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Short Story Collection

When Spirits Talk


The spirit world, which doesn’t actually exist, is a really screwed up world. You have ghosts and goblins; fiends, spirits and voodoo; phantoms and specters; apparitions, spooks and demons; fables, tall tales and Hollywood.

“Man, I’;m sick and tired of this ’;Boogie Man’ crap. ’;Go to sleep now or the boogie man will get you!’ I’ve never snatched any kid. I’ve never even seen a kid. It really sucks”, the Boogie Man was whining to a guy grinning like a clown. Now, that was a good choice.

This guy, in what passed for sympathy from him, said, “Who gives a rat’s ass? Me, I figure I’m an substantial factor of Darwin’s Theory of survival of the fittest. I butcher people, sure, but exclusively in their dreams. How asinine is that? Some imbecile dreams about me and I’m capable of killing them. I catch them in their teen years too. Usually I get them before they reproduce, not that they're little angels. The way I see it, I’m cleaning up the gene pool. Anyone senseless enough to die just because they have nightmares of me killing them shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce anyway. That’s my take on the whole thing.”

“Man, you’re a sicko, you know that?”, the Boogie Man told him.

“Well, isn’t that nice? As Shakespeare once wrote, ’;Ah, to sleep, perchance to dream’. You do dream don’t you, Boogie Man?”, Nightmare responded.

“No, I don’t. I don’t sleep either so don’t start up your crap with me.”

The Devil, who is real and thinks he rules the dark side, was a little bit leery of the Nightmare man himself. The guy wasn’t real so the Devil couldn’t do anything about him or to him. Still, the Devil would like to take a snooze but was scared to. The guy was a treacherous one and you couldn’t be sure at which moment he might show up. Satan was tired of him and tired period.

Jocko, the ghost, wasn’t the least bit afraid of the wacko. Jocko thought he just needed a friend and he’d be that friend. Jocko got on everyone’s nerves. No one liked him. Old Mr. Bad Dreams wished the little piece of mist and shadow would sleep and dream. He really, really wished this. Everyone else did too. Satan said he’d give back a couple of souls for just one dream for Jocko, the little, sissified goofball.

The Thing That Goes Bump In The Night came stumbling up. It just stood there. It couldn’t talk, it could only make bumping noises. It was Morse Code but no one in the Spirit world knew it so it was just a pain in the butt. It got on everyone’s nerves. They couldn’t do anything about it though. The Nightmare hated it with a passion.

“He woke up some of my intended victims. Then they were too frightened to go back to sleep. I hate The Thing That Goes Bump In The Night. I'd love to catch him sleeping and dreaming”, he griped. This hurt Bumpy's feelings but all it could do was bump louder and louder, further annoying everyone.

The Squeaky Door was the real annoyance. It would just be there squeaking away. The Thing That Goes Bump In The Night would then bump louder and the Squeaky Door would squeak louder and faster and so on. Combined, they really pissed people off.

“God, what I’d give for a can of DW40”, the Boogie Man said.

“Hey! Watch that language!”, the Devil would yell out.

The true horror to the spirits was Psycho. Even Nightmare was terrified of him. No one knew who Psycho was when he wasn’t being whatever he might be at any given moment. Psycho would come to you whether you were asleep or awake. When he was done with you, you weren't going to be either one. He didn't care about dreams, only psychotic episodes. He was the ultimate nightmare. Mr Nightmare could only get to you in your sleep. Psycho could get you anytime.

The Boogie Man remarked, “It could be one of us. It could even be that Jocko dude. No one could be as good and pleasant as Jocko. Maybe Jocko has a split personality.”

The Psycho answered that with, “Jocko doesn’t even have one personality let alone two.”

“Hey you, you're not a nice person”, Nightmare told him.

Satan, sitting off to one side with his chief demon, Liarliar Pantsonfire, was shaking his head and saying, “Humans say that life is a bitch and then you die. Well, if they think life’s a bitch, wait until they die.” '

  The Spirit Life

It took Thomas a couple of days to realize he was a spirit. As he left the office after a day with no bitching from his boss, Charlie felt odd. It occurred to him in the elevator to the garage that he’d gotten no complaint from Old Man Chambers. Still, as the elevator door opened, Thomas expected to see the old man waiting.

No one there! Thomas slipped out of the elevator and looked around. It would be just like Chambers to hide behind a pillar or the dumpster. The rats in the dumpster wouldn’t notice Chambers. Just another rat. No movement.

Thomas got in the car, after checking the backseat. He turned on the engine and looked at the garage door. Go for it! Thomas was hitting 60 when he got to the gate. He didn’t stop. The bars flew away. Yes, some damage to the car but it was worth it. This was a first!

The next day, Old Man Chambers was polite to Thomas. No criticism; no remarks; nothing. Thomas again sneaked out and rammed through the new gate. He wasn’t taking any chances. Two days in a row! The third day, Chambers asked Thomas to look at a proposal and give his opinion of it. Thomas was waiting for the joke but it never came. Thomas left that night both confident and worried. Something was wrong.

On the way home it hit him. He was dead! He was a restless spirit, roaming around his old haunts. He felt alive and real but he knew he really wasn’t. He drove home without waiting on traffic lights. He didn’t watch his speed and didn’t touch his brake petal.

He greeted his wife as if she was actually there. She seemed to feel as if she was there but Thomas didn’t think so. He popped a beer before supper. It tasted great. It was the best beer he’d ever had. More evidence he was a spirit. Even the supper tasted great. Thomas thought this being a spirit was pretty good. He’d decide later, after the lovin’, as the song goes.

WOW! Thomas wished he’d died years earlier. WOW!

Thomas decided to go to the office in the morning. He didn’t want to but felt drawn to it. He guessed that was what spirits did. Everyone greeted him as they usually did. Thomas guessed he was still visible. Wonder when that changed? He went to his office and sat in his chair. He wasn’t going to do anything, just sit there.

Old Man Chambers came into the office. Thomas smiled at him. Heck, maybe he hadn’t been so bad.

“Well, well, well. So, you all over being insane?”

  Lab Monkeys


The lab monkeys were sitting around talking about how ridiculous and naive humans were. The monkeys knew how to open their cages or, as the humans called them, “enclosed habitats.“ They were cages. The monkeys had raided the refrigerator which would set off a uproar in the morning with the humans screaming and all accusing each other of stealing snacks and drinks. The monkeys always got a good laugh out of that.

The monkeys had already changed some of the data on the computers. The humans tended to ignore it when monkeys stared at them working on their computers. The monkeys had all the passwords. Humans were getting the wrong ideas from their research and the monkeys decided to alter some of the facts. Humans don’t do well with the right ideas and are just plain cockamamie with the wrong idea. Robert, as the humans called him, was saying how goofy humans were.“Look at them. No hair. I’d be embarrassed to have no hair. No wonder they wear clothes. It’s always the right temperature in here and they still wear clothes, the senseless twits."

“Yea, even Elana. Man, that’s one hot babe. I mean, for a human”, Carl said.

“She’d be a hot babe as a monkey. A little funny looking with hairless skin...what am I thinking?”, Robert responded.

The monkeys were in a mood this night to really jam up the works for the humans. They didn’t just change the results of this week’s work, they deleted it. They changed the numbers on their tags. Then they changed all the passwords. There! Let the geeky humans fix that! Next they took all the stool samples and mixed them together and put a little back in each container. The humans would think there was an epidemic going around. Probably would be now. The monkeys had forgotten to put on gloves.

Barbara, with three a’s, brought up a good point.

“That means we’ll all have to get shots. How clever was this?”

“We get shots all the time anyway, so what? I just wish they’d give us whatever that happy guy gives himself when no human is looking. He seems to like it”, Carl told her.

“You know, I can’t figure these humans out. Why all this fuss and bother? At home, we get up when we want, eat when we’re hungry, play when we’re in the mood, have sex any time a babe says yes and sleep when we’re tired. Why all this fuss?”, Robert brought up.

“I guess that’s just the way they are. Oh, and Robert? I’m not in the mood”, Barbara told him. Robert went into a funk and really wished he could get one of those happy shots- or another monkey. He wasn’t all that fussy.

That got Robert thinking. He suggested that they do an escape. Maybe head over to the Interstate and stop traffic and play “catch me if you can” with the police. The monkeys loved this game. The cops would get real close and the monkey would scurry away laughing to beat all. The police always wanted to start shooting after an hour or so. The monkeys had to watch the time. Those humans had no sense of humor. They did have a huge vocabulary of cuss-words.

Henry piped up at this.“Oh, I don’t know. We did that just last week. We’re in a rut. We need to think up something else."

“I have an idea. Let’s jam the doors so they have to break them down. It makes the humans go crazy. They can’t figure it out. They know we aren’t smart enough stick things under the door. They blame someone working here. They can’t figure out how someone can wedge the doors shut and still get out.”, Barbara suggested.

“Nah, let’s let the rats out”, Robert suggested.

“No! No rats. They give me the willies. I don’t know why the humans keep them around. Jeez, they should either let them go or kill them. I’m open to either one”, Carl argued.

The rats heard this. Now they were mad. They asked which one had the bubonic plague. Let the monkeys have a taste of that. Those monkeys were worse than the humans.


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