Tag: ghost


Nina flipped up the personal mirror over her seat, placed her chapstick back in the central console, and turned up the radio. The music was new, at least to her. Some band she never heard of, but honestly, pretty good. She liked how it was kind of jaunty, high energy, but without overstating itself. So much new music was trying to be more than it needed, and this, this was just something you could really lean into, follow the groove.

She reached down the side of her seat and leaned it back, pulled out her phone, and checked for updates. 

No messages for the past half hour. That was fine. No reason to get concerned.

She read Rae’s last message again. “hey mom, could you come pick me up from blue oaks? meet you at the park’s front lot, if that’s okay. love you.” 

It was probably fine, only twelve minutes since Nina texted back that she was in the lot.

She adjusted her seat back up, getting ready to pull up Rae’s contact and call her when she noticed in her side mirror that there was a thick fog rolling down the mountains. The park was named after the way the fog made the mountains, more like hills, look sort of blue instead of green. A little further south and the mountains would be described more as smoky. 

Nina looked toward her rearview. “Hope she gets here soon. Don’t want to drive through that.” She looked back down and turned just a little, just enough to get a glimpse of movement. “You sure she said she’s on her way back? You know her, she can get kind of lost in the moment.” Nina saw the girl in the back nod, her hair bobbing.


The Accident on Titan

Do you know about the motor pub? The one on Vine Street? It’s a little hole in the wall, but it’s popular with people just passing through the area. 

I was there last Thursday, a bit early in the night. I had finished my research for the day and decided to celebrate before the place got too many customers. Well, when I was there I saw a man sitting alone at the bar, and you know me, I just had to chat with him. I love to chat with anyone I can and there is no one better to talk to than someone drinking alone. 

He looked like he was passing through. I had never seen him at the bar before, so I didn’t think he was a regular.e had a suitcase sitting next to his stool, with his foot wrapped around one of the handles. I admired his determination to keep his belongings safe, but honestly, all he’d get out of that situation would be a broken foot if anyone with any determination tried to take his stuff. But I digress.

I sat next to him and offered to buy him a drink. He thanked me and ordered a whiskey straight. He drank the whole thing in one gulp. Told him, “You didn’t wait for me, but I’m not buying you another.” I laughed.

He didn’t.



Michael breathed in at the pause in the conversation, passed the phone from his right hand to his left, and then let out his sigh.

On the other end of the phone, Mae asked him, “I don’t mean to be annoying or anything, but I have to ask.”

Michael flopped backwards onto his bed. “Please don’t.”

“I think that answers my question.”

“I know, I know. I need to clean it out, just…”

“Just nothing, you need to do it.”

Michael rubbed his face with his free hand. “I know.”

“You can do it dude. You’ve already come so far, and I just know that you can keep going.”

“I want to clean it. I really do.” Michael rested his hand on his chest. “Haven’t taken a bath in…since…in a long time.”

“Is that why you can’t clean it?”

Michael got quieter. “What are you saying?”

“Just, like, is, you know, he, is he the reason you can’t clean the tub?”

Michael sat up and swung his legs off the side of the bed. “I mean, I guess. It’s like, when anyone else is here they smell mildew, but for me, it smells like him.”


“I don’t mean he smelt like mildew or mold! I just mean that I don’t smell what everyone is smelling. It smells, to me, like his cologne, the smell of the sheets after he woke up, his chest when he held me, I guess.”

For a moment, just a brief one, the line was silent. 

Michael broke the silence “Do you think…if I told him I love him, that he’d still be here?”


Incommon Haunts: Last Stop

Janine closed her leather jacket, trying to get herself just a little warmer. Late October wasn’t the coldest by any means, but it was a bit windy. She kept walking towards the old platform, holding a large bouquet of white lilies held together with a rubber band and wrapped in a Kroger shopping bag. She stopped for a second and looked at the Kroger bag she was carrying them in, tilted her head, and furrowed her brow. “Is this good enough? Fuck. It’s fine, no time anyway.” She stopped talking to the flowers, removed them from the bag and threw the bag in a trash can just before the stairs up the platform. 

Janine walked along the stone platform, listening to her own footsteps echo between the old train station and the apartment complex across the street. In the middle of the platform was an iron bench, recently renovated back to its original design from over 100 years ago. Janine was a sucker for art nouveau, but she could still appreciate its more art deco stylings, with its bold sharp shapes and sleek symmetry. 

She sat down on the bench and brought up one arm to rest against the back. Her flowers sat next to her. Turning towards the sign hanging just a few feet above and to the right of her, she confirmed that this was the right stop. The clock on the wall confirmed that it was the right time too. She was a few minutes early, but honestly, she was always early for these kinds of things.

Turning back forward, she jumped a little as she noticed that an older woman was sitting next to her now. The woman was wearing an old-fashioned bonnet with lace and a floor length dress. It reminded Janine of the Mennonites that would come into town to sell bread, and presumably other things. She only ever bought the bread and the pretzels.

Janine started to tap her foot and check her watch, occasionally turning towards the other woman who was sitting stone still. Janine would open her mouth, and then stop herself before looking back at her watch.  

The old woman finally seemed to shake awake and move a little. She blinked, once, twice, three times, and then yawned. She stretched and bumped into Janine. “Oh! Sorry dear, didn’t see you there.” She took a long look at Janine, starting at her eyes, following her nose, down to her mouth, then chin. “Have we met?”


Incommon Haunts: Finished Business

Emma sat on the edge of her mother’s old double bed. She only came in here to dust the furniture and vacuum the floors even though no one had lived there for a few months. And also for the visits.

She ran through the events of the last few days, making sure the omens were the same and that she was sitting in the right place. There was yesterday when the raven flew into the house. Emma tried to chase it out but it just kept landing on the picture of her mother sitting above the fireplace. Then this morning, without warning, she thought she smelt the same scent as the white lilies she placed on her mother’s grave at her funeral. 

And finally, just a few minutes ago, there were those two identical twins in the second story hallway beckoning her to her mother’s room. Emma shooed them out and sent them back to the house next door and was determined to have a talk with their parents, but right now, she needed to wait for her mother.


Incommon Haunts: Sepulchral Pact

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?”


Hoof Prints

On the drive to my new home, I realized that somewhere along the way I lost a button. It wasn’t a jacket button. I would have noticed that earlier, when the wind was stronger and we were packing the boxes into the car. No, it was a button that I found out in the woods one day. It was small, wooden, and had several nicks in it. I sewed the button into the shoulder of my jacket once I found it. My mom always says I’m a bit of a goblin, always picking up and collecting everything I can find.

“Honey, are you okay back there? You’ve gotten a little quiet.” My mom didn’t know about this button specifically, but she quickly realized I was upset by something.

“I’m okay, just thinking about things.”

“You missing the old place already?”

“Sort of, but I’ll be okay. I swear.” I answered her as honestly as I knew how to. I didn’t know how to explain to her about how it all was connected together.


The Emperor In The River

My boys like to play by the riverbed. They like to run around and pretend to be knights and bandits. Thomas likes to pretend that he is the son of a dethroned lord, while Gregory likes to pretend to be a gentleman thief giving back to villagers. Allen, the youngest, mostly sat quietly by the river bank and stared at the flowing water.

When I was younger I used to play with my brother by the same river that my three boys loved. We would skip stones across the river’s surface. Caleb, my younger brother, he would always try to find stones tall enough so he could skip across the river himself. I was not as brave, the flowers on the other side of the river would give me coughing fits. But Caleb loved to pretend the other side was his domain.

My boys always leave right after lunch and return right before dinner. Sometimes they arrive a bit late and I start to worry. I’ve had to be stern with them several times before due to their late arrivals. Thomas, the oldest of the three, he started to argue that he is getting old enough to stay out later, but not anymore.

One night, after they arrived late, Thomas and Gregory went on and on about their games. Gregory was miming a sword fight while Thomas pretended to die. I don’t like to raise my voice, but I had to to get them to calm down. They left Allen by the river.