Spirited

golden energy in darkness titled Spirited
This is a serial fiction posted in one toot daily (ish) during October on Mastodon. It was unplanned and experimental, and I’m pretty happy with the result. I hope you enjoy it. (original format)

I’m a ghost but I never died, or at least I don’t remember it. Memory and shape are both unfixed concepts to me. The only time I ever feel real is when someone sees me.

I have no power over who can see me or what they’ll see when they do. Human minds do something with my aether, project onto it, give it a form it doesn’t really have.

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Tomorrow, Perhaps

Every day, the hound watched the sun set over the graveyard, walking between the headstones, nose quivering in search of a particular scent.

As the sun vanished behind the mountains and the mist descended, wispy figures pulled themselves up from the graves.

They never shied from the hound, though he was large as a wolf and black as tar. Though his eyes pierced the night with a luminous glow.

Instead, they crowded around him.

They stroked his nose with phantom hands and whispered praise with distant voices. They watched his progress with milky eyes filled with sadness.

When at last he came to that particular grave, the headstone long-since pitted and overgrown, he would take up his guard and wait for a misty shape that never formed.… Read more

A matched pair

Red light gleamed from the dark hollows of her eyes. Her skin grew aged and leathery as parchment. She bared cruelly pointed teeth.

‘This is what I am,’ she said. ‘This is what the hunger does to me. And I have been alone such a long time …’

He took a deep breath. ‘So have I.’ His pale shape flickered, like an image losing signal. ‘But I’m willing to try, if you are.’

‘Try,’ she said. She put her hand on his, and it didn’t pass through. ‘Yes, we could try.’

Image by Rondell Melling from Pixabay.… Read more

Moonlight Dog

Her dog was a creature of moonlight and chill wind.

It lived on the hill behind her house, in the ruins of the old stable. She’d been up there to get … away, when she heard whimpering.

It was a timid thing, thin-boned and silver-furred, all eyes flashing in the dark and tail vanishing into shadow.

Given time, she earned its trust.

It would lean against her side and she would run her hands through its icy fur. She brought it treats that it would never take, but when she called, it came. But only at night.

‘Who left you here?’ she would wonder as it bowed and bounded in play.… Read more

A better player

She played late into the night and then later still, ignorant of the shadows pressing in on all sides, uncaring of the heaviness of her limbs or the life set to resume in a few hours.

For her, there was only the quest, only the character on the screen, only the voices of her guildmates, intense in her ears.

The shadows crowded closer as her eyelids drooped, their inky hands reaching for the keyboard.

When her head hung and a snore rose up in her throat, they gently nudged her aside and finished the raid.

‘Yes!’ a player crowed in her ear.… Read more

5 Types of Household Ghosts

In support of the kickstarter for BOOKS & BONE (which funded! EEK!) I did a series of faux non-fiction toots on Mastodon detailing ghost research. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it!

 

5 Types of Household Ghosts

1. When you sneeze and nobody is there to say ‘bless you’, this ghost appears. It is a small, shy ghost that jumps at loud noises. It likes to play with your cat, who can see it, and it tickles your dog while they sleep.

It doesn’t usually remain for more than a few hours, but will usually tidy something away before it goes.

 

2.… Read more

Churchyard Meeting

She’d heard that on a certain day, at a certain time, you could meet your own ghost haunting the graveyard at St Mary’s.

In the hour before dawn, she stood beside the church’s yew tree, hands tucked under her armpits, cloudy breath mixing with the pre-dawn mist. Her gaze hovered uncertainly on every shadow and shifting light.

When at last the ghost appeared, it was as a being of trailing fog with eyes like fire, but a familiar face.

‘I’m sorry,’ the girl whispered. ‘I didn’t know — I needed someone to –‘

Gently, the ghost embraced her, one spectral hand stroking her hair, the other gripping her shoulder.… Read more

The Royal

Every day, she saw them out of the corner of her eye. A person, crowned, in robes of sweeping gold.

Sitting in the empty chair in her office, leaning in the kitchen doorway, standing in the cinema aisle. Always vanishing on a closer look.

She feared the royal, at first. They made a question of her sanity, or else of her safety.

But one week passed, then two, then ten. They became familiar. A company felt even when unseen.

At last, returning home with tears on her cheeks and a black feeling in her chest, she whispered to her empty home: ‘Are you there, royal?’

She thought she heard a whisper, but could not make out the words.… Read more

Campfire Stories

Another microfiction for Mastodon, with thanks to my Ko-Fi supporters.

‘OOOO!’ said the ghost.

The girl poked at the fire. ‘I’m not in the mood for ghost stories, thanks.’

‘Ooo?’ The ghost’s head tilted.

She jabbed the fire more savagely. ‘I didn’t like them anyway.’

Shrieks and giggles emerged from the nearby cabin.

‘ooOOOooo.’ The ghost bobbed sympathetically in the air. It floated over to hover beside her.

After a moment, she said, ‘Maybe … maybe one ghost story, actually?’

The ghost shook its sheets and began its spookiest ooo.

 

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors, used under CC0.… Read more

The River Ghost, Lovely

‘I think … I think maybe I’m in love with a ghost,’ he told his sister one morning.

They’d met at a café for breakfast, as they often did. His eyes were low. She watched him, her mouth twisting to one side. ‘I don’t know,’ she said. ‘I didn’t think ghosts existed.’

‘She’s … I don’t know how to explain it.’ He ruffled his hair. ‘I only get glimpses of her. Long hair. An impression of a shape. She only appears at the river, at night.’

She folded her hands in her lap and tried to keep her expression smooth. She never wanted her brother to think he couldn’t talk to her.… Read more