The story of Candice the Ghost goes something like this.
Candice was a little girl who came from a single parent home. Because of her mom's occupation, she had to move quite often and never had the chance to meet any close friends. Candice was lonely most of the time. Her mother never had time for her because she always had to work. Her favorite place to play was her tree house. In there she could entertain herself for hours at a time.
One unfortunate day, she was climbing her tree house and fell. Without any supervision, Candice lie there for hours facing the bright sun and eventually died. Her last memory on earth was this vision of a silhouette of a crow circling around her. Upon her death, Candice was sent to meet the king of hell, Yen Luo Wang. The emperor of hell sensed something unique in Candice and after careful calculation sent her back to our world as a ghost. At first Candice was very sad. Without her mother and no one around her, she was desperate. Her depression soon turned into anger as she started resenting the human race. Why should these people be having so much fun while she could only watch. She soon found a cruel joy in scaring off people.
After a while curiosity lead her to start observing the human race for the first time. This is something she could never have done when she were part of the living. She noticed the love and affection shared by families and lovers and began seeing the good in people. Even though no one in this world could love Candice, she learned to appreciate people for the immense love and sacrifice they could give to others.
It was during this time that KuanYing came to visit Candice. KuangYing could feel the power and strength she possessed and believed she was kept on this earth to fight evil and unlucky spirits that plagued mankind. Kuanying taught Candice that if she wished to find inner peace and control her demons, she must learn Eastern Philosophy. Candice first learned about the philosophies of Buddhism. She learned that life is suffering and that these sufferings stem from man's desires. In order to eliminate suffering, one must learn to control their desires. Candice learned that nothing in this world was permanent, everything is but temporary and she found comfort in this. Maybe she wouldn't remain a ghost forever. Next was Chan Buddhism and the great BodhiDharma. She learned to meditate and to look inward as a source of strength. Candice even learned about the Hindu God Shiva. Shiva means the "One who purifies everyone by the utterance of His name" or "the Pure One". Even though Shiva was the God of destruction, he was a positive force. For without destruction, there can be no creation. Without death, there can be no life. Candice found deep comfort in this, for she knew with her death, maybe, just maybe one day there would be a chance for another kind of life.
Upon learning the various philosophies, Candice finally found the energy and skill to battle evil spirits. She wandered the earth to help those who needed helping. For once, there was meaning in her life. But despite her great efforts and vast knowledge, Candice sometimes felt sad in being alone. Even though she could help people, she was still a ghost. And people have notions of what ghosts are. Perhaps if they could only try to understand her, but nobody wants to understand a ghost. People only wish to understand themselves and other people. At times, she almost felt human but one look in her reflection and reality showed her that indeed she was still from the spirit world. From all her training, Candice inadvertently learned a new power. Everytime she was filled with anger, hatred or sadness, crows would fly out of her hair to protect and keep her company.
One day on her adventures, Candice found a boy in need. Being hovered by a great number of demons, this boy was ill and on the verge of death. Candice fought hard to defeat these demons. The strange thing was this boy could see and talk to Candice. He didn't fear her one bit. For once in her life, Candice could actually talk to another child that accepted her for who she really was. During the next few months, Candice stopped her travels and learned to just have fun with this boy. They talked about anything and everything under the sun. They played all the games Candice saw other children play. Candice was happy. The months turn into years and the only crows Candice saw were in the skies. Candice could see from the top of this boys head that he had a very strong chi in him. Maybe this was why he never feared Candice. Or yet again, maybe it was because this boy was just as shy and lonely as Candice was when she were alive. Candice's concerns came to a head when KuanYing visited one day telling Candice she could no longer maintain a relationship with this boy. This boy was spending too much time with her and had given up playing or associating with other kids his age. Everyone already thought he was strange playing with his imaginary friend. If he were to continue with Candice, he would never learn to adjust himself to his world - after all he was part of the living. Candice was torn. On the one hand, she found the one person in this world that accepted her for what she was, someone that made her happy. On the other hand, she knew leaving him was the best thing. On various attempts, she tried to bring up the topic of leaving, but his sadness hurt Candice so much that she couldn't bear to leave his side. And like so many times before, the crows once again came back to comfort her.
Finally one day Candice muscled up the courage to make her final attempt to leave this boy. She told him she never liked him and no longer wished to play with him and that it was time for her to begin her own journey. She left with tears in her eyes but the boy kept chasing her. Accidentallly, the boy tripped over a rock and clung on to a few branches atop a cliff. Hearing his cries, Candice ran to his rescue but it was too late. The boy tumbled to his death. Candice's rage sent a fury of hysteric crows flying from her hair which covered the skies into sheer darkness for 21 days and nights. This rattled the gods and both spirits were sent to meet Yen Luo Wang for their fate.
Candice saw the boy in the gates of hell and they both held each other tight. She could feel his trembling and tried to soothe his fears. Yen Luo Wang appeared and began sentencing for both souls. Yen Luo Wang could see the energy this boy possessed and decided to put this boy back into the world of the living as a ghost to learn the ways of the world and protect the living from harm. Candice on the other hand, had long fulfilled her deed of good karma and was allowed to reincarnate back into the living. Fate has a strange way of dealing with souls. Candice could now return to the world of the living while this boy would transform into a ghost left to wander the human world alone. Either way, they could no longer be together again. Candice had already felt the intense loneliness of being a ghost warrior and pleaded with Yen Luo Wang to trade in her good karma for the boy to have another chance to reincarnate into the living world. Yen Luo Wang was baffled. Never before had one soul been willing to trade in their good deeds for the benefit of another. Yen Luo Wang asked Candice why she would do such a thing. Candice explained to him. "I have been lonely for my entire life. All my life all I ever wanted was to be happy, to have friends and family accept me for who I was. This unfortunately has never happened. But it was during my life as a ghost that I found the person who made me feel special. It was this person that actually made me feel alive when I was already dead. I have tasted loneliness and even though I never liked it, I wouldn't want someone that I cared for this much to go through what I went through. And that's why I'm willing to trade in my life for his." Everyone in the courtroom including the stern faced Yen Luo Wang seemed touched by her sacrifice. He wished there was something he could do to unite these 2 poor souls together but he knew he had to abide by the laws of hell. Candice was allowed to trade in her good deeds in return for the boy to reincarnate back into the living world, but she would have to remain a ghost for yet another 13 years. Without a flinch, she accepted these terms.
For the next 13 years, Candice continued her good deeds and everyday she would think of the great times she shared with this boy. The one person that was able to bring joy and happiness to her life. Besides the companionship of her crows, this was the only thing that got her through the lonely and desperate hours. Time and time again, she would try to find that special boy but was never successful. Maybe he was a different person now and no longer remembered his past life. Maybe she just never found him. Candice accepted this fact and all she could ever do was wish him well. The days slowly turned into months, the months into years until the 13th year finally arrived.
Before meeting Yen Luo Wang, KuanYing came to Candice. She had a secret to tell her. Because of her heroism and selflessness, the gods had already planned Candice's fate. She was finally going to reincarnate into a human in her next life as a girl. But there was more. Even though they would be born worlds apart, fate would somehow bring her and that special boy together again on her 22nd birthday. Neither one would remember their past life but they would fall in love. They would learn to cherish each other dearly. Their bond for each other would be so strong that they would eventually get married and have a family of their own. Their life would be filled with joy, affection and love. Candice would finally find what she was looking for. She would never ever be lonely again. She would one day truly experience what it meant to love and to be loved, to care and to be cared for. With a tear in her eye, Candice thanked Kuanying for everything, took a deep sigh, smiled and walked into the light.
Yes, fate does have a strange way of playing with people's lives. After all, isn't this what the world is all about? Without sorrow and anguish, could we really experience joy and happiness? Without Death lingering at our footsteps, do we not find the precious moments of truly being alive? Life may lead us to strange paths but this is simply the gods way of testing us to see what we're really made of.
Then again, what do I know. I'm just a crow who was there since day one to share with you the story of Candice the Ghost...