Clyde the Ghost

I’m getting real sick of fruit. I’ve been stuck in here for eight days now and the only food I’ve been able to find is fruit. Although, I suppose I should count myself lucky there’s food here at all. It’s a maze, not a bed and breakfast, but if I have to eat another cherry I’m gonna lose it.

My name’s Clyde, but my friends call me Pokey. I’m kind of an adventurer of sorts. I go place to place looking for bizarre challenges like mountain climbing without gear, swimming with sharks, free-running, generally just stuff that will get you killed. That’s how I got the name Pokey. My friends say I’m an idiot for always poking at death. I’m not dead yet, though. Anyways, when I heard there was a secret maze hidden for centuries and three people had already tried it before me, of course I ran head first into it.

II.

I’m starting to get a little worried. The longer I stay in here, the more I feel like I’m not alone. As of now, I’m only armed with a book of matches, a lantern, my lucky quarter, and some pellets I brought to leave a trail. The trail is just to track where I’ve been, not to follow back all the way to the entrance. I do not give up.

I hit a fork in the road. I can go left or right. In times like this it really doesn’t matter which way I choose. I have no more information on one than the other. So I set down my lantern and flip my lucky quarter. Heads, right. Tails, left. I grab the coin in mid-air and smack it onto my wrist. Tails.

I immediately turn my head to my now destined path and not a foot away from my face is another face. A translucent light-blue face. I freeze. The blue person was a man, young, and tall. Upon a closer look, I see he isn’t taller than me, his feet are just a few inches above the ground. He has a worried expression on his face. He hangs there, suspended in air for a brief moment. Then he moves towards my still-paralyzed body. He passes right through it as if I’m not there. I look back to see the blue person fade into the mazes darkness. Then, I give up.

Instead of listening to the gods and following the coins judgment, I decide to follow the pellet trail back to the beginning of the maze. I run as fast as possible, looking only at the trail below me out of fear of seeing another ghost. I only make it as far as the last split hallway, though. That’s as far as the pellets take me. The trail ends here? That can’t be . . . I’ve been leaving them everywhere I went. I quickly conclude that the ghost has done something. Now I’m left with the same choice as before. Right or left.

Once again I flip my quarter. Same deal. Heads, right. Tails, left. I grab the coin in mid-air and smack it onto my wrist. Tails again. Learning my lesson, I go right instead. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to trust a coin-flip again. As I analyze the coin in my hand while I walk, I notice a red glow.  I look up and see a translucent, floating red body. It’s a man who is definitely taller than me, muscular, and armed with a knife. The ghost has an intense glare that passes through me just as chillingly as the blue ghost did. I drop my lantern out of shock and it breaks. I’m blind. I can’t see the end of my nose let alone the knife-wielding ghost in front me. I panic. I scramble to find my book of matches. I begin making shrill noises involuntarily. Possibly to calm myself, more likely just because I was afraid. I find my matches and try to light one. In the darkness, I can’t see the striker. I keep missing it and end up breaking the match in two. I quickly grab a second one and slide it across the striker as if I were a samurai slashing his sword.  With the light regained, I look around. The red ghost has left.

I lie on the floor, breathing heavily. I can’t take any more. I’m going to have a heart attack. I decide to rest for a few hours.

III.

I wake up in darkness as my match had gone out. I light another and see that I’m surrounded by three ghosts. The red and blue ghosts from before, and now a pink ghost. The pink ghost is a man who wears big round glasses and in his hands are a notebook and pen. All three are clearly staring at me on the floor. Not like their gazes before that had obvious indifference for my existence.

“What do you want?” I ask, “Why are you here?” The ghosts did not reply instantly. There was a pause.

“We are not alone.”   The first to speak is the pink ghost.

“T-t-there’s a m-monster.” The blue ghost chimes in.

“Damn yellow glutton,” finally says the red ghost.

“What? A monster?” I ask. The ghosts suddenly all change to the same color, a deep blue, and fly away from me. “Wait! Tell me how to get out!” I call, but they have already disappeared.

I start to hear something behind me. An odd sound I’ve never heard before. It slowly gets louder.

“waka . . . waka . . . waka . . .”

Something’s coming.

“waka . . . Waka . . . WAKA!!”

It’s coming into vision. It’s big . . . yellow. . . It’s a mouth? A giant yellow flying mouth comes hurdling towards me. I get up and run away. But the mouth is fast.  It’s gaining on me. I look to the walls beside to me to see if there are any turns I can take, but there’s nothing. If I’m not fast enough, I’ll be eaten by this thing. The light begins flickering. I’m running too fast.  The wind is going to put my match out. I keep running begging for a door or another hallway.

It seems as if god was listening. There it was. A glorious right-turn! If I was lucky, I could hide in that hallway and the mouth will just keep moving forward.

But, on the next step I take, I slip. I look in front of me as I fall and see that I kicked up what I had slipped on . . . a pair of cherries. My back crashes into the floor and my match goes out.

Image Credit: “Ghost” by USB via CC-BY-SA 2.0 License

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