Tuesday, April 5, 2016

E is for Emma

Your name is Emma. You’ve got longish, auburn hair, which falls straight down your back and shoulders, from where it’s escaped from the black cap, squashed over your head. You’re wearing the same baggy sweater you died in. You’re not sure how you died. You’ve only recently found out that you were dead. Now, you’re haunting the same old coffee house you used to haunt, when you were alive. How many hours did you spend there, drinking lattes, scribbling in your notebook, not daring to go home? Why didn’t you dare to go home? You can’t remember why. You can’t remember many things about yourself. You sit in your old spot, which nobody ever takes. You watch other people, carrying their mugs to other tables, glancing in your direction, but not really seeing you. You wish you could smell the coffee. It’s torture, being surrounded by coffee, unable to smell it, let alone taste it. It’s one of the worst things about being dead. Coffee used to ground you, inspire you. It woke up your imagination, bringing your characters to life. Thinking of all your unwritten stories, your neglected characters makes you want to cry. You try to shrug it off, even though you can’t really shrug. Being dead isn’t all bad. You’ve found you can slip into other people’s bodies. You can taste their coffee, along with them, when you do. You can even read the books they read. You’re trying to move their hands, so you can write something, but that’s truly hard work. You can’t enter just anybody’s body. It has to be someone who likes to read, someone you think might have enjoyed your own stories in life. Otherwise, you slip right through that someone’s body. This trick only works for a short time, too, although you’re managing to do it for longer periods. Why are you still here, stuck in this coffee house? Are you here to finish your stories? Or are you trying to figure out how you died? You can’t remember your own death. All you remember are the last two people, who were in this coffee house. You’re not entirely sure how to find them. You’ll need to figure out what you’re going to do with this ghostly existence, while you still have it. It’s only a matter of time, before the Soul Collectors come after you. Strange, how you never noticed the Soul Collectors, when you were alive. They always appeared as people coming to your front door, selling salvation, collecting signatures, or doing a poll. It creeped you out a bit, how often some of them called, but you tried not to dwell on it. Now that you’re dead, you can see them for what they are. You can see the hungry maw, waiting behind their smiling, pleasant faces, waiting to suck you in. They’ve been coming to the coffee house, in their mortal guises. They haven’t spoken to you, but they’re watching you. They’re the only ones who do. You try to ignore them, as you tried in life. They’re a lot harder to ignore, now that you’re dead. How long will they be content to only watch you? It’s just one more thing to puzzle out in this ghostly existence. Hopefully, you will eventually puzzle it out, once your author finishes your story.

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