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Soul Searcher

by citygate1 

Posted: 10 February 2004
Word Count: 1800
Summary: ever wondered what your soul gets up to??

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Soul searchers

We are the soul searchers, we are the lost souls. We drift in the mists of darkness in search of our prey, when captured, we feast.

You may be wondering how we got here, how we became what we are. I say we because there are many of us out here. Hundreds? Definitely. Thousands? Possibly. All of us with our own agenda, all searching for the one responsible for putting us here.

I've not been here long, only a few days I think, time seems to have no relevance in this life. When I arrived I was confused, unsure where I was or why I was here. How I got here was the only clear thought in my mind, and the person responsible for my arrival in this afterworld was as clear as a mountain spring. His image permanently ingrained in my minds eye. Just as it was during the attack. I knew the moment I saw his face that I wasn't going to see another sunrise, kiss my child or make love to the man I'd married only eleven months before. My last thoughts were with the motherless family this man, this animal was going to create. He was strong, powerful, I was small, always had been, my size ten frame was no match for this large beast who forced himself upon me. I didn't fight back, I couldn't, so he took me, used me for his gratification and while he did I stared into those narrow wild eyes of his and watched his facial expressions as he feasted upon me. I saw his pleasure, his smiling satisfaction as he finished his act with a soft groan, exhaling a hot stench of hop breath in my face.
He stood, adjusted his dress and reached a hand into his trouser pocket. Paralyzed with fear unable to barely draw breath he knelt beside me, lowering his head closer to mine. I felt the cold steel against my neck, felt it slide across my throat. There was no pain, just a numbness, and a voice “sorry, but you know how it is” and he left, moments later so did I.

So as the darkness falls in your world, it becomes ours. We, the lost souls have left our cocoon we used to call our body and go in search of those that forced into this wilderness. We float around in the shadows, carried by the very air that you breathe, we lurk in the darkest corners, the unseen places that you as mortals would never dare to look. And from their we watch and we wait, patiently and calmly until the time you pass us by.

I have in my mind only two images now, one is of my family, my baby son and my husband, my husband, whose name I don't know anymore, is holding our son and I can see his grief, the sadness in his hollow drawn out features as he looks into the eyes of his motherless child. The other image is the final image I have from my mortal life, that of the man that created the first image. I see him now as clearly as I did that night, lying on my back in the damp undergrowth of the park close to our home, only moments from our front door on my journey home from work. I see his face and hear his voice “Sorry, but you know how it is” What did that mean? I can only surmise that he left himself no choice but to murder me as I had seen his face, and I could identify him. As the knife slid across my skin and the life blood was drained from my body, so he left me, safe in the knowledge that I would not be the one to cause his downfall . How naïve of him. How selfish of him, to think that I would let him take me from my family.

As I left my body that dark night I left behind my family, my friends, my social life, everything I had done, everything I had and all that I was to do was lost, gone forever were those thoughts, feelings, and emotions that moments before formed my life. Now they were left to seep into the damp ground were I lay.

I'm not sure if it's revenge or vengeance that drives us here in this world. It's very hard to piece thoughts together, we all have an aim to gain retribution for the crimes against us, anything more than that is just lost. It is like the driving force behind each and every one of us, to seek out and destroy those responsible. Why we are doing it I can't say. Maybe we move from here when our mission is complete, maybe we will find peace and go to that better place that we believed existed in our mortal lives.

When my mission is over, I will let you know. In the meantime I shall continue my search to find him. What happens when I do I’m not sure, I expect I’ll understand that part when I get to it.

I'm being drawn back towards the scene of the crime, the night breeze pulls and twists me along a few feet above the ground, I'm moving quite swiftly now through the undergrowth, the thicket and bramble passing straight through me. It's quite an extraordinary feeling not unlike a rollercoaster but without the feelings and emotions, its purely visual. I keep to the thicker more darker regions of the park, not wanting to get caught in the vast open spaces. We thrive in the darkest places, seek solace in the shadows of a mortals nightmare and swiftly creep through night. We often meet and pass through the living, not by choice, we sometimes get caught up in the flows of air or a gusty breeze and our form will enter and pass straight through a human body. For a brief moment we become entwined with the soul of that person, the true living soul becomes invaded and fights against us, forcing us out and clear of its host. That's all the human form is to us souls, just a host, a body that cares and nurtures us through its life until the end when we are then given the right to enter a better place, or so they would have us believe. I expect that this collision of souls is quite a common thing, as a mortal you will know when it's happening, its that shiver you get that runs through your whole body, the one often mistaken for thinking that someone is walking over your grave. If only you knew.

I continue on, toward the place where I last saw my body, my host. It was a similar night to one when I was last here, the October air had a slight chill to it, the clocks had only recently gone back an hour yet already it was dark. There was rain in air, not that it bothered me, the water droplets passed right through my form but the man I sought wouldn't be quite so fortunate.
I saw him, his unmistakable physique, the dark eyes that were visible even in the dim light. He was under the canopy of a great oak, shielded from the pathway by thick mounds of brambles, hunched up against the elements with the collar of his jacket turned up. I drifted, effortlessly and silently along the pathway retracing my own footsteps of that fateful night. I couldn't see him now as I didn't see him them. I was only yards from the murder scene now and it struck me as strange why he would return to the same place again. Did he see it as rich pickings or was it true that the criminal will often return to the scene of his crime?

I was within fifty feet of him now, suddenly his was bathed in an orange glow, his hands cupped around his mouth as he lit a cigarette, his features were distinct, the dark eyes with thick rows that met in the middle, dark stubble covered both cheeks and around his thin lips. Moving ever closer, somehow drawn to his presence it became clear what I was supposed to do.

He inhaled deeply on his cigarette, I waited for himto exhale the smoke. His lungs gave way, forcing the fumes from within I raised myself into an upright position alongside him, and as the smoke left his body I slipped sideways and became as one with him.

I felt his shiver as I entered his body, and I could still see outward albeit through his eyes. There was a presence their with me, his soul. I could feel its power against me, it's ruthlessness was trying to force me from its host with a fierce venom. But I was in now and this time I was going to win.

I glowed with energy, drawing my strength from my new host and using it against his soul to force it from within. it fought back, unwilling to surrender its home to this invader. I couldn't physically fight, my new form wouldn't let me, it became a battle of wills, of a strength that came from within that I didn't and couldn't comprehend, of good versus evil. I could feel my opponents resistance faltering, I was the stronger, I would defeat him. I began to feel my form swell with every positive presence controlled blow I landed, I was taking over, was filling the voids left behind in the body that was becoming mine as the hosts soul was beaten. Using this new found strength I forced that soul out of its host and into the dark damp night. The creature i was now in no longer held that powerful aura that had terrorized me that night, without its commander it was nothing but an empty shell devoid of thought and conscience. As I slid from the carcass of a man I found myself at ground level, the soulless body had crumpled to the ground amongst the dead decaying leaves of Autumn.

I held myself above him and looked down at the pitiful sight below me and I smiled, if I could of laughed out loud I would have. I had won. The soul I had sought was lying a few feet away staring at me through wide eyes, sheer panic spreading across its face as I turned towards it, its mouth opened to form a scream but not sound escaped those thin reed like lips. It didn't move, it lay helpless on the damp ground paralyzed with fear, staring into my eyes which said;

"Sorry, but you know how it is"

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Comments by other Members

haunted at 20:49 on 10 February 2004  Report this post
Hi Richard,

I found this very interesting. When i first started reading i thought that soul searchers were sinister so i was surprised when they turned out to be victims.

It runs along the same lines as my own thought on life and death. I'm glad the narrator got her revenge in the end, it's always good when the tables are turned. The story also left me thinking about what kind of soul such a man could've had.

"You may be wondering how we got here, how we became what we are. I say we because there are many of us out here. Hundreds? Definitely. Thousands? Possibly. All of us with our own agenda, all searching for the one responsible for putting us here."

I think this section could be left out as the rest of the story tells us everything we need to know. I also thought that replacing it with the paragraph that begins "So as the darkness falls in your world" would help the story flow. The description of the attack is very harrowing and would becomes even more moving if the reader is taken straight on to the image of her husband and child.

The atmosphere thoughout reminded me of James Herberts 'Fluke'. Although the stories are very different, i felt the same sympathy for the troubled souls.

Many thanks for an entertaining read,


Colin-M at 21:21 on 10 February 2004  Report this post
This is a great little story. The idea of the lost soul invading a living body, turfing out the resident soul, and then leaving is great. Especially that last part, the fact that the soul did not want another body, but simply revenge. Overall, the tale is entertaining, engrossing and has a steady cumulative tension. It borders horror, but holding back the details of the rape and murder of the girl keep us this side of that threshold and keep emotion as the focus of the story.

Several things did strike me as odd. The good news is that all them were to do with punctuation. Just chuck in a handful of full stops. Short sentences can be very powerful in this kind of fiction and many of your long sentences could easily be chopped into several short sentences without any change of wording. My advice would be to read this out-loud. Stand up, face a mirror and read it at the top of your voice. Read it as though you are reading to an audience. If there is a natural pause, anything more than an intake of breath, break the sentence. The only part I would suggest rewriting is the first paragraph. It is good, in that it immediately draws you into the story, but I found that I had to read it several times.

And I agree with Louise's reference to Fluke, which is an accolade in itself.

Colin M

James Anthony at 14:00 on 11 February 2004  Report this post
liked it! Really interesting idea going on it it. As above there were a couple of typos (their instead of there, possessive apostrophes and the like) but that is just revision. One thing I wasn't sure if it was a typo or not is near the end. Aurora or aura?

Think you should revise it to tighten it up though because, as you said, it only took an hour to write and there is something good in there.


citygate1 at 20:44 on 11 February 2004  Report this post
Many thanks to those of you that commented on this piece, and I have taken onboard your thoughts.

I have just revised and edited the piece prior to writng this and feel it has a little more flow now.

As for even being mentioned in the same breath with my all time horror hero almost made me well-up. Thanks guys for the positive feedback.


Colin-M at 22:24 on 11 February 2004  Report this post
Ah, a fellow James Herbert fan. I haven't read anything by him for a long time, but in my teen years he was my total idol. I still have some letters from they guy. You can't believe the excitement of a fifteen year old boy, receiving a letter from his hero stating that his english teacher is an idiot.


BTW - It's almost ironic that it was the "idiot" english teacher who introduced me to James Herbert in the first place, by telling a whole class of adolescents what a sick, sick, sick, sick novel The Fog was. Predictably, we all went out and bought the novel the next day. Personally I think that teacher was on a back-hander from Hodder and Stoughton.

Colin M.

heather jr at 21:16 on 19 February 2004  Report this post
Hi - I liked the concepts here - my kind of stuff :-)) I'm also hnoured to meet another long sentence writer. We are a dying breed - long live the ramble :-)) Strangely, I didn't notice, and don't see it in my own work either until someone tells me (which people here kindly do often!). Does this mean we are a large lunged variant of homo sapiens? I thought this was an extremely interesting story with lots of scope.

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