Author Topic: PseudoPod 788: The Stories We Tell About Ghosts  (Read 480 times)


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on: December 15, 2021, 03:15:34 AM
PseudoPod 788: The Stories We Tell About Ghosts

Author: A.C. Wise
Narrator: Alethea Kontis
Host: Alasdair Stuart
Audio Producer: Marty Perrett

“The Stories We Tell About Ghosts” was originally published in Looming Low: Volume I and reprinted this year in A.C. Wise’s new collection, The Ghost Sequences.

Growing up in Dieu-le-Sauveur, my friends and I told stories about ghosts—the Starving Man, the Sleeping Girl, and the House at the End of the Street. The summer I was twelve, I saw my first ghost for real. That was the summer my little brother Gen disappeared.

The first official day of summer, the day after school ended for the year, we gathered in Luke and Adam’s clubhouse—me, my little brother Gen, and Holly and Heather from across the road. Luke and Adam lived next door. By the time Gen was born, Luke and I had already spent years passing through the hedge between our houses.

That didn’t change immediately when Gen was born, but it changed when he got old enough to walk and my parents insisted I take him with me any place I wanted to go. Luke didn’t mind, but he was the younger brother in his relationship, the one used to tagging along. He couldn’t understand why I could be annoyed, and yet protective of Gen at the same time, the first to rush to him if he got hurt, or stand up for him if someone else gave him trouble.

This is what I couldn’t explain to Luke: It didn’t matter that I loved Gen or not, because I did; it didn’t matter that he was actually pretty cool for a little brother. What mattered was I didn’t have a choice anymore. I used to be just me, but for the last seven years, I’d been Gen’s big brother. I would always be Gen’s big brother, with all the weight and responsibility it entailed.

“This is that game I was telling you about.” Adam pulled out his phone. All week while we waited for school to be out, he’d been talking about an app called Ghost Hunt!, where you collected virtual ghosts and stored them in a scrapbook. He already had 27 unique ghosts, including the Bloody Nun.

“I found her behind the church. There used to be a cemetery there, but they dug up all the bodies and moved them somewhere else.”

He turned his screen to show us the Bloody Nun’s picture. The clubhouse was really a cleared-out garden shed, but Luke and Adam’s mom had put in a carpet for us and a mini fridge with an extension cord running to the garage. I reached to grab a soda, popping the tab before I looked at the picture on Adam’s phone.

The colors were washed out and strange, like one of those filters had been applied to make it look like an old photograph. The grass had a peachy tone, but I recognized the lawn behind the church, but not the woman, who wore an old-fashioned habit, with a wimple and a big silver cross. Her face was jowly, making me think of a bulldog, and at first I didn’t even notice her feet until Holly pointed it out.

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