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.