Cameron grew obsessed. He’d spent this week’s check
on a hefty bag of pot and tobacco. His pipes and bongs surrounded him in a
tight circle in the cluttered dark room. All the windows were closed and locked
and his phone off and hidden. Nothing would disturb him.
It happened two weeks ago. Normal night after a long
day at work. Feet throbbing and back aching, Cameron had flopped down on his
beat up couch and lit up his bong. He sucked in the smoke and blew out after
filling his lungs with the beautiful haze of bliss. There on his couch, the
room grew cooler. Smaller. Darker. Then, through the wisps of smoke, a man’s
face appeared. Barely noticeable, but still there, staring at him. Cameron
thought nothing of it at first; smoke created shapes all the time. The face
lingered, though. Eyes, mere black holes and mouth gaping in a silent scream.
It sat in his view for a full minute. Then it was gone.
Day after day, the face came again, the mouth gaping
less and the eyes forming pupils of recognition. Then a neck. A chest. Arms.
Waist. It went on and on. Cameron paid attention to it all. He couldn’t say how
it was happening nor would he invite anyone to see this little phenomenon.
They’d probably say he’d been extremely too high for his own good. That could be
true. He’d been like this every day since then. He performed poorly at his job.
His girlfriend broke up with him, although, that wasn’t anything new; they’ll
be back together by next week. That’s was a story for another day though. His
ghost needed his finishing touches.
That’s what he called it. The man in a steel gray
striped three piece suit, tailored to perfection. Fedora hat crisp and clean.
Next, he’ll have long fingers and inky black polished shoes. Then maybe onyx
cufflinks clasped to his creased suit and bleached white button up. The man
would have lived in the 50s, with five kids and a lovely wife. Came upon riches
through either his gangster lifestyle or maybe through an idea that he and his
business partner came up with in a rundown apartment.
Cameron gave a wobbly grin, red puffy eyes watering
and limbs feeling heavy. His ghost now had ten fingers smoothing out his suit
jacket. Cameron’s eyes began to droop, but he popped them open wide and shook
his head lightly. Or did he? He could barely remember much of anything anymore,
but giving Robert (that’s what he named his new friend) a life outside the
pipes and bongs and rolled up cigar papers.
Robert stood rigid through the miasma; he was
finally completed. The older man looked down at himself appreciatively. Cameron
had to say he was a masterpiece.
“Hey man, welcome to the real world,” Cameron
His smoky ghost glanced up at him, straightening his
tie. He said nothing, but what he did, gave Cameron’s dizzy mind pause. An
eerie smile came upon the ghost’s face, unusually wide and teeth sharp as
“It’s good to be here,” Robert’s distorted voice