Saturday, June 04, 2005

Ghostopia, Chapter 28: Exorcism

"Ezisa, huh? Nope, no bells ringing."
It was the morning after the meeting, and Darren was relating to Nelson what transpired last night. Even after everyone went home and he lay staring at the ceiling, there was this sense of incredulity at the daring scheme. It was something he simply couldn't keep to himself.
"Oh well, just a shot in the dark. They did mention they were underground."
"I see. And Kat and Mortie's in it too?"
"Uh huh."
"Let me tell you something, kid," Nelson half-sighed, straightening the cloth on the display rack. "When I first came, there also was some hoo-hah about a bunch of Ghosts trying to enter the living world. Of course, they didn't take into account that it's not only a matter of leaving this world - you've got to enter the other world as well. know how it ends for them. Bad."
"Uh...the authorities caught them?"
"If you're talking the Ghostopia authorities, that's not it. See, they did escape from Ghostopia but they got stuck somewhat in between. How should I put it...too ghostly for the human world, and too human for the Ghostopia world? In the end nearly all of them got Exorcised by humans."
"Exorcised?" That didn't sound good for Darren.
"That means they were simply destroyed; removed from existence forever. Not in the living world nor the afterlife."
Darren gulped as Nelson went on. "It's hardly new, this idea of escaping Ghostopia. I could name you a hundred and one reasons everyone wants to return to life, more so young ones like us, and the age freeze policy makes being a Ghost even worse. I just have to warn you of the dangers, both from being Exorcised and getting caught by the Ghostopia authorities. They're becoming extremely cautious over this, after last year's escape."
"What happens if you get caught?"
"For us Protected Ghosts, it usually means being transferred to Unprotected Ghostopia."
"That's it?" Darren expected him to continue. "How bad can it be?"
"Hohoho, you have no idea," A throaty laugh replied. "I once got sent there a day for involving myself in a fight, and till this day I've stayed clean. Which is pretty remarkable, if you know how I was."
Suddenly Darren didn't feel so excited about the whole idea. Did going back matter so much that he was willing to take this insane risk? Was he actually interested in going back, or merely the idea of belonging to a clique in this unfamiliar world? But then how could well-versed people like Mortie and Kat become a part of Ezisa if it was going to be so dangerous? Surely there was more to their plan than just stealing the records and leaving.

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