At 6:46am, Dom Greis rolled out of his bed, stood up, and scratched his ass. He stretched in his holey t-shirt and boxer briefs. The summer’s morning light filtered in, scattering its rays across both his bed and his alarm clock.
“Need to get heavier curtains.” He mumbled to himself. He grabbed his alarm clock and canceled his 7am alarm, then pulled the curtains fully open.
He cradled the phone in his hands, blinking against its blue glow. His phone flashed a message from his mother, but he was more interested in checking for the weather.
“Sunny, 37. Damn, gonna be a bit of a scorcher, eh?”
He checked his mom’s message, “Gonna be a bit of a scorcher today. Stay safe.”
He walked over to the door of his bedroom while checking his emails for the day. When he opened the door, he felt a chill waft over him.
“Ah, fucking hell. Today?”
Dom turned right back around and scrounged through his hamper for his pajama pants, and still feeling that cold chill wrap around his body, he pulled on a jacket too. “If anyone sees me, they are going to think I’m crazy, or sick.”
He, of course, heard no answer back.
The hallway to the kitchen was short, but covered in framed photos of him with the most important people in his life. Without looking, as he passed, Dom straightened a photo of him and his best friend holding up two rather small fish, as if they caught something worth a fisherman’s tale. Opening the fridge, he ignored the message written in magnets on the fridge door and pulled out the milk. It wasn’t past the expiration date, but he sniffed just to check. He pulled out a bowl from the cupboard, and poured himself out some cereal.
Sitting down in his favorite chair, he was angled just enough to see that the bathroom door was ajar and something was written on the foggy mirror, but he couldn’t quite get out more than that it started with a “D.”
“Alright, show yourself, I know you’re here today.” He said, staring pointedly at the empty chair across the table.
Across from him, between the table and the bathroom, faint winds started to swirl in the chair, and then pick up speed. Quiet at first, but growing louder, they began to moan the aching groans of the River Styx. A form began to take shape in the chair, barely visible, but could be seen out of the corner of one’s eye. This form was of a young man wearing khaki shorts and a t-shirt with the name “Shadowcell,” a local band that disbanded almost a decade ago, plastered across the chest. In his neck was a gaping wound, and on his face was very poorly thought out facial hair. The figure was leaning back in the chair with its bare feet resting on a mere 5 centimeters from the banana next to Dom’s cereal.
Dom gently and carefully moved the banana to the other side of his bowl of cereal. “Dude,” he said softly, “you know I’m not a fan of having your feet on the table.”
The ghastly figure across from him groaned in a haunting tone, “I’m not a fan of being dead.” It shrugged its undead shoulders.
“Really?” Dom got louder, “You don’t like being dead? Never would have imagined. It’s not like you have been saying that for the past several months at least, hmmm, once a week?”
“Look, I got to be haunting someone.”
“Have you tried back with Katie?”
“She’s not responding to my messages?”
Dom spoke through a mouthful of cereal, “Well, how are you sending them?”
The barely visible rotting corpse said meekly, “You know, the basics.”
“Meaning?” Dom motioned with his spoon for the spectral form to continue.
“Just like, lightly whispering around her apartment, I guess.”
“Dude, she probably hasn’t even noticed. At least write her a note or something.”
“I just, man, she’s moved on, she has a new boyfriend.” The ghast phased its feet through the table and leaned forward. “Besides, who better to haunt than my murderer?” Its smile didn’t reach its dead and hollow eyes.
Dom put down his spoon and started to count with his fingers. “A, it was an accident. B, I already apologized. And C, did you even check if you need to haunt anyone? Like, have you talked to any other ghosts?”
“Oh yeah, let me just go on down to Wraith Services Department and see if they have any pamphlets on how to be an unholy specter of death and decay. Maybe they will have some great tips on how to make TVs go to static.”
“So, I’ll take that as a no then.”
The spectre crossed its slightly translucent arms. “No man, I don’t know any other ghosts.”
Dom started to peel his banana. “You have to take risks man. Go out there and meet some other dead people.”
“I just figured I have to be close to someone, right? Like, I need to be near something I have a strong attachment to.”
“Awl, that’s sweet, morbid, but sweet.”
“No, dude, I mean you killed me.” The wraith mimed getting stabbed in the neck, and then dramatically started squirting red ectoplasm all across the kitchen table.
Dom pointed to the pool of fake blood covering the table, “Come on man, clean that up, that shits gross and you know I can’t interact with it. And seriously dude, where did you hear you need a ‘strong connection’ if you aren’t talking with any other ghosts?”
The ghost made no move to clean up the now dripping ectoplasm. “I mean, that’s how it is in ghost stories.”
“Yeah, but you aren’t even mad at me. The first time you spooked me you showed up laughing your ass off.”
The ghost cackled with a piercing shriek. Distantly, the neighborhood dogs began to howl. “Yeah, good times.”
“I’m still going to the corner store to take a shit.”
“Great times.” The ghost dematerialized, then reformed next to Dom while he was mid-bite of cereal. “Can you…can you tell me how it tastes? I kind of miss food.”
Dom tightened the collar of his jacket. Mouth half full, he said, “Tell you what,” He pointed to the bathroom and continued, “If you stop haunting the bathroom, I’ll tell you.”
“Can you also come with me to the graveyard later this week? Don’t quite want to go alone, you know?”
Dom smiled. “Deal. Alright, so it’s got this crunch to it…”
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