Cellia was floating high in the sky, observing her own reflection in the wall of water before her when, all at once, the storm clouds began to receded and she began to fall, slowly, back down to the spongy surface of the alien world she had been transported to. A pair of moons revealed themselves through the clearing cloud cover, heralded by some tiny flying wisps of color that tweeted and chirped like birds as they played in the evening dew.
Cellia the orb was nowhere to be seen now. Or, rather, the other orb named Cellia. The girl from Alm had been transformed into an orb herself, and was now without arms or legs or anything else she had ever called her body. How she was still thinking or moving she didn't understand, but for whatever reason, when she willed herself to go forwards this way or that, her new carriage, her own orb, responded rather well. And so she floated up to the top of a nearby hill to try and get a better sense of where she was at.
In the bright moonlight atop the hill, Cellia could see clear across the lake she had crossed with her bridge of tears. She could see a tall mountain range off in the distance, too, made of towering, angular peaks. While there were many of the bird-like wisps of color in the sky and on the wet, translucent grasses, but other than that it seemed as if Cellia was completely alone.
"Hello?" she called out. "Cellia?" The other green orb, also named Cellia, that had transported her to this place was nowhere to be seen. "Great," Cellia huffed, "What am I supposed to do now?"
Just then, out of the ground rose two forms. It started with a shaking of the strange see-through grass, which then began to grow upwards and then fall down the forms of what looked increasingly like human beings. Out their bodies came from the spongy surface, all the while squeaking as they pressed their way up from the ground. Cellia saw their hands break free of the soil and then begin to grasp about, as if they were new to feeling. The forms then began to lose their lumpy blockiness and become more refined, as if being sculpted by the wind, until all the excess matter was borne away and they stood erect, two death-gray human forms shaking in the moonlight.
"Where is she?" one form asked another. It's face was still forming, its features still carving themselves into the clay.
"I can...smell her," the other form answered.
"There she is!" the first monster roared, pointing its dirt finger towards Cellia.
"Oh, no!" Cellia cried, as the wraiths began to crawl her way. Their legs didn't bend at the knees, rather they spun around completely in their hip sockets, three hundred and sixty degrees each time. This meant they had to move very fast, so as to avoid falling down, and so they reached Cellia before she had a chance to get away.
"Oooh, she'll do just fine," one of the monsters said, drooling mud from its lips.
"Are you going to eat me?" Cellia asked, paralyzed with fear.
"Better," the other monster said. "We're going to play with you!" it roared. It swiveled its long, filthy leg up into the air, and then brought it back around with a forceful whoosh. Its foot hit Cellia hard and sent her spherical form flying up into the air.
"Good! Good!" cried the first monster. It ran across the dewy field and positioned itself under Cellia's soaring form. "Here!" it said, headbutting the orb back across the field.
"Watch this!" the second monster boasted. He planted one of his arms into the ground and then bucked his legs up into the air, meeting Cellia with a heavy thwack that sent her bouncing back the other way.
"Stop, please!" Cellia cried. "You're breaking me!"
"She wants us to stop!" one of the wraith's cried. "Too bad. Too bad she has to die!"
Cellia suddenly felt so sad, as she was bandied back and forth across the field by the terrible monsters. Their game didn't hurt, but every time they kicked or butted her she felt her orb crack a little more. How much longer could she possibly hold on?
But then Cellia remembered what the other Cellia the orb had told her, that she couldn't die in this strange place. "But you can't kill me," she managed to blurt out.
The monsters hissed and stopped their play. "You say what?" one of them asked, terrified.
Cellia came to rest gently on the ground between them. "I said, I know that you can't kill me here," she said again.
"Oh, but we can!" the monsters cried.
"Wrong. You can't. So don't even try!" Cellia roared. At this defiance, she began to hover again, and glow brighter. She could feel her orb healing too, could feel the cracks sealing.
"Noooo!" the creatures cried, as they began to blow away. Their soggy forms dried out into sand and detritus as they wailed, some invisible wind tearing them apart and then banishing their cries from the world altogether.
"Well," Cellia said after the last speck of the creatures was at last gone. "At least I can't die. But how am I ever going to leave this place?
TO BE CONTINUED...