Ghostly Reflections (Short Story)
By Christine B. (2005)
Why is it that most people equate a ghost story with an evil spirit—a confrontational entity that exists only to do harm? It puzzles me why most ghostwriters spin tales of fear that attempt to scare their readers into early graves. They depict horrifying beings with flesh hanging from eyeless sculls. How, please tell me, can any spirit have rotting flesh and bony fingers when by definition a ghost no longer possesses flesh nor bones at all? We are mere whips of ectoplasm, nothing more. Why do so many believe that the only good ghost story is a horror ghost story when there are, in reality, so many benevolent spirits moving in and out of the earthly dimension? I know this to be fact because I happen to be one of those benign beings.
Some say they don’t believe in ghosts at all, evil or otherwise. That doesn’t mean we do not exist, just that there are a few skeptics who refuse to detect our presence. These self-absorbed earthly entities protest our existence and are steadfast in their disbelief, no matter what proof is presented to them. Their line of thought would be akin to protesting the coming of an earthly dawn. Preposterous! If one did not believe dawn existed, their doubt would not prevent the sun from rising up to illuminate each new earth day.
Perhaps it is a control issue. Some may be afraid to contemplate anything they cannot control. It seems to be easier to disbelieve than to consider a spirit world that cannot be controlled or manipulated. Nevertheless, their cynicism cannot change the fact that we do exist.
I suppose some of us can be pesky—vibrating certain earthen objects to create the sound of rattling chains, or heavy footsteps up wooden stairs in the middle of the night, (although while I was living within the earth dimension I would have been much more frightened of a live intruder stomping up my staircase in the dead of night). When one thinks about it, how could we
possibly do much harm? We have no hands or arms to pick up a knife or a club to beat anyone to death with, you know. The only weapon we possess is the ability to frighten a person to death. In that case, the individual who is terrified by our existence conjures up the lethal weapon. If one was not alarmed by our being, then we could do no harm, could we? Of course not. So please stop screaming every time you detect a glimpse of me out of the corner of your eye. All that clamor is very disconcerting.
Although we have been known to possess the ability to move things around on occasion, the concentration that entails happens to be a lot of work for a spirit. What possible purpose, other than to prove that we exist, would there be for us to want to do that much work? There is no need for us to work at all now. We have no earthly demands or worries, you see. We don’t need clothes, or food, or even shelter to keep us from the elements. There are no elements where we are. It is quite a stress-free existence.
And, let me set another ghostly myth straight—not all of us are trapped within this other dimension. Some of us may be, I suppose, but not all of us. Eventually we have to move on and rejoin the living dimension again, but what is the rush? Most people, while living within the earth dimension, seem determined to rush to their deaths, and then rush right back to life again. That reasoning defies understanding. Perhaps it is be a “time” issue. Why do so many believe they will eventually run out of it? Earthbound entities scurry about like white rabbits their entire lives, so intimated by being at a certain place by a certain time. They seem completely unaware that if they do not accomplish an event in this life, there is always the next. No one ever actually runs out of time. On the other hand, we of the spirit world have no concerns regarding time. In this dimension we live in a timeless environment. We have no use for time restrictions, so time does not exist for us.
I am not here because I neglected to accomplish something before I passed—unfinished business, indeed. I simply enjoy the spirit world, and am in no hurry to leave it. There is no pain, no worry, and no reason to move on at this point. Limbo is not necessarily a distasteful place. Besides, I am not ready to go through the trauma of reentering the world by being squeezed though a tiny opening between my new mother’s legs again. That has never been my idea of a pleasurable experience—simply a prelude to upcoming earthly pain and other distasteful attractions. What a relief it is not to have that bulky body covering my spirit. No worries about being too fat, or too hungry, or too wet, or too cold, or too hot, or not pretty or handsome enough to get things accomplished. And, we don’t need a horse, train, plane or automobile to get where we want to be. We of the spirit world simply think about where we would like to be and we are there. So, you see, I could be anywhere, but I chose to be in this house close to you. That should account for something.
Now that I have enlightened you regarding my current situation, please do not attempt to evict me from my home—the home you have decided to invade, by the way. I do not wish to become nasty; it really is not my nature to act vengeful, so please let us call some sort of truce. I will not attempt to scare you out of here, if you do not attempt to send me on to the light. There is little chance this woman you have hired will be able to accomplish the deed, at any rate. She is not as gifted as she would have you believe. And the priest you brought in, sprinkling holy water all over the place, had no effect save for damping your furniture. When I am ready to move on, I will go of my own accord, and not a moment sooner.
I have to admit that it does get a bit lonely here. My husband, children, and friends have moved on to the light, so I am alone now. I do miss them, on occasion; and, if I did move on, I would be able to share a life with them once more. That would enjoyable. I do occasionally miss the contact a body affords one. Even a spirit could benefit from a hug now and then. I suppose, if you insisted, I could join my former friends and family; but, I would not want you to think that my leaving would have anything to do with this woman. She is a charlatan, and could not provoke a spirit from a paper bag, let alone persuade me to leave if I was truly determined to stay.
All right then, I will move on. I have to eventually, and since I seem to be so unwelcome here, I suppose I would rather be in a place where I was accepted more. Just so you understand, this is my decision, not yours. You will miss me after I leave, I am sure. I did make for some interesting dinner conversation, after all; and I wager some of your friends will not come to see you as often after I depart. Please keep that in mind. I just may be the only reason some came to visit you at all, especially that ridiculous man who takes photographs of empty corners attempting to capture my essence on film. You would be much better off without him stirring up negative atmosphere around here, anyway.
It is to the light then, but make no mistake, I will return. It probably will not be here, in this exact house, but somewhere else just as pleasant. Perhaps I will come back where I can experience a warmer climate. This area can become so cold during the earthly winter months, and I have been so cold for so long. Warm would be a nice change. Farewell. Look for me when you hear a newborn’s cry. You may not have seen the last of me yet.