Circuits and Ghosts

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“Oh….” The Doctor stepped out into the open. “Erm…” I didn’t understand his confusion so I followed him outside “No, this isn’t the Incas, must’ve taken a wrong turn around the 1640’s…” He turned around and pushed me back inside. “Go on back inside, we’ll try again.”
“But look at this place!” I gazed out at the sinewy trees with twisted branches and blood-red leaves. “A bit sinister but it’s beautiful!” I took a step forwards.

“Alisha we really shouldn’t be here, now let’s go.” The Doctor seemed nervous

“And why not? Is it dangerous? Do we run the risk of getting strangled by killer trees?” I waved my arms at the trees to prove my point “Come on, just for a little bit, a little walk around.” I gave him my best puppy dog eyes, he frowned

“Ok fine, but just ten minutes.” He strode out of the ashen grass into the fog, I kept close. Getting lost in this fog was entirely possible and very undesirable “Stay close, don’t wander off.” He stressed the point of “not wandering off”; I think he was remembering last time.

The fog had wrapped its long fingers around us, even now I was only a meter from the Doctor but there was a thin layer of wispy cloud-stuff between me and him. This wasn’t as fun as I thought… Fog is just an expanse of white, the forest on the other hand was delightfully creepy. I wanted to see more of those trees, and perhaps what lived in them. The fog was thinning, but it still showed no other signs of ending. It looked around, still staying close, a pale blue shape caught my eye, I focused on it.

“Doctor?” I called into the mist

“Yes?”

“What’s that?” I pointed at the little bluish wisp of light.

“Don’t pay attention to it.” He grabbed my hand and pulled me away from the little blue light. A bare minute later the fog abruptly ended.

We were standing on a promontory, looking out onto a vast forest of twisted trees. That’s sent of delightful shiver down my spine. Horror movies were always a sweet spot to me, the adrenaline rush was the most pleasant feeling. I took in the panorama of trees with bloody-leaves, the entire thing shrouded in mist the only light coming through the deathly dark sky was a hazy moon. Wait no, two moons, one smaller than the other, both hideously blurred. Beyond that, hills, inky black hills barely resolved in the distance. Looming darkly against the darkness; and there wasn’t a sound, not a screech or a hum or even a howl. The wind was nothing but a light breeze, not enough to clear the fog. The still air was cool and wet, making little ashen pearls of the ashen grass.

“Wow.” I whispered, almost not daring to break the silence.

“The Blood Forests of Sintori.” The Doctor said “The planet is shrouded in endless clouds and a third moon, which is actually a planet, constantly eclipses the sun. Every life form here is used to the dark and the cold.”

“No animals?”

“No that anyone knows of.” He invited me to sit down as he did the same “But there are legends that say the planet is haunted, that there once was a day.” He went into storytelling mode, I listened eagerly, this was better than the best campfire ghost story. “But then the third moon came into orbit, a rogue planet, falling neatly amidst the other two, blocking the sun, plunging Sintori into endless night. At first there was a no commotion, everyone and everything thought it was normal, like in your Scandinavia.” I listened he had my rapt attention. His storytelling was exquisite. “But the night lasted longer, and longer and longer. For months on end, when the months turned into years, the people started to panic, frantically searching for the cause of this star-less night. Then they died; all of them, vertebrate, invertebrate, down to the smallest bacteria. Any animal life form suddenly vanished, leaving the forest to conquer the land and, eventually, even the seas beyond the hills. No one knew what happened, some say it was a virus that attacked all animal life and ended up killing even itself. Some say the search somehow brought them to invent an energy pulse, supposed to push the third moon out of orbit, but killed them instead. But the real cause has never been found; ever since, the planet has been haunted by the ghosts of the people and animals of the planet, leading travelers away from their path, out into the fog and to their certain deaths.”

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