Chapter 5 Apparently the mayor called everyone down to the Macarthy town hall for a free feast, with plenty to drink. It was said that the bartender's stock had depleted completely, and that many a good cows were slaughtered for this occasion.
There was even music an people dancing (they were most likely designated to). People were almost getting ready to start celebrating. Then a few people started to talk among themselves. "What about the men that have been sent out? Whatever happened to them?"
"Will the mayor not tell us?" Realizing the people' concern, the mayor got the crowd's attention. He tried his best to hide his nervousness. Paul stood far behind everyone, the place furthest from the fireplace. He listened intently to the mayor's words. "Well...fine day isn't it?"
Everyone was quiet. The mayor knew what he had to tell them, "You are all probably wondering what happened to the men that were sent out, to find the ghost..." The mayor's tone changed, "We did find them...at least what was left of them..." Chatter broke out across the town hall.
He raised his hands,"It could've been a pack of wolves, we must not jump to conclusions so-" "It was the ghost!" A man shouted, "It has come to kill us all! We must leave Macarthy!" Chaos broke among the people, the mayor tried to calm them down, but it was useless. Then, someone spoke. "I can stop it."
Everyone went completely silent. They looked around trying to figure who had spoken. It was Paul. "I can stop the ghost." Still, everyone remained silent. They were all looking at Paul.
"And just how do you think you're going to do that?" someone asked. "It's from a book...that my mother used to read to me." No one said anything. They didn't know what to say. Finally, the mayor spoke up,"If you indeed think you can stop this...ghost...then I grant you permission to do so." He was open to anything at this point.
"Give me until tomorrow morning. I will go alone." Paul stood among the crowd for a little while, then walked out of the town hall, without saying saying anymore. He paced through the snow, back to his house. Underneath his bed, he pulled out something that was very special to him. Outside, Paul started to leave Macarthy, and into the woods...
Chapter 6 Paul walked far into the forest, away from Macarthy. As he went further on, everything started to get dark. He was alone at last. Paul sighed. Snow began to fall. Paul closed his eyes, trying hard to remember.
The warmth of his house, a long time ago. His family would be there. It all seemed as if it were a dream. 'They're not there anymore...' Paul thought. 'You can never go home...' Just then, Paul's thoughts were interrupted by a disturbance. He opened his eyes. He was alone, cold and scared. Branches snapped. Shadows darted around in the dark.
A high pitched noise echoed through the mountains. Paul frantically looked around. Fear was taking over. Then, he saw his mother before him. The snow made it hard to tell if she really was there. 'No....she's gone! She's gone forever! She is...'
Her soft voice made everything stop. She said something that night, that only Paul could hear. Then, she disappeared. Paul looked at the ground, then into the darkness. He knew what he had to do. With that being said, he swallowed. Fear and all. Paul spoke up, "Where are you hiding!?"
The movement stopped. Then it got angry. It blew the snow around and tore apart the trees. What sounded like a thousand distant voices, starting to weep. "Show yourself to me!" It only got louder, The icy air crept around Paul, making it impossible to breathe. Shadows closed in, he was going to die.
He fell to his knees barely holding on, life was leaving him. Before his body hit the snow, he stopped himself with his left arm and spoke, "Jordan..." Paul let go. It quieted down and let go of Paul. It was confused. The wind stopped at once. After a while of complete silence, a very young voice came out of the darkness. It could still not be seen.
"How do you know my name?" Paul managed to slowly get up and answer, "I've been hearing a lot about you..." He didn't know which direction to talk in. "You've been causing a lot of trouble, haven't you?" It didn't say anything back. The small young voice quickly changed.
"You're one of them!" The new voice sounded loud and hurt. "The tried to hurt me!" All of a sudden it started to cry. "I don't know why..." it said quietly. "I just want to go home." It wept in the dark softly. Paul sat and listened, he knew how it felt.
His eyes looked at the ground and he saw something. It was the very special thing that he'd brought from home. Paul picked it out from the snow and stood up. "I...didn't come to hurt you...in fact, I came to play a little game with you." Paul said with a smile, "I heard you like to play games!" The weeping stopped.
"It's called chess. My father and I used to play it together. I can teach you if you want." He waited, "do you want to play with me?" Some time passed, until finally the little boy came out of the shadows. He stood before Paul quietly, the child was indeed young and terribly small in size. Paul noticed that his eyes were there, they were deep brown.
"Yes," said Jordan. "What?" Paul sounded confused. "Yes, I'll play a game with you," the child said. Paul remembered, "Oh yeah! Um...let me set up the pieces." He opened the chess box and placed the board on the snow.
"Glass or wood?" The were two kinds of pieces for Paul's chessboard, wood and glass. All of them were meticulously crafted by his grandma. It was his father who cut out the board, Paul remembered painting it with him. As soon as they were finished, his father taught him the rules and Paul played his very first game of chess.
"Glass," Jordan replied, "I would like to be glass." After both sides of the board had its pieces placed correctly. Paul began to explain the rules. "So the pawns can only move forward once, unless its their first..." "Wait," the little boy interrupted, "I think I remember."
He moved his knight forward. Paul knelt in the snow and moved a pawn up two squares. The game went on. After sometime had passed, Paul noticed that Jordan had already taken out five of his pieces. The child played quietly and held a deep, concentrated look in his eyes. "You play well." Paul commented softly, "who taught you?"
"I...can't remember..." the young boy said. His eyes remained on the board. He looked confused. Paul broke the silence by taking out the last of Jordan's knights. Jordan continued to simply stare at the board, taking out one of Paul's rooks, putting the wooden king in check.
"Check." the child smiled mischievously. Paul quickly moved his king out of harms way, only to find out that Jordan was really planning on taking out the queen. Paul didn't even see it coming. It was hard to focus in the cold. After all, the young man as sitting in a pile of snow in the middle of a storm. "My family...they're never coming back, are they? Jordan asked.
"Um..." Paul didn't know what to say. He made another move, this time he was only able to collect a pawn from it. He looked at Jordan. "Actually...they've been waiting for you." Paul tried to sound sure as he could, "You'll see them very soon." "Oh..." the young child said. Then, he shifted back into a concentrated look.
His eyes darted around the board, until finally they lit up again. Only this time, the looked a lot more tired. "Check mate." Jordan manged a small little smile from his lips. They began to quiver rapidly. Paul took off his coat. "Here, put this on." He carefully wrapped it around the little child.
Paul looked at a nearby tree. He carried the boy the to the tree and gently laid him down near it, in the snow. "You must be very tired..." After tucking him in, Paul knelt beside the boy until his eyes finally closed. ***
*** Jordan Winston laid in the snow fast asleep. Paul Maverick figured he should best start heading home to Macarthy. If he waited any longer, he would freeze to death in the cold. But Paul wasn't going back. He wasn't going to leave the child all alone.
He found a place in the snow, sat down and leaned his back up against the tree, right next to the sleeping child. Paul wrapped his arm around Jordan and closed his eyes. Suddenly, he remembered how the story ended, the one his mother used to read him. ...
Paul would be on the chair beside her, in front of the warm fireplace. Although he would already be fast asleep near the end of the book, the last words could be heard in his dreams: "So be kind, my little one, wherever you may go, For 'tis only love that can, warm a child made of snow..."
Paul Maverick opened his eyes one last time and stared into the woods. He turned to look at Jordan, the the child's face looked like a sleeping angel. Paul smiled. As he closed his eyes for the last time, he saw Leslie, the beautiful girl. Her eyes were like shiny rocks, they sparkled in the sun. And for the first time, in a very long time, Paul was warm.
This book is dedicated to m foster family. To, Mama, who cared for me since I was small, To Amanda, my big sis who I look up to, To Jace and Blake, the babies who brought joy to us all, And to Papa, the man who taught me the lessons of life. I love you with ALL of my heart.