by Bob'n Around
Finding love in forbidden places
|It took awhile for Edward Fenway to realize he was a ghost. It happened like this. Needing some background, he’d gone camping as far away from life as he could. The chuckle of a waterfall and brisk mountain air would be embellished into the setting and theme of his current project.
Edward was in the zone, writing, embroiled in the midst of his latest fantasy work. His agent and publisher, the only two who really knew he existed, did so as part of the pattern of getting his work out into the public and sending royalty checks. They thanked their lucky stars Edward wasn’t one of those kind of writers hunting fame, who needed to be constantly coddled or pushed.
The patterns of a lifetime had not changed. Most would have realized their death happening in an instant. Edward’s body simply slumped and slipped away from him, rolled over the edge of the mountain path he climbed and waved goodbye to this world without being seen.
In a word, Edward Fenway was so into his newest fantasy that he lived more within it than any man really should. “My first romance novel, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever written.” He scarcely realized just how much he was putting himself into the fantasy, imagining himself as the lead character. He just went on making mental notes.
When the girl appeared on the scene, just around the bend from where Edward had discarded his body, he wasn’t sure if she was real. Eadie Macom knew he wasn’t, at first glance. She squeaked, step back, feet clutching air over the cliff edge and tried turning her arms into wings churning air.
“No. Don’t.” Edward’s muse didn’t usually add a new character and jerk the rug out from under the plot he was working on. Still, she seemed to fit the part. A lonely broken heart flinging herself into suicide, her lover having rejected her.
Edward launched himself to save her. It would be touch and go. He felt as if he were flying not even needing to breathe. “Got you.”
She screamed, pushing through him as if he were made of air. They tumbled, arching out into the wild blue yonder. The girl had taken him with her. “Shortest romance novel ever written,” he laughed, waiting for his muse to suggest what might happen next.
They seemed to float in the mist of the cliff’s waterfall. Time seemed to sit still. The girl’s scream ended abruptly as she sank into a sheltered pool. “Ah. A serial? We are at the next chapter of ou acquaintance.”
When Eadie Macom’s head bobbed back up to the surface the shock of the fall was replaced by seeing her ghost floating head above water inches from her face. “You tried to kill me. Why?” she sputtered. Anger brought a flash to her eyes, a blush to cheeks and a pretty pout to her lips.
“What? You were committing suicide. I saved you. Er, tried too.”
The slap the girl gave him stung hard. A thin sheen of water coating him shattered in every direction. This wasn’t the way to start a romance, Edward considered reworking her into someone else. “I’m sorry. I don’t have any experience being a hero. Less so being a potential lover. How would you like to take a supporting role? Maybe you are camping with a friend.”
Being so newly dead, Edward had yet to learn the ways of ghosts. He didn’t have the knack of appearing invisible, had some residual corporal ectoplasm and well, thought he was still alive. “Why, I think you are real, aren’t you? You did slap me.”
“Stay away from me. Nobody made me up. You may be a ghost, but I’m not. Besides you sound crazy.” Eadie began back paddling towards a fern tipped shore. Edward’s obviously stunned expression melted her fear. All she wanted to do was get away and have some time to think things out.
Edward moved silently through the water not making waves. Did the woman think he was a ghost writer? Had this character confused him with his muse? Fantasy and reality were shaking at their core. Which was which? “I’m not a ghost writer. My name is Edward Fenway. I’ve published ten mystery books.”
“I don’t care who or what you are. I’m getting tired of swimming. Look. If you are going to follow me, the least you can do is look away when I get out. I’m dripping wet and not wearing a bra.”
“So I noticed.” Edward thought it a nice sexy touch. Maybe this was going somewhere. He aimed for shore, careful to view his swimming pal out of the sides of his eyes. “I’ve never had a main character like you before. This is quite exciting, like you are writing yourself into the script itself.”
“Don’t go getting any ideas. As long as you are all talk and bluster, I guess you are O.K. I have to admit this is the strangest kind of come on I ever had. Never had a ghost interested in me. Takes some getting used to. Name’s Eadie Macom. Turn around. I’m getting out.”
“Is that a bear rustling in the bushes? Be careful.” Edward’s gaze had shifted politely away from Eadie’s nubile form out of politeness. “Nope. Guess it’s not. Those guys look drunk. They shouldn't be waving guns around like that and whistling at you. They don’t look friendly.”
“Foul mouthed idiots, to. Making suggestions like that. Do something, ghost. Scare them away.” Eadie slumped lower in the water, letting the waves hide her curves.
One of the fools began splashing out towards her urging her to reveal a little more. Edward stood up tall, moving in front of Eadie to stop the guy in his tracks. He waved the drunk away. The first bullet from the man’s gun flew over Edward’s head in warning. He heard it whistle past. The second wildshot aimed lower. He felt it tug at his innards, looked down, felt its tickle and got mad.
It was the second time launching himself into the air, turning himself into a shrieking wraith, a specter, a phantom of pure unadulterated force. Three more shots blew through him, spurring Edward on.
When he struck the crazed gibbering gunman it felt like Edward had turned to ice. “Must be that water I was swimming in.” Flying so fast had turned the liquid into a cloud of snow and hail crystals that knocked them both rolling end over end, plowing into the man coming up behind.
Edward floated, hovering, waiting on cue. He was loving being in this fantasy romance. He heard Eadie’s laughter, raucous, scathing, full of it. “You saved me. I love you.”
The second man rolled to his feet, swung the butt end of his rifle through Edward, gasped, turned and ran. Just for fun, Edward used some kind of mental force he didn’t know he had to lift the gun in mid air and point it at the nose of the guy left behind. “Want to duel? No? Be gone.”
The drunk took his time disappearing. He was only human after all. The next thing Edward knew, Eadie was hugging him, laughing her head off, recounting the scene in half hysterical sobs of laughter splitting her gut. “Thank you. I can’t stand up. I’m laughing so hard it hurts. Never saw anything so well done. You were amazing.”
Her hug made Edward feel more real than he had ever felt before. Her energy seemed to warm them both. “We both need to get dry. Hey. They left their packs. Let’s see what they’ve got?”
Dressed in wool shirts and jeans, too big for Eadie but about right for Edward, they huddled over a fire, examining more contents. “Burn these.” Eadie handed over a couple of men’s magazines. Why is it big boobs turn a woman into a sex object? Answer me that, friend.”
“I’d have to study the matter a little more closely,” Edward ogled Eadie and winked. This time the slap went through thin air, barely felt as a whisper of wind. He was getting the knack of being a ghost. It wasn’t half bad, so far. “Just joking. Sensitive, aren’t you.”
“Come here. Let me see just how sensitive I am.” This time their hug tingled with energy moving between them in sensual waves. The kiss that followed lasted forever and ended too soon.
“Wow. You really are in tune with a girl’s feelings, sir. We need to slow down.” Eadie pulled away first, making a show of gathering the tools for a meal. “I’m ravenous. No. You clown. I didn’t mean that way. I’m hungry. What do ghosts eat?”
“Energy. Positive and negative charges. I didn’t like the feeling of meeting those morons.” Human emotions are like triggers that can lead to unforeseen consequences either way.” Edward realized he was lecturing to himself, realizing just what he was.
Eadie poked at a pan over the fire doing some introspection of her own. “Being an item out here would be O.K. It would never work back home.”
“Are you so sure? This is only the second chapter, Eadie.” Edward didn’t want this to end. Fantasy was one thing. Having the real thing was more fulfilling than anything he’d ever dreamed of. The next two weeks of camping together felt like heaven on earth.
“We could stay longer. Twice the meals for you since they pass right through me. Edward was careful to tone down his invisibility quotient when munching on Eadie’s cooked dinners. Sure they tasted good, but seeing them slither around inside him ruined the meal for her.
With practice he was able to flex his imagination, like in days of yore, into blending his sense of reality with practical results. There was the time Eadie burned her hand cooking over the fire. His growing love for her made the energy in his caring touch soothe and heal the injury as if it had never been.
“How did you do that?”
“You know. You felt it.”
Eadie left it at that. She was torn between two worlds, the one they explored alone together in the wild and the one Eadie knew she had to go back to. It amazed her how much her feelings had changed with this unique otherworldly man. Questions trembled on her lips about what he could see on the other side. Where there others like him? Why did he stay here? Weren’t the dead called to sleep until risen? Where was God?
Things came to a rude stop. A park ranger showed up at the crack of dawn, off duty, a fishing pole in hand. During the rare occasion when Edward was alone it was easier to fade into shivering translucence, an ethereal being beating like a heartbeat seen one moment not the next.
“Hey, purty lady. What kind of gismo is that? Run on batteries going out?” Roger Stone was on sort of a working vacation, so dressed in formal attire with name printed on his uniform. Eadie was coming out of a nap in the tent when the fact of the ranger’s presence struck her in the face.
“Uh. Yeah. Satellite holoscope image of a work companion,” Eadie blurted the lie on impulse. She waved at Edward who took the hint and disappeared. Too many obvious questions would be asked if he stuck around.
Edward blanked out so completely he lost track of who and where he was. The thin hook of his past he’d relied on to manifest himself faded like memories do, along with him. Strange dark shadows lurked around him taking demonic and devilish forms. They surrounded him licking forked tongues and long fangs. Claw tipped hands danced weaving some kind of evil spell. He could feel his soul being sucked out of his grasp, its energy, fodder for slavering dripping mouths twisting with greed and lust.
A burst of white light running down a tunnel towards him revealed what had to be an angelic being. Wherever the beam touched as it searched its way towards him, the feeling of evil and attendant beings were swept away only to grow in number replacing the agonized screams of the past wave.
“I don’t belong here.” Edward shot the thought like a spear into the bubble he was caught in. The battle around him paused. As if on cue, he found himself living his life all over again like they said people do before they die. A whirlwind of black and white energy fought, yanked him to and fro.
When his memories reached the last few weeks with Eadie, the bubble popped. Edward found her weeping his name, calling it out, cradling him when she found him in her arms. “Where did you go? I thought I lost you. Please. Don’t go again.”
“The ranger,” Edward began.
“He left. I’m sorry. I won’t lie again. It was horrible finding you missing.”
“You called me back. That is the only thing that could.”
“I love you. I didn’t know how much until you weren’t here.” Eadie sobbed against Edward’s breast. Her hands were knotted into fists. “What are we going to do?”
They settled into Edward’s home without a problem. She was the one turning in their true life romance novel to his editor and publisher. “Edward needed an executive secretary to be added to the payroll. You know how he loves to fantasize and write. He hardly sleeps at all. Edward doesn’t want to make a romance novel sequel no matter how well this one sells. . He is offering to become a ghostwriter for the rich and famous wanting to share their lives. He feeds on that kind of energy.”
Eadie did the research and interviews. Edward wrote up the biographies and tell all’s. Eadie enjoyed the glamour of traveling, the pomp of receiving awards in Edward’s honor. No-one would catch him dead at one of the ceremonies.
Edward had a trademark persona of absolute mystery that bode the couple well. The only book that Eadie ventured to write was how any couple, no matter how different, can make it work if love is strong enough between them.
It never hit the best seller lists. It read as a fantasy, a dream, not something practical nor worth the cost.