Graveyard Shift

Graveyard Shift

 

Miles works the graveyard shift. He enjoys the solitude, the quiet. What he doesn’t enjoy are the ghosts. Those things are chatty. Always trying to get him to sort things out for them. Some nights no one shows up. Miles sips his coffee, reads a book and makes notes in his journal about all the things he’d like to accomplish by the time he’s 25, 35, 45, 55 and so on.

On the nights the ghosts show up, it’s noisy and chaotic. Sometimes only two or three ghosts show up. Miles can handle two or three ghosts. He listens to their stories, their demands. He writes it down in his book. He makes no promises, but he says he’ll try.

Sometimes all a ghost wants is to say good-bye. Miles has delivered many letters from ghosts. He leaves them on doorsteps. He never hand delivers them because that raises too many questions.

On the nights when a bunch of ghosts show up, it’s not as easy. Ghosts aren’t good at waiting. Some of them have been waiting years for someone like Miles. They become impatient, demanding. He remains calm in these situations. Miles tries to get to every one who wants to talk to him. Some nights he can’t, but he knows the ghosts will return.

Miles doesn’t know what happens after he delivers the messages, but those ghost never return to him. He likes to think they’ve moved on to wherever we go when we die.

Some ghosts want revenge. Miles doesn’t like these ghosts. He tries to be understanding, but revenge won’t bring the ghosts back to life. In theory, it’ll just create more ghosts for Miles. Revenge ghosts aren’t evil. They’re confused and bitter, but mostly lost. The best thing for them is to simply listen. It could take Miles a whole night just for one revenge ghost to settle down long enough to tell him their story. Once the ghost does, it begins to change. Sometimes all one needs is for someone else to listen without judgement or fear.

Some nights the only ghost to show up is the one who works the graveyard shift. He waits for someone to listen to his story. He makes notes in his journal about all the things he’d like to accomplish in his life. Miles doesn’t like to admit it, but he has more in common with the ghosts who haunt him than the people who don’t see him.

 

©Danielle Tauscher, 2017

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