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Counting The Days


I stand here, watching. Waiting.

Waiting for you to come back to me.

It’s been a long time now, hasn’t it? Two thousand years…

Sometimes, I wonder if you’re ever coming back. It seems so long ago that your sail disappeared over the horizon, your last whispers fresh in my ear. “I’ll be back. Wait for me…” you had said. And wait I did. I stood on that cliff, not daring to leave it for food or drink. I fasted until my body withered away. But my sprit remained.

Nowadays, the legend says that I simply stood there for so long that my body turned to stone. But it wasn’t quite that simple…after I died, the local sculptor came up to this cliff. Inspired by my story, he carved my likeness in stone, and left the statue by the seashore where I had waited as a tribute. The villagers often chatted to themselves about what would become of my lover when he returned and saw the statue, though over the years, the talk gradually decreased, then stopped altogether. I took this as meaning my love would return soon, but alas, he did not. I took up residence in the stone carving, hidden from the living, but the true seers had always sensed my presence. A story emerged, growing more fanciful with each retelling. It became so that my only mention was by old grandmothers, passing the legend down to their children, and continued in this vein for many years.

Then came the turning point.

A few centuries ago, a Gastly stumbled upon me. He too was saddened by my story, and offered to restore it to the truth. I accepted, but there was a catch. To resume human form, he had to receive one soul a year, which I could not deliver to him. He left and told me to call out if I ever stumbled across one.

It was ten years later when I finally did. A young artist of about twenty had come to the peak to sketch me. I waited rather impatiently, hoping he would touch me, allowing me to take his soul…when he turned to leave, he stopped, and came back to stroke my face. I trapped him and called upon the Gastly. What horrible fate met the poor man I do not know; all I can recall is that Gastly took him away. The ghost pokemon was true to his word, for the next year, the legend had changed, and was now truthful. I thank him for that.

Each year, some poor lovestruck boy climbs my cliff to marvel at my beauty, and is captured in the statue for Gastly to take away. It’s a rather deadly game I play, for if I fail to capture a soul each year, I will be forced to leave my statue…and lose all hope of seeing my love again.

One year I came dangerously close to that.

It was not too long ago when a pair of young men stood beside me. I thought nothing of them, simply waited for one to get too close. The dark-skinned one stood nearby for hours, but never came out to me. Oh, how my heart ached then! He was so close, yet so far!

That night something terrible happened.

Two young women, looking for the lovers I had enchanted, approached me. I tried to capture the men, but failed. The women refused to release them. The older one even went so far as to say that I was pathetic, waiting for my love so long. She could never understand…I could tell she cared deeply for the blue-haired gentleman I had failed to deliver to Gastly. I cried over that later, because she reminded me so much of…myself. Even when her lover was doomed, she didn’t give up on him. She would have made a fine companion for me, up on this cliffside….

The women and their men escaped from me, and I worried if I would be able to capture a soul before the year’s end. I was lucky: when my time was running short, a thief arrived to steal my statue. He touched it, and I gave his soul to Gastly.

The few years after that went smoothly, but the redhead’s words still echoed in my mind: was it really wise for me to wait for my lover? He had not returned, even after all this time. But I now know I couldn’t leave even if I wanted to. I had been here too long to give up now. I can scarcely remember anything of my life anymore…

So I stand, on this cliff, waiting.


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