by Julian Lee
fiction (flash); ghost encounter (≈ 290 words)
Going on a year and a half now, since the old guy shuffled off with the buffalo.
And yet, here he is. Not bedridden as he was towards the end. But still…old:
Thinning white hair combed neatly back. Clothes cleaned and pressed. Skin rosy. Yet, continuing to hobble about, using his bright red, four-wheeled walker, trying to maintain a precarious balance.
He seems totally oblivious. Guess that should come as no surprise: He exhibited unbelievable cluelessness during life as well. But, still, how could one possibly not know?
I confess: I do not understand what it’s like to be deceased. Not yet, anyway. Hell, I can’t say with certainty what it means to be alive. And yet, haunting ones previous place of residence for an extended period seems, well, sad. Isn’t there something infinitely more interesting to do?
Took the shelter-in-place directives to heart, one might surmise.
Notwithstanding: This morning he has left the relative safety of his old property. Possibly, other than visits to one of his ubiquitous doctors, for the first time in a number of years. Today, he is making slow but determined progress along the walkway to the front entrance of my house. Intent, I suspect, upon returning to the one person that tried to help him in life.
Each hour I look out the window to see he is a few inches closer. He leans forward, redoubling his efforts. Staring down in mushrooming concentration.
What do I do when he reaches the door and starts knocking? How may I assist him in his quest, with finding his way, with guiding him in the direction of his next adventure?
What, if anything, can I do to help this unaware lost soul…
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