A Three Ghost Night

He is asleep when I find him. A tiny man in a giant bed, pillows tossed around the room. His face, normally full of life and color, is pale white, the skin of a dead man. It takes nothing to wake him, and when I do, his face flushes with momentary anger, and then he recognizes me.

“You look as if you’ve seen a ghost,” I say to him.

“I’ve prayed I would,” he says, “but none have come.”

He is not the first patient of mine to feel this way, and he will certainly not be the last, but the sound of desperation in his voice is strong, and I feel a moment’s pity. I stay for an hour and listen to his story, knowing it already before he begins, wishing that like a joke heard before, I can merely say the punchline and avoid the repetition.

“I’m so unhappy with myself,” he cries, “and there is nothing I can do. I awake every day to the same life, the same problems, the same failures, the same vices. I am the unchanged man, and I long for change! I wish for a night like Ebenezer’s. I wish for a three ghost night and the transformation it would bring.” It is hard to pay attention to everything he says. I have heard it all from him before.

Finally, he finishes speaking and I give him my advice. This too is nothing new, but he nods and pretends to listen. “You’ve been such a help,” he says, a tiny smile appearing on his tiny face. Afterwards, I gather my things and prepare to leave. I watch him as he turns upon the bed, preparing for sleep and then I leave without a word. There is nothing else for me to see here; I know his routine well: beside the bed sits a tumbler of water and a Bible; without thinking, he will drink the water in one gulp, and then read the Holy Scriptures in much the same way. Perhaps five minutes, perhaps less. Then he will close his eyes and sleep, dreaming desperate dreams and hoping for a touch of magic.

18 thoughts on “A Three Ghost Night”

  1. The longing for “magic” while brushing against the “living” Word without discerning its power…that’s haunting, and also a reality too much of the time. I think you could pout out the inherent “magic” of the Bible even more.

  2. The longing for “magic” while brushing against the “living” Word without discerning its power…that’s haunting, and also a reality too much of the time. I think you could pout out the inherent “magic” of the Bible even more.

  3. Funny how we want our change to come from external sources. Why can’t we create that magical ability to perceive the truth and act accordingly without having to be shown by another person? Interesting piece, gymbrall.

  4. Funny how we want our change to come from external sources. Why can’t we create that magical ability to perceive the truth and act accordingly without having to be shown by another person? Interesting piece, gymbrall.

  5. chosha,
    Thanks for the read. Much of the idea for this piece came from my own personal failures. I spent years looking to every other way but God’s for the power to change and then having exhausted my perceived resources, became bitter at God for failing me.

    Anyway, again thanks for the read and the comment,
    gymbrall

  6. chosha,
    Thanks for the read. Much of the idea for this piece came from my own personal failures. I spent years looking to every other way but God’s for the power to change and then having exhausted my perceived resources, became bitter at God for failing me.

    Anyway, again thanks for the read and the comment,
    gymbrall

  7. Bob,
    Thanks for the read and the kind words. To answer your question, I would be very interested. What would that entail and what would you need from me?

    You can email me directly at gymbrall@gmail.com which gets forwarded to my work and home email addresses.

    Again, thanks,
    Charles Churchill

  8. Bob,
    Thanks for the read and the kind words. To answer your question, I would be very interested. What would that entail and what would you need from me?

    You can email me directly at gymbrall@gmail.com which gets forwarded to my work and home email addresses.

    Again, thanks,
    Charles Churchill

  9. Okay, now you have really “got” me. I love the way you think. I connect easily with your point and find what you say incredibly well-stated and timeless. It could fit in any century…yesterday, today or tomorrow. I shall continue to visit you and skip a bunch of other blogs that have little to do with processing positive messages. Dani Lee

  10. Okay, now you have really “got” me. I love the way you think. I connect easily with your point and find what you say incredibly well-stated and timeless. It could fit in any century…yesterday, today or tomorrow. I shall continue to visit you and skip a bunch of other blogs that have little to do with processing positive messages. Dani Lee

  11. dani,
    If you keep these compliments up, my wife will make me start using the low-calorie shampoo again (it smells like broccoli…).

    Seriously, thanks so much for the read. I’m hoping to post some more fiction in the coming days.

    gymbrall

  12. dani,
    If you keep these compliments up, my wife will make me start using the low-calorie shampoo again (it smells like broccoli…).

    Seriously, thanks so much for the read. I’m hoping to post some more fiction in the coming days.

    gymbrall

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