Friday, February 11, 2011

Ghost Story

"Ghost Story" - Lily Childs

I am the Narrator.

I speak to you on our behalf, elected by the masses. 

Don’t bend our words with pseudo-channellings. Don’t lay claim to speak with us, through us.

We hear you. We do not want to be you.

Leave your séances to the Victorian parlour. Why reach out for us? Why drag us back when we do not want to return? Use your time better to expose the clever fakes and frauds in your midst who claw in your money; who feed on your vulnerable despair, your loneliness.

Why do you seek so? Let be. Let go of those you have loved, who have left. Invest not in angels. Believe not in totems from other races, and other places.

‘But we hear you,’ you cry. Of course. When we have something to say or convey, we make ourselves known. The isolated, heady-scent of Damask Rose in a single spot in your house; water tumbling from washer-tight taps; a freezing cold finger at the nape of your neck in the heatwave of summer.

You talk of crossing over, of passing, of reaching the light. There perhaps you do not err. But you and your television stars, your phone lines and your churches – you do not own the process. You do not, can not even begin to comprehend what you will experience when death takes you. The heavens or hells of which you dream or fear… they have no place here. All is one.

Our shadows; we leave them as reminders. Walking through walls, falling from nooses. These are but echoes of our lives, memories imprinted on the atmosphere; we do not reside there.

Neither does the Cleopatra you so desperately seek dwell in our realm. She is of The Goddess; she is not available to you. Even if she did roam our halls of spirit, you are arrogant to expect that she would deign to parlay with you, or to reincarnate into the thousands of you who claim to recall her life. You are deluded. You remember what your museums and your history books and your TV and your internet tell you; the Lady’s soul laid bare in the public eye. Understand me now – you are not she.

You, with your tarot cards and crystal ball. You reach dangerously into the veil, seeking out futures for those afraid to leave the past, or live in the present.

You surround yourselves with crystals; with precious stones sparkling and beauteous. They speak to you of healing and love, of unreal benediction. In your perfect world of spiritual ecstasy, are you really so blind, so ignorant? Across the oceans children are forced into caves and chasms to retrieve your pretty gems. Is your ego soothed? Do you not hear the Earth scream as she is raped again and again? How do you reconcile your sweet rose quartz with the death of an innocent? How does your amethyst feel in your hand when I tell you that explosions roar through Gaia’s core to get to that purple jewel? She is the Gaia you claim to love.

I come at the behest of all souls who have trodden this Earth, who still roam her surface unseen – overlapping by the millions – to give you fair warning.

Time matters not to us. But you, who live your lives by it, your time, is running out. While populations live longer and longer in an age where men can become women and women can conceive without man; in an era when your scientists are making copies of every one of you so that they can replace your organs, or limbs or synapses when they fail – it seems as though you could live forever.

Take heed. We do not want to delay your arrival. Neither do we want to greet you sooner than expected. But you are destroying the Great Mother who keeps you alive. You drive, you smoke, you heat the air with your microwaves and your energies and your smog and your world-traversing networks and your rotting food and your chemicals and your plastics. You can not, you will not survive.

I am telling you now, as The Narrator of our lives and yours, that we will soon be amongst you. We are coming to ease the transcendence into our realm.

When you see me peering round your door out of the corner of your eye, turn and face me. Reach out and take my hand. I will bring you home.

If you hear me in the static, white noise of technology – your television, radio, computer, hearing aid, telephone…bid me welcome. I will help you on your journey.

When lights flicker before your eyes; when your reflection in the mirror fades; when I appear – solid – in front of you, then join me. I will ease the way.

You call us ghosts. Perhaps we are. But hear this. Tomorrow, you will be ghosts too.

BIO: Lily Childs is a writer of dark fiction and horror. Her stories have been published in several small press anthologies including Their Dark Masters; Extreme Vampire Horror, Daily Bites of Flesh 2011 and Caught By Darkness. You can read more dark fiction and poetry on her blog Lily Childs' Feardom, where her demons dance in tutus.


  1. Thank you for posting Ghost Story, Spook City Team! Love the image.

    All the best

  2. brilliant story, Lily, saying a lot about belief and need for succour and in some cases, how futile it is. Loved it.

  3. Great story with a unique take on the POV of the 'other side'. I love stories about ghosts or the spirit world that flip the perceived beliefs on their head and offer a new angle of how it may be.

    After all we only know what we have been told by others without proof and as writers we should explorer those claims. Supernatural writing is the greatest arena for the imagination yet too often writers chose to play safe and stick with the accepted lores.

    I think this story tackles that problem head on and made me sit up an think about our duty and role as the tellers of the tales.

    Oh what a lovely punch at the end too. A thought about our own future left echoing in the mind when I read it.

  4. 'Tomorrow you will be ghosts too.'

    What a wonderful line to end certainly lingers.

  5. Thanks - I'll be watching for the shadows everywhere now!

  6. Magnificent, Lily. A brilliant last line and an idea that's simply top notch.

  7. Yes, loved it. Terrific writing as always, Lily.