My Friend Charlie The Ghost

Madhu Kalyan By Madhu Kalyan, 11th Dec 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>General Fiction

A short story I wrote. The sentences in this story are alphabetically ordered, meaning that each sentence starts with the next letter in the alphabet.

Kinda crazy, I know, but the idea was to write a story that reads so fluently that people who read it don't notice the alphabetical thing. Hope it worked out a bit :)

My Friend Charlie The Ghost

All my life he had been there, lying on his back in the crawl space under my room. Before I even learned to say ‘mama’, I whispered his name through the cracks in the floorboards under my bed.

“Charlie,” I would say, pointing my finger at the cold blue eyes that stared right through me. Dust had gathered on his face, and I was always afraid he would sneeze and wake father up, but he never did. Even when I took a deep breath and blew so hard that his eyelashes moved, he never blinked, and when the dust had settled he was still staring at me with those X-ray eyes as if something at the back of my head was holding his gaze and would not let go.

Friends are hard to find for someone like me, but a ghost had found me in my room and had laid down under my bed. Ghosts come in all sorts of shapes and mine was a blue-eyed, red-haired boy with freckles, come to make friends with a little girl who is not allowed to leave the house.

He will move one day, I told myself. I will hear a sound and turn around to watch him float up through the floorboards, shaking the dust from his face and smiling at me with his hands held out.

Jimmy, my uncle, doesn’t believe there is a ghost under my room, but he doesn’t want to come have a look either.

“Kids that die don’t become ghosts, Zoey,” he says. “Lots of them go to heaven and some go to hell, but they have no business hanging around in your room.”

My uncle Jimmy smokes a pipe all day and I like to sit on his lap and watch the smoke curl up from his mouth, while he tells me stories that always end in the same whispered sentence.

"Not a word to your father about it."

On the cupboard next to my bed lies the Holy Bible, the only book that I own, and it doesn’t even have pictures. Picture books are a lot more fun to read, but I don’t dare to ask my father if he can buy me one so that I don’t always have to read the Holy Bible. Questions like that upset him.

“Read from the Bible,” he will probably say, “and go to your room.”

Sometimes I read a story to my friend Charlie. Two weeks ago I read him the story of Abraham, who almost killed his own son because God asked him to, but when poor Isaac walked up the hill so cheerfully, unaware of what was coming, I started crying. Under the floorboards, I heard a muffled groan and when I looked through the cracks, I saw a tear had left a trail in the dust on Charlie’s cheek. Vacantly he stared through me as always, but his eyes were wet. Who would have known? X-ray eyes in ghostly faces can cry just like mine.

“You may never leave this house,” says my father. “Zoey, it’s not safe outside.”

All I do is lie on my bed, read my Bible and stare at the ceiling. Before long my eyes will be like Charlie’s, seeing nothing, trying to look through the concrete above me. Charlie and I will be together in this room for nine years this summer. Dust will have gathered on my face by the time I turn ten. Even Uncle Jimmy might not be able to wake me up.

Father doesn’t know about my friend Charlie the Ghost, and I do not want him ever to find out, because I am sure he will be upset.

“God is our friend,” he always says, “and that should be enough for both of us. Heaven forbid you meet a boy who would make you a sinner like your dad.”

I do not know why father is a sinner, but I think mother knows, because she cries every morning when he has left for work.

“John,” I hear her sob, “what have you done to my little boy? Killed him for raising his hands to protect me. Left him to rot all alone in the dark!”

Mother is confused, says father. Night after night she sits in the kitchen and bangs her head against the dinner table. Over and over again, says father. Perhaps she is a sinner too.

“Quiet,” I whisper to Charlie the Ghost, when I hear the sound of her head against the wood. “Relax and just go to sleep, safe under the floorboards. She will stop soon, don’t be scared. Tomorrow, maybe, she won’t be confused anymore.”

Uncle Jimmy says I had a big brother, but he ran away before I was born.

“Vanished from the face of the earth, girl, just like that,” he says, while the stem of his pipe between his teeth goes clickety-click, “but not a word to your father about it.”

“Wish I had a big brother,” I tell Charlie at night, but he just stares at me with those cold blue eyes that never blink. X-ray eyes that will always see right through me.

“You could be my brother,” I whisper, but he only stares and never says a word.

(Note: look at the first letters of all the sentences. Notice a pattern..?)


Friend, Friends, Friends With Benefits, Friendship, Ghost, Heart, Life, Love, Lovers, Lust, Money, Money Making, Money Online, Money Saving Tip, Story, Story Writing

Meet the author

author avatar Madhu Kalyan
I’m an author, blogger, photographer, traveler and food fanatic.

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author avatar Raj
11th Dec 2014 (#)


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author avatar Raj
11th Dec 2014 (#)

Good story

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author avatar Juvia
11th Dec 2014 (#)

Nice story

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
31st Dec 2014 (#)

What a story! You've shown good imagination.
Wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

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