Beastlies: The Fine Deer

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Sometimes when walking alone at night you may find yourself haunted by this persistent apparition, which will trudge alongside you sighing loudly, openly tutting, rolling its eyes and shaking its head sadly/angrily.

When it all gets to be too much, and you finally snap and ask “What’s wrong with you?” or “Are you all right?” the creature will only ever answer “I’m fine.”

Because it’s fine. Everything is fine. Why wouldn’t it be fine? I’M FINE, OK? OK.

Friday’s Short Story

storytellerI have been sitting patiently in this cupboard for about as long as I can bear it. It’s hard to tell exactly how long that is because the door is shut, and it’s dark, and I’m dead. Probably a few years though, if I had to guess.

That door will open any minute now.

Haunting a cupboard is easy, but boring. Unchallenging. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have a little corner of the corporeal world that I can call my own, and it’s good to have a job to do, but the trouble is nobody has ever opened the bloody door. Ever. And for a ghost, ever is quite a long time. It’s properly ever, you know, from the point you die to the heat death of the universe. As close to infinity as a person can get. And I’m spending it in a cupboard. Which is, I’ll admit, starting to get me down.

Any minute now.

I’ve tried to keep busy. I’ve sat here rehearsing techniques and strategies; planning temperature drops, disembodied murmuring, a little whispered breeze to the back of the neck of whoever might open the door; all the things that I figure would constitute a really top-notch haunting. I’m not just going to waft about going “Wooooo!”. I do take it very seriously, but so far it’s all been for nothing. Because the door stays shut. And I sit here, all see-through and, frankly, a little testy. Testy because I’m feeling useless, and also because I’m having a bit of a crisis. I’m starting to doubt my own existence.

That door will open.

Because, when I think about it, I’ve never actually seen a ghost. I’ve been worrying about that. Couple that with the fact that I’ve never even seen myself – of course I haven’t, what with it being dark in my cupboard, and what with me being transparent and everything. I suppose that makes sense, right? But… but what if I can’t see me because I’m not actually here? What if ghosts don’t exist, full stop? What then? Because that raises all sorts of interesting questions about me, and my, well, I was going to say “my life in this cupboard” but as life is the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, that wouldn’t really be accurate, but what is the noun for the condition of being a ghost and why did nobody tell me what it was before putting me in this cupboard? If somebody did put me here. I can’t remember. It was a while ago.

Any minute now.

I’ve thought about trying to open the door myself, of course I have, but the way I see it I must be here for a reason. I wouldn’t be sitting dead and invisible in a dark cupboard if there wasn’t some purpose to the whole endeavour. That would be crazy. Maybe… I mean, I could maybe just reach out a phantom limb, I must have one, I can’t see it but I must have at least one, mustn’t I, and push the door, give it a nudge, open it a crack, just a crack, no harm in that, take a peek, see what’s what, I could just pop my head out, look around, take a step or two, outside the cupboard, not too far, and I’d find somebody, and frighten them, get that reaction, then I’d know because they would feel it and believe it and I would believe. I could.

It’s dark in here and I’m not sure I’m real.

That door will open any minute now.

by Harris
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