A Ghost Of A Smile

Terry
city.boy@blueyonder.co.uk
© 2011

The story you are reading is fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are purely from imagination and are for pleasure and are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locality is entirely coincidental.

I hope you enjoy this story. If you do please let me know. I write to give something back for the pleasure I have received.

A comical look at the world of spirits. Not necessarily the drinking kind.

A Ghost Of A Smile

In a country house in the middle of nowhere, lived Barry. He'd lived there for what seemed like forever, which may be truer than you think. What at some time must have been someone's perfect home was now derelict. Even though it was shabby and run down it was cosy in a funny sort of way. What was left of the roof looked like a jigsaw puzzle with a few pieces missing. The glass in the windows had long since been broken, but the frames were still intact. The shutters on the windows were barely hanging on and squeaked when the wind blew. The steps on the front porch were in desperate need of replacement, but as he didn't go out much that was okay. Cobwebs were just about everywhere to go with the dust that was all over the downstairs. What bits of furniture that were left were either broken or rotted. The Upstairs of the house wasn't much better, but a little dusting and it would be as good as new. It had a permanent view of the stars, which was about the only redeeming quality of the whole place.

He used to go out during the day if he got bored, but feeling you're not wanted is a real put off. When he did go out, it was either to the park or to bum around the diner. Going out at night was better because people didn't stare. At the park, people just went about what they were doing and never bothered about kids screaming and shouting. But with Barry that was different. People who saw him either stared or quickly ran away. The ladies were the best, they would look, drop whatever they were holding, then start running and screaming at the same time. Even though he thought that was funny, it really bothered him. So now when he went out, it was always late at night where he would have fun with the drunks that used the park to get home.

Some nights he would walk around near where the bars were. He liked all the bright and different coloured lights. Sometimes he would see men and women falling all over themselves. Why do people have to get so drunk, just to throw up what they've drunk?

Barry was a kid that had gotten used to living on his own, until one day he had a visitor. The pup must have been no more than 6 months old. As when the dog first walked into the house Barry went to stroke it. As he got closer to the dog it started growling at him. Okay, he'd have to take a different approach. He started talking to the dog quietly. "Hello, fella." The dog stood on all fours stiffly, his teeth showing, still growling, with its ears sticking up as far as they would go.

Barry didn't know what to do now, so he stood looking at the dog in hope. He started to get weary, if that's possible. He was just about to give up the ghost, excuse the pun, when the dog seemed to calm down, so he walked slowly over to the dog with his hand held out. The dog sniffed, then licked his hand. When Barry giggled, the dog's face lit up at the response. You see Barry's a ghost. He lost his family to illness when he was ten. He didn't want to go into no orphanage, he'd rather be alone, so he moved from one place to another. He was running away after taking an apple from one of the markets when he ran into the traffic . . . well, enough said. He could feel his spirit rising from his body and he was looking at himself from above with a little fear. It didn't take him long to realise what he was now. After that he was put on ghost patrol, so now he wandered around where ever they sent him.

They hadn't sent him anywhere in years, so Barry had lived in this particular house for a long time. He would have been forty now, but hey, growing old sucks.

That night he and the dog played happily. Later as the dog slept, Barry stroked and cuddled the dog, feeling warm and comfortable with the company he now had. Of course ghosts can't sleep, so he had a lot of thinking time.

Later that day, he took the dog with him to the back of some of the eating houses, the dog had to be hungry. Afterwards they went to the park. It was fun watching people look at the dog like it was crazy. The dog would face him and lick his face or sit with his paw hanging in the air.

My boss, a ghost mentor, appeared sometime later . . . like maybe a month later. He worked for the G.A., to you humans that's Ghosts Anonymous. And he wasn't pleased. "What in ghost heaven are you doing with a DOG."

I stammered, trying to get at least a sentence out . . . "He, he, he came...."

"I know where he came from, but why is he here? Ghosts don't take dogs for walks or take them out to eat. And he doesn't need you with him when he's watering the grass. So please tell me why in blue blazes he's here?"

I shouted as loud as humanly possible, for a ghost at least, "Because I want him here. You can't make me get rid of him. He's my friend." I mean I'm twelve years old... I mean what twelve year old do you know that doesn't want a dog?"

"Listen," he said, "he can't stay. Who do you think you are? He can't stay and that's final. You're on ghost patrol, not security patrol. Next, you'll be getting him a ball, and taking him to the park, and getting him to bring it back to you."

Ben - sorry I should have told you his name - started growling and showing his teeth at my boss. Now he didn't know what to say or do. Ben lunged at him with lightning speed. Of course the dog went straight through the boss and flying out the window.

When Ben didn't come running back in, I knew that something was wrong. When I went outside, Ben was lying there not moving. His head was now turned looking in the opposite direction. I turned and screamed, "You killed him. You killed him." My boss left without another word.

My boss's boss, who is the head honcho of G.A., dragged him over the coals for what happened. They gave me Ben, he was now mine to keep. "Permanently." The look on my face I would say was priceless. The look on my boss's face was a picture. I don't know if dogs have a heaven, but if they do that's where I am now with Ben. Ghosts don't have families, but they do have partners, Ben's mine. Now I'm like a security guard with his dog on patrol. My boss wasn't too happy. But hey, you can't always have your way.

I see my boss a lot less now than before, but when he does have to come around and, shall we say, talk to me that's when you see ... A Ghost Of A Smile.

The End.


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