(Note: This was the first flash fiction I ever wrote and to this day I still like the concept.)
I can’t really tell you what’s typical of ghosts, having never met one aside from my own reflection. That’s an exaggeration. What few times I have seen a reflective surface I haven’t actually noted myself having an actual reflection, but the point remains valid. The world could be thick with eons of souls trapped in this bodiless state but I can’t see them any more than you can.
I’ve lost track of the centuries rooted in this spot, unable to move more than twenty two feet, three and one sixteenth inches from the spot where I met my end. If you could hear me, you would no doubt be asking why so precise a number? Spend a few centuries in a single spot and you will do almost anything to kill the time. I’ve counted every blade of grass, watched every scurrying rodent and insect, even named the pebbles and stones that keep me company just to have something to do. I hate it! It’s endless, meaningless and pointless. Anything to stave off boredom, but boring all the same.
You can’t possibly imagine how pleased I am that you’re here. Nine years, five months, seventeen days have passed since the last person came this way. They left right away, but you’ve stopped. I would tell you the hours and minutes as well, but I have no way to know them with any certainty. Yes, sit! That means you will be here longer. Did you come from the town that has been growing in the valley for the last century or two?
Oh! I hope you are here to build a home like I have seen showing up here and there on the opposite mountain. That would be the greatest experience of my… well, not my life obviously, but of my existence! I remember how boring I thought my life was back when I was still alive. What I wouldn’t give for those days again. I wouldn’t waste a single one. Please, build a home here. I swear I won’t be intrusive. Change your activities over time as only humans do. Squirrels and opossum never change their patterns. Raise a family here, laugh here, cope with the stresses of your life here. Just give me something to pass eternity with beyond counting and naming the things I can find on this tiny patch of earth.
If I had known what I know now, I never would have come here. I never would have let myself fall prey to the idea that I had nothing to live for. Alone here, I thought I would find peace. I died here believing it would be the end of my misery. I was a fool. No peace, even in death. Not even the pleasure of sleeping to get away from it. I am powerless and impotent to do anything but move around my little circle, forever aware and forever in misery.
Live your life, all of it. Savor the joys, accept the stresses and cope with your sorrows. Live every one of them and let me live them vicariously through you. What are you doing? Oh yes, that stone is Belandra. Pretty isn’t she? Please don’t take her, she is one of my favorites. Alright, but bring her back when you build the home here. I so hope you will build a home here.
You’re getting up? Stretching? No! Don’t go! Please, I can talk more about being a ghost. I know I can’t manifest, but please stay. Can’t you at least sense my need? I just want some company. Just for a few moments more at least. I’m begging you to wait just a few precious minutes further. Stop! I can’t follow you. Stop, now, please! AHHH!!!!
Fine then. Go back to your life. Selfish spoiled wretch! Leave me with nothing while you have the whole world to enjoy. I hope you waste your life as I wasted mine. Wait! Don’t go. I didn’t really mean that. Don’t make me endure this alone again. Please! Come back!