors?
    Are they lost, so they show themselves to their inheritors so they can be set free?
    Thats. Wow. I need a minute.

    He saw the war start, and if everyone’s right and he was Ebenguard… We can probably guess the Silver live somewhere off the mainlands, to the Eastern seas. I’ll bet that was even intentional, if I were to place a guild hall between me and Silver it would be Ebenguard hands down.

  4. Rimor says:

    Guys he didn’t call it a war, he called it a massacre. Which means that they were unprepared and not at all expecting an attack. That’s even more barbaric.

  5. I can’t help but wonder if this IS the Book of Brairs opening.
    In Book of Wilds there was magiq.
    In Book of Kings there wasn’t.
    We don’t really know what’s inside this new book, this new chapter.

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