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A Simple Ghost Story

I told the man in the hotel room, “Save your children from what we want to do with them. The only separation we see is that between you and yours.” He shrugged and asked me to reiterate. While I drank the bitter dark coffee and re-established my thought and tried to represent my phrase in a manner he would understand. I asked him, “Have you ever fought your eventual fate?” He took a minute and told me it seemed he was doing that every day. I sipped my coffee.

We sat in silence for a moment. The man asked me to follow him outside. He requested a single cigarette. I found I should comply. He told me he was an old trucker that was a ghost trapped in a highway side hotel room he would frequent on speed binges through the small town I was caught in. My trapping was a simple overnight stop, my car had broken down and some others had sent me to this room. His trapping seemed to go quite a ways into the past.

The first conversation between us was about how we were going to get super high that night. “It would be awesome,” he said, “and we can even find prostitutes.” This was on the condition that I had the money. He usually just watched, but could tell me of a place just around the corner near the railway tracks. I mentioned that I was not in the hotel room to do drugs and party for the night. He seemed a little taken aback. He tried to influence me to do much harm to my mind and body. I decided his influence could do me no harm. I had just happened to find my way to his home. I then told the ghost, “I might be just who you asked for.” The invisible man seemed frightened and cried out to be saved, though he was very afraid.

We talked for a while. He was lying about everything with an assumption that I was simply curious. When he told me, “I been here fifty years because of my mother,” I replied that it was not just a single body that had led the man to this fate. He had drunk to stop his thoughts for far too long and eventually he became harmful to others. His consciousness had caused so much harm throughout his existence that it was now in a cycle of destruction. He claimed he was trying to press needles into arms that he couldn’t find. I don't think he meant to mention this to me but this is a common trait of ghosts based around the self-destructive world of substance abuse.

His incarnations had simply never learned that he would one day be harmed for hurting himself and others. He had been told many times that drinking to forget was only creating an eventual spinning and trapped ghost that may be found in a hotel room on the side of a highway. He asked me for drugs. I told him we have to find his last requests. He took the paper and told me he was not literate and that writing was for “sissies.” I told him I would fill out the applicable paperwork.

He began to read things he would like me to do for him. I told his that I would not play his requests as he wished. I picked up my fiddle and played for about 20 minutes for him. He claimed the fiddle hurt his mind and grabbed the bow from my hand twice. I put the fiddle in the case. I asked him what he would like to eat. He simply asked for a burger from the place across the street. This request was complied with, as I was hungry. He asked for alcohol to drink with it. Later, he also requested potato chips. This request was denied, simply on moral grounds against this strange spirit.

When we found ourselves back in the hotel room the ghost asked for the alcohol again. His request was again denied. He asked me to find him drugs. He wanted me to join in the partaking of crystal methamphetamine. I refused. I pulled a pipe out and took some hash from a bag. He asked me, “Is that drugs?” I told him I suppose many in the world consider hash a drug. He asked me for some. I complied.

Our conversation continued until he pulled a knife out of his pocket and pressed it against my neck to scare me. I told him in turn that he couldn’t hurt me. He told me that he didn’t know me so he would have no trouble hurting me. I asked him to try and he quickly pulled away. He swung the knife at me quickly and stabbed me directly in the eye. The knife was pulled away and he stabbed my twice more in the head. I allowed him to see the damage of his actions and he tried to smoke more hash. I moved to the table and allowed him to. I then showed him that he was unable to harm me.

This scared the ghost. He asked who I was. I told him, “You’re a ghost, pal.” He laughed and told me to get out of his friends room. His buddy would be back soon and would not be happy with some loser in his room. I told him I had paid sixty-five dollars for the room. He told me I had to sleep on the floor. I told him “There is no way I am sleeping of the floor, man, I’ve slept on the floor for the last three nights.” He cursed at me and I began to become intrigued.

I had noticed that he was influencing drug use and mayhem in the room he lived. He was dancing like a gangster (for lack of a better expression) and telling me how great this night would be with all our crack-cocaine, crystal methamphetamine and grass. He also claimed to have other drugs for me to use. He was not happy when I explained I was sent, basically to save or capture his soul. He asked me for credentials, beginning with “So, are you famous?” I replied, “I suppose, but I’m cooler than a fame will ever bring me.” He asked to smoke hash. I reminded him that he had tried to kill me to steal my stuff and that he should be honest with me. I also reminded him that there are limited numbers of last requests, so he should choose them wisely. He once again asked for drugs. I called Azrael to deliver whatever drugs the ghost needed to get him through. I asked him if he would like another cigarette. He said he had not had one in fifty years. By this point I was not sure if he had been trapped that long.

Once the drugs arrived he became agitated and violent. I asked him for the God's truth, claiming I already knew it. When I reached for a book he claimed that he did not want to read the contract, and that was it. "I kind of knew this was coming," he claimed. He had been trapped for a long time in his world, causing all sorts of harm and making friends who would join him in the hotel room and do drugs all night with him. I asked what these friends looked like. He told me they were his friends from the distant past. I explained they were probably not his friends. They were simply stopping for the night, in the dirty hotel room and doing drugs. They may have possibly never known the ghost was present. This angered him, then I noticed he was crying.

I them gave him arms and a simple half cut body. He saw his body and realized he had been a ghost. I told him that I was here to help him. He asked once again if I were famous. I told him, “I suppose I am.” I asked again for an honest answer and then said, “I already know the answers about you, sir. I have looked into them, pretend.” He laughed rather arrogantly and put his knife to my throat. “You know, I can kill you. I can kill you right here, right now and hide your body, nobody will find you.” With this remark I reminded him that he had tried that. He tried once again swinging his fist at me before slashing with the knife.

I took the knife from him and sat down. I pushed a contract towards him and he smiled. “I knew we were getting to this,” he said. He signed the contract quickly. I again told him I was simply playing last requests. He smiled and asked for another cigarette. I told the ghost that these were nearing the end of his requests. I asked him what kind of transportation he would enjoy to pass into the next world. He requested his friend’s semi-truck.

I told him that my employees were picked to wait for ghosts simply because they did not like to wait. I was very clear about this.

I found a crystal in my bag and pulled a few gargoyles out of it to find the demons trapping this mans body. They pulled the soul into the crystal and danced around making jokes. The man sat wrapped in my overcoat, thanking me for capturing demons inside him. It was then that I explained I had simply taken his ghost. The demons inside him were himself, and of his making. I told him what would come next. He would have to follow me to the highway to meet my friends, coachmen who do not like to wait. The air became cold and I asked him to leave my jacket. I pulled him, using the crystal and took away what he thought was his body.

We moved down stairs and outside the hotel room. He asked for his last cigarette and I refused. I am running out, I said. I then lit a cigarette in front of the ghost and told him once again, “Do not make these men wait. The interview was two questions, ‘Do you like to wait?’ and ‘Would you like tea?’” He replied that he assumed they must have gotten the job because they don’t like to wait. I told him to get into my black carriage. I showed him the two stallions pulling it. They were also black.

We traveled a road he claimed he had never seen. We passed through the town and country until we reached a simple crossroads. I marked the spot on the dirt road with my mind. I told him to get out of my carriage. “The other carriage is waiting, sir. And these are the men do not like to wait.” He sat in horror and implied that he knew what was going on. I implied back, “You shouldn’t have destroyed your own creator.”

The men had to wait. They waited quite a while and changed the vehicle from semi-truck to carriage to Cadillac all on through to the school bus. They then came as the express bus service and then back finally as the semi truck the semi truck. The semi was no longer his friend’s semi. He noted to me that the drivers were all the same two people. I told him, “And, sir, they do not like waiting.” He gingerly laughed and decided, “I think you maybe knew all about me, huh?” I told him that I had mentioned that a few times. I told him that the semi was going to leave. “My coachmen do not like waiting.”

A course of music rang out. There were 8 fiddles and a full band dancing around us. I played his final request, which was simply any fiddle tune. Other players of stringed instruments danced around us. We stood at the abandoned crossroads. I now wore a black and white suit and smoked a cigarette in front of him. He smiled and stated that he finally was getting his wish. I told him he misunderstood and that he should not be one of the forsaken in the end. His final wish was to forsake the true and good. I told him again it was not the way he claimed things were to him. He again told me he would forsake all that was good. I whistled to the air.

The ghost was not willing to enter the waiting coaches on his own free will. The black semi-truck that was reminiscent of his friend's came and went without the spirit. Next was a Cadillac which also left without the man entering. The coachmen came a third time with a bright yellow school bus and I explained that they were again here to take him to his eternity. He told me that he understood, he was just trying to make my life difficult. The bus left and a pale gray motorcycle with a sidecar came next. It also left without a passenger.

The final vehicle that appeared at the crossroads we stood at was a black carriage. It was much like the one I had driven him to the crossroads in. He waved and moved across the road. I waved and he stepped up the stair and into the back seat. The man in the front turned to him. The ghost let out a terrified scream and tried to escape. He was unable to move. The carriage took off down the road and I was left in the hotel room on the side of the highway.
My car had simply broken down.

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