Taletober 6: Passed Life

Inspired by @miuwis

On the last bit of her climb she walked entirely in shadows and it was cold. The winds swirled up from the valley below and shuffled the first fallen leaves of autumn. After the long summer her first taste of cooler weather had been welcome, but now she hurried to make the summit before the light was lost completely.

Finally, she came around the final bend in the trail and felt the dusty warmth of summer’s last rays on her face. The sun was nearly at the horizon and the orange light gave the clearing an otherworldly appearance.

Exhausted but happy, she shrugged off her heavy pack and settled down on the grass. In the valley below she could see the lights of her town. Everywhere people would be getting ready, preparing to welcome in the spirits of their departed ancestors on this special night when they were able to cross over from the other side.

When she was little her grandmother had explained why her community celebrated the past and honored the people who had come before them. Everyone who had ever lived and died in the valley had something they could share, something that was worth preserving. Some even knew the great secrets of the universe and could be persuaded to gift their knowledge to the living, if a person had an open heart.

Her grandmother had always told her she had an open heart, and that was why she had confided in her that when she was a girl a ghost had taught her how to converse with spirits. While others simply honored the departed, her grandmother spoke to those long dead and learned truths that were meant to elude the living.

She knew that somewhere down below her mother and father would be putting the finishing touches on a special meal and her brother would be hanging decorations meant to guide the paths of the spirits, something she had always loved to help him with.

But on this night, high above the town and alone in the clearing, there was no place else she would rather be. This is where her grandmother had taken her to meet the souls of her ancestors and this was where she had promised they would meet again.