Tarra shifted the box she was carrying from one arm to the other, staring at the shrine before her and letting out a soft sigh. "Today is the day," she said, smiling. "Well, well, well! If it isn't my grandaughter!" An ancient voice called out to her, a kind half-chuckle lacing the end of the sentence. Her grandfather had appeared.
A wrinkled old man, wielding a knobbly cane, he stumbled his way to Tarra. "It's nice to see you grandpa," she said brightly, rushing over to him. Tackling him in a warm embrace, she grinned. It had been a long time since she last saw him. Almost too long.
After sharing a hug with her grandpa, the decrepit man walked into the shrine, not without the difficulty that comes with age. "Come, come," he said, beckoning Tarra to follow him. "Let me show you where you're staying." Hefting her box of belongings back into her arms, she eagerly followed him into the depths of the shrine.
Eventually, the two of them reached a quaint little bedroom that her grandfather had set up in what she could only assume was a storage room. It wasn't much, but it would be her home for the forseeable future. "Alright," her grandpa sighed, "I'll let you unpack your stuff. I'll holler at you when dinner is ready." He staggered away, closing the door behind him.
Tarra, throwing open the antiquated wardrobe in the corner, began to stow away her few belongings left. She grabbed a few hangars and began to hang up her clothes. She had nearly finished when she found the one hanger in the wardrobe that wasn't empty. An old gown no younger than the wardrobe itself hung neatly on its wooden arms, the whole thing looking almost exactly her size. Ignoring it, she stowed the rest of her clothes away, leaving the gown nigh untouched.
After setting up her room, Tarra decided to get some fresh air. There were some woods just outside the shrine, and besides, she liked nature. It would be a nice time to go for a quick walk, what with the sun still high in the sky and not a mosquito in sight.
It had been no more than ten minutes before the whispering began.
They started in low, nearly identical to the noise of leaves rustling in the wind, but soon enough, it was obvious that something was very, very wrong. Tarra shook her head to be sure she was just hearing things. They couldn't be real, could they? There was no one here but her and her grandpa, right?
The voices, unsurprisingly, didn't stop. They kept growing in intensity and volume until the discord of voices was nearly deafening. Covering her ears, she sprinted back to the temple as fast as she could. What else could she do? Once she had gotten to the shrine, the cacophony of noise ceased entirely, the endless din finally dying out. She let out a relieved sigh. "Thank goodness they're gone."
A singular voice cried out from the innards of the temple, the familiar one of her grandpa calling her in for dinner this time. "Coming grandpa," she called back, making her way to the dining hall to sit down for dinner. She was hungry, and maybe, just maybe, her grandpa would know what those voices were all about.
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