The dusty tram creaked along the rusting lines high above the desolate valley. There was snow here once. A fluffy blanket draped across the high mountains. Nalvic looked out the tram’s window. Only a few craggy peaks broke through the rubble.
“Are we there yet?” Thaxse giggled. He insisted they wear ridiculous outfits like the skiers of old.
“What?” Nalvic glared at the fuzzy pompoms dancing near Thaxse’s chin.
“It’s what they used to say,” Thaxse looked exasperated. “You know. When they were on road trips.”
“Focus, Thaxse,” Nalvic snapped, “this place is dangerous.”
“I finished ahead of you in training,” Thaxse pouted and slouched in the faded tram seat. “And I know better than you what we are in for. Doesn’t mean we have to wait until they’ve retired us to have fun.”
Nalvic winced and turned back to the window. Thaxse was born on a mountain much like the one the tram inched toward. His tribe was rescued after the Return and he was a natural ghost hunter.
Nalvic adjusted the flaps on her hat. These were not the wispy, anemic phantoms in the ancient books. The same forces that reshaped the mountains infused the earthly spirits with great power. The energy was dark and drove them to attack any living thing.
“Look there!” Thaxse sat up and pointed at the tram stop coming in to view. The platform was swarming with ghosts.
“They sensed us coming,” Nalvic reached under her seat and grabbed her staff. “We might not make it off the platform.”
Suddenly, the tram shook violently.
“No,” Thaxse gave her a bitter smile. “we might not make it to the platform.”