I have a few short stories for Halloween. Here is one:
A Haunting Short Story—Part 1
John Hunter was stunned as he stood in Times Square. This was not the New York City he remembered from his youth. Of course, that was over 150 years ago. John was a ‘young-old ghost’ as the spirit community liked to call ghosts that died young a long time ago. Most ghosts are “ancient-old ghosts”, having died at an old age a long time ago. John decided to make the best of his situation and to start haunting. Haunting a city was certainly more interesting that haunting a Civil War battlefield and with a hole in his head, John figured he could still provide a good scare.
He waited until a group of people approached him on the sidewalk. They were walking with their heads down as if praying. No matter, John decided to scare the hell out of them. He waited until they were just a few feet in front of him and then he manifested himself and yell “boo.”
No one even noticed. The closest person walked right through him without stopping or even looking up. John decided he needed to up his game. When the next group of people approached him, he removed his head and threw it at the closest person. Nothing happened. His head sailed right through the person, bounced down the street and rolled down the steps of a subway entrance.
John, or at least his head, lay on the subway platform wondering how in the world he was going to find the rest of his body when he heard laughter. He glanced over and saw a young man, a young ghost really, laughing at him. Finally, the young ghost walked over and picked up John’s head and held it up so they were eye to eye.
“What are you laughing at?” John asked, irritated.
“Why, you, of course. Let’s go find your body.” The young ghost carried John’s head under his arm and up the stairs to the street level. John’s body wasn’t hard to find; pedestrians were oblivious to it. They walked through it, not even bothering to lift their feet. The young ghost lifted John’s body and placed his head squaring on his neck. John looked down at his body. His head was backwards. He reached up and turned his head around. Then he looked around, found his kepis cap and placed it on his head.
“Oh,” exclaimed the young ghost. “You’re a soldier.”
John snapped to attention and saluted. “Private John Hunter, 22nd New York Volunteer Infantry at your service.”
The young ghost stuck out his hand. “Please to meet you, John. My name is Eston Morschauser.”
John shook Eston’s hand. “You’re young like me.”
“Well, I died young just last year. I guess I’m a ‘recent-young’ ghost as they say.”
“Maybe you can tell me what’s going on,” John said. “I tried to scare these people, but they just ignored me. They keep looking at their hands. What’s going on?”
Eston laughed. “You’re way behind the times. Where have you been?”