The pasta's growing cold in the saucepan, chili flakes congealing in the oil. But he made it for her. Wants her to have it, wants her to walk through the door and stretch her legs out as she falls across the sofa. She'll sigh and start talking, commenting as she eats that the pasta he has made really is the best so far. He'll find her lips, they'll sting slightly from the oil and the fact she will add hot sauce, because she always does. But he won't mind because in every kiss he will be reading something into, will be searching for love as he skims his tongue across her teeth.
She isn't coming home, so he checks his phone again, considers ringing her. He thinks better of it, she might be working late. He makes himself some toast, but forgets it so that when he spreads the butter he's just a second too late and the butter doesn't melt the way he wanted it to.
He picks up his phone again. Checks her social media, then puts his phone back inside his pocket. He hears the click of the front door and relief washes over him.
'Sandra?' he says.
She hums in response. She comes through, her expression empty, avoiding his eye.
'I made pasta,' he says. Then he leaves, for a second, pretending that he is happy and unworried, that he just needs the loo.
When he comes back she is sitting on the sofa. He kisses her lips and she doesn't taste of anything, and he realises she hasn't touched the pasta.
'We need to talk,' she says gently.
He was a good man
who feared the hag
but the witch whispered
things to his heart that
nestled there in a
dark recess, things
his wife fanned warm
till he gripped the knife
and overcame his fear
of the witch and death
and God and blood, so
he did the deed, and with
his hands stained red he
donned the crown and
he killed his enemies,
he killed his friend,
and all the while the
dark closed in on
his shadowed heart
so he sought the witch
he once had feared,
and she cast strange
things into her pot,
dog’s tongue, baby finger,
and he asked, “What
is it that you do?”
and she answered,
A deed without a name,
and he stood with the witch
“Papa can you tell me a story?” The little girl asked.
The worn man sat down on his daughter’s bed, it groaned softly at the extra weight.
“And which story do you want me to tell you?” He says as he scratches lightly at his beard.
The girl’s smiles eagerly and bounces with excitement, “The one about the God, papa!”
The man chuckled softly, he already knew which one she was going to pick, she picked it everytime. “All right, settle down little one.” He looked at her, an ever growing silence forming as the girl got comfortable. “You ready now?” a hint of a smile graced his face.
“Yes papa!” she beamed.
“Ok, where do I begin...oh yes.” The man cleared his throat dramatically. “In the begining, there was not a God on earth. Not a single one in sight. They were all up above in the clouds, lavished in gold and wealth. They did not want to go down to earth. They said any God who went down never came back the same. It had been so long since a god had come down that nobody knew if it was true or not.” The man paused as he saw the girl wiggle in anticpation for the next part. The man shaked his head slightly and continued. “But then a God was formed from the Northern Lights. It was a magnificent sight.” The mans eyes were glossy as though he was far away from here.
“He said he had come to change the tides.”
The girl interupted, rasing an eybrow the man looked at her expectantly. “Why?” she asked.
The man pondered for a moment before answering, “Because he wanted to have a purpose I suppose.”
The little girl nodded her head with her hand on her chin as though she was seriously comprehending his words. Waving her hand she motioned for him to keep going. With that a small bark of laughter escaped him as he obliged. Clearing his throat he continued,
“The God kept his wits sharper than a knife. He was never a God that was so torn between fame and adornment that he loses his sword. So he shot the fame down. He struck down Gods that opposed his decision to live on earth. He has killed armies and has stood up on top of a hill of bodies. He has slain every enemy. He could put up both hands and make lightning come down. His reputation got so big it blocked the sun out. He was known as the King, the Legend. But over time he became worn.” The man stopped as the girl eyes flutter closed, and her breathing evened out. The man turned to look out the window as the moonlight came through. He looked back towards the small child and smiled, as he continued in a hushed whisper. “Over time he became worn...Because he was living in an age where everything was staged, where all people did was fake their feelings, But he was a god so he couldn’t be vunerable.” The mans eyes became glossy once more, but this time a tear slipped down his face his voice becoming shaky. But he was determined to finish. “The God was scared to be vunerable, so he put on a smile and saved the day, over and over again, day after day. But it was never enough.” The man’s voice cracked as more tears flowed freely. ”...And no one ever asked the God if he needed saving from himself.” The man so engrossed in his mind he didn’t notice that the girl had come up and was wiping his tears away. Startled he jumped slightly.
Looking into her fathers eyes the girl spoke.
“Who is this God, papa?”
Looking right back into her eyes he searched for something unexplainable. A moment later he looked away and spoke, “The God I speak of, the King, the Legend, the hero...” The man, paused. But with trembling hands and a shaky voice he whispered those last few words. “That God is me.”
With some music and drinks, maybe
People dance along with each other
And enjoy each others’ company
Until alas, it was time to go.
Whatever they’re made out of
They’re fun to eat
Either by oneself, with family or friends
But be reminded that they may be unhealthy.
There is a story to be told.
what is it?
"We have water."
"We don't have food."
"There are knives and tools, can hunt."
"We don't have shelter."
"The hulk of the plane will do."
"We won't have heat."
"There are matches, and I know how to make a fire."
"What if we get sick?"
"There's a first-aid kit and I know CPR."
"Why are you so calm about this?"
"Because one of us has to be."
"Do you think we'll make it out? Find help?"
"... We have to try."
My husband passed away while I was recovering from a serious operation in hospital. Quite possibly the worst timing of anything anyone could dream of. He was gone in his sleep, as I had always hoped he would. Quietly and peacefully with a smile on his face. My mother and the building manager went into the apartment to find him. It was a devastating period of my life, but I swear he never really left.
I was in a private room and the staff were instructed to leave everything as it was for me. This included the chair he used everytime he came to visit. It was one of those high backed Lazy-boy types that leaned back and you could put your feet up. He had heart problems, and it was very obvious he suffered from angina. He often held his left side at the bottom of his ribs. He refused to use the oxygen he slept with during the day, and I knew he was getting worse.
About a week after he passed, as I was on the phone again, settling details of claiming life insurance and arranging his cremation, the rudest nurse I’ve ever met, waltzed into my room and pulled his chair out into the hallway. When I protested, in tears, she said, “Get over it. I need it.”
For me, it removed a visual reminder of the support he’d shown me and the joy of celebrating our 34th anniversary. His wicked sense of humor, and the jokes he told walked out of the room with the chair and so did his ghost.
They moved it into another room where a recovering hip replacement patient tried to sit in it, and couldn’t. She said there was already someone in it. Since she was just getting up for the first time, and still woozy from anesthetic, the nurse didn’t put much store in her complaint until she tried to sit in it and yelped.
Her words, “Someone pinched my ass.”
Later, at shift change, she told one of the other nurses she had a bruise on her bottom which made it uncomfortable to sit.
She pushed it back into the hall just outside my door and I got to listen to the fun. Two toddlers who tried to get in it to sit while their mother visited their grandmother, were unceremoniously dumped to the floor. They tried repeatedly to get onto the seat, and the nurses at the unit desk watched in disbelief as they tumbled to the floor four times in a row.
An infirm elderly gentleman tried to sit down, and then slid right out, ending up on the shiny linoleum floor. The scramble to get him up again was kind of funny, as I knew we had a ghost and they didn’t. And not just any ghost, a poltergeist. A spirit with a sometimes vicious sense of humor, which described my dear departed husband precisely.
Eventually they moved the cursed chair back into my room with a sign. Out of order. When my nurse practitioner came in to visit me and asked how physio was going, she took one look and burst out laughing. She was right with me, when I told her Jim’s ghost was still using it, She told me about the attempts to move it into other rooms, with varying disastrous results. He did let one curvy intern sit down, but molested her breasts. He always did have a thing for a nice pair of tits.
My girlfriend Michelle came to visit me. A wise Cree woman, she’d heard my stories, and since sitting on my bed wasn’t advisable as I was recovering from a below the knee amputation, she picked up the sign and spoke.
“Alright Jim, be a decent guy and let me use your chair. You need to move on, you're disturbing everyone. You’ve had your revenge on them. Karin is doing fine.”
She sat down with no problems. She always did have a way with spirits. She claimed she could see them. I believed her. When she passed away herself, she came to see me in my dreams, and still does when I’m particularly sad or agitated. She did get our poltergeist to behave, at least some of the time. Anyone coming to visit me with my approval could use the chair without ill effect. Every time they moved it into another room, it was back to no one being able to use it.
When I came home, I found his favorite lamp was out. It was one we left on 24/7 because it provided just enough light to keep us from tripping in the living room when one of us would come out in the middle of the night because we couldn’t sleep. Shaped like a red flame, it was a plasma lamp and used very little power, so we didn’t feel guilty about letting it run. I couldn’t get it to work, but left it plugged in hoping it would come back to life.
On the day I sold his guitars, which he told me to do, it lit with a hissing crackle. Exactly at the moment I signed the bill of sale. He wanted them to go to someone who couldn’t afford much and showed a love for music. The man was a new immigrant to Canada, starting a music school in his home. He took all the guitars, and because he was willing to move it, I gave him the electric organ we had as well. He got the two amplifiers for the electric instruments and a couple of other odds and ends that would serve him well in his new endeavors. The lamp finally burnt out on the fifth anniversary of Jim’s death.
He visited me one more time after that. Barely eight months after he passed, I was in hospital once again, this time with a deadly version of the flu. I found out later there were only a few people who caught it, but it didn’t have a very high survival rate. I was hovering somewhere between when he came. I knew I had a choice. Live or die. It could go either way. He stood there, and held me in his arms, and I wanted to go with him so intensely it caused me to weep. He spoke.
“You’ve had your cry. Now go back like you always have, stronger for the tears, and get better. You have more to do. Live your dream. Love again. It’s not your time yet.”
He was gone for the last time. I knew that was our last goodbye.
I recovered. I was told it was pretty miraculous. I’ve done as he told me; spread love and write the books he knew I had filed away inside my imagination. He always supported my creative side. I know I’ve made him proud, and I’m getting ready to publish my first book on Amazon Kindle in just over a month.
Yes, I believe in ghosts. I’ve had one fight for me, so I know they exist. When things go bump in the night, I remember the chair that wouldn’t let anyone sit.
Lets take it from the top, shall we?
"Let's take it from the top, shall we?"
"Well it all started when I was in class I could feel it, crawling and moving around inside of me. Like a...Like a parasite that I just couldn't get rid of....It was disgusting."
"So you felt the intense need to get it out?"
"Yes! exactly dr. and people find that so hard to understand. If something was clawing at you from the inside trying to get out you'd want to get it out too right? Right!?"
"Well most people aren't disgusted by their 8-month-old moving around in their belly Mrs. Potts. That's why the...the um...-"
"Yes, Mrs. Potts. That's why the display you put on in front of that room full of kids was so shocking and its exactly why the court sided with your husband to put you in here."
"I could feel it sucking the life out of me..."
"Its honestly a miracle you survived such a traumatic event, self-inflicted or not."
"I'd be dammed if I let that thing kill me..."
"Mrs. Potts I'm afraid you'll be stuck here until you admit what you did was wrong and horrific."
"But I wasn't wrong, and I'll never admit too it."
"Well then, I guess that's that."
"Let's take it from the top, shall we?"
we’ve all been there
"Oh my god, is that coming from you?"
"Yes, sorry, I didn't think you'd notice."
"The elevator is stopping, crap, stop laughing, it isn't funny!"
"They're gonna think it was me."