Fear Of Death
In the beginning of the world, there was magic everywhere. It seethed through the world from the deepest ocean to the very top of the highest peaks. It made everything, it controlled everything and, in time, people learned to control it.
They called themselves, wizards, witches, sorcerers or enchanters. They possessed the power to manipulate the magic of the world to whatever whims their hearts would desire and they could have ruled the world but for one fatal flaw.
Those with magical powers could not stand the idea of others who had similar power. It rankled them that they might possibly have to share, or worse still, be outdone. In true Highlander fashion, there could be only one. Whenever two people of magic met they did battle, at first trading blows as well as spells, either of which were as damaging with the other. Whenever one fell, his or her power was transferred to their opponent so in time there were fewer and fewer fighters, each with increasing levels of power.
After years and years, there were only two left. One grizzled wizard and one deranged sorcerer. For months and months they cast spells and enchantments at each other to not much effect, the magical energy being absorbed by protective forces or being deflected away to wreak some strangeness on far-flung parts of the world, some of which remain to this day. But in the end the sorcerer looked out from his tower to find a young lady seeking time in his bed. He let her in only to be brutally stabbed by the wizard after he quickly cast off his disguise. He was the only one left.
With all the magic in the world the wizard could now turn his attention to what he desired most in the world. Not power, not money, but eternal life. He cast his spells and for three hundred years his body stayed young and healthy but mortal flesh is not meant to last forever and he had an accident, he died, his spirit was released from his corporeal body.
At this point Death, who comes for us all, appeared to usher the wizard’s spirit to the next world. But one of the spells that the wizard had cast was to keep away death and when Death came close to the wizard it was filled with fear, an emotion alien and unpleasant so it fled without harvesting the wizard’s soul. His spirit was free to wander the Earth, unmolested, forever.
But forever is a long time. The wizard quickly got lonely of simply wandering through existence, he sought companionship. In the end he found it in the form of a simple baker, a man with nothing special in his life. The wizard found this man’s presence soothing and decided to follow him. The baker himself was unaware of the wizards presence accept for the occasional chill that would pass through his bones.
This lasted for many years while the baker lived a long and successful life, augmented on occasion by intervention by his invisible companion, until, in the end, the baker’s body succumbed to time and his life ended.
As before; Death arrived to perform his duty but once again saw the spirit of the wizard and was driven away by terror. The baker’s spirit was left where it was. The wizard was overjoyed, his companion was now of the same as him, they could be together forever. But there was a problem.
The baker’s spirit did not have the infusion of magic of the wizard that kept it very much alive and vital. Without it the baker’s spirit was simply a shade, without true awareness or form, rooted to the place where it had died. The wizard tried every power it had, but changing the spirit was beyond any magic. The baker’s spirit was staying put.
The wizard stayed for many years with the shade of his former companion, but it is a vital, active world out there and he wished to see more of it so he bade a final farewell to the spirit of the baker and went back into the world.
The wizard’s spirit sought another mortal to accompany and this time he found solace with a soldier, he helped his new companion as much as he could but even with magical help the life of a soldier is a dangerous one and he died on the battlefield after only a couple of years.
Death appeared and Death fled and the soldier’s spirit was rooted to the battlefield never to move again. The wizard now knew better than to stay so he moved on quickly and found someone else, and someone else after that, and so on and so on.
And that is how it is up to this very day. The wizard’s spirit still travels the Earth, seeking whatever kind of person would interest him, providing perhaps minor help in life but in return leaving a empty shade of a soul after they eventually die.
So if you find yourself with a chill in your bones perhaps you have found one of the abandoned souls left by this eternal wanderer. But if the chill follows you; finding you at the most unexpected times, then you may very well be subject to a new admirer. One who may be a bit of a help in life, but who will in the end cost you a ghostly existence, for all eternity.