A Girl And A Ghost

fiction about ghosts

Short Story

 

“Are you a ghost?” she asked. I laughed.

“Not exactly,” I said. “Do I look like a ghost?”

“A little,” she said. “You’re shiny blue. Ghosts always look shiny blue.”

I cocked an eyebrow.

“Really? How do you know that?”

“Because I seen them, duh!” The little girl threw up her hands as if I had asked the dumbest question in the world. “Haven’t you seen them?”

She looked at me expectantly. I was amazed she was looking at me at all.

“I’ve seen lots of them,” I said. “All kinds, in fact — big ghosts, little ghosts … even dead ghosts.”

She scrunched her nose.

“Ghosts can be dead?”

I sighed.

“Unfortunately, yes, ghosts can be dead. But let’s not talk about that, OK?”

I didn’t want to waste the moment.

“Tell me more about the ghosts you’ve seen. Do they speak to you?”

“No, not really. I don’t think they can see me. Or maybe they don’t know I can see them. Nobody else can see them — well, you can see them, I guess.”

She had bright, messy, red hair that kept blowing in her face. She was constantly wiping it away; every time she did, her hands would leave a perfectly dirty smear on her cheeks and nose.

“I think I scared one once,” she said.

“Really! How on earth did you scare a ghost?”

“Well, she was walking beside my friend Alex. It looked like she was holding his hand, but it kinda looked weird ‘cuz he wasn’t holding her hand back. She was smiling at him. I said hi to her and she stopped smiling and just stared at me. She had really big, pretty eyes. Then, she just disappeared!”

“Wow!” I said. “Do they always just disappear?”

“Nope. She was the only one. I think it’s OK though ‘cuz she’s a ghost and they’re allowed to do that.”

“Of course,” I said, smiling. “Is there anything else you can tell me about ghosts?”

She put her finger on her lips for a moment. She was so, so adorable.

“Sometimes I see them whisper in people’s ears,” She said. “The rest of the time, I just see ’em walking around.”

“Interesting,” I said. I meant it.

There was still some time left, so I asked her to show me what she was doing.

She was building a sand castle. It had turrets, spires, a keep and a moat. She used a tiny stick to carve out windows and lines for blocks. She collected pebbles to use as decoration, and on top of the highest spire, she placed a carefully selected branch. She tied a piece of string to the branch and watched it blow in the wind.

“She is a magnificent creation,” I said.

“Thank you,” said the little girl.

And then the time had come. Her mother called for her in the water. Like the good little girl she was, she went out to see her mother.

I did not look away.

Waves crashed; she struggled and gasped for air. There was a particularly strong undertow her mother hadn’t noticed. It wasn’t her fault; lots of people went to the beach that day. All of them were fine.  All but one.

The lifeguard did everything right; everything he was trained to do. Her mother begged her to breathe.

I did not look away.

The ambulance came as fast as they could — why wouldn’t they? They did everything right; everything they were trained to do. Her father came and held her mother. They begged her to breathe.

I did not look away.

A shining, blue, little girl stepped out of the fray. She had bright, messy, red hair that kept blowing in her face. She looked at me and smiled. She held my hand.

“Why are you crying?” she asked.

“Because I love you and your mommy and daddy so much,” I whispered.

We watched the tragedy unfold a little longer.

“Mommy and daddy will forgive you eventually,” she said.

I smiled.

“I certainly hope so.” I wiped a tear from my eye. “Now come, there’s someone wonderful waiting to meet you.”

 

more by ISAAC GOLLE

photograph by Zack Minor

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Isaac Golle

Isaac Golle is a husband, father, brother, son, youth pastor, friend, writer, and is mostly human. He currently resides in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada with his wife and daughter, where he is focusing on worrying less, trusting more, and laughing lots.

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