Stream of Consciousness

“You didn’t tell the officers any of this. Why are you telling me?” Jarrel asked.

“You’re a shrink. You have to keep all of this confidential,” Raithe pointed out but Jarrel shook his head. “Only if you are not a danger to yourself or others. Either you are delusional and suicidal or you are a creature who feeds off of life-force energy of humans and withers them.”

Raithe countered, “I’ve only withered the ones who killed me. No one else, and I only take the excess energy that I mentioned. I’m not a danger to anyone, at least not any more than any human is a danger to another. I have no intention of hurting people. The other reason I’m telling you the truth is that I’m tired of having to keep this secret. I want someone to know what happened to me. Someone to care that I was tortured and murdered. Someone to care that twelve other little kids had their throats slit. I know I should have reported the crime right away but I didn’t know how to explain what happened. I was afraid of being locked away for murder or for being crazy. That was before I learned how to consciously control my wraith–the wispy form that I can take. That’s what I call it when I go into that form–wraithing.

You’re the first shrink I’ve spoken to since my death, so I just thought since you couldn’t share what I was sharing with you, I could explain what happened and you could verify it and maybe if people know what happened and someone buries my body, I’ll be able to pass on–maybe my business will be done. I don’t know if I will leave or not, but even if not, the other kids deserve to be buried.”

“Here. I’ll show you that I’m telling the truth. I already know that no one can hear what we’re saying or see inside this room. I asked the officer who put me in here. Unless he was lying but I’ll take that chance. I’m tired of carrying this secret around.” Raithe then suddenly turned into a wisp. He had general facial features though more skeletal in appearance and his fingers were longer than a normal human with long fingernails. He had no definitive legs, however. “This is my true form. I can choose to be visible to humans or not.” Raithe then became invisible, though he spoke. “I don’t know if you can see or hear me like this.”

Jarrel tracked the wraith as he started to move across the room and he could see his mouth moving. “I can see you but I can’t hear what you’re saying. I only see your mouth moving.”

Raithe turned solid again. “I said, I didn’t know if you could see or hear me like that. So, do you believe me now?”

Jarrel nodded, yes. “I do. If you’re wanting to keep your identity as a wraith a secret, other than between the two of us. We can say that you witnessed the ritual, unseen and that you ran off scared, only now finding the courage to tell someone.”

“You don’t seem too shaken up about all of this,” Raithe pointed out.

Jarrel shrugged. “Being able to see auras and ghosts has made me more relaxed and open-minded in regards to reacting to paranormal events. So, tell me where this ritual took place and I’ll let the detectives know and they can investigate, and at the very least bury your and the other children’s bodies.”

Raithe nodded. “It’s a tiny town community called Devil’s Hold, just outside of Denver, Colorado. I wanted to get as far away from there as I could and ended up in New York. They say that New Yorkers ignore the unusual. So, I thought it was a good place to go and not be noticed.”

“Well, leaping on top of a subway train is somewhat noticeable, even in New York.”

Raithe laughed. “Yeah, I guess. What can I say? I was bored and I like parkour and extreme gymnastics. There wasn’t even anyone on the platform that I noticed when I did that but apparently, a cop showed up just as I was doing it. I could have escaped him but I tend to just go with the flow and see where I end up when I’m in a physical form. And when I was sitting here waiting for the psychiatrist the cops said was going to be speaking to me, I thought about telling you the truth. I didn’t feel like I was really risking anything talking to a shrink. Maybe I shouldn’t have admitted the part about being able to wither people.”

“I believe you that you only did it to the group who hurt you and not consciously so. So, as long as you don’t start going around doing that to others, I will keep that information to myself. Do you promise? If someone is hurting you while you’re in physical form, or hurting someone else, let the police handle it.”

Raithe nodded. “Alright. I think I can make that promise but I will reserve the right to wither someone who escapes justice who shouldn’t. There are some really bad people out there, Doc, who have gotten away with bad things. And it’s not like anyone is going to miss those types of people.”

“It’s best to let our legal system handle those people, Raithe. You might misinterpret something you see and inadvertently kill someone who is innocent. That’s why we have the judicial system in place. I know that some people get away with crimes but the system works in most cases. I won’t inadvertently judge someone. I can see inside people’s minds and souls. That’s how I knew you were a safe person to talk to. I promise that I will allow the legal system to handle their business but if there is a case where someone is a real danger and they are released, I can’t promise that I won’t take care of the matter myself. Can we compromise on that?”

Jarrel frowned. “I would prefer you not to be going around killing anyone at all…”

Raithe cut in, “Too late for that, Doc. I already have and I will admit that I felt a grim sense of satisfaction for doing it after I got over the fright and shock of it but I don’t go around looking to kill people if that’s what you’re fearing. Also… There is something else that I haven’t told you. I’m kind of afraid of what your reaction will be.”

“Tell me, even though I can’t promise what my reaction will be. It’s best to get everything off your chest,” Jarrel pointed out.

“I didn’t just wither the adults who killed me. During that unconscious state I was in, where I was just reacting to what happened to me, I… I tore into one of the dead kids’ stomachs and started eating their intestines. I didn’t know what I was doing at first but then when I suddenly realized what I was actually doing, that’s when I fled. I was so scared, but I found out later when I looked up what a wraith was, that they do eat humans. It was instinctual.”

Jarrel’s eyes widened, and he asked. “Have you done so since?”

Raithe looked away. “Not live humans. So far, the desire has been sated on corpses. I’ve snuck into morgues to feed that need. It scares me but I can’t help myself. It’s a hunger, a real need, like a vampire needing human blood. I… I think I might prefer fresh meat but I won’t allow myself to even think about that, let alone try it. I don’t want to be like this.”

Jarrel noticed tears suddenly came to Raithe’s eyes, even though he quickly looked away in shame.

“Well… I don’t really know how to respond to that just yet, other than I think you should continue to avoid eating live humans. Is it like an addiction, have you tried to go without?” Jarrel then asked.

Raithe nodded. “Right after I had done it the first time. It scared me so much. So, I tried to resist but it was like I was going to lose my mind if I didn’t do it and I started to be afraid that if I didn’t feed that need then I might hurt someone living. So, I rationalized that a dead person doesn’t need their bodies anymore. I wait until the mortician removes the organs then when they go take a break, I steal just a little of the intestines, not too much where they’d notice the difference. That’s usually enough to suffice me for a few days before the urge starts getting dangerous again, as long as I am feeding regularly off life-force energy in the meantime. I can’t eat regular human food anymore, it makes me sick and I puke it back up. It seems like there’s something in the intestines that I need because that’s what I always go for.”

Jarrel tried to remain calm, despite the fact that he was feeling quite a bit unnerved with the topic of discussion. “Maybe your digestion requires pre-digested food. That’s what I would speculate if you are going for the intestines. Maybe a wraith is somehow caught between life and death, that may also explain the need for life-force energy. But I’m just guessing. I don’t really know a lot about the subject. I always thought the word was just another word for ghost.”

“Have you tried animal intestines? Those you can purchase from a butcher. I would guess they would need to be fresh but butchers aren’t allowed to sell spoiled meat,” Jarrel pointed out.

“I don’t know, I haven’t tried,” Raithe admitted. “I can try some and find out I suppose but what if it doesn’t satisfy me? I don’t like having to do that.”

Jarrel nodded in understand. “Let’s just try and see if animal intestines work, and if not then we’ll delve a little deeper into the matter to see what alternatives are available. If it’s a true dietic need, then we need to find a non-invasive, lawful manner of addressing that need. But if worse comes to worst, I don’t see any harm in continuing as you have been doing, taking a little bit from the morgue once the intestines are removed from the body. But let’s see if we can’t make your eating requirements more along the lines of what you were used to eating when alive. People eat the intestines and internal organs of animals, so that isn’t anything unusual or grisly in itself. It’s the idea of eating it straight out of the body I would guess that disturbs you the most.”

Raithe nodded. “Yeah, well that, and the fact that it’s human. I’m a cannibal and an energy vampire all wrapped into one.”

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