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Last FFF: What the Highway Prefers


Dead doesn’t always mean gone. Trust me on this, I’m something of an expert. I died sixteen years ago. Okay, so I suppose that’s not that long in the grand scheme of things. You could say that I’m something of a baby ghost. But believe me, you don’t want to meet the old ones. They’ve lost their minds. Or, what passes for a mind when you don’t have a physical body.

I miss my body and interacting with the physical world. Not that I can’t do it, I can if I try. I do it as little as possible. Not because I’m concerned with the effect of haunting people. Honestly, it sounds kind of fun.

No, I don’t interact with the physical world because it would kill me. Like, really kill me. I know what you’re thinking. I said I had died. It’s true. But there’s death, and then there’s nothingness.

There’s some ghost lore out there. Not as much stuff as there is on vampires, werewolves, skinny-man, or whoever, basically things that don’t exist. I can’t tell you how many nights I sat around cemeteries, just waiting for a vampire to rise. Hey, what else did I have to do? After many long and wasted nights, I’ve come to the conclusion that those things are tales.

It’s fine. Most of the things I can find on those beings is modern literature. I mean, yes, vampires and werewolves go back to the Greek, but they didn’t really take off until people realized it was something you could murder people they didn’t like just by claiming they saw them turn into a dog. Did you know that there were as many people executed on suspicion of being a werewolf as there were for being witches?

Witches, on the other hand, there’s something there. Most psychics are scammers, but there are a couple real ones. Not that they’d help out a ghost. They get bombarded so often that they have to build mystical bubbles around themselves. A sort of forcefield against the non-body having type.

Which brings me back to what I was saying. Ghost lore. Most of what I’ve found is ancient, like, really, really old. We’re talking tribal. I think, that on some level, people know that death isn’t always the end, and have been making up things to tell themselves since the dawn of consciousness to comfort them, since the only way to really know is by dieing. And communication after the fact isn’t exactly easy. There’s a whole host of fail safes to make certain that the living don’t remember the dead. After they’ve died. Something about compression of the universe, some understanding that our species isn’t ready for, mass suicides… it’s complicated.

There is a lot of ghost speculation that is ridiculous. One thing that I’ve seen in a few places is the idea that ghost are made up of energy. That we’re an echo of our former selves, comprised completely of our consciousness. That it lives on, so to speak, even without a body.

Neat, right? Wrong. Everything I do expels energy. If I want to ride in a car and not just have it go through me, energy. Heck, even jut moving myself, keeping myself on the ground, walking around, sitting, it all takes energy. I can’t eat to replenish it. I have discovered that I have a finite amount of energy within myself. If I spend it all, that’s it. Poof.

I didn’t believe it at first. After all, how could there be old ones? We must either have a huge amount of energy, or they must spend most of their time floating aimlessly, expending little to no energy. Maybe that’s why they’re so crazy. If we are the mind, and we deplete our energy, then we’re depleting our mind. I’d shudder at the thought, but that’d be a waste of energy.

I knew this guy once. He was younger than me. In a how-long-have-you-been-dead sort of way. We had been alive about the same length of time, he was born after me. But still, we were friends. Until he met this chick. And by met, I meant haunted.

It was love at first stalk. I told him not to waste his energy on her. Get it? But he wouldn’t listen. He followed her, and fell deeper and deeper. She was so much trouble. She had gotten herself involved with the stabby types.

I suppose it wasn’t really her fault. Wrong place, wrong time situation. Remember how I told you there were psychics? Well, she was one of them and a newbie to the practice. My buddy was the first ghost she’d ever met.

Of course, they fell in love. He began bringing her gifts. He even cooked for her. A ghost, cooking! He made himself live more and more in the physical world, as if he was alive.

He started getting ticks. Saying strange things. He reminded me of the old ones. But he wouldn’t stop, despite my warnings. It was nice to have someone not dead to talk to, but not worth the cost.

One day while me and my friend were hanging out at her apartment, Mr. Stabby showed up. There was a struggle, and my friend threw himself in the middle of it. He managed to impale the guy on his own knife.

Ghosts are normally a little see-though, but he got really transparent. He had the hue of an azure mist. Knowing his time was near the end, he went over to her, and kissed her. It used up the last of his energy, and he was gone.

I know he didn’t regret it. He thought it was better to live a shorter existence with her, then to live long without her. Maybe he was right. I don’t know, I’ve never been in love. What I do know, is that I’m staying here as long as possible.