- it’s 3 am and I’m still in the library studying for finals and I’m losing my grip on reality and I think I just saw a ghost
Frank Doyle was not, in fact, afraid of any ghost. Spending your teens exorcizing demons and slaying sinister supernaturals will do that. He could handle specters, spooks, werewolves, wolveweres, goblins, hobgoblins, gobhoblins, and nearly any other baddie you could care to name without breaking a sweat. Without breaking into his flask, that was another matter, and no one’s business but his.
So he was not afraid of any ghost.
He was, though, afraid of no ghost.
Because ghosts he could handle. He could deal with ghosts, fight with ghosts, make fun of ghosts, send ghosts to where they should have gone when they died. But he couldn’t handle no ghost. If there was no ghost, that meant he was out of options. That meant he was alone, and afraid, and unable to prevent it, because there wasn’t anything there.
Having an empty flask at 3am didn’t help. Studying alone in the library didn’t help. Suddenly wishing Catharine was by his side certainly didn’t help.
He attempted to get the last few vapors of ethanol out of his flask. Nope. Nothing left. Just like his life. So what if he made it to college? Catherine didn’t. So what if he could face down anything from beyond the pale? He was alone. So what of anything? He almost didn’t see the point anymore-
A squawky cry cut off his maudlin thoughts. That, unless he missed his guess, was a pterodactyl. So there was a ghost!
Frank slowly stood, grabbing one of the books from the table. Martini’s Through the Ages, good enough. He had a flashlight on his keyring, that would do for a candle. But a bell, he might have to go downstairs to the help desk for a bell, and the dinosaur could be anywhere by the time he got back.
Nothing for it. Quietly, he pushed his chair out of his way, greatful that the carpet muffled the sound. He tiptoed his way down the stacks, hearing no further noises, until the door to the stairwell opened.
Behind the door was another student, wide-eyed and sleep deprived. He looked left and right, then at Frank. ”I have,” the student said, “a strange-sounding question, but I want you to answer it seriously.”
Frank put his finger to his lips. ”Sure, okay, but keep it down, there’s the ghost of a dinosaur up here.”
The boy’s eyes lit. ”Harvey!” he shouted. He ran past Frank, weaving up and down the stacks. ”Harvey! Harvey?”
Frank winced at each yell. This kid was going to get himself possessed. Nothing for it, he’d have to run. He caught the door as it was closing, and bolted down the stairs.