Saturday, March 08, 2014

Secret of the New Clock

He is here, and so this home has no other ghosts beside him. He pulls silence about himself as he walks between rooms, making no noises and giving none in turn. He calls himself Dyer, though he has other names, and he is the only ghost barred from the grey lands, the only one able to be solid as the living in the waking worlds. And all it cost him is their hatred, for a ghost who is a ghost-eater is not like other ghost at all.

But he is still dead for all of that, for all that he is, and the dead do not sleep. So he walks in a bid to outpace memory, building traps inside his head. He loved once – he is not sure when, quite, and all he remembers is her name. It is a price, to guard against the memories of other deeds he has done. There are things other than ghosts that haunt the world between words, and he has faced down and destroyed many things in his time. Often, they deserved it. Sometimes they did not.

There was a ghost here, but it fled at his arrival and will not return again. The dead fear him in ways the living do not fear death, and sometimes it seems too much to bear. But he bears it even so. There is a reason – his love, answers to some question – but he has buried it deep inside. It is a hard thing, to be a ghost and not hate the living, so he eats his own hates as if they were ghosts, remembers his duty, moves on.

His fellow CASPER agent sleeps in a spare bed, guarded by a god that lives inside her. That Dyer still finds this odd gives him small comfort, that in a hundred years he has not lost that much of himself. Even dead, he can be surprised. Even being the death of ghosts – not a title he claims, but one he knows he is sometimes given, like the Grand Exorcist and other foolish terms – has not removed all that he was when alive.

There is a new clock in the living room, a restored grandfather clock. Dyer reaches a hand into it, find gears, twists them a little. In the morning they will tell Mrs. Bunwether that the odd noises she heard were just her new clock and nothing more. And she, not wanting to see her house devalued by rumours of ghosts, will never think to disagree. 

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