When night fell Lottie woke aptly. The church was disarrayed in darkness. I stayed by Lottie’s side as she slept the day away. I knew that I wouldn’t have much trouble anymore as Guest had already visited me. I was curious as to why our encounter had lasted as peacefully as it did, but gave it no more heed.
“Were you awake this whole time?” She asked, her voice barely audible.
“I was watching over you. I couldn’t have any ghosts attack you after all.” She smiled and then stood up with a yawn. She stretched her body as she groaned about. I couldn’t relate.
“Alright Summer, let’s go into town.” She pointed to the door with all the energy she could muster.
“To get caught?”
“I wanted to get caught after I stayed up all night. At least then, before I get sold off to a new family, I can say I’m an adult!” She stuck up the peace sign and cut the night with her smile.
“But, like you said, it probably doesn’t work like that.” After all, her dream had been shattered. It was a simple dream, a dream to be an adult, one gleaned through staying up through the thick of night. In her dream, when she got home, her parents loved her.
“Instead, I want to go into town to see if they’re looking for me,” she began to walk towards the door, her steps careful, as if guided by the darkness.
“If I can at least have that much, leaving wouldn’t be so bad.” I followed ahead of her and opened the door, letting the darkness overlap.
“You’d be happy getting some attention?” I asked.
“Is that too much for me to ask?” I shook my head.
“At this point? I’m sure you’re allowed to at least ask for that much, Lottie.”
“Thank you, Summer.” I deserved no thanks. I’d never come to think that any of my actions were anything to be thanked for. It wasn’t that I didn’t have any idea what to do, it was just that it was still only a hunch. No matter what Lottie wanted to do, I was going to have things go my way.
As we came back to the town we began being aware of our steps. It wasn’t that I should have been wary of my own steps, but with all the attention that Lottie had given me, I was practically making enough noise for a human. Although the area was dark, we both adjusted and scurried on by hiding behind telephone poles, garbage cans, and bushes. As quiet as the town was, I was starting to believe that this story with Lottie was going to end on the wrong side of her chagrin.
“No one’s here,” I whispered. Even I was inclined to feel a little disheartened at those words. Not a single person was up on the streets of this lonely town, not a single flash of light, no distant whispers, no frantic steps. I wished I could tell Lottie otherwise, to tell her that my heightened senses had picked up on the slightest alteration. But no one was looking for Lottie.
“I guess I was expecting too much, Summer.” She bit her lip and avoided my gaze. Her eyes were seeping, and her fists curled, opening her wound. I really did begin to feel bad, at least, I tried to.
“Are you going to go back home?” She didn’t answer.
“They’ll be mad at you that’s for sure. They might beat you, but maybe they won’t. It’ll damage the product.” I felt disgusted saying that. Lottie didn’t even flinch.
“They probably expected you to come back, Lottie. That’s why no one’s worried. It’s why you’re stuck with them for a year, right? You always came back.” She began to shake.
“That’s right. It’s probably why I’m doing it now too. In the end, I’m still just a child.”
“But you want to be free?” She nodded.
“You want to be an adult?” She nodded.
“You want to be a person?” Without hesitation, she nodded.
“I do.” There was a way for her to be all of those things, and at the same time, none of those things. I gave her the choice anyway.
“You still have one more option, Lottie.” She looked at me with raised eyes. Her entire body turned stone, perhaps, I should have left her like that, enveloped in the hope of another world.
“I can’t convince you to do anything you don’t want to do. And it’s not fair for me to give you this option. But I’ll tell it to you anyway will you allow me to do that?”
“What is it, Summer?” I told her of who I was, and what world I belonged in. I told her the things no sane human would ever believe in, as the World of the Living was made for just that, those of the living. I watched as her eyes remained blank, as she was processing all the niceties of the world she thought she knew. Then, I told her to come back with me. That is to say, to stop being human. It wasn’t that I was some kind of divine being who could turn a human into divine. There were others who could definitely do that, but I wasn’t one of them. However, no matter the world, loopholes existed. If I held Lottie’s hand while going through a door, I would bring her into my room. The rules of the world of the living would then be forfeit from her, and she would never be able to call herself human. At least, that’s what I thought would happen. The two worlds would have to equalize the oddity in some way. That was the only way I thought prudent.
It’s a concept that even I have trouble wrapping my head around. To the best of my ability, it works in a manner similar to that of evolution. Though I say this, it probably can’t be compared anyway. In short, those who call themselves humans in the World of the Living abide by human rules. They cannot fly, for one, without the assistance of machines. That rule becomes entangled in the laws of physics. Also with that law, is the discount of things like magic. My duty to collect shattered dreams would fall under that category. It shouldn’t exist in the World of the Living, and thankfully, I don’t exist in the World of the Living. I traverse from one plane of existence to another, and it is fact that in any version of the World of the Living, no one will ever find records of my being.
But take the records of a different plane of existence, that of which, I exist in, and the World of the Living will pale in comparison. The World of the Divine is where I preside, and any human looking into that world will find its edifice to be crushing. As much as there are rules to respect in the World of the Living, there are rules found in the World of the Divine as well. These rules can’t intersect, but can cooperate. Depending on the situation, different countermeasures are made.
After relaying all of this information to her, I waited.
This development would make my days much more interesting. It would bring about many implications to suddenly create a new divine in this World. I had yet to have trouble collecting shattered dreams, and so, I wondered what about people. However, even my hobby still left me empty at times. Perhaps having Lottie around, would make my days much more interesting. Either way, I was making baseless justifications.
In due time, I would figure what to do with her, I concluded.
As if enchanted by my words, or enchanted by the prospect of something so fantastical that it couldn’t possibly be true, she accepted. And so, I held onto her hand, opened the nearest door, and led her into my room, wherein she then stopped being human.