Phantom Friction

Last year, I had the idea of putting up a festive ghost story on my blog every year. Last year’s entry seems, rather spookily, to have vanished but I’ll put it up again soon. This year, I planned to do a very complex yarn about the meaning of identity but I quickly abandoned it when I realised the story had the exact same plot as Groundhog Day. I managed to come up with another idea (see later this week), but before I did, I came up with this piece of fluff as a back-up. This is more of a parenthetical entry to my cannon but I couldn’t deny it its moment in the sun. Time permitting, there’ll be more adventures for Ray, Sam and Quentin. Anyone enjoying this is directed to another story of mine in the same vein.

The main event should follow soon. Hope you enjoy this appetiser (apologies for the title) .

-Do I have to?
-You know the rules.
-But… Can’t I be Christmas Yet To Come this year?
-Sorry. Position’s filled.
-Who?
-Quentin.
-Again?
-You know how it is. He’s got the knack for it.
-He’s not even a proper ghost.
-What is he, then?
-He’s more of a…phantom, thing.
-But you can’t tell through the shroud.
-Still, isn’t he worried about getting typecast?
-I don’t think so, but you know how it is. He’s staying in character again this year.
-Maybe I’ll have a word.
-Leave it, Raymond.
-But the key to any successful haunting business is spectral rotation. Everyone knows that.
-Look, Ray…Quentin’s Christmas Yet To Come.
-Leaving me as Christmas Present, again.
-What can I say? You’ve got the physique for it.
-Physique?
-Yeah. You know…
-You saying I’m fat?
-Not fat it’s just your…
-My what?
-Your…rotundity…
-Rotundity?
-Yeah. It’s more Christmas Present than Christmas Yet To Come.
-I’ll take that as a compliment. Lot ofbirds like a bloke with a bit of meat on his bones.
-Right.
-Right? What’s that supposed to mean?
-They’re just saying that. To make you feel better.
-What?
-Well, nobody likes a fat ghost, do they?
-Don’t they?
-Well, we’re supposed to be acorporeal, aren’t we?
-Acor-whatsit?
-Acorporeal. You know? Abstract beings. Not of the flesh. It’s a hard look to pull off with a 42 inch waist.
-You’re a fine one to talk.
-Why’s that?
-Well, you can’t tell if you’re a boy or a girl for a start. And then there’s that business with the legs?
-Legs?
-Well, one minute you’ve got one, the next you’ve got twenty. It’s confusing is all.
-I get a lot of socks for Christmas, don’t I? Got to put them somewhere.
-Rubbish.
-Rubbish?
-You’re just doing it cos you think it makes you look cool.
-…
-I’m right, aren’t I?
-Look, Ray, you’re not getting to be Christmas Yet To Come.
-This is body fascism, this is.
-How come?
-I’m getting typecast on account of the way I look.
-You don’t hear that Ichabod Crane complaining, do you?
-That’s where you’re wrong.
-I don’t get things wrong.
-You do. You’ve conflated Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. Schoolboy error.
-I’m just saying he made the best of what he had.
-Right.
-Right?
-No one talks about his grasp of American English grammar. Once you start associating with headless horsemen, that’s it. You get a name for yourself.
-You’re worried about your size getting in the way, you can always go on a diet.
-How? I’m a ghost. I don’t eat.
-Always with the excuses.
-…Go on, Sam. Let me be Christmas Yet To Come this time.
-I told you, Quentin’s doing it.
-Go on.
-Maybe next year.
-Humbug.
-Humbug? You been talking to that Scrooge feller again?
-Nah. Miserable bugger never calls.
-Epiphany’s not what it used to be these days.
-I know. Used to be, you’d haunt someone, they’d stay haunted.
-Probably too busy seeing that Cratchit feller’s wife behind his back.
-God bless us, everyone.

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