He was running playing on an late autumn day; his mother was nearby, reading a mushy book like his daddy always called it. His breath shown in the brisk cool air.
At seven years old, Itaru Sonoda was a bright and happy child. Like his grandfather though he had an adventurous side his grandmother and mother hated. He had run off chasing some of the other boys around playing cops and robbers and had gotten lost in the dense brush of the park. What seemed like hours came to pass and Itaru scratched and nicked by the bushes finally saw a clearing ahead of him.
He found himself upon an old forgotten path; weeds and overgrowth were trying to reclaim the path. And here he heard faint humming. So very sad yet perfect, it flowed from one note to another almost rhythmically. He followed the sound; taking note this part of the park had been unused for years. Finally he came across an old park bench that had seen better years; upon it was a pretty girl wearing an old styled dress. The humming stopped when she heard his footsteps approach. Her head rose and Itaru saw she had tears in her eyes. She looked to be about sixteen, her platinum colored hair shined brightly in the morning light. Her hair, somewhat long was pulled down into a simple pony tail that trailed down her neck.
<"Hello."> She called out, a high but sweet voice. Itaru bowed and repeated her greeting.
<"Not too many people come here anymore, are you lost?"> She asked. He nodded. She patted the old bench with her hand, motioning for him to come sit with her. He obliged but was slightly cautious. His family had warned him not to trust strangers. But this girl seemed very safe. Upon her ears, he noted, more like part of her ears were twin objects, they looked just like wiper blades on a car's window. She smiled brightly at him.
<"My name is Ping, what's yours?">
<"I… Itaru, Itaru Sonoda."> Ping seemed to be shocked at the name, and her smile seemed a little more stressed than before.
<"Really I know a girl named Yuki Sonoda, she is really nice, and she has a crush on my Onii-chan!"> Itaru blinked. Yuki was his mother's name.
<"Why are you hear Ping-san?"> He asked her. She smiled and looked up at the patch of sky visible through the leaves.
<"I'm waiting for Onii-chan to come back. This was his favorite place to go. If he comes back everything will be okay and everyone will be happy again."> Her smile faded into a monotonous look.
<"Where did he go?"> He asked, his eyes seem to grow heavier.
<"He left for America, back to his home a week ago. But I know he will come back. I know it."> Itaru heard no more falling asleep, exhausted from his trek. He fell against her softly, her body warm and soft. Upon her was a smell of earth, like someone who worked in a garden all their life. He felt himself be lifted up in gentle arms. He was being carried, someone who was warm and smelled nice. Voices he heard.
"Itaru!?" His mother… He felt himself be passed as he struggled awake. His mother's smell, of cooking and books, the other smell had gone away.
<"Momma?"> His eyes opened to see his mother, 29 year old Yuki Sonoda, looking very much like her mother at that age, still beautiful as she was in high school. Around them were the children he had played with and their parents. Yuki hugged him closer
<"Itaru, oh thank God, we were looking all over for you!"> Itaru looked around for his savior. And there she was, away from the rest of them with a peaceful smile upon her face. She seemed distant then, not so much real as she when he first saw her. Yuki looked up also, noticing Ping. Ping looked uneasily at his mother.
<"Ping-chan… Thank you for finding him… thank you.... Where have you been, Piro-san has been looking all over for you."> Ping seemed to start.
<"AH! Piro Onii-chan! I gotta go back and wait for him. Bai Bai Itaru-kun!"> With that she raced off. Upon her back there had been a long streak of black, as if she had been hit by lightning. The late autumn rains began to roll in and Ping soon disappeared from sight.
* * *
Itaru went back a few more times after that, sometimes his mother with him, but they never saw Ping again. Just the lonely bench in a forgotten part of the park.
It was like she was never there, nothing more than an image from long ago.
A ghost remembering the past.
Quickly written and probably will be rewritten, something's are left unanswered.
C&C welcome... Esspecially for this one.