November 10

Claude Rains (b. 1889), star of The Invisible Man (1933)

 

At first you thought they were ghosts.

You walked ahead on an unobstructed path, then hit an unseen barrier.

“Excuse me,” it said.  An indignant voice, followed by a rattling cough.

A sticky wet spray from that cough misted the air, settled warm on your bare arm.

Do ghosts get sick?  Do they have bodily fluids?

You moved aside to let the apparition pass.

An agonized groan rose from the curb, but there was nobody there.

“I’ve been hit,” the curb said.  “Somebody help me.”

You stepped closer, examining the curb.  The cement was cracked and split, as if somebody had taken a sledgehammer to it.  But that didn’t explain why it would talk.

“What’s the matter with you?” it asked.  “Why don’t you help me?”

You reached down to feel the strange curbside.  Instead your hand met resistance above the ground.  Wet, flesh resistance.

“Mmhh-hrrmmh fwah — ”

An invisible, muffled mouth moved warm beneath your palm.  You pulled back, and felt a stranger’s spittle and dripping blood ooze between your spread fingers.

Felt, but didn’t see anything.

The sensations were too tangible to be ghostly.  You’d expect a ghost to whisper and float, not scream and bleed and lie wounded at the side of the road.

An accident victim.  An invisible accident victim.

Which made you think back to a childhood memory, when the police questioned you about a terrible accident you witnessed…

 

#

 

Supposedly witnessed.

Can you tell us which direction the car was traveling?

You were such a young kid.  Certain things, a six-year-old shouldn’t have to see.

Any thing can help.  Type of vehicle?  Color? 

As you nodded back and forth, the police officer’s face slid in and out of view.

Did you get a look at the driver?

Driver?  You tried to think.  Of course a car would have a driver.  But you weren’t looking at the car.  You were just trying to keep up.

And your friend.  Did you see what happened to your friend?

Finally, the policeman asked a question you could answer.

“He went away,” you said.

 

[…continued tomorrow…]