With Weighing Paths completed, I was able to dedicate my mind to the next story my patrons selected, a ghost story. While I’ve been eager to explore the relationship between Marcus and Benjamin, I wanted to go back to my roots with the genre. Way back when, I crafted Journey of Thanks off a prompt provided to me by my wife. While she gave me a more structured prompt than I was looking for, the resulting tale was one of my father’s favorites. With that story firmly entrenched in my mind, I’m going to return to that style of ghost story and try to catch some of that same magic with this tale.
Grab a comfortable chair and get ready to follow a ghost as they enter their afterlife compelled to discover something about the impact they had in the world of the living.
A new shade is dragged through the city until he reaches an apartment building to face the fallout from his life’s choices…
As an ethereal shade tumbled from a building, his hands clamped around his wispy head, while his gaze drifted to an oncoming stranger. However, before he could register the distance between them, the oblivious individual walked through his fluttering form. The ghost’s body rippled as his fingers patted the tattered edges of his reforming face. Once his chest regained a normal cadence, he studied the vast sea of people carrying on with their lives.
Unfortunately, they carried out their existence in complete silence. Even though the pedestrian passed through him as if he were just a plume of fog, it was the deepness of the ominous quiet that leached more color from the skin of the newly departed. As he hung over the sidewalk, massaging his chin, his gaze flicked about, cataloging the impossible source of nothing. The idling cars, the screeching trains, and the shuffling of pedestrians contributed zilch to the unnatural stillness wrapping around him like a python constricting its prey.
As he whirled about, his eyes registered a flutter on his left hand. His chest stilled when he noticed a scrap of paper secured to his palm. Gripping a corner, he yanked on it, trying to remove the unusual accessory but failing. “What’s this?”
Instantly, pain bloomed from under the note. With a furrowed brow, he released his grasp, and his captive breath tumbled past his wispy lips. “What are you? And how’d you become part of my hand?”
More warmth flooded his left palm as an immaculate script appeared across the surface. Once the text stilled, he brought the message to his eyes and read it. “Where am I?”
Another pulse of heat washed over him as the note jumbled. When it stopped swirling, he looked down, finding a simple map with an arrow pointing at the middle, showing where he was.
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