Now, a few things are slightly amiss here.

To clarify, I died, just a few decades back.

Now honestly, and it might strike you as hard to believe, this is very easy to come to terms with. All things die, obviously, and all things that don't die are forgotten by the things that do. Even things you might argue are supposed to go on forever like mountains or time itself will eventually, come either some kind of holy apocalypse, or more pessimistically, the heat death of the entire universe, fade into the endless beyond. Of course I was, at first, terrified by the afterlife, and I lamented over my lost opportunities, my short life...You know, that whole five stages routine. But after a short while, I’ve become rather adjusted to the ghost lifestyle. Honestly, the thing that's difficult to grasp isn't the fact that I died, the thing that's difficult to grasp is that after I died...I think I must have died a second time, if that even makes any sense.

See, I had been exploring a very old, very decrepit home, as spirits tend to do, and it had really quite a beautiful aura. Lots of garish paintings, cobwebs practically all over the place, torn up couches, walls weathered to time. Honestly, it was the most fine place I’d discovered so far. Unfortunately, that was around when I encountered another ghost, who was already haunting the premises. Now this put a bit of a damper on my day, since aside from the rather unexpected company, this house seemed like the exact kind of place for a sorry old phantom like myself to reside in, although I now became the slightest bit worried that this other ghost had already laid a claim upon the home. I approached the other specter -- a rather unsightly looking man with a beard and a trucker’s cap -- with only the best of intentions: to ask him, quite frankly, whether this was his haunt, or if he was just passing through. As I hovered in his direction, however, he jolted up from the wall, and glared wildly at me.

He seemed upset, but before I could lay down some explanation to reassure my compatriot, he pulled out a small handgun and shot me. I collapsed onto the floor, writhing and bleeding invisible ghost blood, practically choking on my own non-corporeal darn ghost throat trying to scream strange and inaudible ghost-curses at my sudden assailant. Then, just as swift as my spirit died against the hardwood floor, the me I am now rose from out of its shell, and stared down upon itself. The corpse of my previously eternal ghost body lay stricken on the floor, as I, the ghost of a ghost, hovered beguiled above it.

This just happens to be where I am right now, and this event has, understandably, sparked some kind of existential crisis within me.

And, stupid as I happen to be, I am so dumbfounded and absolutely smitten by what, from every sense and angle, appears to be the very dead body of a ghost, that I'm promptly shot yet again, by what must surely be the ghost of some idiotic and insane maniac, with a taste for firearms.

As I yet again rose from my ghost's corpse squared, another puzzling dilemma fluttered weakly into my mind. As I have surely been struck before by vehicles and other forms of deadly or generally dangerous implements as a ghost, how now was that blasted gun in the hands of my bewildered housemate able to murder me with only a simple bullet? The only answer, and I do admit this answer fills me with absolute dread and a certain sense of cold bemusement, is that the very gun he has fired upon me with, not once but twice now, is not in fact a physical gun one might purchase at some local, and very much mortal, gunshop. It surely has to be the ghost of a gun, held in the hands of the ghost of a gun wielder.

Now this raises all manner of questions, many of which I don't feel liable to ask, nor do I suppose I'd have the answers to. But mainly, how on earth does a physical, and by all previous expectations, non-sentient, object manage to, upon being somehow killed, release a ghost of itself into the world of the dead?

Now, yet again, completely thick as I am, (I swear, I never do learn), I let that other ghost with the itchy trigger finger fire upon me yet again, meanwhile I had been completely lost in thought, contemplating the very reality I thought I knew. At this point, with a veritable dog-pile of my ghost's corpses strewn across each other on the hardwood floor, I finally lose my temper.

"Just what do you think you're doing?" I exclaim to the other ghost, who lets up for a moment, and gives off just the slightest look of exacerbation, quite a pitiful look in all honesty. Before I might reconsider my tone, however, he goes and shoots me yet again, square in the stomach, then flips back up into my head. "This is where I draw the line," I proclaim groggily, rising as yet another spirit, looking again at the pile of dead me’s on the floor.

Steaming mad, I begin to march over to the man, (or at least hover in a way mostly evocative of such a march; the sort of march you might do to intimidate a misbehaving dog, or frighten away a bird on the street), and strike him across the face with the back of my hand. He lets out just the most miserable cry and drops the gun across the floor.

"Now what'd you go ahead and do that for?" I speak up to him, barely letting up my manner of speaking. Just like a child might ignore a parent, he simply stares dumbfoundedly at the gun on the floor. After a moment or two, he finally takes a step forward and tries to get at it, though I react rather quickly and pin him to the wall. "I meant to ask you what you shot me for!" I proclaim, half-nonsensically. Finally turning his eyes up to me, he lets out a slow sound, like a hollow moan, and then begins to nearly cry.

"I just don't understand!" he exclaims, only barely understandable. "I shot you so many times! Why, I even shot myself so many times! But so far, every dang soul I try to kill only comes back again as a ghost!" He holds up his hands in the weak symbol of a finger pistol. "How do you suppose that makes any sense?" Presently I am astonished by what he says. I push him back into the wall and step away. Unfortunately for me, though, he slides through the wall gracefully, for he is a phantom.

Now realizing that I had tangled with the ghost of a murderer, I turn over to grab his spiritual pistol, only to find that it too died upon landing on the floor, and is now side by side with its own ghost.

I shudder at the sight.



Written by EtherBot
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