Friday 12 December 2014

Day 12: That's the Spirit by The Viking

The ghost of Eddie Sartori, late of Chicago’s criminal underworld, floated around a squalid apartment illuminated by fluorescent advertisements from the street below. On a coffee table lay a release order from the Illinois State Penitentiary granting liberty to Leonard Aaron Levy who lay asleep on a sweat soaked mattress. It was the hottest summer for fifteen years; even the birds were tanned.
    Closely examining Lenny’s pallor, the ghost came to a decision. “He’ll do, his prison tan says it all; fresh out of poky and down on his luck; the perfect fall guy.” The ghost de-materialised before dawn ushered in another glittering day in the Windy City.       

The spook returned the following night just as Lenny was preparing for bed. He snatched a Glock hand-gun from beneath his pillow, screaming, “Back off or I’ll ventilate you; you schmuck.”
    “At least the sap ain’t yellow,” observed the visitor disregarding the firearm. It coasted toward the ex-con attempting to insert its forefingers into his ears. Lenny shrieked and emptied his gat into the ghost’s head.
    Unperturbed, it drifted over to write an ectoplasm message on a grimy wall mirror with a finger. It read, “I’m a ghost and can only communicate with you by plugging my fingers into your listeners. It’s to do with the living and the dead having different atomic oscillation levels; or sumpun like that.”
    Inquisitively Lenny limped to the mirror laboriously tracing each glowing word with a finger. He turned to the hovering wraith and said slowly, “Okay, Smokey Joe, but warm up your fingers foist with that ectoplasm stuff you guys are made of.”
    The ghost wrote in reply, “They don’t do warm fingers where I come from, pal, cos we ain’t flesh an’ blood no-more, and anyhow, ectoplasm’s no warmer than a hooker’s price list.” 
    “Okay, plug-in, but tell me who you are and what you want or I’ll blow you away with my electric fan,” sniggered Lenny becoming more confident.
    “Electric fan, huh?” said Sartori after plugging in to Lennie’s ears, “Listen wise guy, you ain’t so smart or you wouldn’t have tried to whack a ghost with a hand-gun. But grinding you down ain’t why I’m here. My name’s Sartori, Eddie Sartori. Now lemme ask you sumpun; what’s with the limp?”
    “Aw I got mixed up in a streetcar accident as a kid, and my right leg ended up shorter than the other; what’s it to you anyhow?”
     “I wanna know if you can drive an automobile.”

About the author:
James Sainsbury, a former central heating quality control inspector, began writing in 1990 after completing a correspondence course had two articles and three short stories published. Upon retirement he noticed his two little fingers were curling into the palms and was told he had Dupuytren’s Contracture; a disease brought over by the Vikings, hence his chosen pseudonym – The Viking – all five feet six inches of him; not your average berserker.
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