A Ghost Story

Entry by: Alex Fleet

27th May 2016
The Ghost Writer

I don’t know about you, but I think ghosts are over-rated. I mean, how many people have you met that have actually seen a ghost? It’s the sort of thing you read about, the sort of thing a country pub might bill as one of its attractions.

None of the folks who have lived in my house with me ever mentioned seeing a ghost to their friends who visited. Their friends didn’t feel the need to share their own ghostly experiences either. Everyone who has lived here has always commented how warm and cosy it is, how homelike. None of your cold shivers and strange goings-on here, thank you.

Today, it’s a lovely summer’s day. The back wall of the house faces south and traps the midday sun. It inundates the windows like a warm, benevolent searchlight, the rays catching the dust gracefully floating in the air, the occasional lacewing fluttering across like a small biplane caught in a gentle searchlight’s beam. Most unghost-like.

We’re out on the patio, she and I. She has lived here for a year now. She has settled in, she’s comfortable here, we get on well.

We sit together silently, listening to the drone of the bees in the honeysuckle above the French doors.

Last night, just like this, we watched the moon together, its perfect orb hanging heavy in the black sky, framed by the bedroom window above us. She had sighed, then pulled the bedclothes over her bare legs as the cool draught from the window slid along her skin.

But now, we roast in the heat of the zenith. Finally, she rises, pads into the cool of the house, draws a tumbler of cool water from the tap, drinks deeply; sighs again. She has been pre-occupied for the last few days. She has been writing. She has schemes, ideas, plots swilling round and round in her head. She sits down, writes fretfully, then gives up in exasperation. I want to give her some help.

I peer over her shoulder at the screen of her laptop. She’s written a few lines and has now come to a stop. As I watch, she hits the return key several times, then types again, a new start. She does this several times.

Finally, she stops, stretches, moans, rubs her eyes and sits there, still, her eyes closed.

Well, let’s see if I can help her.

It’s funny actually, when I hear her speak to her writing friends. She says that something comes over her, the strangest sensation. It’s almost as if her fingers key the words by themselves. It is like, she says, having played the piano as a child and then not played for years, and when she played a piece again it was as if her fingers knew where to go, how to play. The music had played itself. Muscle memory, she seemed to think it was called. This new sensation was a little like that, she said, but was puzzled as she had never really written stuff before.

Well, never mind, she seems to be consensual; she benefits from it, when I help her, and I find it quite interesting to do, just occasionally. So I enter her. Not in a sexual way, you understand. No, there’s nothing gynaecological about it. I just sort of merge with her, a little bit like stepping into a bath, but of course the water in a bath is just liquid, without form. She’s firmer than that, she has shape and resistance, more like jelly. I suppose it’s a bit like sliding into a rubber glove full of warm, set jelly. Yes, that’s quite near it: imagine you are in a rubber glove but not quite fitting properly so you have to slide around a bit, squiggle around until you’re comfortable. Finally I wriggle my fingers and they slide into the shape of hers, and as I relax I feel her arms rise; her eyes open and widen in amazement, stare at her hands, her fingers, now outstretched before her as she feels, somehow, my presence. She closes her fist, opens her fingers again. I let her, I don’t resist; but she knows I’m in her, though she can’t actually comprehend this concept. She shudders delightfully, she knows something is happening. She puts her hands in her lap. Waits.

Finally, I gently lift her arms, place her hands carefully on the keyboard. She gasps, quietly.

I practice to get the feel of typing in rubber gloves. A most strange sensation. I think I’m getting used to it. I try to not think about the other sensations. I can feel the muscles, taught, in her trunk as she sits upright. I can feel the cool floor on her bare feet. I can feel the breeze blowing across the skin of her back. I can feel the tingling in her.


I am looking at the keyboard. We are both waiting.

What shall I write today?