Ghostly Haunts

by Jan King
I was the figure watching to see if you would let go or not. Luckily you didn’t.
Death by your own hand is considered selfish in some ways, although I believe it is also
right for some.
It was right for me. Let me start at the beginning. My name is Amber Green. I had always
been fit. My dog and I used to go on long walks, no they were more like treks. I would pack up
sandwiches, a bottle of water and some treats for Sliver and off we would go into the wilds of
Devon.
I wasn’t young but I looked after myself. Then came the devastating news. I certainly wasn’t
expecting this turn of events. I had been feeling very tired of late and quite listless, not my
normal happy self. So I booked an appointment with my doctor. She suggested a blood test
to eliminate certain diseases.
I had the blood test. The upshot of this was that I had a terminal illness. I sat there in the
doctor consulting room dumbfounded. I didn’t know how to react. What should I ask? All sorts of
questions were whirling in my head. Instead I got up, said thank-you to the doctor and went home.
Sliver greeted me at the door. I started to cry. What will I do with Sliver?
Once I had sat down with a cup of tea and digested this information, I thought where do I go from
here. The internet and google. After many hours of research, I knew that I would have to draw up a
schedule.
This would entail finding a home for Sliver, but not until I couldn’t walk a mile unaided that I would
put my plan into action.
I did let go…. hence my ghostly appearance at this place.Black Eyed Angels Swam With Me
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Tonight I will do it

by Fatima

The air feels so nice blowing through my short, dirty-blond hair. It’s a little too cold for me to be out here tonight, but this is my usual routine. Tonight I will do it, I will not hold back this time I will jump. Tonight will be my last night to do this routine. As I grip the bar of the rail tighter, ready to let go, let go of all the disappointments, and the ways I can not change. I look up, and there is one star in the night sky. That same star that is there every night. The star that blinds me a little when I look back at the nothingness below me, black is all I see. That star that lets me know everything will be okay. I leap back over the rail, my bare feet touching the prickly grass on the other side. I put my dirty old chucks on and begin to walk home. When I turn back around to look at that one star that gives me faith, I see a dark figure with long hair blowing in the wind. She turns around and we meet eyes. I turn back around trying to avoid the thought of her seeing me. When I turn back around to see if she is still looking in my direction, she is gone. Was that a part of my imagination? Was I being followed by a ghost, or did that really happen? All these thoughts in my head confusing me, so I run. I run away from, my thoughts, my pain, even myself. I reach home, check the time, 2:54a.m. I crawl through my window. The note I wrote was sitting on my bed, I rip it up as soon as I get in. I slip out of my pink sundress I love so much and put on my pjs. Slide into bed and whisper, ‘happy birthday to me.’

The Jump

By Paul R.Green

Almost there. Just one more step and it’ll all be over. Just one. All I need do is put one foot in front of the other and this all goes away.

Up here on the roof I can feel every shift in the cold winter air as it swirls around the buildings around and below me, almost as if the capital itself is a living breathing thing and it would only take the slightest of sighs for me to be sucked into its fatal embrace.

It’s obvious now that I should never have listened to her, but she was wearing the blue pinstripe; the one cut to perfection that shows off her every curve. And her perfume; when she leaned in close to make the oh so innocent initial suggestion, coupled with the subtle, yet clearly deliberate, pull of white cotton across her chest, slipped through my already crumbling defences and cut off my brain at the dick.
She said she just wanted to see the jump logs; to see how the system worked, as she was considering transferring out of fieldwork and looking for an alternative that kept her within the department.  And I guess of all the Jump-techs I was the most gullible. Of course at the time, I thought it was because I was the smartest, youngest and most attractive, but we’ve already established who was doing my thinking back then.
Anyway, I waited until I was working a solo shift and showed her the ropes. She was a quick study and pretty soon she was asking questions that I really shouldn’t have answered; but I went along anyway, risking my career for the suggestion of a hint of a promise. I said I was smart, not that I had any common-sense. But that body, that scent, those eyes had a way of making me forget everything else. Of course, with hindsight, she may have just been playing with my mind. Part of me wishes that were true, but if I’m honest, most of me doesn’t. I like to think that my training would be enough to keep her out, but if she’s managed to keep off Topps‘ radar this long then getting into my head shouldn’t have proved too difficult.
As the wind buffets me, the sudden lurch of my body brings me back to the present and the ledge. My train of thought arrives at its inevitable destination and the question I should really be asking before I take this step; am I here of my own volition, or is this a suggestion she’s dropped into my brain. An emergency backup procedure of sorts, designed to tie up any loose ends in the event of an investigation.
How would I know? Who can I ask for help? The very people who could help me are the ones doing the investigating. Asking for help would put me smack in the middle of their sights.
What if I went to her? Have her help me make a jump and cover my tracks, just like I’ve been doing for her these past couple of years. I could jump to one of the more densely populated Ds. One with a decent but lower tech level and minimal psych abilities. But, she’s on assignment again, tracking down an arms dealer on cL14, and I don’t even know when she’ll be back.
I guess there’s only one type of jump I’ll be making and it’s a definite one way trip.
The wind drops and there’s a beautiful moment of stillness as the sun breaks through  the grey clouds. I close my eyes, picturing her as I savour the warmth that spreads across my face, and take a step.