Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Ghost Leaving the Ghosts

Hit - 323 Words
Kevin Foster

He moved from the rear hallway, dipping through and around party-goers clumped in groups of two and three, sliding in and out of their conversations swiftly and effortlessly, leaving sleepy, inoffensive jokes in his wake as he made his way toward the living room. A rapt girl awaited his return from the bathroom, standing there daintily in her own way on the words that he had left her with. He feigned ignorance of his charm in an attempt to be humble and to avoid abusing it, but it lived and breathed an existence in its own right, and especially at these sorts of functions, the type that indulged all the sagacious half-drunks, the smarmy philosophers in the faux suede of poor professors, and the coy and the artfully playful, sun-dressed and sad, he felt on good nights as a coach for his charm, a smartly-dressed vessel for its will, or as a helpless child latched on the leg of it on the bad. They perceived and appreciated his humility and they loved him all the more.

He made a short path through the small, dimly lit kitchen, wading through smoke and smugness and the deepest conversations of all, a congregation of those who were wise enough not to prolong their life unnecessarily. Emerging from the smoking room, his unmeasured, seemingly unaffected gaze traced an arrow and immobilized her in her spot by the dark hearth, and he flushed with guilt. If he ever knew the girl or anyone else in the house, the knowledge, the warm phantom, had left him. He called to, laughed and cried with, prodded and crushed on, but did not know these people. If they were once real, he would never know; he did not remember what it looked or felt like. Breaking his gaze, the hit of the party floated to the door and swept windlessly into a biting, cold night: unseen, unheard, a ghost leaving the ghosts.

Don't Be Scared - Andrew Bird

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