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When he awoke, he did not understand at first why he felt so cold. Tremors ran along his torso, his fingers like rods of meat, his eyeballs dry and cold, his legs like logs. His mouth twitched, his nostrils taking in air like a drowning man. His hair was glued to his head, covered with frost. He shuddered. Unknown to him, he was lying near a park, in the snow, behind the bushes. Snow beneath him absorbed the blood like a sponge, not letting it flow onto the path. The night hid the dying man with her shawl, the stars and the moon emotionless above her head, not daring to shine in the man's direction.

He was struggling for a lost cause. His heart slowed down, and his lungs began to freeze. His gut was letting blood forth, his whole body slowing down, like a machine. Minutes later, his breath stopped.

His name was Leonid.

- - -

Leonid was British, though his mother was Russian. He was an earl, though not yet widely known. He was murdered on February 27.

- - -

He woke up once again. Leonid was surprised, for he felt his body grow warmer and warmed, his eyesight sharpening, his ears and nose working like those of a hound. Three miles away he heard a rat scattering through the gutters. His body began to breathe. Leonid sat up, then stood up. He looked around, his eyes taking in the smallest details. He shivered, a creepy feeling crawling up his spine. Leonid looked down. There he was, lying in a pool of pink snow, his eyes open and staring up. For some, the view might have been very shocking, but to Leonid, it wasn't. He was that kind of person who takes things in, and only hours later thinks on them.

He wandered away from his mortal body, taking in the details. Leonid was a writer, but he had never yet published anything. Leonid was a poet, yet he had not yet written a poem. He was an artist, yet he burned all his paintings long ago. All of what he was experiencing now, it was making him see everything so very differently. Suddenly, he could see tons of ideas to turn into art, books, and poetry. He brushed his hair back with his hand. This was life. He was dead, yet he was alive. Leonid wandered for 3 days.

- - -

On the 4th day Leonid was hit with the force of his death. He was dead. Dead. It shook his soul to the very core of it's being - the little golden bud in the middle of the spiritual body, and Leonid crumbled on the near-by bench. He began sobbing uncontrollably, his feminine face contorted with panicked sobs, his hands trembling. Leonid was a weak man. And now he was out of his shock at being dead.

Somebody went past the man, their cane passing right through one of Leonid's legs. It jerked and he pulled it underneath his seat.

Finally he calmed down enough to think rationally. A soul's life ends a lot quicker than a humans. Approximately, it takes 1 year for it to decay completely. But you see, after the first week, a the human behind the soul dies. A week is the only time the person - the ghost - has, till it is dead. Some ghosts, usually of very cruel and scared-of-death people, survive their decay span and continue roaming the earth. Leonid, is not one of those types.

- - -

The police found the body the day after Leonid was killed. They found him dead, frozen. They called upon his relatives, his mother - Roza, and his brothers - Harold and Benjamin. The old woman took one look at the body and refused to look any more. She agreed that it was indeed, her oldest son. She went from the room, her face emotionless. The brothers took it upon themselves to tell Leonid's fiancee of the news.

Her name was Isabelle. She was like a fragrant flower, her beautiful blonde hair always free like a waterfall down her back. Her eyes shone like the leaves of a tree - a brilliant green. Isabelle and Leonid had known each other for a very short time. But they knew they were meant to be. They understood each other completely, and where Leonid never drew or wrote, she did. He was bubbling with ideas, yet she had the talent to write them out. They planned to become famous after they married.

- - -

"Isabelle... Leonid, well... he died."

- - -

Her next two days were full of depression, crying, and maniacal thoughts. For, you see, Leonid and Isabelle were such a good couple because they were so absolutely different. Leonid was a calm, pessimistic man. He was everything slow, he walked slowly, he spoke slowly, he did everything slowly and calmly. Isabelle, on the other hand, was everything berserk. That was the only word to describe her. Anything and everything was to be to the limit with her. She was maniacally happy, maniacally sad, she was hyper and she was extreme. They fit and understood each other perfectly.

She was crying, and she wanted to die.

"My life is incomplete without him!"

She refused to listen to anyone and locked herself inside her room. Her parents, worried about their young daughter, additionally locked the room from outside - in case she tried wild ideas like she was prone to do.

- - -

After trying the door-knob and the windows (which were also locked, for her parents had been young once too), Isabelle threw herself on the bed and sobbed.

And sobbed.

And sobbed.

Soon, there were no tears left to cry.

Finally she fell asleep, from fatigue and depression.

- - -

Isabelle had a dream. She was walking in a park - sad, for her depression continued even in her sleep - and sat down on the nearest bench. She did not look at the man who sat next to her, she simply sighed and looked away. She continued looking at the snow-covered trees, and her thoughts wandered.

- - -

Leonid felt someone sit next to him. He did not understand the presence, for it was invisible, yet he felt something. He looked to his side, where the... woman, sat. It was curious, the feeling, and he extended his hand to touch the presence. Upon touching the cool air-body, he felt a shock to his whole being. It raced across the ghost's nerves, locking in the light-bud. His vision went black for a moment, but when it passed, he saw that the person next to him was his beautiful Isabelle!

"Isabelle?"

- - -

She heard her name called and looked in the direction of the familiar voice.

They hugged and shared a passionate kiss.

They cried.

The investigation started.

- - -

"My father works in the Scotland Yard, he will definitely know something! You can follow him around, and see how everything goes."

- - -

"You won't be able to see me once you're awake, but I'll try to make my presence known if I can manage."

- - -

How interesting it is to be a ghost! Leonid found out all kinds of interesting things. He saw that he could take refuge in animals' bodies, and he saw that he could see human thoughts if he tried hard enough. He understood that if any human had this kind of power, they would be invincible. How horrible it is that they are made for dead-men only.

He found Isabelle's house, and he found a way to make his presence known. He picked her hair and played with it. Isabelle understood.

He also found that if he wanted to, he could enter people's dreams.

- - -

It was the evening of February 27, 7:25 to be exact, when Leonid went for a walk. His maid confirmed the time, for she was just taking a look at the clock when he went out the door. The body was found on February 28, 2:45 PM. In between the time span of 7:25 and 2:45 PM, the murder had occurred.

- - -

Two days. In that time, he had told Isabelle about his experiences. He showed her the images he saw, and their relationship grew. Both knew they had a little time, and they loved each other more.

Leonid tagged along with Isabelle's father, and looked for the clues too.

It was a murder that wouldn't be solved easily. The death of Leonid's soul was soon.

- - -

On the 7th day, he visited Isabelle for the last time. He kissed her, and invited her to go along with him. They walked to the park where he was killed. He showed her the spot where he lay.

"I know now, Isabelle."

"How?"

"I was allowed to see."

"By whom?"

"Death."

- - -

It was his friend - Albert. They had an arranged meeting, and they met at the cafe. They talked about politics, then they decided to take a walk in the park. Leonid hadn't noticed, but Albert was holding a knife up his sleeve. The night was cold. It was exactly 10.

"You know, Leonid, I always liked Isabelle." Leonid looked at Albert in surprise.

"Who doesn't like her?"

"I mean in the other sense, fool." Leonid stopped and looked at his friend for a long time.

"I'm sorry to hear that."

The next moment was a blur, with his head low, Albert grabbed Leonid by his shirt and dragged him behind the bushed, thrusting the knife into his friend's gut.

"She don't deserve her love, a pathetic and melodramatic idiot like you. It's your fault she doesn't consider me good enough to marry. I hope you go to the pits of hell!" snarled Albert. He looked like a love-driven, mad dog, his eyes beady and a little bit crazy. "You don't understand anything she does, you're not even like her! What had she ever seen in you?" Albert pushed Leonid on the ground. He wiped the knife on the snow, and spit on Leonid, who was already unconscious.

- - -

"I was allowed to remember, but it was only because of you and your father, Isabelle... I'm not asking you to avenge me, I fully understand my friend. It is your choice whether you'll give him another chance or not. Will you or will you not? Make the decision now, do not lie to me. Please."

- - -

"I will never be able to forgive that man. I'd rather never marry, never have a child, and never love life than forgive and love him!"

- - -

"Alright."

- - -

Her decision was what Leonid wanted to hear, in the pit of his dead heart. He felt at peace now. He heard the seconds begin to count down, yet he simply hugged his love. He decided not to tell her she was bearing his child, for she had another choice in front of her now. He could see her thoughts, there were two choices. Either she would commit suicide, or live on.

"It's time now."

He disappeared in a whisk of smoke.

- - -

The crimson tears streamed from her slit wrists, landing on virgin snow. Isabelle stood in front of Leonid's grave, tears staining her face. She wished to die and be with Leonid forever. Next to a man. Unexpectedly, he grabbed her by the shoulders.

- - -

Nine months later, a child screamed in an empty room. Minutes later, Isabelle came in and took the baby into her hands. As she walked out of the room, slowly rocking the baby in her arms, she remembered the man - Leonid's dead father, who had returned from the grave to save his son's son. She was sad, for the wound had not yet healed, but she was also thankful, for the child would always remind her of her love.

Note From Author: Edit

Well... what can I say? I either write total horror, or total drama. This is unusual for me, but I hope the story's good. This is for King's September contest. Thanks for reading! :)

- DraculaFan

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