Saturday, July 25, 2015

Flash! Friday: A Ghost

by Michael Seese

Rebekah upped the ante a bit with this week's Flash! Friday by requiring us to write EXACTLY 250 words. (And unfortunately, em dashes -- which I am so fond of -- seem to add two to all my word counts; so I had to be aware.)

The story this week was The Arabian Nights, a collection of ancient Middle Eastern folktales. Among the more famous of these stories are Sinbad the Sailor, Scheherazade, Aladdin, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The story elements to incorporate:

* Conflict: varies; often man vs man or man vs self
* Character (choose one): street urchin, adventuring sailor, girl unaware of her true heritage
* Theme(s) (choose one): Rags to riches, justice, forgiveness
* Setting: ancient Persia

We also could use this picture

which I did not in writing "A Ghost."

I am invisible. A ghost.

A spectre. A wraith that haunts these streets. Unable to find a way to my home, any home, I bobble in the waves of humanity that wash over me every day. Lacking a body, I drift to wherever they push me. To the sides. To the fringes. Out of their way.

I am invisible. A ghost.

How else to explain the people who look right through me as I press my nose against the glass beside their laden table? Before them sits more food than I have known in a year. Soon, they will pay their bill and walk away, abandoning a feast. Later, I will wage war against the feral cats, as we all fight to claim the prize from the trash can behind the restaurant.

"I am invisible. A ghost."

I say this to the others. The boys like me. Boys who, under other circumstances, I might call friends. But they're not friends. They are rivals, as we compete for the coins. The cast-off clothing. The desperate sips of water, born from the overnight dew that condenses on the awnings of the shops lining the street and drips down to our eager mouths, even as the spiteful sun takes his share.

"I am invisible. A ghost."

I shout from the rooftop as I prepare to prove to them – to the merchants, to the tourists, to the others – once and for all that I am a ghost.

For everyone knows that ghosts can fly.

I like it. You?

Look to this space tomorrow for a Janet Reid entry.

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