Keledril t1_jdr44q6 wrote

She used to hang by the lilies in the garden.

She wasn't Anderson's first "friend". Every now and then, somebody somewhere eventually dies with an unfinished business, and gets buried in the cemetery he works at. It was unsettling to have them around at first but he got used to it as time passed. They have been there for like, forever, as long as he could remember. And to be frank, night shifts were unbearable without the occasional chit-chat.

He had met with hundreds of others. They all would move on eventually, because Anderson wasn't called "The Caretaker" for no reason, even though no one else knew. He helped them. Before they moved on, some of them just needed to haunt their buddies as pranks. Some of them wanted their families and pets taken care of. Some of them wanted to know what happens in the finale of their favorite series or in that god damned book that never seems to come out.

But Maggie seemed to be different.

She had been here for months now and never had he ever seen her go anywhere but the gardens right across her grave. She would just sit by and watch the lilies. Sometimes deep in thought, contemplating. Sometimes smiling. And sometimes crying. Anderson would drop by from time to time but it was only small talk. She never mentioned any regrets, family to take care of or any other business lingering about, causing her soul to bind to this plane of reality.

Until the night when she suddenly popped up in Anderson's office while he was having a snack. Anderson was used to his friends being cheeky little menaces; everybody would wonder what they could do and could not do as ghosts and Anderson usually became an unwilling lab rat when they were still exploring their new being.

But he had grown used to Maggie and her sulking, he didn't expect her to appear out of nowhere.

After he was able to breath, they greeted each other and after a bit of hesitation, Maggie asked.

"Could you, umm, help me with something?"

Anderson was taken aback. He had been asking the same since she got here but he never got a response except no thanks.

"Of course. What can I help you with?"

"How does this work? What happens after?"

Anderson took off his glasses and started to clean them.

"Well, usually there is something you haven't resolved yet that binds you to this world. And until it is resolved you sort of hang around."

"Do I get to keep existing if it is resolved?"

That was a hard question Anderson wasn't ready for. Did any of them? He paused for a bit. "I... don't know. But usually people find a way to..."

Maggie interrupted her. "I know what to do. He came to visit me today, for the first time, and we... well he talked. He blames himself. If I could just ensure him..." Maggie paused.

"Then you would move on."

"Move onto where?" Maggie started pacing aroud the room as Anderson didn't reply.

"Who is he?" Anderson asked.

"My boyfriend."

"Why does he blame himself?"

Maggie sighed deeply. "It was a car accident. He swerved to avoid a deer and we hit a tree. He survived, and I... you know."

"He was lucky."

Maggie started yelling. "Lucky? Everybody blamed him, cops were on his ass. Pressure got to him and he quit his job and started drinking. He's miserable."

"And instead of doing something about it, you stared at lilies and watched him be miserable for months."

Maggie frowned. "At least I get to watch him. What's the alternative? Nothing. Darkness and void."

Anderson chuckled. "I had never seen a ghost afraid of "darkness and void" before. You probably had the same doubts when you were living. You died, ended up as a ghost and you have the same doubts again?" His humor wasn't reciprocated. Maggie kept staring at him like a stonewall. Anderson wiped the smile off his face and continued.

"Listen, one day he will think of you and realize he does not blame himself any longer. And then you will move on anyway. You can save him from blaming himself until then, and yourself from watching his misery."

Maggie looked out the window as she teared up. She tried to move the curtains, but her hands went through the cloth. Anderson moved them for her. "That seems to be the logical choice. And the right choice. For him and me. Yet it's so hard to..."

Anderson put his hand on her shoulder and comforted her. She was almost instantly soothed. Anderson asked softly, almost whispering.

"It's okay. How can I help?"

They got out of the office and started walking towards her grave.

"We should be discreet about this, right?" Maggie asked.

"Yeah, unless you want him to go insane."

"Send him some lillies. Make it a mix-up, maybe like it was for one of the neighboors but it accidentally ends up at our house?"

"Consider it done."

Maggie raised one of her eyebrows. "You thought that he would go insane if it was obvious. How come you haven't?"

Anderson smiled wrly. "Comes with the job I guess." He picked up one of the lilies and handed it to Maggie. It fell out of her transparent hands, Anderson picked it up. "Why the lilies?"

"We used to grow them together, but life got in the way. We're too busy to be gardening since we got the jobs, you know? If it works, he'll take it as a sign and hopefully it won't be too obvious."

Anderson looked up at the horizon, to the rising sun. "I should be going. If it works, good luck."

Maggie teared up once again, as they shook hands and said their farewells.

The afternoon nextday Anderson came to the cemetery\ checked the garden, and then Maggie's grave. She was no where to be found, but the lilies he sent were on her grave.


Keledril t1_iuk5akh wrote


The Monster gave up after running and running and running... He leaned down for a bit, took a breather and his screamed at the top of his lungs in the empty suburb street.


He looked ahead, at the person he was supposed to scare, who had already put quite a safe distance between. He turned around and yammered on as he walked back and clanked his scissor-hands.

"Fucking Kyle and his motherfucking victims. Where is that shithead?! Arghhh, the moment I lay my hands on him! How many times does he need to do this? Unbelievable. Can't even trust your coworkers these days."

The Monster heard footsteps approaching him from behind. Someone running.

"Is there a problem? Ha ha!"

The Monster quickly turned around, agile like a cat, swinged his scissor-hands at the Victim in the blink of an eye... and he dodged it.

"Whoops. Can't touch this, sucker!" The Victim danced and singed provoacatively as the Monster tried to get his bearings after missing his blow. As he rose, the Victim was already meters away, laughing and running.

The failure, the shame, the incompetence... It all weighed heavily on the Monster's shoulders. He dropped down to his knees, screaming once again, his voice cracking this time, and sobbing.


A man in a suit emerged from the shadows, expressionless. "What?!"

"Kyle please. Tell me you are joking. Tell me that this is some sort of an elaborate prank. This can't be real!"

"Get it together man, and go scare him!"

"How am I supposed to scare him if I can't catch him Kyle, huh?!"

"Go ride a bike or something!"

The Monster waved his scissor-hands. Kyle shrugged. The Monster continued, still breathing heavily.

"Listen, you don't understand. This week was a nightmare. First it was the parkour guy at the city. Then the second coming of Michael Phelps at the beach. Now this, in the streets? You gotta be fucking kidding me Kyle. Why do you keep kidnapping these people? Is it me that we are trying to scare here? What are we trying to make me afraid of, heart attacks?"

"Come on, we've been over this before. I only do the kidnapping, marks are chosen by the management. There's nothing personal here."

"I got kids Kyle. Someone has to bring the bread to the table. This is the only job I could find. My reviews are down the toilet. Tell me, is it the new manager?"

Kyle's eyebrows rose. "I am not at liberty to say, really."

The Monster suddenly pinned him down on the ground in an instant and raised his scissor-hands.

"I swear I'm gonna do it Kyle! Tell me!"

Kyle immediately squirmed and spilled.

"Yes, it's the new manager! She says you scared her when she was a child!"

The Monster rose up and gave Kyle a hand. "Huh. Well, on the bright side I can still scare you."

"Wouldn't count on that. She can be scarier than you."

"Don't push it Kyle, you're not a runner."