Audacity and Medusa
How do you detect ghosts when you're blind?
Becoming blind had turned out to be a real blessing for her. Never before has she been able to hear, feel or smell with such clarity and intensity. View had been a noise-filled world, constantly filled with a range-restraining fog, full of entirely uninteresting details and, above all, way too dark for her liking. Now that her eyes were permanently wide shut, it was her other senses’ turn to shine and cast their wonderfully bright light around her.
“Hey, Audacity,” Brenda’s angelic, high-pitched voice asked above the cacophony of the clock tower they were currently traveling through, “are you really sure we’re alone? I can’t help but feel we’re being stared at.”
She smiled. “I only detect your manly presence, dear.”
Brenda chuckled, probably blushing. “Well, I guess you’re right, but shouldn’t all these gears’ noise somewhat limit your detection skills?”
“Not really,” she answered in a very matter-of-fact tone. “I’m actually getting a very detailed perception of the place. Probably much more detailed than that weak manly man vision of yours.”
She felt a gentle poke on her right hip, and giggled.
“Stop teasing me with this,” Brenda pleaded. “Plus, you don’t even know what color my dress is.”
A wide grin appeared on her face. “Crimson red, with sapphire incrustations. Did you forget already? I was there when you bought it. The saleslady spent over two hundred seconds of your time explaining these sapphires were purer than hydrogen explosion-generated water.”
Brenda sighed, defeated. “Let’s just get this job over with.”
At some point, Audacity noticed she’d been so interested in the clock’s perfect beauty she’d failed to realize her partner had left her side.
Her usual smile disappeared from her lips.
“You should have listened to your boyfriend,” a ghostly, grave voice eventually echoed through her mind, making her jump. She focused on her surroundings, trying to locate the source, before realizing there wasn’t any source to look for in the first place.
“Telepathy, huh? Very funny. Where’s Brenda?”
“But then again,” the voice carried on, ignoring her question, “you had no reason to believe your perception had been fooled.”
“What do you mean?”
The voice laughed. “Your blindness gives you a nearly perfect perception of the material world, but ironically, it only does in exchange for the ability to detect us.”
A cold sweat stream formed in her back. She’d finally understood the hints.
“I’d always thought you were a legend to keep robbers away from clockworks.”
“And you were sadly mistaken,” the Ghostgon added. “You probably gathered it by now, but your boyfriend’s gone.”
“She wasn’t my boyfriend,” Audacity answered, small tears now flowing from her eyes.
She was barely managing not to just sit down to cry.
“Now, I wonder. What am I going to do with you? You can’t see us, which means we can’t kill you… but we can’t let you spread the word. That would be troublesome.”
The young woman clicked a few times with her teeth, looking for Brenda’s dress. She wanted a memento.
“Oh, I know,” the Ghostgon said, just as Audacity finally found the cloth, still warm.
“What are you going to do, then?”
A silence answered her. She shrugged, wiped a few tears off her cheeks and donned Brenda’s dress. She knew she’d need two free hands to get out of this clock.
“I’m gonna haunt you,” the voice suddenly answered, just as Audacity had finished zipping herself up. She barely managed not to scream. “Tell anyone about us, or more specifically, me, and they die. Understood?”
“B… but, you’re bound to your clock. There’s no way you can control me once I’m out of here.”
The Ghostgon laughed loudly, freezing Audacity’s blood.
“We’re bound to physical objects of great importance, but we can hop from one to another when they’re close enough. For instance, I just entered your newly permanent dress.”
She sighed, throwing her scissors away in frustration. She’d hoped to get out of Brenda’s dress with them, but the Ghostgon had visibly made it indestructible upon entering it. She definitely was stuck.
“I don’t suppose you’re ever going to leave me alone now, right?”
“Right,” the Ghostgon confirmed. “My name’s Medusa, but you can call me Mistress.”
Audacity sighed. “I think I’m gonna stick with Medusa.”
She felt the dress tighten itself around her thighs, restraining her freedom.
“I don’t think so,” Medusa declared. “That is, if you want to be able to walk normally.”