Vampire Boys Of Summer (re-vamped) Ep: 11

Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

11: Haru

The sun outside was so bright it was killing my eyes. We were standing on the front steps of the building waiting for Angela’s bus. It was always the last one, which almost always put us in the line of fire when it came to The Trumps and others who loved to sneer at us. As one bus was pulling away, some stupid jock hung his head out the window yelling, “Come on, kiss her.” We both flipped him off. People are so stupid.

“So you coming to my house?” Angela asked.

“Yeah, I’ll ride with you.”

“You don’t have to stroll the rest of the way. Mom can give you a ride ho…Oh My Freaking God!”

“What!?” I nearly screamed at her. I was facing away from the buses and looking right at her. She clutched her chest and nearly all the color went out of her face.

“I think I have freaking died and gone straight to St. Michael’s bosom.”

“What’s the matter? What’s wrong?”

“That is the most beautiful boy I have ever seen. I want to throw myself at his feet and thank Jesus.”

I turned and nearly dropped my backpack. It was the Asian boy from next door. He was standing at the bottom of the steps looking right up at us.

“Konnichiwa,” he said.

I didn’t know if he was still making fun of me or not, but I heard Angela whisper softly to herself, “dreamy.”

“Konnichiwa,” I finally replied. “What are you doing here?”

He came up a couple of steps and stopped. “I..uh..wanted to apologize.” He waited for a response and when I didn’t give one, he continued. “And possibly…maybe..if you would allow um…walk you home.”

I crossed my arms. He wasn’t getting off the hook this easy; I didn’t care that he was wearing tight leather pants and a white pullover shirt that seemed to hug his frame in all the right places. “I guess it depends,” I answered. “What are you apologizing for?”

He looked around, taking in his surroundings and the fact other students had stopped to watch the exchange. He bowed his head and whole upper body. “I apologize for …being insensitive and having a joke at your expense. My humor was not appropriate for the occasion. I meant no…dishonor.”

I uncrossed my arms and was getting ready to say something when he turned and went back down the steps, walking away at a brisk pace as if he wanted nothing more than to get away. I looked around and noticed a considerable crowd had formed, including two of the three Trumps. They were smirking to themselves.

“Hey wait a minute,” I called out, to which he stopped so fast you’d think I’d threatened him. “What about that walk home?”

He looked up at me with dark eyes filled with surprise. The sad look on his lips turned into a boyish smile. “I would like that honor, Nora.”

“I don’t walk home with people I don’t know,” I said.

Again, he bowed. “I’m Haru.”

I turned around and saw Angela, her eyes gone wide. It had been a roundabout way but I had gotten his name after all. She mouthed ‘call me later’ as her bus pulled up. I noticed the Trumps were gone, too.

“Okay Haru,“ I said, walking up to join him. “You know where I live, don’t you?”

It wasn’t a short walk from school. It seemed even longer because I was walking home with a strange boy I had only spoken to once before, and even then I felt like I had done all the talking. If he was in his element at night, you wouldn’t have known it by his ease at walking home under the burning sun, which in itself was surprising to me. If he was a vampire, how could he stand to be out in the direct sunlight without burning to ash? Hell, he didn’t even sparkle.

“I am sorry about last night. It was very rude of me.”

“It’s okay,” I replied. “You can make up for it.”

He raised an eyebrow as we hit Market Street, just three blocks from the school. “Oh yeah? And how is that, I wonder?”

“What did you say to me last night?”

He grinned. “Oh, you mean when you were looking at my chest to see how my shirt was buttoned?”

I looked away for a moment, embarrassed that he had noticed. “Uh yes, I guess so.”

“I said, Koko Omotemuki.”

“In English, please.”

He stopped and looked at me. He touched his chin and said with a smile, “Face up here.”

My face turned red . I don’t think a guy had ever said anything to embarrass me that bad before. “Oh, was it obvious?” I asked, trying to play it off.

“Um…yes.” He gave me an inquisitive look. “I just wonder if you do a chest inspection with every guy you meet, or if I’m something special.”

“No, it’s nothing like that…” I started.

“What, you don’t think I’m special?”

This stunned me. “I…I’m…I don’t know..I”

Once again he was having a laugh at my expense, but I wasn’t so mad about it this time. In fact, I kind of liked it. His eyes seemed to dance in the light as he spoke. I couldn’t look at them for long; they were too intense, and he seemed to know this because he kept trying to make eye contact.

“Seriously,“ he said, “what was the big deal? Was my shirt dirty or something?”

“No, I was trying to figure out something,” I admitted.

“Oh really. And that was?”

“I was trying to see if you had a tattoo.”

He raised an eyebrow. “You’re not very forward, you know that?” He laughed at the expression on my face. “Yes, I have a tattoo.”

I knew I was being bold, but I had to know. “A moon with vines that says ‘Loveless’ across it?”

He stopped me with his hand on my arm and a look of concern. “No, that would be my cousin, Ryo.”

To be continued…



“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D. Aronson. All Rights Reserved.


Ghost Boy Blues 12

Her name is Anne. A simple, single syllable name, but fitting for a queen. She should be easy to spot in the crowd of students, but I don’t see her. Instead, it is the goth girl from class that I see heading towards me. Her grey trench coat trails behind her and I notice her dark eyeliner seems to be running. Or perhaps she applied it to her face that way to make it look like black tears falling from her eyes. She smiles and I think she is going to stop in front of me, but she doesn’t. She keeps moving past me, a smirk upon her face.

“Good try,” she mutters as she continues down the hall.

“What?” I turn to follow her. It’s obvious she can see me. I want to know why. While she keeps going, I hurry to catch up. “Hey!”

She doesn’t acknowledge me. Now she acts like she doesn’t see or hear me at all. But maybe she just doesn’t want other students to think she’s crazy. I guess it would be weird having an open conversation with someone no one else can see.

I don’t want to lose her in the crowd, so I go to shout her name. But I realize I don’t know it. She is just like I was in life, a shadow in everyone’s peripheral. People have seen her in the halls, class, even on the bus. And yet no one knows her. Her name is unknown to all. And everyone seems to like it that way. She’s the weird one. She’s the kind they make up rumors about. She’s a witch. She’s gay. She drowned a puppy in elementary school. She threw a chair at one of the teacher’s last year. Of course, none of it is true. At least, I don’t think it is. Like I said, I don’t know her anymore than anyone else does.

The goth girl is weaving back and forth among the other students. So much so that I can’t keep up. Maybe she’s on the way to her next class. Or maybe she’s trying to lose me. The irritating, pesky ghost boy. She rounds a corner in the hallway and I surge forward to catch up. Following her path, I make the turn and run straight into three boys.

It’s not that I bump into them. Instead, as can be expected of one who is spirit, I pass right through them. I catch the feeling of cruelty and superiority, and then it is gone. It is like a wave of nausea that passes so quickly it takes your breath away. It’s similar to the disorientation I felt while sharing the body of Joey Mattson. But these guys are not anything like my first host had been. And I’m glad I passed through them rather than try to make any of them my new host. After all, I have never had a desire to be Derek Wells, the biggest bully in school.

Continue to Ep.13

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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 10


Vampire Boys Of Summer (Re-vamped)

10: Miss Thomas & Angela

I didn’t even make it to the first class before trouble came knocking. My guidance counselor, a middle aged woman named Miss Thomas, caught me in the hall and asked me to come to her office. She offered me a chair across from her well-ordered desk, and cleared her throat.

“Miss Williams, This is pretty late in the game. There’s only a couple school days left and I kept hoping you’d make an effort to pull yourself out of your, um, slump, but the truth is you are going to flunk tenth grade. “

Crap, I thought, shaking my head.

“Unless you want to take a few classes in summer school.”

“Aww man. Summer school? Are you kidding?”

“I won’t make you go, Nora. But if you don’t, you’ll lack the credits to graduate to eleventh. You’ll be held back a year while all your friends move on.”

For a moment I thought that might not be a bad idea. Let everyone who knows me get ahead, so the new students coming in won’t know a thing about me. The Trumps would be moving ahead, too. It would be like going to a new school with a different peer group. Once you shifted up a grade, those that didn’t move up with you were forgotten or otherwise ignored.

She must have known what I was thinking. “It’s not as bad as it may seem. The classes are very small in our summer school program. The tutors are excellent and you only go half a day. Small price to pay to make up all the unsatisfactory work. “

“Can I think about it?”

“Well, we need to get you signed up if you’re going to do this. I’ll give you until tomorrow. But you are the last one to commit. Other students have already signed up and paid their fees.”

“Okay, I’ll let you know. Is that all you wanted from me?”

She nodded. “Yes, you can go on to class now.”

I got up and left her office in a bummed out mood. Summer was going to be wasted at a school desk. Angela would probably have three boyfriends before I even got out of school.

The rest of the school day was like a dull headache, the kind that is too small for an aspirin, but too big to think about other things. I coasted through my early classes and met up with Angela at lunch. When I told her about Summer school she was just as bummed as me.

“That sucks, girl. I was hoping we’d hang out all summer.”

“I guess we still can, but it will have to be in the evenings. No hanging out at the lake or boarding in the park.”

She shook her head. “Well, you have to go. You can’t ditch me and make me start junior year without you.”

“Yeah, I’ll end up going. When mom finds out, she’ll make me. My dad dropped out in the ninth, so she’ll be pushing me not to follow in his footsteps.”

“I don’t want you to follow his footsteps either. Steaks are for eating, not driving through someone’s chest.”

Angela was the only one who could say something like that to me and not make it sound like a smart ass insult. I tried to laugh but my headache was getting worse.

“You got an aspirin?”

“Shit, you’re at the pharmacy now, woman,“ she said. “What you need?”

She opened up her purse and pulled out three different bottles of pain reliever. I’m sure one of them was probably illegal without a prescription.

After taking some of Angela’s magic it seemed like the rest of the day passed like a dream. In fifth period where I had been drawing hot manga boys the day before, she finally hit me with the burning question.

“So, what’s his name?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t get his name.”

She frowned, disappointed. “Loser. You didn’t even go over there, did you?”

“Yeah, I did. It just didn’t turn out well. The guy’s an asshole. Won’t be drawing him again.”

“Shit girl, I’m sorry. I was hoping you’d get lucky. Better yet, I was hoping he had a hot cousin or something for me.”

I shook my head and laughed. “My Angela, always on the prowl.”

She grinned like a cat that had just eaten the tastiest fish. “You know it.”

“They had a party over there last night,“ I said.

“Yeah, I heard.”

“Really? What did you hear?”

“Grant and Nathan were talking about in first period. Apparently they went. Word has it that the Trumps were there.”

“I’m sure they were,“ I replied. It figures that the biggest hoes in the whole school would be there. My jerkface neighbor was probably drooling all over them.

“He didn’t invite you in or anything?”

“No, we didn’t make it that far.”

“Damn, total strikeout,“ she said.

I had to agree, but if the Trumps had been in attendance, I wouldn’t have wanted to be there anyway. At least now I knew not to waste my time with a certain cute Asian boy.

Continue to Ep: 11

“vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 9

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9: Mom, The Impostor

You know you have the potential for stalking when you wake up and the first thing you do is peek out your bedroom window to spy on the house next door. I don’t know what I was expecting to see: trash littering the lawn from their all-night party, drunken guests crashed out under the trees, I suppose. What I didn’t expect to see was my mom sitting in a lawn chair on their porch engaged in conversation with some guy in an expensive business suit. It wasn’t the vampire boy or the puzzle freak. No, this guy was different. The way he was dressed screamed success. Gray and white pinstripe suit, black framed glasses, hair combed neat. He could have been a lawyer, doctor, or maybe a college professor. And there was mother, animated in the moment. She didn’t have a drink in her hand either. It made me wonder if perhaps an alien spaceship had come down last night and stolen my mom, leaving a strange doppelgänger in her place.

Stepping away from the window I retrieved my cell phone from the dresser and woke it up from sleep mode. I checked the photo gallery to see if someone had snuck in and used the camera again. No, it was still showing the photo of the boy’s chest emblazoned with the tattoo that read “loveless.” It was easy to tell the person was young, his skin smooth and flawless. No blemishes or moles, no acne or skin tags. This boy had been the perfect canvas for the tattoo artist. On a good day I would have stared at the photo awhile and fantasized about what the boy’s face looked like, but not today. “Prick,” I muttered, and put my phone back to sleep.

I dressed in my usual school attire of blue jeans and t-shirt. The knees of the jeans had holes in them. Not the precut ones you can buy now. No, I had these pants for years and am happy to say they were faded and worn from actual use. The t-shirt was a novelty thing I had picked up online. It was white and pink and had a hello kitty type character on the front. I wouldn’t usually be caught dead in a girly shirt but the fact the Hello Kitty type character was carrying a chain saw and the severed head of an Angry Bird made it a lot cooler. I put on my glitter converse shoes and began to look around for my book bag. It was nowhere to be found. Then I remembered. I had left it sitting on the front porch when I had come home from school yesterday.

I bounced down the steps and was about to open the front door when it began to open from the outside. I jumped back startled. It was my mom coming in from next door and in her hands she was holding the book bag. She was also holding a stern look.

“What was this doing outside?”

“Sorry, I forgot,“ I replied. “I was just coming to get it.”

She nodded to let me know it was okay, which was totally unlike mom. She should have been lighting into me about the money it costs to replace lost school books or to remind me that dad would want his backpack returned when he got out. I wondered what he would need it for other than packing up and getting the hell out of this crazy house.

“I’m going to need a ride to school,” I said throwing the bag over my shoulder. Normally I wouldn’t have asked her, but then again I never found her sober this time of the morning.

“Okay, dear. Let me get the keys. I have to go in to work before you get off school. You don’t need a ride home do you?”

“No, mom. I’ll walk. Or take the bus with Angela. Her mom will give me a ride home if I want.”

She didn’t seem to be bothered by the dig, and soon with her keys in hand we were heading out the door. Down the steps I followed her, both of us daring to look over at the house next door. To our equal dismay, everything looked quiet and calm. No one was outside, not even the puzzle man.

The ride to school started off quiet, both of us lost in our own worlds, but it got to the point I couldn’t take it anymore. The suspense was killing me. “So, who were you talking to over there?”

“Oh, that was Mr. Tomoko. He’s our new neighbor. He was apologizing for an apparent loud party he had over there last night. Did you hear anything?”

“Yeah, I heard a little. Did he say what the party was about or who the guests were?”

She gave me a weird look. I had been blessed with my father’s lack of tact and overabundance of curiosity. She smiled. “He said it was a business party for associates and different interests he had dealings with.”


“Oh hell Nora, I don’t know. Investments I imagine. Why all the questions?”

“I just like to know who’s moving in next to us. They could be serial killers for all we know.”

She shook her head in exasperation. “The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree, does it?”

“At least it falls.”

After that we drove the rest of the way in silence. At school, I got out of the car without so much as an ‘I love you’ or ‘see you later.’ I was turning to close the door when mom leaned across the seat.

“Nora,“ she said, “look, I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you lately. I know this has to be a difficult time for you.”

I froze. “Difficult? Why?”

“Well, you know, being sixteen and all. Trying to find your way and place among your peers. I remember it was an awkward time for me too. I didn’t know what I wanted either.”

Suddenly it dawned on me. She had heard the rumors. It had taken awhile but things do travel across Facebook and eventually land in front of your parents. “Mom, it’s not true…”

“What’s not true?”

I didn’t know if she was feigning ignorance or whether I was just reaching, so I shut up about it. “Nothing. Never mind, I’ve got to go to class.”

“I’m here for you if you are having problems.”

“I’m not having problems. I’ve got to go. Bye.”

I closed the door and was up the front steps of the school before she could say another word. Her car was still sitting out there when I disappeared into the cold confines of the school building.

Continue to Ep. 10

“Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Ghost Boy Blues 11

To say the kiss is a surprise would be the understatement of the century. My first instinct is to struggle and wrest myself from the forced embrace, but the host body wants this too much. I feel his excitement course through the body, affecting it in areas I myself wish it wouldn’t . But I have no control over this. The emotions are too strong and overwhelming that I am nothing more than an observer forced to experience the moment.

To my recollection, I’ve never had a problem with anyone’s lifestyle choices. I know some students who are LGBT and I see nothing wrong with the fact that they feel differently than me when it comes to attraction. But this kiss, it throws me for a loop. It is so unexpected that I never saw it coming. I had no idea either one of these guys might be gay or bi. In fact, I think no one has such ideas. They are keeping it a secret. I say this because the kiss itself is desperate and starved, as if they have both been waiting for this chance for a very long time.

I realize then I could ruin them. Expose their secret. The head of the class, maybe the future valedictorian, and the star football player in a romantic relationship. In this day and age in most places and towns it may not be a big deal, but here it would be scandalous and make outcasts of them both. It gives me a sense of power knowing I alone hold their secret. But I can’t reveal it. It would be wrong and cruel. There is nothing wrong with their relationship as far as I can see. The kiss itself tells me they are in love. I had jumped into this body in order to try to gain someone’s attention and perhaps love. To expose them would be like stabbing my own self in the heart.

The kiss and it’s embrace only lasts a few minutes, but the emotion is so overwhelming I feel like they have been making out for hours. I even feel flushed with excitement myself. I’ve always liked girls. Never thought of myself as even having the slightest desire to want a boy. But this kiss washes over me and I almost don’t want it to stop. I know it isn’t my body. I am just sharing it with someone. I’m a stowaway, a non breathing observer. And yet I feel something, and it scares me.

I leave the body so fast, he nearly faints.. The jock catches him. “Whoa, are you alright?”

I hadn’t been part of him for too long, but my sudden absence has some kind of inner effect. For a moment, he looks as if he is going to hurl everywhere, but the feeling passes and he begins to laugh. At first it is a nervous sound, then it becomes more joyous in nature. I don’t know if it’s because he’s happy that my alien thoughts have left his head or if he is just overjoyed over the mad embrace and kiss from his boyfriend.

They stand there looking at each other for a moment and then my former host sighs. “Yes, I’m okay. Very okay.”

I don’t stick around to see if they are going to kiss again. Instead, I push my way through the wall and into the hallway. Classes are still going on, so the corridor is devoid of people. Even me. For I am spirit once again. Without a host body I am floating free, invisible, unseen, and increasingly more lonely than I have ever been. The longings experienced in the bathroom doesn’t leave me so easily it seems.

I drift down the hall, past the closed doors of classes in session, wondering who I can try next. My great hope for romance seems shattered. Denied me in life, it appears to deny me in the afterlife as well. Perhaps I just need to get to know her better before finding a host body to impress her. After all, I can find out details about her no one knows and use that to my advantage. I can eavesdrop on her secrets. I can observe and see who really interests her among the student body. I can go anywhere, follow her no matter where she goes, or perhaps take her as a new host body and discover all the things she holds inside away from everyone else.

The bell rings so loud in the hallway, I would jump out of my skin if I had any. Within seconds the hallway is flooded with students, all of them heading in different directions, scattering like bees from a hive. And I, like a mere worker bee, scan the hallways for my queen.



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Vampire Boys Of Summer (revamped) Ep. 7

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7: Konnichiwa

It was dark out but the house was lit up like Christmas. It seemed every light was on and I could see movement behind the curtains. Lots and lots of movement. In fact, it looked like my new neighbors were throwing a party. The weird thing was just a few moments ago when I looked out, there didn’t seem to be any activity at all. Now I stood there on my front porch unsure of what to do. I couldn’t very well waltz into the middle of a throw down and stake someone through their heart.

The night was oppressive and quiet. Even in my yard it was like a cemetery, still and silent. I stepped off my porch and walked across the yard. My eyes still on the house, I could see all kinds of partying going on inside and yet there was no sound, not one single muffled noise. Then a door opened on the side of the house facing me. Loud rock music interrupted the quiet with a cacophony of melodic noise. B’z. Las Vegas. I knew the song, though a large part of it wasn’t even in English. I spent many long hours streaming music from Japanese radio stations and youtube on my laptop, never thinking I’d have neighbors who would enjoy the same thing. And in such a loud manner, too.

With the door still open, I could hear partygoers shouting out the lyrics, “Won’t you come with me? Ah-ha-ha!” Then the door shut again. A figure was now wrapped in the night on the side patio. I stood still and watched them, wondering if they had seen me. The figure let out a sigh and tilted his head to the heavens. It was a clear night. The moon and stars seemed to illuminate his face. It was the boy I had seen the night before. I was a little closer now so it was easy to confirm I had been right in the fact he was Asian. He wore what looked like a schoolboy’s uniform, the kind they sport in the harem animes I watch. Nice slacks, white shirt, blue blazer. He could have just stepped out of “Uta No Prince Sama.” I waited to see if he would suddenly break out into a song. He didn’t. He was too enraptured with the night sky as if he were cataloguing the stars in his head.

He put a hand up to his head and ran his fingers through his shoulder length blond hair. It looked out of place as most Asians I’d seen had black hair and dark eyes. His hair didn’t looked like it had been dyed either. No, it looked like the color had been sucked out of his locks, leaving him with a pale blond that if two shades lighter would have been white. Even his skin looked paler, but not sickly. His face was smooth as if he hadn’t even started shaving yet. When he turned his head in my direction and spotted me, I saw his eyes were the color of dark almonds.

There was nothing I could do after being seen. Sure, I could have charged him with my vampire stake in hand. Or run screaming for help. But I did neither of these. Instead, I took a bold step over the threshold of his yard and approached him. Just like earlier that day, it was like walking into a vacuum. I could feel the crunch of the grass and twigs beneath my feet but heard no sound. I wondered if he spoke if it would be a silent whisper for me to try and decipher. I came to a stop at the edge of the patio. In three steps I could be up there with him, but something told me to stop where I was and remember why I had been coming over here to begin with.

“Hi,“ I said.

He looked at me with a blank gaze, so I tried again.

“Um, Hello?”

Again, nothing registered on his face. His stare was so empty I thought he could be a corpse. Of course, Vampires are generally that anyway.


He smiled. “Konnichiwa.”

This he understood. I only knew it from watching anime. On there it pretty much meant hello or greetings.

I pointed to my house. “I’m your neighbor. Nora.”

He looked over there and nodded. “Ah, Nola.”

“Nora,“ I corrected.

Again a nod. “Nola.”

This was going nowhere. I tried something different and a little closer. I pointed behind him to his house, where the party was going full tilt. “Having a party?”

He looked at me even more confused, then smiled, nodding his head vigorously. “Nola.”

I sighed. This was just great. It appeared he neither understood nor spoke English. No matter if you looked at him as a hot guy or vampire, in both areas you were screwed. Trying to figure out if he had the tattoo was going to be near impossible, unless I just reached out and ripped his shirt open. Despite my anger over invasion of privacy it seemed like a nice idea. After all, he was very cute, and his white school boy shirt had two buttons already unfastened at the top. I could see his collar bone and the very beginnings of his chest, but not enough to tell if he was tattooed there.

He must have noticed my gaze because he looked at me with a little smile. He touched his head and said something like “Koko omotemuki.”

Now I was the one not understanding. “Huh?” I looked around to see if there was anyone nearby to help translate, but the party was inside not out here. “English?” I asked in desperation.

“Ah, English,“ he nodded, and then shook his head back and forth. I took this to mean no.

It was ridiculous, but just my luck. Meet hot guy, can’t talk to him. It figures. So, in the most desperate way of thinking I pulled out all the stops. Pointing at him, I asked, “Vampire?”

He scrunched up his nose and squinted his eyes almost to the point of closing. He shrugged and shook his head back and forth again. Clearly he didn’t understand.

“Filthy perverted bloodsucker?”

The confusion on his face was laughable.

“Oh to hell with this,” I said, and spun on my heel to walk off in exasperation. I had made it halfway to my yard when he called out to me.

“Understand English fine.”

I quickly turned back to him, my face flushing about fifty shades of red.

“I was just having some fun with you,“ he smiled.

I noticed his lips were moist and his teeth perfect white. I wanted to punch him in the face. Instead, I gave him my fiercest look. “Screw you. You understand that?” and stalked off so mad I could have pulled the stake out the back of my pants and stabbed him from there.

Continue to Ep. 8

Vampire Boys Of Summer” 2018 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.

Ghost Boy Blues 9

He is aware of me. He is trying to push me back out of his body, forcing me to be nothing but formless spirit again. But I don’t want to go. I don’t want to be unseen any longer. I want to be somebody. Even when alive, I wished to be be someone else, to stand in someone else’s shoes for awhile. Now fate had granted that to me. Now I would finally live.

I stand my ground against his push and fight back. I catch a thought as it passes by. “What is wrong with me,” it asks. “I don’t feel good.”

“Probably just a virus or something I ate,” I suggest, and he buys it, just as if it is his own mind telling him, instead of an outside entity.

This calms him down, and the sense of alarm he felt dissipates. I sigh. He sighs. We are one. For a moment, I wish to look around, to take in everything and see how others interact or wish to interact. But I realize I am no longer the invisible one. I am in a body. I can be seen. I put a hand to my mouth and cough. It is loud enough to cause several of the students to look in my direction.

A girl in the corner wearing a gray leather trench coat and goth makeup smirks in my direction. Though she’s not the type that normally attracts me, it feels good to be noticed. Even one of the football jocks looks at me. He doesn’t smile the way she does, but he nods his head to acknowledge me, and that kind of recognition is nice as well. I think of coughing again, but change my mind. There has to be other less mundane ways to get myself noticed. Before I know it, I have thrown my arm up in the air and am waving my hand. It’s not me who is doing this though. It is my host.

The teacher notices and stops what he is doing. “Yes, Mr. Mattson. What seems to be the problem?”

“Can I be excused? I’m not feeling well.”

The voice sounds strange. It isn’t mine, that’s for sure. But it comes from within me. I can feel the vibration of sound in my host’s throat as it forms into words. It is a weird feeling, but no less strange than sharing a body.

Joey Mattson, one of the most popular guys in school, was excused with no problem. The popular kids could be excused forty times a day and no one said a thing, but if I’d still been alive and in my own body I’m not sure I would have been allowed to leave.

He grabs his books and stands up. It is kind of jarring, as if I’m being yanked to my feet. Vertigo sets in for a minute and I feel dizzy. It seems to swim over him too and for a moment I think he just might throw up. He turns around to look at the football jock, who now has a worried, sympathetic look on his face. The goth girl looks somewhat amused. My host hurries out of the classroom, taking me with him.

To be continued…