Ghost Story: Chapter Two

Ghost Story 2
The ‘Doc’, is Doctor Jordan Bukowski. Holding a PhD in Paranormal Psychology and being one of the world’s leading mediums; gave him a unique perspective and unusual abilities in this realm; both during his stint with the living and now that he plays for our team.

My first contact with him was the night, or could have been day since time has no meaning to us now, my wife heard him calling to us. Up until then, stepping out of the living room never crossed my mind. There simply was no need to since sleeping, eating, taking a dump, all of those requirements for daily ‘living,’ were obviously no longer necessary.

Doc. B. was investigating a series of murders that the police could not solve. Not only were they not able to pin down a suspect, they weren’t able to determine any motive for the killings. It was Doctor Bukowski’s theory that the deaths were the work of a malevolent spirit, a demon to be precise. The only way that the killings could stop would be to interview the victims, and track down the fiend before he could slaughter again. That’s why he came to our former home and called us out.

This was the first time I saw the dim world that existed beyond our Sunset Gold painted walls; my wife’s choice a year before it became our home for eternity. During those first meetings, there were a total of six before I met the man face to face; we were on separate sides of the frosted glass that keeps our worlds apart.

Although I could hear him clearly enough to understand what he was asking, he could not hear me, we had to rely on the simple, one knock for yes, two for no method of communication. He’d ask a question, I’d stamp my foot. Evidently that was enough for him to sense through the membrane that separated us, and we’d play 20 questions until he got fatigued. It took a lot out of him I guess. Didn’t faze me though, I was glad to be somewhere new. Death doesn’t give one much opportunity for personal growth. So any change was good.

All of our talks would start this way;

Doc: “Calling the spirits of August and Julie O’Neill. This is Doctor Jordan Bukowski, are you there spirits?”

Me: I’d stamp my foot once.<Thump>

Doc: “Are you both there Spirits?”

Me:<Thump-Thump>

Doc: “Is this the spirit of August O’Neill?”

Me:… Well, you get the idea. He’d ask questions about how we died, who was there, what we saw… But since all the answers could only be yes/no it was kind of frustrating and I’d fruitlessly yell at him.

Me: <Thump-Thump-Thump> “Yo Doc! You’re barking up the wrong tree! Wrong follow-up! Where are you going with this?”<Tap dancing thumps> “Guy had red eyes and was wearing a cape!” He only heard the foot stomps. Wore him out, was kind of fun for me.

This would go on for a while, him always using a voice I’d expect to hear in a cheesy ghost séance movie, me stomping the ground kicking up translucent wisps of dust around my slippered feet. For a goof I’d occasionally throw in a, <Whoo-ooooo>, sound but I don’t think he could hear it. What can I say; I was just happy to be out.

Through those meetings I remembered that my wife and I had died gruesomely; I didn’t recall that part before he brought it up. Without getting too graphic, the words decapitate and evisceration came up. I also learned there were more like my wife and I on this side of the thin film between our realities. My answers to him allowed him to confirm we were the victims of an inhuman serial killer.

When he became too tired to continue, he would just stop asking questions. I told him at our first actual meeting, when he could hear me clearly, that this was an annoying habit. It was like having a phone conversation with someone and the other party just hangs up without any acknowledgment of being done. Very rude I thought, it made me restless. And a restless spirit annoys the living. It’s what we do when we’re not content.

After my first foray out of the comfort of our living room, I was excited to tell my wife about the adventure, but upon returning inside I was immediately back in that present. I had forgotten everything that happened ‘outside.’ I was eventually to discover this was a normal event for spirits returning to their ‘home’ bubble. What happens outside the bubble, stays outside the bubble. Until that is, the next time he would call and I’d pass through the door, then memories of all the previous meetings would come back.

The singular difference upon my return to my wife and pets, was that I was no longer completely content with my existence. Somewhere in the back of my simple mind was a nagging pull. Something was no longer the same, normal just wasn’t good enough anymore. I’d get out of the chair, walk around the room. This would get the dogs going; they’d start moving around and begin bumping into each other, chasing the cats and scaring the bird. For the iguana’s part, it didn’t really bother him much; he never really did much in life so this realm wasn’t that much of a change. The room was kind of small back in life’s reality when it was just us with three live dogs and the occasional other creature. Twenty spirit animals all moving around made us a fairly restless bunch.

Even the Doc. mentioned it during one of our later meetings. After our usual pleasantries he asked;

Doc: “Spirit of August O’Neill, has something changed? Are you upset?”

Me: Extra big two footed, <THUMP> “Fucking-A Doc, hang up the God-damn phone once in awhile, you’re starting to piss me off!.” Of course he didn’t hear that part at the time. I did let him know later when he actually came to me in person. The day he got too close and the demon got him. The day he crossed the bridge onto my side and we could finally meet and shake hands. And then, after I gave him shit for not knowing how to politely end a conversation, I agreed to join his quest to hunt the killer down from our side of death.

That’s what our plan was anyway, seemed reasonable at the time. The way he explained it to me, the reasoning he used to recruit me and the others;

“If a ghost kills you,” he explained, ‘than you’re on their side of reality, your dead too. He’ll have no power over you because you’ll both be ghosts. We’ll kick his ass.”

I agreed with his logic. I figured that after all, ‘what’s the worst that could happen? We were already dead.’

Neither of us knew at the time but there is worse, there is much, much worse.

Ghost Story: Chapter One.

Trying something new for me. Short chapters. Just read a very good book by an author who has a very similar style to mine and he broke his book up in over 60 chapters. This is a short story so it won’t be that long, but I’m going to see where it takes me.

                                    Ghost Story Chapter One
  It’s bleak here. Not desolate, just dim and lifeless. Although technically there is life, we’re just not a part of it. Nor can we even see it clearly for that matter even though it’s all around us, and we couldn’t avoid it if we wanted to.

  We can see all the solid blacks, the various shades of grey and brown, muted tones of what would be colorful if we were on that plane to see them. Here there is only the shadow of what is bright, vibrant, and alive on that side of the tinted glass.

  Most who exist in this realm have no idea what’s out there, outside our personal bubbles of eternity. I certainly didn’t until the Doc coaxed me from mine, from my after-life of eternal couch potato-ing with the Mrs. and our dogs. All our dogs. Not just the three we had when we passed out of that world into this one, but every pet we ever rescued. Fifteen dogs of various breeds and sizes, three cats, a Sun Conure and an iguana. We were happy, content to have all of our furry, feathered and scaled children with us, all cured of all their various ailments. Big Lab Ray-Ray wasn’t blind anymore, our chubby dachshund Lola could walk again without her little two wheeled cart to get around, Elvis the cat no longer needed medication for feline diabetes. They took turns sitting by us so we could pet them while we were content watching the same episode of Conan forever, her knitting and me just relaxing in worn out pajamas in my recliner.

  The first time I met the Doctor, Conan was setting up ‘Fan Corrections’ and something different happened. At the time it didn’t seem strange, heck it didn’t seem odd that we never got off our asses and the same talk show episode kept repeating. In their bubbles, spirits have no short term memory, we replay the same moments over and over. It isn’t life with its new experiences and unpredictability, we’re dead, our souls trapped in a world of our own unconscious making at the time of passing over. Doc told me it was very rare to find two souls in the same eternity. The phrase, ‘to each his own,’ describes it best.

  My wife heard it first, a faint calling of our names from somewhere outside.

  “Someone’s at the door,” she said.

  Pausing the show with the remote I wasn’t even aware I was holding I said, “What dear? I don’t hear…” And then I did. It was coming from what was our front lawn.

  Lowering the footrest, I rose, placed Ignatz the iguana on the couch next to my wife, and walked to the door. Opening the tan pine entryway and walking through it changed my death forever.

 And in this place, forever can be a very, very long time.