In the previous episode, Celia went to explore more of the caravan at night and encountered a fiddle-playing ghost named Rupert. After expressing that he has something very important to tell her, readers voted he tell her she needs to get off the caravan when they reach the city.
“When you reach the city,” Rupert said, staring at Celia with clear blue eyes, “you must leave the caravan.” His outline seemed to shimmer, blurring slightly and Celia took a deep breath as the wind whipped past her, making her feel blurred as well.
“What do you mean?” She asked. “Why? I love the caravan. It’s my home now.” She thought about Marguerite and Luca, sewing with them day after day among the piles of costumes and how the wheels rocked her to sleep at night. How could she leave the comfort of this life, knowing what she’d be doing day after day, or seeing the praise and love in Marguerite’s eyes? She shivered in the wind.
“Trust me Celia.” Rupert shimmered even more, as if he was about to disappear, then came back glowing for a moment. He coughed. “If you stay with these people, you will suffer the same fate as I.”
“What happened to you?” Celia wasn’t sure she wanted to know, but something had made her ask him before she could stop herself. Before he could answer, however, there was a powerful gust of wind and Celia was thrown backwards onto the ground. As she looked up, she could just make out his flickering figure disappearing into the wind.
“Rupert!” she cried out, but it was too late. With one final note on his fiddle and a pained expression in his eyes, he was no more.
Celia sat on the roof of the caravan for a few moments more, stunned and shaken by what she had just seen. Was it real? Who was Rupert? She would ask Marguerite, she decided. She would tell her the truth. Celia climbed carefully back into her room and down the small ladder, landing with a thump on top of a glittering gold costume, studded with jewels sparkling in the dark.
The next morning, Celia earnestly recounted her night to Marguerite, apologizing for leaving the room and begging her to explain what Rupert had meant. She had expected Marguerite to have a calming, reasonable explanation for what had happened, but she was wrong. Avoiding her eyes, Marguerite began smoothing the gold costume that Celia had fallen on the night before.
“A ghost named Rupert?” She asked lightly. “What a dream! I used to have dreams like that when I was young. Fascinating, but you must remember that it’s not real, Celia. A dream is just a dream.”
And no matter how much Celia protested that it hadn’t been a dream, Marguerite smiled and laughed and shook her head until Celia began to wonder herself if she hadn’t created the whole thing in her mind. After all, it was a ridiculous idea – a fiddle-playing ghost named Rupert warning her to leave her home. Absurd.
The rest of the journey passed uneventfully. Celia no longer had the urge to leave the little room; instead she poured all her energy into the exquisite details of the costumes. So great in number were they now that they reached all the way up to the ceiling, leaving small gaps where Celia, Marguerite, Luca and the old woman sat nestled, sewing and sleeping. The days and nights blurred into each other and Celia lost all concept of time, working until she was tired, letting the wheels lull her to sleep, then waking up and resuming her work. At one point she realized she couldn’t remember the last time she had eaten, but found she still wasn’t hungry. She didn’t mention it, and from then on she forgot about food as well.
Eventually, however, the caravan reached its destination. It was close to dawn, early one morning, and with a disconcerting jolt, Celia felt the wheels stop moving. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.