“Fancy joining us?”
I glanced up from my book, meeting the eyes of the backpacker who’d asked the question.
“Where’re you headed?”
“The Hungry Ghost Cave,” his friend chimed in.
I considered it a mere moment, then bobbed my head eagerly. “When do we go?”
“8 o’clock tomorrow morning,” the first guy said, extending a tanned hand. “I’m Miv…”
“Ronnie,” his mate offered, lifting his hand in turn.
“…and this here’s Ching, he’ll be our guide.” Ching nodded at me from across the table, and I did my best to commit their names to memory.
I headed back up to my room, but as I climbed to the fourth floor I felt an icy tendril of dread coil in my gut. Hungry ghost… I shook my head. Buddhism is filled with stories of the restless dead and even has a festival every year for which participants make offerings and pray to appease the pain of roving spirits. The name was just that: a moniker, a legend.
Jangsa…. a little voice whispered in the back of my head, drawing out the word with sadistic glee.
I shivered, clenching my fists as I lay back on my bed. That had just been an accident. A terrible, terrible accident. My mind had… broken. Seen things.
I dug my knuckles into my eyes until I could see supernovas, then curled into a ball and did my best to sleep. [Read more…]