The Boy and his Ghoul
I can hear the rain falling against the sidewalk thick and fast outside. Every now and then I also hear Pandora turn the page to her comic book. I can’t sleep.
She looks at me as I sit up. She’s over by the desk, huddled under the nightlight, the bright yellow pouring through her translucent frame and onto the pages of the Walking Dead trade she’s so engrossed in.
“You okay?” she asks quietly.
“Yeah,” I say, “I’m stupidly tired but I can’t sleep.” Pandora smiles to herself but tries to hide it.
“What is it?” I continue
“That’s exactly how I feel all the time.”
I grimace. Pandora’s existence is a strange one. Bound to a single place. She can walk right through walls but when it comes to leaving this house she simply can’t. Stopped by some ethereal force, she says.
“Being dead must suck,” I say inconsiderately.
“Yep, but not as much as these guys,” she says, tapping on the zombies on the pages in front of them.
“Don’t be dumb,” I say, “zombies aren’t real.”
“Says the guy talking to a ghost?” She asks with a grin.
“You guys are prolific. Zombies are fairytales. There’s a difference.”
She doesn’t say anything. Instead she turns the page and reads on. Resting against the headboard I will consciousness to lose itself in the murky depths of a rest long needed. It rudely refuses. We’ve conquered so much as a species but we just can’t beat ourselves.
“Am I a nuisance?” she suddenly asks without turning to face me. I can tell she’s been building the courage to ask it. Probably for days. Come to think of it, she hadn’t made an appearance since Tuesday.
“You been meaning to ask that for a while?” I say, taking the pack of Lucky Sevens from the bedside table and placing it between my lips. She doesn’t say anything.
“Pandora, you’re the farthest thing from a nuisance in my life.”
“Really?” She asks, elated.
“No,” I retort, “you think it’s convenient to have a ghost haunting your bedroom the entire time?”
I’m being mean for the sake of it. I don’t know why. Just bored I guess. She looks hurt.
“I’m just messing,” I sigh, “you freaked me out at first. You know that. But I’ve got used to having you around.”
She looks at me, her wide eyes prompting me to continue,
“Seriously, Pan, don’t ever think you’re trouble. I can get just as lonely as you.”
“Being lonely sucks,” she says quietly.
“You’re damn right. We gotta stick together. S’not every boy that gets himself his very own spirit-friend. I’m a lucky one, that’s for sure.”
This seems to cheer Pandora up considerably. She stands up and walks to the foot of my bed, climbing over the frame and sitting on the covers. I don’t know why exactly she decided to come over, but we look at each other for a little while until I realize I’m not really all here anymore, that my time is split between this world and that of my dreamscapes, and that me and a very corporeal version of Pandora aren’t taking an elephant ride through New Delhi, but you know what, I’m cool with this. I always wanted to see India.
Pandora Post Mortem was always one of my biggest regrets I had the idea of a man and his ghost friend for a while before I wrote part one, which seems like forever ago, by the way, but I didn’t quite do it justice. For months after that I really kicked myself for failing the idea like that. Letting it down.
I wanted to come back to it time and time again but I never did. Today I kind of thought, it’s now or never. I’m not sure I really nailed it this time, either, but I went some way in repairing the messy damage of before. It’s a simple story of friends who are friends for all the wrong reasons, perhaps, but who know they belong together. Bound by something they can’t quite put their finger on. I’m very interested in carrying this on post-BPD, but for now I’m glad I managed to scribble something down that I’m happy with. To right a wrong. Hope you guys liked it too.