The moment froze.
LM remained on his hands and knees.
Capernaum stood before him. A soft glow flickered around his edges.
LM stood. He tilted his head. “Capernaum?”
The older man smiled. “LM.”
“I don’t…You’re dead.”
“Yes. No doubts there.”
LM blinked quickly as he tried to make sense of what he was seeing. “How are you here?”
Capernaum shrugged. “I’m a ghost.”
“Oh. A ghost.”
“What does that mean?”
“I am.” Capernaum paused as he apparently had to think it over. “I am Capernaum’s spirit. I am everything that he was. His memory. His heartbeat. His sorrow. His joy. I am what is left over when death stole his breath away. LM, I am his life. His light.”
LM exhaled a soft breath. “Oh. So. You are Capernaum? You really are him?”
“Yes. I am me. I am the one who saved you from that vampire’s freak show. I am the one you tried to save from The Institute’s fire.”
LM started to reach for him, but pulled his hand back. “What am I going to do without you? Where am I supposed to go?”
“That’s why I’m here. Come. Follow me.”
LM didn’t question it.
He followed the ghost.
LM wasn’t sure if the people around them could see Capernaum. So, he followed the ghost in silence.
The ghost kept his silence as well.
LM wondered what his reasoning was. He wondered, but he did not ask.
The ghost led him past people and traffic, past stores and city corners, all the way to the residential side of the city.
Yet, the half-fey didn’t question him. He trusted him.
Capernaum would never lead me into harm.
He looked at the ghost’s hand and considered taking it. Yet, somehow it seemed like the wrong thing to do. He didn’t understand it. He couldn’t make sense of it. It was just one of those inexplicable things.
The ghost led him to a house.
A nice two-story house with a front porch.
The ghost walked up on the porch and looked back at him.
“Don’t worry. It’s safe. You’re safe, LM.”
“I know.” LM joined him on the porch.
Capernaum walked through the screen and storm door as if it were nothing extraordinary.
The storm door unlocked and opened.
The screen door opened.
LM entered the house without question. He stopped short as he recognized the scent of tangerines and the scent of oak, mocha, and musk. He looked back at the doors.
LM shook his head. “They won’t let me stay. They’ll hit me. They’ll push me away. I won’t be safe here.”
“Don’t worry. I will stay with you.”
LM looked back at Capernaum, at how his form glowed in the house’s dark.
I can trust him.
I know I can.