01 July 2010

"Ghost Host" #Fridayflash


Photo credit: o0o0xmods0o0o from morguefile.com









“You don't scare me, you don't scare me," I said

To whatever it was floating in the air above my bed

He knew that I'd understand

He was the ghost of a Texas ladies' man.”


Ghost of Texas Ladies’ Man – Concrete Blonde



The check-in desk was polished and immense. One clerk worked at this unholy hour. I signed my name, collected the key, and declined help with my bags. The elevator worked slowly, creeping skyward at a snail’s pace. I had a business conference in less than seven hours and was hoping for a bath before bed.

The penthouse suite was an upgraded offering to my executive suite. Seems that a conference was in town at the same time. The hotel’d accidentally booked my rooms. I acquiesced to the top-floor accommodation eagerly.

Everything seemed normal until I slipped into the bath. Though the water was steamy, the room grew cold to the point I could see my breath.

“It’s a good thing those bubbles are covering up that heavenly body,” a voice said from nowhere and everywhere at the same time, “I’d have trouble asking you out otherwise.”

“Who’s there?” I asked, sinking lower into my bath, up to my eyes. I had mace; it was unfortunately in my suitcase and therefore might as well been in the next state.

“It’s been awhile,” the voice said, yawning gently. “I can’t imagine what took you so long to get here.”

“Who are you?” I cried again. “Where are you?”

“Pardon me ma’am,” the voice drawled, “I’m just haunting this suite for eternity is all.”

“Haunt?” The hotel brochure featured a 24-hour gym and available massage, not an ectoplasmic roommate for every suite rented. Especially one with a Texas drawl. I wanted to stand, but if he was looking…

“Could you look away then?”

“I could, but why would I want to? You’re the choicest woman I’ve seen in years.”

Unbidden, a smile threatened my lips. “Really?”

“Scout’s honor ma’am.”

“You’re obviously a ghost of good taste.”

A good-natured chuckle. “As long as we’re on the subject of taste—”

“What about taste? I’m not giving you anything.” I said as defiantly as I could, to the voice that was probably completely in my head as a result of two hours’ sleep in the past three days. That was it. It was all a hallucination. I might even be still asleep on the plane.

“I was wondering if you could play a Hank Williams record.”

“Oh. I don’t have any Hank Williams.”

“Have room service send you up a record then.”

“We haven’t met properly,” I faltered, “I’m Jessica.”

“Benjamin ma’am. About that record.”

“I have something better. But you have to promise not to look at me while I set it up.”

He promised, and so I stood, snatched a towel from the stack next to the tub, wrapped it around me, and went straight to my bag. My iHome was one of my favorite gadgets aside from my iPhone. I plugged in the speaker dock, set my phone in the cradle and tapped the iTunes app.

“Any particular song?”

“Ladies’ choice,” was the disembodied answer. I made my selection.

“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” poured out of the tiny speakers. At first I heard nothing, until there was a sniffle. Then my ghastly guest started blubbering.

“That’s what I wanted to hear,” he said. “It was playing while I drank myself to death. And once you hear a song, it gets stuck in your head and keeps you awake.”

“So I’ve heard,” I said, with an exaggerated yawn. “Anything else before I go to sleep? You’ll need to leave the bedroom you know.”

“I wouldn’t dream of disturbing your sleep ma’am.”

I bought all of the albums I could find of Hank Williams on iTunes. And plugged the iHome in out in the kitchen.

34 comments:

Tony Noland said...

Heeeeear the loooooonesome whiiiiiiiiporwhill....

Nice take on the haunted hotel.

Laura Eno said...

He's quite the polite ghost! Fun, Carrie!

Laura
A Shift in Dimensions

Sulci Collective said...

I love the way you always pay tribute to your musical influence. This story did the music more than justice.

marc nash

The Frog Queen said...

LOL! I just saw Concerete Blonde last Friday night (and Hank Williams was my dads favorite)...so hummmmm, that made me smile. :)

As always, I am excited to to see a post from you. Great story.

You made my day!

Cheers!

Eric J. Krause said...

Excellent! What a nice, polite ghost. And it certainly was nice of her to download Hank for him. I enjoyed this a TON!

Anne Tyler Lord said...

Aw, I love it when the ghost gets his wish. We are always so quick to judge a ghost and give him grief.

Nice twist to a ghost story!

Marisa Birns said...

I love this kind of ghost who remembers his manners!

Not a silly flash at all. A tender one. :)

T.S. Bazelli said...

“You’re obviously a ghost of good taste.” This had me in a fit of giggles. You know, I wouldn't mind being haunted by a ghost like that.

Draco Torre said...

I always like a polite ghost.

Linda said...

I'd like to meet a gentleman ghost like that! And I'm a fan of Hank Williams, so doubly pleased with this week's offering. Peace...

G.P. Ching said...

I loved this one. Terrific ghost story with an original ending that showed your MC's empathy.

Al Bruno III said...

very nice, a sweet haunting.

Benjamin Solah said...

That ghost character was very interesting indeed. I love how your characters seem to have so much depth beyond the individual piece.

Carrie said...

Benjamin, I fear I might have stolen your name for this. Oops. lol

katen said...

I love ghost stories. Well done!

~Tim said...

I think he peeked when she got out of the tub....

Fun story.

Diandra said...

What a really, really charming idea. I would have liked some more description, though.

Michael Solender said...

wow, very imaginative and left me wondering if the room was really haunted or if her elevator didn't go to the top floor...

Sam said...

I coulda sworn I'd commented already...maybe I have ghosts in my head too. Love the story, Carrie. I really enjoyed how it's a ghost story without the usual dose of creepy.

Deanna said...

A ghost with a Texas drawl and a hankering for Hank. How sweetly intriguing Carrie. Well done!

John Wiswell said...

Nuts to zombie love, we've got a haunted loveshack. She's got taste in music. All she needs is a gentleman ghost to come calling and the penthouse can get lively. Once she's done sleeping, naturaly.

http://johnwiswell.blogspot.com/2010/07/bathroom-monologue-off-bright-side_02.html

admin said...

Proof that a ghost story does not have to be full of spooky, dusty old cliches. Eternity without my MP3 player ... that would lend itself to a description of damnation though.

Bukowski's Basement said...

A great and warm-hearted twist on a ghost tale. I always love that your stories are so accessible, Carrie. A rare talent...

Rachel Blackbirdsong said...

An interesting take on a ghost story. I like how the ghost has a Texas accent. Really good.

Michelle said...

ikes!!!
LOL

Jon said...

That was a load of fun. Great from end to end. If you're going to be haunted, this is the way to do it.
~jon

Icy Sedgwick said...

Aw bless him. But such a Southern gent! Methinks she's obviously not staying at the Overlook then.

Great flash!

Karen from Mentor said...

I think:

"an ectoplasmic roommate for every suite rented."

could catch on.

Fun story!
:0)

Cathy Olliffe said...

Carrie, your stories just get better and better and better and ... well, you know. This was GREAT! I love the ghost... and obviously she did, too. And I always love a little Hank Williams. Love, love, love ... this is turning into a Carrie lovefest which, I guess, is the way it should be. Awesome flash, lady!

Miss Alister said...

Oh dear lord I loves me a Texas ladies’ man. It’s so fun to be flattered by them, so challenging to keep from believing them... It’s the politest form of exercise I know :-D

I loved this piece, Carrie. Got caught up on and enjoyed your last two Fridayflashes as well. Especially enjoyed the clever play of “The Writer and Crooked Fang.”

You rock scary good, lady :-D

Pamila Payne said...

Well, that was sweet and funny. How did I miss this? I want that bed.

ganymeder said...

Awww. They say that a ghost has unfinished business. So he was stuck because he couldn't get the song unstuck from his head? Hank Williams for eternity- talk about Hell on Earth! I'm glad he got it unstuck. Soooo... he's free! :)

Nice story. Very enjoyable.

Erin Cole said...

The iHome - loved that! I don't know, what is worse, being haunted by a ghost or listening to Hank Williams over and over again?
A different take from you; I liked it.

Jen Brubacher said...

Such a warm and unique ghost story. The photo you chose is somehow really creepy, but then the ghost is not. Very good.