Current Location: Los Angeles
-Ephemeral soul manifestation, informally referred to as “La Llorona”
-(Resolved and recorded. Subject relocated.)
I am unsettled. I could dress that up in all manner of obfuscating language, but the simpler truth is more accurate. I spent the better part of a month tracking down a spirit in the forests just north of Los Angeles. I had received several reports from trusted sources, and I thought I would be dealing with yet another creature of mischief.
“La Llorona,” which means “The Crying Woman,” is a common myth on this part of the Surface. Traditionally, tale-tellers speak of a woman so consumed with grief over the deaths of her children that, when she herself dies, her spirit refuses to abandon the Surface. In some of the darker versions of these stories, the woman commits suicide. In others, she is responsible for her children’s deaths.
Typically, spirits on the Surface like to take advantage of myths and legends and play on intrinsic Human fears. I have encountered minor djinn, wisps, and other beings that willfully take on the characteristics of mythical entities. I have even encountered a wisp that took the form of a woman and taunted unsuspecting Surface dwellers with faint crying.
That was not what I found in the forest.
I found the spirit within the first day of my visit to the area. It was not trying to hide. It was on a mountainside road, standing on the road’s shoulder under the light of a full moon. It was, as the name suggests, crying. It had the appearance of a woman in her early thirties. And, as it turned out, the spirit was a soul – a genuine human soul. “It” was a “she.”
I did not try to approach her in secret. I didn’t think she had anywhere to run. I called out to her. I wanted to convince her to spare us the hassle of a chase, or a fight. She turned to me, slowly, and stared. Her cataract-white eyes bled from each corner in slow, trickling streams. She spoke three words: “la estrella obscura.” I hesitated. It only means “the dark star,” but she said it at me, as if it were my name. In the moment of my hesitation, she stepped off the mountainside. I raced to the edge, but I could only watch as she fell into the tree-line and vanished.
I was not going to be eluded so easily. For the next four weeks, I returned to the forest again and again, often for several days at a time, and hunted her. She was never scornful or arrogant in her evasiveness, which made the pursuit frustrating. Had she been toying with me, I would have enjoyed the challenge and relished my eventual success.
I caught her as the month wound down, using a doppleganger charm to throw her off, then surprising her with a cage charm. She did not try to fight or flee when she realized her mistake. Instead, she asked me to come closer. Fool that I am, I did so. I wanted her to know I had won. She reached out and touched my cheek. She looked into my eyes with her own bleeding gaze and begged me to turn back.
Of course, I assumed she meant that she wanted to be left alone. I told her that she would be with her children again soon. She told me she had no children, that she never had children, and that her tears were for me. I stared at her. I waited for her to say something, to clarify.
She did not, and I banished her.
I am not entirely sure why I am still dwelling on this encounter. Maybe because I do not know what she meant. I dislike not knowing. I should have interrogated her, but I let my frustration get to me. In any case, the odds are that she was only trying to confuse me. I think this method of misdirection should be presented to my fellow Mousers so that they can adequately prepare. I know I will be ready, next time.