Saturday, September 27, 2008
What Ghosts Wear II
A man came to one of my True Ghosts presentations at Malaprops Bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina. He spoke to me briefly afterwards and said that he was a ghost exorcist. He handed me his business card and, sure enough, it said Ghost Exorcist right on it in plain print.
Generally, I like ghosts. They're just people to begin with. Or cats. A ghost might scare you or give you a case of the creepy crawlies, but they aren't the Devil.
The man said that ghosts get inside people and sometimes cause back aches and other pains. Or they just plain wear you out by being inside your skin. I'd never before thought of a ghost as a muscle ache. Maybe they're just riding around on your shoulders or something. When my feet are sore, though, I like to think I'm the only one who's been using them. That's a fact.
In my story A Patch of Fog, a young woman named Cindy Evans gets a ghost inside her by driving through mountain fog with her window down. The ghost is an old, old woman and it makes Cindy old to have the ghost inside. But it isn't all bad to have a ghost visit you for a bit. The old woman just needs her cats fed.
You go along with what the ghost inside you wants to do and you'll be all right in the end. From the story, A Patch of Fog, in Ghost Cats of the South:
"Biscuits and Gravy walked out onto the sloping porch with Cindy. The cats stretched, then lazily strolled off into the yard. They'd return soon, she knew. The mountain morning would be officially over when they did. Likely as not, Gravy would bring back a mole or a mouse and drop it at Cindy's feet.
"Mist lifted from the yard, disappearing as the sun warmed the mountain air. Cindy heard a whirring sound by her left ear. Suddenly, the hummingbird hovered in front of her face. Her grandmother said hummingbirds were messengers, but this one didn't have a thing to say. It darted away, to one feeder, then the other. Soon, a second hummingbird joined in."
It's not so bad having a ghost inside of you, whether it comes in with the fog through an open car window, or slips into your bed at night and comes inside while you're breathing in to show you a ghost dream or two.
It's not so bad, as long as you do what the ghost wants you to.