Solana's Quest

Written in response to: Write a story where ghosts and the living coexist.... view prompt


Horror Fantasy

The desk was strewn over with books and papers, Solana knew she was responsible for this mess but was in no mood to clear it up. That could wait, there was another more important thing occupying her mind right now.

It had been more than 500 years since they had learnt to coexist with ghosts, it wasn't an easy thing to do but they had learnt to adapt to it. There were also benefits to this shared existence, the ghosts could be used for a variety of tasks and they were cheaper than humans, requiring only certain things such as food or tools rather than money.

But there were rumors too of ghosts luring people into traps, they pretended to help with a task but had more sinister intentions. To prevent further harm, their king had laid out rules and even restricted the use of ghosts.

Solana couldn't decide whether she should use a ghosts help or not, it seemed scary to her but she was also in the middle of a writer's block and saw no way out. She had gone through several books, read through all their guidelines and tips but still felt unsure about using a ghost.

Fear pressed on her mind but she was also desperate to revive her spark of creativity too, her mind juggled between two outcomes, whether to give into fear or brave it and rediscover her creativity.

She slammed the desk in frustration, she was one of the prominent novelists in the kingdom and her publisher had given her a weeks deadline but unfortunately for her, her creativity had run out.

Finally she got up, she made her way to the forest where ghosts were supposed to appear, it was told this was their favorite place. As she stood there at the entrance of the forest, she saw beautiful pink flowers growing nearby.

Their beauty was in stark contrast to the eerie vibes of the forest. The trees looked spooky and very little sunlight passed through the trees, adding to the haunted look of the place.

Her heart skipped a beat, she could feel butterflies fluttering in her stomach. She didn't know how to approach a ghost or whether it was even safe to go like that, what if they had weapons and attacked her?

She shook her head trying to ward of those thoughts and pushed herself to walk forward, the forest looked even creepier, she felt as if she had entered another world, only that it was much worse than her own world.

She called out, she didn't know who she was addressing but only that she needed a ghost to help her write. Nothing happened for a while, but soon the leaves fluttered and she could hear someone walking towards her, she gulped, panic rushing in her veins. There stood a tall, handsome young man infront of her.

"Ronan", he said with an air of confidence.

She nodded, she didn't know what to say, she just turned back expecting Ronan to follow her back. Her heart trembled with fear and excitement, she had finally gotten what she needed but she was unsure whether she made the right decision or not.

All Ronan needed in exchange was to be free to read any book from her library which she didn't find any trouble agreeing to, in return he provided her mind the clarity she needed and writing the structure it had initially lacked.

She submitted her novel before the deadline, the publisher was surprised but she let the knowledge she had used a ghosts help, be known to herself only, a secret she strived to contain within her heart. The novel was a success and she had started to feel she had made the right decision.

The publisher asked her to write another novel, to which she gladly agreed. Ronan guided her, she even seeked the idea for her new novel from him, after a lot of discussion, he convinced her to write a story about a murder that takes place in the forest.

The topic made her uneasy at first but Ronan was too convincing, he made her realize how she needed to explore new genres and that somehow clicked with her, she began to write the novel.

As she progressed, Ronan started making her write more gruesome details, they made her feel extremely uncomfortable. At times she thought that maybe he had committed a murder and was slipping in the details, that thought made her shudder in fear.

She wanted to decline but it felt as if her mind had gone blank, she felt scared to say no to him and eventually wrote whatever he said. His help felt a little too much at times, it was as if he was the author and she was just writing everything down.

She didn't know how the audience would react to all the violence in her novel, their king hardly banned anything, he was a proponent of free speech but there were rare instances where a book had been banned and she just wished her book didn't end up being one.

To her relief, the thriller novel that she wrote was a massive success, much more than all her earlier novels. She was in utter disbelief for a while, she had never thought she was ever capable of such a thing but then again it wouldn't have been possible without Ronan's help.

Her gratitude was immense but it was mixed with fear, a fear that told her maybe there was more to Ronan than what it seemed, something sinister hiding in plain sight and then there was a slight prick at her self-esteem too, she was loosing her creativity and style, she was becoming someone else entirely.

Ronan became her constant writing companion but deep down she didn't like it at all but she had to bear it as she was too afraid to decline his help. With every sentence she wrote, she felt as if she was loosing herself, her unique identity that spilled into her writing style was being lost.

But then it also brought her a lot of fame and success, something that her own writing couldn't get her. She brought a new house with a beautiful garden, something she had always wanted but she also felt she had become a pawn. As she strolled around her new house, she saw it as worth the bargain.

October 27, 2023 11:27

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Andrea Corwin
01:21 Jan 07, 2024

The story parallels AI and its dangers. And Ronin definitely was dangerous as she was warned because in the end, it was all “worth the bargain.” she was pulled in deeper and deeper.


Sarah Saleem
09:19 Jan 18, 2024

Thanks!✨️ I tried to show how greed wins over fear in the end.


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Hannah Lynn
14:18 Nov 02, 2023

I really loved this story! Great use of the prompt. Reminds me of the growing use of AI which I find a bit scary just like your character finds the ghost’s help frightening.


Sarah Saleem
08:18 Nov 03, 2023

Thanks!✨️ Didn't think about it's resemblance to AI before, that's a great point you made!


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