Chapter Nine – The Ink Ghost
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The group of ghost hunters and May wandered down the darkened hallways of the cruise ship, which rocked softly on the choppy waves of the ocean. Their feet tapping against the polished floor, they descend and ascend up and down stairs looking high and low for signs of ghosts. Harbor managed to convince them to ditch the ghost detector so they relied on his vision and a smaller, less annoying ghost finder. 

An hour passed by the time they made their way to the last area of the deck. Liam approached the door grasping the door handle and tugging it, “Locked.” he announced turning to face the rest of the group.

“Oh what a shame, welp guess we have to head back now!” Harbor declared hope rising in his heart as he prepared to turn around.

“Wait.” Katie demanded. Pulling out a lock pick.

Damn it. “Uh are you sure--”

“Absolutely.”

“Ohkay then.”

Katie worked on the door. A minute passed a minute in a half… two minutes… Harbor shifted on his feet, “Oh shame it must not--” The door clicked open and Katie turned her head to look at him.

“What was that?” She asked sweetly.

Harbor’s shoulders slumped as a frown stretched across his face, “Greaat.” He drawled out. He was funneled into the room.

The lighting dimmed significantly once they had entered the room. The light on the ghost detector lit up brightly, well at least brighter than before. Harbor glance around the room for May, they’d wandered off a little bit ago. 

“Ayo I’m back.”

There they are. Then what made the ghost finder light up? Maybe it malfunctioned, yeah. Definitely. No other reason. Harbor attempted to fall behind the group. Liam grabbed his hand, giving him a soft smile and tugging him along. Dammit.

May glared at him floating around his head.

“It’s getting closer!” Ellie exclaimed, bouncing on her toes.

May floated closer to the device, “Nah that’s just me my guy.” 

“I’m afraid it isn’t.” A new voice echoed through the room.

Harbor jumped looking around for the ghost, “Where are you?” He asked, forgetting for a moment he was with other people. Ghost hunter people. May floated closer to Harbor goosebumps appearing on their arms once more.

“Is there a ghost here!” Katie exclaimed before lowering her voice, “Can you hear them?” Sparkles seemed to light up in her eyes.

Harbor winced, “Yeeaahh.” He reluctantly admitted.

“Brilliant save.” May commented

“What I can’t anymore! You’re being too loud.” They weren’t but he didn’t want to listen to them.

“The alive one can hear me?” The voice asked softly. 

May shivered, “uh… yeah… uh just the gay twink though.”

“Twink?”

“Nevermind.” May deflected.

“Where are you exactly?” Harbor asked again.

“I’m over here through the door.”

“The door?” Harbor’s brows furrowed looking around for a hidden door or something.

The three ghosts behind them whispered excitedly to one another. They split up wandering around the room, inspecting the walls and the floor.

“Oh right there is no door on this ship anymore.” The soft voice admitted. Harbor turned feeling an odd pressure on his back. A tall lady began to emerge from the wall, no color to her other than black and white.

Harbor screamed. May screamed. They both bolted out of the room.

“Wait! I’m not going to hurt you!” The ghost cried chasing after them.

The ghost hunters were left in the dust. Harbor’s legs pounding against the floor beneath him as harsh breaths fell from his mouth, his heart pumping over time as the feeling of dread built in his stomach. May ran in front of him, seeming to have gained better control of their ghostly form, because they were faster then he remembered.

They ran up the stairs and down the halls, taking twists and turns where they could. May slowed after they passed the mess hall turning around trying to spot Harbor. He had been lost in the dust. Panic swelled in the chest May was second to calling out for Harbor and taking back down the hallways when he rounded the corner. May zoomed to him.

Harbor stumbled bending over and placing his hands on his knees, breathing ragged. “Oh gods… puff huff huff, I am… huff huff… so out of shape!” He collapsed onto the wall sliding down it and gazing up at May, “How are you so fast?”

“Lol I have no idea.” May confessed.

Harbor groaned.

“I'm sorry I didn’t mean to frighten you…” The soft motherly voice returned.

The human ghost duo snapped their heads to the floor watching as the black and white ghost ascended. Harbor felt his mouth dry, gaping, had he any breath he would have screamed and had his legs not been jello he would have ran. May did have air and they did scream.

The ghost jolted back, pressing her hands to her ears, wincing. “Sorry sorry, I just wanted to warn you I swear!”

“The last time a ghost said that to us he tried to EAT us.” May snapped, shrinking back.

The ghost frowned, a sad look appearing on her face, “I sorry that happened to you…”

“Eh don’t worry about it he was an asshole, shouldn’t have trusted anyone named Rumor, honestly.” May waved her off.

“Rumor? Yes I’ve heard of him, he’s infamous for eating new or unsuspecting spirits. Nastly piece of work he is.” The ghost shook her head, “I’m Ink by the way.”

Harbor frowned, “Why do all the ghosts we meet have weird names?”

“It’s a tradition of sorts, once a spirit leaves their old life behind they typically choose new names. Typically names humans don’t take, we aren't human after all.”

“Huh, that's very interesting.” May admitted, calming down with the relaxing conversation.

“You said you wanted to warn us about something?” Harbor interjected, crossing his arms. 

“Oh right of course! There’s some spirits you three need to be aware of on this island. Their names are Fatal, Trouble, and Grave.” Ink began, May and Harbor nodded along, “They are tethered poltergeists so as long as you avoid the mansion in the woods you’ll be alright.”

May sucked in a breath through her teeth, “Sorry we’re kind of going to this island to meet them.”

“Why in the heavens would you ever do that!?” Ink seemed shocked, appalled even.

“I kinda want to be, you know, not like this, human again…?” May trailed off.

Ink looked at the duo, sighing, “I can’t stop you, so listen up and take my advice!” She declared. “One They are very tricky, don’t let them fool you. Two, They work best together. If you're going to confront them, be sure to confront them separately. Three! Be sure to have an escape route in sight at all times, they have the ability to shift the house’s layout. Be very VERY careful.” She advised.

May and Harbor gave a firm nod. They’d escaped one poltergeist, what was three more.

Ink sighed, realizing that hadn’t been enough to scare them off. “Be careful.” She whispered drifting away. Just in time for the troublesome trio rounded the corner just after her, sounding like a herd of elephants. Harbor could only sigh as he found himself being dragged to the grueling interrogation.

“Was there a ghost!?”

“Did you see it?!”

“What did it say?!”

The trio spoke at once, their words flowing together to make a cacophony of white noise. Harbor felt a headache come on. How annoying.

It ended up being around two am by the time the irrigation ended and the trio of ghost hunters released Harbor for the night. He flopped onto the bed face first falling asleep as soon as his face hit the pillow. May snickered down at him. Well until they realized they would have to either a, fall asleep, which they were still not entirely sure if that was even possible or b, finding something else to do.

“Dammit.” they muttered floating down to Harbor’s side laying down and attempting to sleep, this would be interesting. 

Two hours later May realized they could not, infant, sleep as a ghost. Bummer. Time to find something else to do. May got up floating around the beds littering the quarter. They made their way to the door finding it closed. Concentrating, they made their first attempt to open it. Hand went through it. Second attempt, a brief turn of hand went though. Third attempt, success! Floating directly through the door works! Who would have thought.

May hummed as she disappeared down the expansive hallways, what to do now? 

May would run into Ink during theri excursion, Ink would then berate them for being up and cause trouble so late into the night. May would heed her warning for a few hours before getting bored and doing it all again.

The crew would wake with a mess to clean in the morning.

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