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Fermius Firefly

A Dream Log, whenever I remember the dreams I've had.

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Location: San Marcos, United States

Fermius is a pen name drawn from a series of short fiction I wrote when I published the small press magazine Stellanova (on paper.) I play RPG games to escape from my daily grind as a technology wage slave for the state of California. I eat out a lot in order to do my part in supporting our increasingly service level economy. I am butler to 2 feline masters. If you ask them they will tell you I'm not very good at it, late with dinner, don't have enough hands with brushes in them, and sometimes I even lock them out of their office.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Ghost Story

I was in a metropolitan area, lots of high-rise parking garages, nearby retail and restaurant malls and several residence hotels mixed in with the standard tourist hotels, shops and attractions. I wandered from place to place, never sleeping, never really settling down anywhere save for a few hours each morning where I seemed to awaken in a brightly lit bedroom, fully dressed, looking out over the balcony. Many times I moved through the world normally, but unseen. I think I was a ghost long before I died, so there wasn't much of a difference, only now there were no accidental bumps, people just passed through the space I was in, sometimes remarking on the chill, sometimes completely oblivious. Children seemed to avoid me, moving aside or skipping away, an inexplicable part of whatever forces guided their seemingly random movements on the sidewalks and hallways. There were some among the homeless who could see me, we acknowledged one another with a curt nod or a subtle wave; as if they didn't want to be perceived as being any more mentally ill than they already were. If they really needed to talk, I would sometimes listen. The talkers were, as a rule, never much interested in who or what I was, just that I would listen.

Every so often I would bump into another ghost, but so far none had stayed around for any length of time. Generally, they were focused on some errand or purpose, with which I helped if I could. But all in all, I was lonely in the crowd, wary of striking up protracted friendships with the few who could see me, as I seemed to suck the luck out of their lives if we hung out too long. I frequently wondered what my purpose was, and why I seemed to be stuck.

This day was different, in that I met a couple of fellows who were ghosts, but not ghosts. They had a van parked in one of the ubiquitous multi-story parking structures that I haunted. There, they would park at the top, then take turns in the back of the van projecting themselves out of their bodies, then riding along with other drivers down and out of the garage. Each trip was a few minutes at a time, until I found one of them just as he was about to snap back. We walked (or I walked) he floated along, conversing and I was able to escort him out into the lunchtime crowd. His partner started to get worried and he was pulled back. I named a nearby restaurant and headed over to it as he was pulled back along his silvery cord. (Nearly everyone had a silvery cord, but most were tightly wound up in the core of their spines, a knot at the base of the brain, all but invisible, even to me.)

I didn't so much walk to the restaurant, as sort of appeared there. I think that every day I "lunched" there, even though every day it seemed to be a random choice, something in the back of my head told me it wasn't, any more than waking up in the sunlit doors of the high-rise balcony was a choice. The pair entered the restaurant and took a table for three. That got them some looks from other diners who were waiting for the larger tables. I moved from my usual table and joined them. I found that they could plainly see me and chat with me, which got them some odd looks from the nearby tables. At some point I admitted that I wasn't an "advanced astral traveler," but a ghost. I demonstrated by vanishing. A child at a nearby table excitedly called out that she'd seen the ghost. I wouldn't have "vanished" if I'd been aware that the child had been watching.

One of the bus boys came running out with a bowl of reddish brown liquid, and asking the little girl where I was, he used her pointed finger to splash the bowl of partially cooked blood in my direction. It struck me square on the back of the head and upper shoulders. It was hot. I'd not actually felt temperature since I'd been murdered, in fact there was very little physical sensation in my ghostly existence. The blood hung in the air a moment, framing my shape, and then I involuntarily faded away, I hadn't known that anything would touch me in my ghostly state. Mom and dad took their child outside, despite her telling them that I was still there, just "all wispy, like."

The management pulled the bus boy back out of the dining room and apologized to the gentlemen, and I reformed myself, hiding under the table until I could make myself presentable. My head and upper torso were shredded and bloody, and it took some time to undo the look and become something more presentable. I then slipped into the seat across from them, then looked around to see if there were anyone else having an issue with my presence. There weren't.

One of the men pointed to a faded article on the wall over my "regular" table; now just a shelf large enough for an empty saucer and a small vase of flowers. I hadn't realized that the table wasn't actually there any more.

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