I would like to preface this story by saying that I don't really know anything about ghosts, so I would appreciate it if no one complained about "inaccuracies," as they are bound to exist. (Although how can one be "inaccurate" regarding something no one really knows about?) Incongruencies, however, are a problem I would like addressed if you find them. Without further ado...

Yams: A Ghost Story
Chapter 1 is Boring

Being a ghost is boring. Sure, the first few stages are exciting. There's the very beginning, when you're all traumatized, and though unpleasant, trauma is not boring. Then after the trauma wears off, there's the "whee this is fun" stage, which is also not boring, because there are so many new abilities to explore. Then there's the angry stage, when you're pissed that you're going to be like this forever, and you take out your frustrations on young married couples and whatnot. Also not pleasant, but not boring. When the anger ebbs, there's nothing left. Just moments of hollow enjoyment at scaring people, which become fewer and farther between, because you just don't want to anymore. I think I lounged around and literally did nothing for about a month. I just floated and thought, and every once in a while, someone would walk through me and interrupt my lazing. Being walked through is something I don't think I will ever get used to, because there's always that part where you bump into the person's soul, and you go dissipating everywhere.

Though I have learned a lot in the last twenty-or-so years, I still don't know if one can ever stop being a ghost. In the movies they claim that finishing "unfinished business" cures one of ghostliness, but I don't remember having anything that needed doing when I died. For a few years I did try that method, thought of every little thing I had wanted to do in my short life, and tried to complete this list. I learned piano, much to the horror of the family living in the house at the time, read every book on the bookshelf, scoured the dictionary for typos (only found one), learned Spanish by watching the soap operas on the Spanish-language channels. But none of this worked, so I wound up able to play a few songs on the piano, able to understand Spanish, able to say I'd read every Perry Mason ever written, and still a ghost. Next, I tried convincing the family living in the house to perform an exorcism. This is easier said than done. On TV they alwaysperform an exorcism, but people in real life just move away. Which was too bad, because the family who moved in next were home a lot more, so I didn't have the run of the house like I was used to. I spent most of my time watching their two young boys play video games, and, when everyone was finally asleep or gone, I would play the games too. Got pretty good at Mario Cart. Well, as good as a ghost can be at a video game, what with all those tiny buttons and all.

I guess I should tell you that ghosts can sleep, but we don't have to. I once went a whole month and a half without sleeping, just to see where the limit is, but when you have twenty-four whole hours in every day to fill with activities, it gets really boring. I would say on an average day I spend about thirteen to fourteen hours asleep. Maybe it wouldn't be so boring if I could leave the property, but as it is, there's a barrier of some kind, and I haven't found a way through yet.

I still remember the day that the couple moved in. They were in their fifties or sixties, had a big shaggy dog, and a lot of books. They also had a son and daughter, both of whom were in college. As I watched them, I thought about how both kids were an even blend of their parents. Usually there's at least one kid who takes mostly after just one parent. The two students lugged a big box up into the boy's room, and he stayed behind to open it. Out of curiosity, I stayed and watched him. To my amusement, he pulled out all kinds of ghost-hunting gadgets. Those things never really worked. I had never actually had an amateur ghost-hunter live in my house before, so to be honest, I was a little excited. I wondered if by some fluke, one of the things would actually work properly and catch my voice or something.

I didn't have to wait long for him to start "hunting" me. That very night he sneaked around the house with his temperature gauge and audio recording device. He also had some sort of infrared filter on his camera. I floated by a couple times, but he didn't see me through the lens, so I gave up on that and tried speaking into the recording device. I practiced my Spanish and threw in some ghostly phrases in English like "he killed me in the dark" and "help me." The look on his face would be priceless, if he could hear me on the tape.

Later, before he went to bed, he rewound the footage from the house, and the audio tape, and began replaying both. I watched half-bored as he looked intently at the little TV and popped a Cheeto into his mouth. Suddenly, I heard, clear as day, "Help me." My voice. He went rigid, then scrambled around and rewound the tape, then listened again. "Help me," I said again. I couldn't believe it, the stupid thing had worked! The look of terror on his face as his eyes darted around the room wasn't as funny as I had thought it would be. Oh well, I mused to myself, at least I know someone can sort of hear me. I knocked a couple books off his dresser, just for good measure, and he screamed and fainted. That was funny, and I laughed until I dissipated a little.


Ok, I've split up the paragraphs. Guess I forgot to this time, sorry!