“Which is what, how to be entertaining? Because I hate to burst your morbid little bubble, but you’re kind of a mood killer.” Sara said with a grimace.
“All I know is cleaning and kinetic motion… how to interact with the real world. There are three others like me, all with memories of hunters and trappers, of soldiers. We help him hunt, help him add to his stable.” Angela said with a faint smile. “Most of the other ghosts, like you, are kept to entertain. He floods your mind with years of musical training, inundates your thoughts with past performances and songs; makes it to where everything you are, what makes you… you, is music.”
Sara didn’t truly know what to say to such a statement, but on some level she knew it to be true.
All she could really remember at the moment was her death, a horrible jumble of sensations all made worse by the pain and terror that had accompanied them. Instead of remembering her birthday, she could now faintly hear a lovely ballad sung in a voice strikingly similar to hers, in a language she didn’t know, but was beginning to understand.
“It’s already started then, as you can tell.” Angela said with a smirk, waving a hand elegantly towards the far wall, the strips of peeling paint quickly rolling back up the walls, slowly aligning back into their original shapes, the torn seams vanishing slowly.
“The thoughts… the memories you know aren’t yours… they’re ours. Each and every one of us. Every person slain by Maestro, every time he’s fed on their vital essence, they’ve been slowly woven into the vast folds that are our minds.”
“She’s hearing the Sonata…” Another voice said, a hollow whispering that sounded as if the wind itself were speaking. Sara turned to see a frail girl… no, a frail woman, floating just mere inches from her. Her hair drifting lazily about her translucent frame as if she were suspended in a pool of crystal clear water, her eyes but hollow points of pale moonlight. Her skin was old, paper thin and worn. “The Sonata is what Maestro loves to hear from his newest acquisitions. It’s a song from his homeland, he told me. Long ago, a song that was sung to warn of the threats that surrounded them, the threats that lurked in the night.”
“That’s Eve…” Angela whispered to Sara just over her shoulder. “She’s been here the longest, and if what we believe is true, will soon be leaving us. Finally going to rest, after her years of service to Maestro.”
“Over a hundred years I’ve sang for him, from every moment he falls to bed from every moment he awakens… he loves to hear the Sonata, in his native tongue of course…” Eve whispered, floating closer to Sara than she felt comfortable with. The lower half of the woman’s body was merely vapor, no visible wounds standing out from her ancient features. “You’ll be learning it soon enough dearie, make no mistake.”
“Thank you?” Sara said awkwardly, not really knowing how to respond to such a statement. She felt a cold wash over her as Eve’s hand fell upon her cheek, a soft caress from what could have easily been made of ice.
“So lovely… just like I was when I was younger.” Eve said to herself as she began to fade from view, her voice becoming a mere echo. “So lovely…”
The time passed strangely for Sara, with vast tracts of time slipping past her notice like water through her fingers. Mimi would flutter into existence close by, dragging her through the crushing void to another section of the mansion, or perhaps another home, forcing her to gather supplies that their wayward master would apparently require in the coming evening. As they would return with armfuls of linens and silverware, Angela would tell Sara to aid another three specters in cleaning the vast kitchens behind the double doors, a task that proved futile as she was utterly incapable of doing any such task without the most direct of supervision, as her thoughts, her mind, were slowly being overcome with thoughts of songs, of notes and chords, of lyrics and melodies… all things Sara knew she had never heard before in life, but seemed to haunt her forever in death.
She found herself steered away from the kitchen after a time, trapped in a darkened corner of the house with the vaporous form of Eve watching over here, silently listening as she hummed the very song that reverberated throughout Sara’s mind. She ignored all attempts at conversation, and somehow seemed to have found a way to contain Sara within the stiflingly dark room, as every time she moved to leave she would find herself seated once more across from her, the same rotting armchair beneath her with the same broken table between her and Eve. Between the songs playing over and over in her head, the only thing she could really focus on was how her family must be feeling, how worried they must be.
Her two bratty cousins, her little brother and sister… their faces kept flashing through her mind’s eye, along with the images of her mother and father, and of her Aunt and Uncle. Did they know she was dead? It had to be morning already, and with her body left out like that she could only imagine how horrified they would be to find her. How was her little brother taking it? Her sister, only a baby really, wouldn’t be too broken up by it as she couldn’t understand death quite yet, but would she miss Sara at all? Would she even remember her?
“It’s almost time dearie.” Eve announced suddenly, her paper thin voice cracking from the effort it took the spirit to speak. “Just know that we’ve all gone through it, and it gets easier with time.”
“What, performing? I know it gets easier… I think.” Sara said, not really knowing which of her thoughts were hers and which were someone else’s.
Eve didn’t respond, choosing instead to pull them both into the soul-crushing darkness of the void and back into the ballroom that Sara had first appeared in. While it had been well lit before, now the entire place seemed to practically glow with energy, great spheres of light fluttering along the ceiling like fireflies, sparking whenever they came in contact with dazzling delight,