Curse of the Angry Ghost
The meeting of the 3rd Brigade Arbitrary Men’s group had been going along swimmingly. Though this month’s turnout hadn’t been as good as last months, James felt that it had still been a success. At least none of the four men present had stormed off in a rage when Carothers went off his cups, again. But the four present got along well most times, Carothers or no.
It had come along, about the 4th pint of Nikkel’s Best when James noticed the shining dot at their end of the bar. None of the others had noticed, engrossed in the topic of Andiluvian death sausages. But the dot, a pin prick really, had begun to grow. James had considered mentioning the oddity when Carothers jumped out of his seat.
“I say,” Carothers exclaimed. “Gentlemen, we should take our conversation to the other side of the establishment. We appear to have gotten into a bit of a sticky wicket.”
The dot had grown to larger than a man’s head. Though it was white and seemed to have a glow it didn’t appear to offer heat or a source of light outside of its own space. But it pulsed. It pulsed with the syncopation of Carothers’ current tirade (James had zoned out in his fascination with the glowing dot). As it pulsed it appeared to have traveled from the end of the bar to float right next to Carothers. It had moved into the space of the seat Carothers had vacated.
And that was when it started to make a sound. When Carothers opened his mouth to speak again, a screech, much like that of a barn owl, emanated from the pulsing dot. It drowned out his every word. But it did this only when he attempted to speak. Whenever anyone else spoke it sunk down and the pulse became warm and inviting. It switched without missing a beat.
After a few minutes of this treatment Carothers’ face had grown beat red from the exertion of yelling at the top of his lungs to combat the squeal. The rest of the conversation had fallen off as James and the others had turned full attention to the battle of voices between the dot and Carothers.
Out of breath and defeated, Carothers sniffed and wiped a finger across the bottom of his nose. He looked at the rest of them, even eyed James for a beat before he turned, adjusted his trousers and walked away. As he passed through the exit, the dot pulsed one last time and settled onto the chair.
“When will you let bygones be bygones, Sybill?” James said.
The dot winked out in a huff.
“Well, gentlemen, it appears our cue to leave has been presented,” James said. “Shall we adjourn to our homes, or perchance a meal? I understand the diner on the corner has some nice Andiluvian sausages.”
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