His and Hers

She knew everything there was to know about him. She knew every scrap of information he’d ever posted on the Web, she knew every secret he’d ever written in one of his various anonymous blogs that she’d tracked down, and she knew every one of his many pastimes because he was so good as to post them incessantly on his Twitter account.

She knew that he’d spent a month in Japan eating nothing but rice because he was allergic to all types of fish. She knew that he was going to apply to Harvard Law School only because his father wanted him to, and that he ended up going because he wanted to as well. She knew that on his twenty-fourth birthday he ran out of clean underwear and had decided, to celebrate his nuptials, to walk around nude beneath his Dockers.

She knew when he started going out with the blonde, when he dumped her for the brunette and when he decided he needed time off from any hair-colors at all. She knew when he fell in love, when he proposed and when he was turned down. She knew when he was depressed and went to seek medical and professional help. She knew when he graduated with distinction and decided to get a teaching certificate instead of become a lawyer like he’d planned at first.

She knew him better than she knew herself. She became joyful when he was happy and blue when he was sad and excited when he was planning his next move in life. She celebrated his birthdays and the holidays he observed. She shared New Year’s Eve with him in Times Square where she knew he went every single year without fail.

She lived her life through him, through his experiences, through his loves and disappointments, his successes and his defeats, his whims and his dedications.

His life was hers, and he didn’t know it.

 

Forever Graveyard

In the silence of the night, the spirits emerged.

Some of the spirits were elderly men and women, and they simply sat upon their graves, unmoving. They’d had a lifetime of movement and felt they’d earned their eternal rest. Others, the younger spirits mostly, frisked about, dancing and playing with the shadows and with each other. Ghostly mothers held onto equally ghostly babies, and ghostly fathers held the hands of young and ghostly children. Some families reunited, as they did every night, at one of the picnic tables in a far corner or between the trees amidst the graves. Some old lovers replayed their quarrels and affairs, frowning and smiling accordingly.

All in perfect silence. Someone walking outside the graveyard wall wouldn’t have heard a thing besides the rustle of the leaves in the wind or the scurry of a squirrel across the grass. If someone were to look over the wall, however, things would have been different.

It was very fortunate, the spirits of the graveyard agreed again and again, that there was a wall built around this particular graveyard. It was much too high for anyone to be able to peer in, and it had no easy footholds for a determined climber to take advantage of. The few who had managed to look over – by bringing a ladder, or by standing on someone’s shoulders, say – had been in such shock that they’d either never spoken of what they’d seen or had been carted off to a small padded room somewhere if they had spoken of it.

So the spirits of the graveyard replayed their lives night after night, laughing at the same jokes and dancing the same dances, waiting for something to change. But it never did. They never got bored, though. Their concept of forever was no different than their concept of now.

The only noteworthy events were when new spirits joined the old, and when that happened it was a grand occasion for all. It made even the new spirits forget what a different, what a sad, party was being had for them the next day or the day after that.

Popular Haunt

Every small city has to have at least one spooky place. We have ours, alright. Oh yes, we do. As girls, me and a couple of my friends actually went into the single abandoned and, of course, reputedly haunted house. We’re alive to tell the tale, amazing as it sounds.

The house is truly creepy. It is set back from the street, and you have to climb a long set of winding, falling apart, stone stairs that are cut right into the wall of boulders that the house sits on. The stairs are overgrown with weeds, stinging plants and thorns a necessity. When you reach the top of the steps, there is a locked gate, and climbing over it is quite painful, the plants getting in the way constantly, and the gate is so rusty that your hands come away caked in brown metal shavings.

Then there is the house itself. The story goes that the architect – or sculptor? – that lived there just moved away and left the house to decay and no one knows why he didn’t sell it, because it’s big. The creepy thing is, it used to be rather clean inside. The house is completely empty, and is very like a maze – there are two separate wings to it, and the only way to get from one to the other is by crossing through the balcony. The tap in the kitchen is rusted shut, and the doors are all gone or creaking slowly in the wind that moves through the house. There is even a loft, its stairs mysteriously gone, and no way to get up there.

My friends and I sneaked in there a few times when we were younger – even at night once or twice. Sadly, over the years it has become less spooky and much more a place for teenage drunkards to crash. It is now full of people’s exceretians, spray paint and even a couch someone had the strength to drag up there, and it has pentagrams and funny drunken messages painted on the walls. The creep factor is there, but now it is more “Ew, it stinks and some drunk guy will attack me” rather than “Oh god, oh god, I swear this place is haunted, I swear, I swear!”