Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ghost Roast

November 1st.

It's too late for a Halloween story, you realize. It's the day after. It's too late.

That's never stopped me before, you realize. If it's one thing Spiral Reverie readers love, it's waiting forever for posts that may or may not be excruciatingly disappointing. The greatest thing about me is when I'm not there at all. All those spaces are left unfilled, overflowing with suffocating potential.

I'm my most intriguing when I'm a ghost. When the mystery thrives over whether or not the blog's finally dead. But it's never dead. It's one of the only things that'll outlast the end of civilization. Not even the end of the internet, the end of servers, or the end of language could destroy this blog.

No. The end is just the beginning. The beginning is never the end. Burgers are waffles. If those drums in your ears were timpani, you'd have headaches all the time.

And now in the spirit of whatever the hell that just was, another attempt at beginning to post content here again for a while. Starting with the nonsense from me you love most. ANOTHER RIDICULOUS STORY.

Ghost Roast

"It's going to be spooktacular," said Phantasmo, as though he'd invented the variation of the word. "This year's Ghost Roast will totally knock everybody's socks off. If they still wore socks. But they don't, because they're dead and lack the necessary appendages for that." Overexplaining everything was a character flaw of Phantasmo's that allowed the rest of his gang. 

"Yeah, it starts in what, five minutes? Nobody's here yet," observed Specterclus, pushing his ghost glasses up on the bridge of his ghost nose. Nobody really understood how that worked or how the glasses even existed, least of all Specterclus himself.

The Ghostly Gang, as they liked to call themselves - in no way original, by the way, as there were at least 4,000 other groups of ghosts registered in the MostGhost social network going by the same lazy name - had booked the Spooky Manor #7324 Theater weeks in advance for their newly planned annual Ghost Roast, where ghosts could gather to roast that year's subject to raise money for a good cause.

"I'm the host," said Boober. "Ghost Roast Host. That's me. I may not have had people skills when I was alive, but boy do I know how to work a dead crowd."

"You didn't believe in ghosts when you were alive," said Specterclus. "Ghosts are still technically people."

"Were people," Phantasmo butted in. "People aren't really people anymore when they're dead. We don't even look like people. That guy who designed the game with the yellow circle who overdosed on pills? That guy must have died at some point. You're supposed to be the smart one, Specterclus."

Specterclus's ethereal glasses fogged up in indignation. But then, taking a deep breath - which is pretty strange when you consider that ghosts don't even have lungs - he calmed down. There was no point in getting mad at Phantasmo. This was probably why that mugger stabbed him to death. Instead of accepting that he'd been mugged, he thought he'd made a new friend and just wouldn't let the poor guy go. Nothing ruins a good mugging quite like an uncomfortably oversociable victim. That's just poor mugging etiquette.

"Obviously every part of this is poorly planned," said Specterclus. "But in the spirit of my supposedly being the smart one, I suppose I should ask - we've picked a cause, right?"

"It's for a good cause," said Boober.

"I know that, but we have to be more specific," insisted Specterclus. "What good cause is this roast going to support? What is it that we're expecting our fellow ghosts to rally around beyond the hurling of insults?"

"A good cause," repeated Boober.

"You don't have anything," said Specterclus.

"What is a good cause, anyway?" asked Phantasmo. "What do we ghosts really like in the first place? I mean, besides scaring children, causing heart attacks in the elderly - more ghosts! - and occasionally a nice biscotti. Also rotting old houses, possessing people and working them like puppets. Then there's reruns of Scooby Doo's Space Race, hiding under staircases, and let's not forget the Ghost Olympics!"

"The Ghost Olympics don't exist," said Specterclus.

"It's attitudes like yours that keep them from getting off the ground."

"It was Yogi's Space Race, not Scooby Doo's," Boober chimed in.

"So we have no cause. Great. And what, there's about a minute and a half left before this thing starts? No cause, and let me guess - no roastee," groaned Specterclus.

"Don't look at me," said Specterclus. "You were the one who put me in charge of booking the roastee. All my new friends keep running away. I think they're trying to get some kind of game of hide and seek going, but probably don't have the communication skills necessary to make that clear. All my new friends are socially inept. Also, ghost hide and seek doesn't really work. I can barely see you guys and you're right here."

Specterclus was speechless.

"Hey, we could roast this piece of toast!" suggested Boober, holding up the ghost of a burnt piece of toast. "You're kind of a milquetoast, ya know that?"

"Stop that - do you want to write the Ghost Post's headline for tomorrow?" Specterclus sighed. "Ghost Roast Toast. That's what they'll say. With toast as the verb, not roast. In case there was any confusion."

"I'm hungry," said Phantasmo.

"Don't even think about it, man," warned the toast ghost. "I'm burnt on all sides, if you know what I mean."

Just when things seemed like they couldn't get any worse, that jerk had to show up.

"Hey HEY!" the doors burst open - not really, ghosts can't exert that kind of force on doors - and in strutted none other than the Roast Ghost. He was the world's one and only whole roast chicken to produce a ghost. "I hear you turkeys are throwin' at party for me!" As he shouted from the hole where his head had once been, he did a little dance with his wings and drumsticks. For some reason, this cute little dance made him extra popular with lady ghosts, even though you'd think attraction would be a non-issue with ectoplasmic entities entirely void of the capability for trivial things like desire.

"Get out of here, Roast Ghost! This isn't your party!" shouted Specterclus.

"No can do, turkeys!" Roast Ghost continued his dance. "This thing's got the Roast Ghost basted all over it!"

"How do you talk?" Boober asked, going ignored.

"Look, there's only the three of us here in this empty building-" Specterclus started.

"Hey!" shouted the toast ghost. "I may not want to be here, but you don't forget this guy! My name's-"

"There's three of us and that thing," Specterclus continued. "There's no party for you to crash this time, Roast Ghost."

"I saw those flyers! There were like six of them down 'round Ghost Coast!" Roast Ghost just kept dancing.

"This was all a bad idea. We were supposed to start this roast three minutes ago. Now we're just a bunch of stupid ghosts in a house," said Specterclus.

"We could always haunt this place," Phantasmo said.

"What are you, stupid?"

"On second thought, you turkeys just keep doin' what yer doin'," said Roast Ghost. "Me 'n toasty here're gonna go make breadcrumbs down in that alley 'round the way."

"I don't even know what that means but at least I have no concept of pain," said the toast ghost.

Silence fell across the empty theater. The roast really was toast.

Finally, Phantasmo spoke. "Guys, why don't we have more friends?"


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