The Alleged Ghost


by Ian Starttoday

HE TOLD ME HE WAS A GHOST, but I was pretty sure he wasn't. Sure, he was see-through, and he went "wooh" a lot, and yeah he made a few things move. But I had been seeing a lot of visions these days, ever since I started on the meds, and I wasn't entirely certain that he wasn't a figment of my imagination.

"But I am," he pleaded. "How shall I prove it?"

"I don't know, do something that a stereotypical ghost in a Hollywood film would not do. You see, my psyche easily could have created you from bits and pieces of all of the specters I've ever heard about or watched on TV and what with all of the banalities going on here -- the translucence, the scare tactics, not to mention, the poltergeist tendencies -- you see why I'd be skeptical, no?"

"Fair enough," said the alleged ghost.

"Okay try this one on for size. Tell me, in all of the films and books you've enjoyed, have you ever known of a ghost that can float?"

And here he did just that.
"Yup, for sure."

"How about a ghost that can tinker with the weather?"

And here it got very cold, and so I had to grab for the nearest sweater.

"I've heard of that one too," I cooed, looking down at my watch now.

"What about a teleporting ghost?"

And here, he, well, you know . . .

"Oh, you know what? You're impossible! I'm off to haunt someone who isn't quite so difficult."

"Good riddance, you hovering cliche!"

* * *

"So you're back, eh?"

"Not by choice, she ordered me to return."

"Now who are you talking about with this 'she' business?"

"Oh, what's the use you wouldn't believe me, anyway."

"Try me."

"Will you stop being so cruel, then?"

"Absolutely, I am really very kind after you get to know me."

"Okay, It's your mother."

"My mother?"


"You're telling me my dead mother is in charge of things down there, and she sent yours truly, a ghost, to haunt me?"

"Well, you're half right, she's not running things, but she did put me up to this. You see, the vast majority of ghosts are sent by mothers to their sons or daughters. Maybe they forgot to tell them something in life, maybe they couldn't tell them that something because they died prematurely. In the case of your mother I suspect she's just not through nagging you just yet."

"So she sent you here to nag me, about what in particular, if I may ask?"

"To quote her: 'I wanted to make sure you were remembering to floss.'"

"Well, you can tell her that she doesn't have to worry, because I am."

"How often? She'll want to know!"

"Tell her I'm an adult now, and she doesn't have to keep track of my flossing habits anymore. But if she really must know, I am flossing once a day."

"Isn't twice recommended?"

"Is that what she told you to tell me?"

"Nah, I thought I read that somewhere."

"Tell her to just enjoy the after life and to not worry so much."

"Fair enough, I'll send the message along, but I make no promises that I won't return. Ciao, then."

"Wait, you haven't told me who you are."

"Me? I'm just the messenger."

"I'll rephrase the question: Who were you?"

"Ah. I was just some guy, we never met."

"But why send you?"

"No good reason, I guess, I didn't live an entirely clean life, so now I'm more or less forced to do this."

"Hmm . . ."

"What is it?"

"Well, it's just, and this is gonna sound crazy."

"Just say it, I'm a ghost sent here by your mother. I think we're way beyond crazy at this point."

"Well it's just you . . . you . . . you're exactly my type."

"I am?"

"The dark hair, the long sideburns, the blue eyes . . ."

"The comely white sheet?"

"I was gonna say the sarcastic streak."

"Wait, you're not thinking she . . . "

"That's exactly what I'm thinking. I think my dead mother is trying to set me up with a ghost."


"Yeah, leave it to her."

"I know, right. What was she thinking? A ghost and a human? It's crazy, right? Right!?"

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