The Pillar of Dominance
Salvador stood at the bank of a shallow stream. The milky grey water
bubbled up in a small geyser and poured downhill, disappearing back under
the ground several yards away. White steam rolling off the surface of the
water indicating a warm temperature.
Salvador doubled over and let out another yell, dropping the carved
stone ladle he had been holding. It slipped through his loose fingers and hit
the forest floor with a thud. A drop of the grey water ran down his chin.
Ghosts rushed to the spring from every direction, their trailing pale
bodies moving straight through the trees without needing to weave around
them. They screamed their excitement in hollow voices, their eyes enlarged
Miss Maddy Alamore circled Salvador as he struggled to breathe. She
looked at the ghosts who gathered around them like fog.
“Where is Olimphious?” she asked of the gathering.
A frail-looking boy no older than seven moved forward from the
crowd to answer her. His transparent body was smaller than the rest, and he
floated several feet above the ground to compensate for his lack of height.
His small feet dangled downward as if he had forgotten what they were for.
“Olimphious was forced to cross over!” he whispered.
“What?” breathed Maddy Alamore.
“I saw it myself,” said the boy. “It was so terrible.” He began to cry.
“Who dared speak the forbidden words?”
“He knows the incantation and he comes this way!” cried the boy.
“We must stop him!” commanded Maddy Alamore to the gathered
There was a murmur among them. None of them wanted to go.
“Go or I’ll cross you over myself!” she shouted.
One by one, the ghosts slipped away, pouring thickly into the forest
Salvador crashed onto the ground without putting his hands out to
break his fall. His face hit the dirt with a heavy thump. Salvador did not
flinch at the impact. Staring blankly ahead, his eyes remained wide open.
His irises had turned a glazed milky color that looked grey over the blue
beneath. Dirt clung to his cold, sweating cheek as he lay, barely breathing,
on the forest floor.
Maddy Alamore circled him. She drew close to Salvador’s face,