A Fear of Ghosts
Dreslo was scared of most things. Everyone who knew him was used to it by now. He was scared of meeting new people, going to new places, the colour pink, meepits, the Haunted Woods, and that was to name just a few. Perhaps his weirdest fear was flying, which was unusual given that he was a Shoyru. But his biggest fear in life, and the one he was sure he would never ever conquer, was his phobia of ghosts.
Favar was the complete opposite of his best friend. The Kougra was fearless; he wasn't scared of anything, or at least that's what he told everyone.
"I'm bored!" Favar cried.
It was Summer and the pair had already done everything they could possibly think of. They'd been to Roo Island and rode the Carousel, Dreslo had said that it had made him dizzy and he didn't like it. Over at Kiko Lake they'd gone on a boat tour, but he'd got sea sick and they had to turn around and go back only a few minutes in to the journey. Favar had even tried to poke the Turmaculus with a giant stick on one of their adventures, and his friend had been so scared he'd simply burst into tears.
"Please, Dres! Let's go on an adventure!" Favar stared at Dreslo with his eyes wide and pleading.
"You know how your adventures always end..." Dreslo muttered.
"I promise, Dres! I promise we won't get in any trouble! I promise I won't try and poke any big monsters with sticks! Forget that, I promise there will be no monsters at all!"
Dreslo reluctantly agreed and they set off towards Faerieland. Favar had promised there was nothing scary in Faerieland, how could Faeries possibly be scary! For once Dreslo was excited, he'd never been before, and he had never met a Faerie before either. An hour later and they had arrived on the outskirts, with the Healing Springs in the distance.
"It's so pretty." Dreslo sighed.
"I can't believe it used to float in the sky." Favar grinned menacingly at his friend. "You never would have been able to visit it then!"
Dreslo was still in good spirits at visiting such a beautiful place, so he chuckled at his own expense. The pair wandered past the Healing Springs, the water was crystal blue and perfectly still. The Rainbow Pool was the prettiest thing Dreslo had ever seen, and even Favar seemed to hold his breath as they walked past it. Favar waved merrily at a discarded Grundo plushie that sat in a tree, and Dreslo rather bravely stuck his head inside the dark caverns that sat at the top of the hill. As they stopped to eat their lunch, Juppie Jam Sandwiches, the loneliness of the place suddenly seemed to dawn on them both.
"Where is everyone?" Dreslo asked his friend, the familiar worried look had returned to his face after the pleasant morning they'd shared.
"Perhaps they are all in the city?" Favar said, as always attempting to reassure his friend.
"I think we ought to head home..."
"No, Dres, you'll love it in there, especially the book shop!" Favar grabbed his friend's hand and headed towards the city at lightning speed, sandwiches tumbling into the grass in all directions.
As they arrived at the gates of the city, it was clear that it was also abandoned, but the city was alive with sound. Voices rang out from all around, and wonderful music seemed to dance and swirl around them. The best thing of all was the smell, roast chicken and mulled fruit juice invaded their senses, and Favar's eyes practically popped out of his head as he threw himself into the city.
"WAIT!" cried Dreslo in terror. His choices now were to stay outside the gates all alone, or run after his friend into the city that was alive with strange noises and smells. Neither seemed like a good option, but Dreslo hated being alone, so he ran after his friend as quickly as he could.
"Watch where you're going!"
"Who do you think you are!"
Voices were everywhere; it could only mean one thing. Ghosts. Dreslo's biggest fear. Tears began to roll down his cheek as his friend disappeared from view around a corner and yet more mysterious voices cried out to him. Dreslo stopped and huddled, wrapping his hands and then his wings around his head to block out the noises around him.
"It's ok, young man, it's not the first time someone's walked through us and it won't be the last!" a kind voice said.
Dreslo peeked his left eye out from under his wings, and a Ghost Aisha sat in front of him, looking sympathetic. The clouds had shifted in front of the sun, and suddenly the whole town was alive with ghost pets, eating, drinking, dancing and laughing. Dreslo was scared, more scared than he was sure he had ever been before, but something about the Ghost Aisha made him unfold his wings and look her in the eye.
"I'm sorry," he said, "I lost my friend and I'm..." He wasn't sure how to tell her he was afraid of her and all her friends, so he just stopped talking and cried.
"Your friends just over there," she said, pointing at Favar, who had reappeared and was cradling an armful of Ghost Burgers. "Seems you two have stumbled upon our convention; it's just supposed to be us ghosts today, but we never say no to other company either."
"What convention?" Dreslo asked, watching Favar throw two burgers into his mouth at once and grimacing.
"The Annual Ghost Gathering; it's our 4th year now! Last year we went to Terror Mountain. It was a disaster, all the food froze and we could barely talk our teeth were chattering so much!"
"How can you feel cold? You're ghosts," Dreslo said, frowning at the Aisha.
"It's just a colour." She laughed at him. "We're just like you, except people can't see us in bright sunlight, but then, at least we can go out in the sunshine. Imagine what it's like to be painted chocolate!"
Dreslo finally looked around him properly. The ghost pets were playing funny games, whilst Ghost petpet's whizzed under their feet. A band were playing ghostly instruments in front of the employment agency, and a large crowd of pets were twirling and spinning in front of them. Everyone was happy and chatting with each other, not a single menacing face was amongst the crowd, except maybe Favar who was now being sick in the corner after eating another armful of burgers.
Dreslo laughed. He was over his biggest fear and for the first time all summer they had headed home with him talking animatedly about the day, Favar grumbling and moaning most of the way.
"What a day, Dres," Favar sighed sadly as they arrived home.
"I guess we've found something that you're afraid of now!" Dreslo grinned merrily.
"What's that?" Favar stared at him, he was Favar the fearless, he wasn't scared of anything.
"Eating another burger!" he cried, and pulled another ghost burger out from behind his back.
The Kougra turned green for a second before running to the bathroom, as Dreslo laughed hysterically. It had been the best day ever, and one thing was certain, Dreslo really wasn't afraid of ghosts at all.