The Ghostly Man

The sun shone brightly down from the sky, casting its light upon the all but one. The man hiding beneath the umbrella, if he may be called that, seemed to float down the street calling even more attention to his ghostly appearance. Weaving through the crowded street he caught the attention of all he passed, leaving them scratching their heads.

He reached the oldest storefront on the street, and stepped beneath the shadow of its canopy, elegantly tucking away his umbrella. The shopkeeper greeted him with an air of familiarity, knowing exactly what he’d come for. The shopkeeper climbed an old wood ladder and pulled a corked mason jar from the back of the highest shelf. The man asked the shopkeeper if the white plaster would cure his curse. The shopkeeper smiled and said of course, but it comes at a price.

The man has been through so much this last year, he would do anything to feel warm embrace of the sun once more. The shopkeeper leaned in and whispered the price. The man stumbled backwards, his face contorted to a look of disgust. The shopkeeper told him that if he wanted the plaster he must replace the ingredients used to make it. He ran out the door of the shop right into the sun, his skin started to blister, his eyes began drying out, he screamed in agony! He ran back towards the canopy. Safely under its shade he fell to the ground, rolling back and forth across the cool sidewalk. As he rolled his mind blacked out from the pain, the shopkeeper pulled him in. The shopkeeper stood over him and asked him if he would pay the price now, he screamed that he would pay anything.

Once the plaster was on his body, he stopped screaming. It was so refreshing, like an ice bath on a hot summer day. His skin started healing, as it healed he could see it was darker. No longer, was he a ghost! He ran out into the high noon sun once more.

He paused. Wow, how beautiful, he thought. He looked around seeing once again the splendor of the light. It had been so many years, since that awful curse had been placed upon him. The shopkeeper pulled him from his trance it was time to pay up, his cost to live again was due. His face sunk, he knew what he had to do. He wished he would have burned to death now, but alas the bargain was struck.

That night he walked once more in the shadows. He walked from store to store, placing little bombs on their brick edifices. Next he walked from home to home, placing circles of gasoline. When he reached the end of the town, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a matchbox. He lit the match with a swift strike on his stubbled cheek, and as he dropped it he shed just a single tear. He turned his back, as the blue embers ran streaking circles throughout the town.

He counted to ten, then pressed send on his small handheld phone. Booom! Explosions erupted sending anything not yet ablaze, into an even brighter flame. The sun was hidden behind the plumes of white smoke that rose from the burning screaming town. White ashes sprinkled onto him, that same white as the plaster, his debt was paid.

—–Thanks for reading!

-C.Friedman

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