The Glorious Secrets of Ghosts
By the late adjunct college professor of English
These stories are true.
Though many will try to discount the validity of this manuscript, I want to assure you first and foremost that I am most certainly me, and that these writings come from beyond the grave despite traditional skepticism and antiquated belief systems based on “scientific” or “religious” norms. Though the mechanics of creating this communication would be hard to explain, I would ask that you accept the fact that I recently journeyed to the “other side,” found a seam, and returned.
Hear me, there is little time.
There is no God.
I think you all knew that deep down, and trust me, the ghosts all thank you for the wonderful shadow-cover. I do not think it wise nor prudent to burden you with the many logical fallacies, shaky foundations, and unanswered questions left by even the most exhaustive theological studies, because you well know those paths only lead to more questions, blurred metaphor, and paradox.
To put it simply, when we are faced with circumstances that are universally unjust, we typically surrender to them with the claim that “God works in mysterious ways.” But there is no God and therefore, no fate.
And choice? Well. You be the judge.
Ghosts do not live in basements and attics, woodland and sewer systems. Like it or not, they exist in a world superimposed directly upon our own, and they infiltrate our reality like invisible mist. And they are not moaning, rattling chains. They create symmetry.
The first tale I am to tell you might seem to be uplifting. That is the bait, their bait, dangling before us to grease the skids, making us passive and vulnerable. The following narratives, however, will strike you as subtly disturbing, more obviously so when I enter the story-line myself as a character. The balance will be nothing short of…illuminating. As a horror writer, I realized a long time ago that one of the staples of the genre is to cleverly expose the “other” in winks and flashes at the bottom of a dark well, at the edge of a playground, down a long dark corridor, at the far edge of a dark, placid lake. But I realize now that these trigger-points are no more than dramatic euphemism and diversion, imposed fairytale catharsis wearing a clown mask.
The “others” are among you.
They just don’t telegraph themselves within the confines of the five senses as you know them.
In life I was a meticulous writer, so detail oriented that many of my contemporaries felt I would have been better received in a different century. Here, all that matters little. I suppose the main issue critics will have with this current piece, aside from an inability to suspend deep seated beliefs, is the structure I utilize, or at least one of the core vessels in the heart of that part of the lexicon.
It is a given in human storytelling that one establishes a “base of the house,” in terms of plot, theme, and the motivations of the main players. In other words, the protagonists you start with are the ones in the latter part of the dramatic line who must become intertwined in those critical climaxes and wonderful epiphanies that act as satisfying stopping points in our vision of what makes for potent and thought-provoking narrative.
Still, I would remind you to consider who the main characters are here.
Not only do ghosts have their own form of justice, their own interpretations of philosophical symmetry, and an alternate view of the universe. They are closers. In other words, the stories I am about to reveal will seem to begin with what you might deem “familiar,” but will often end with a shift of perspective. True, I am breaking a stylistic “rule,” but remember where I am coming from.
I am the “other” now.
Let me show you.