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  • Nicole R. Locker

Writing Exercise – Ghost

I follow a Writers’ Discussion Group community on Google+.  This is an active group with a fair amount of participation, which makes it fun.   Yesterday evening, I happened across a writing exercise posted in the group that I thought was intriguing.  I decided to give it a go.  I didn’t read any of the other entries prior to writing mine so that I was sure to not be influenced in any way by any of the other submissions. What I came up with, I thought, might be an interesting first chapter of a fantasy book.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!


(Posted by Vicente L. Ruiz) Weekly Writing Exercise: June 20-26, 2016 Some explanation is needed for this week’s exercise. First of all, I looked for a random word generator, and I ended up using this one: Next I used it to, ahem, generate one word. To be honest, I did this several times until I got an interesting word. I got this: ghost Then I went to and searched for images tagged “ghost”. I got eight of those. Last, I used to generate a number between one and eight, and I got five. The fifth image is the one in this post, by artist Steinar La Engeland.

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Title: We Need To Talk

I usually wasn’t asleep at three a.m. anyway. Like clockwork, this was when Amity’s intangible figure would reach to me through the veil, an ethereal glow surrounding the world behind her.

It was the Portal. To where, I wasn’t sure just yet. Sometimes she was alone, and others she came accompanied by dark, abstract figures whose shapes I couldn’t quite make out.

What did they want from me? That was simple. I was their link to this world, just as the portal was my link to theirs.

Tonight was different. Amity came singularly through the veil and sat before me as I lay on my bed. Her lips didn’t move, but I heard her speak. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard her melodic voice ringing inside my mind. It was, however, the first time she asked me about him.

He needs you, Reya.

I didn’t have to ask who he was. Along with the sound of Amity’s voice, I could see his face inside my inner consciousness. It wasn’t the first time his face appeared when she was nearby.

Shy was my neighbor who shared the adjoining wall to this tiny, third-floor apartment. He was polite, as neighbors went, in that he kept to himself and didn’t make much noise during the day when spirit gave me reprieve. That was when I got my sleep.

“Why does he need me?” I asked aloud as I sat upright pushing the thin, knitted blanket off me.

You know why.

I heaved a sigh from deep within my chest and rubbed my temples. “Dammit, Amity. I feel the love you felt for him. Feel for him,” I corrected. “But how am I supposed to explain… this… to him?”

Amity was already drifting back toward the portal.

Help him, Reya. He needs you. And you don’t know it yet, but you need him, too.

With a bow of her head, Amity was pulled back through the veil, and at once she was gone.

“What does that mean? Amity, wait! What are you not telling me?” I had to be careful not to call out too loudly. It wasn’t the dead I was afraid of waking, but the living. I could sense Shy in a room nearby, and I knew the walls were thin.

A strange tingling deep in my chest told me that things were about to change.

I didn’t need the tingling to know that Amity knew something she didn’t want to let on about yet. Part of my abilities included sensing what other people felt. Some called it empathic. There were a lot of things people would call me if they knew what I was capable of. Medium. Psychic. Crazy.

I moved to my writing desk and switched on the small lamp. I drew out a blank journal that lay tucked away in a nook of the table, half-way filled with my ramblings, and began to flesh out my anxious feelings and the meanings behind Amity’s unspoken message.

By seven-thirty, I was showered and ready to walk out the door, just in time to meet Shy walking into the elevator.

“Good morning,” he greeted in obligated politeness.

“Good morning,” I returned.

We stood facing forward as the elevator carried us downward, and just before he stepped out, I grabbed him by the wrist.

“Shy, will you be home this evening?” I asked.

He looked down at where my hand and his wrist were connected, then back to my eyes, a questioning expression influencing his features.

“I’ll be here,” he replied.

“Good. We need to talk.”

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