Legal Theft Project: Phantom Minds

It was strange to actually see her in the flesh. As she avoided him, he’d only been near her as a figment of himself and he’d forgotten the little things that flesh does to betray its feelings. Fingernails biting into his palm. The rush of heat signalling rage that boiled in the gut. Movement slowed becoming deliberate as he snapped down hard on his control. The way the light of battle felt like ice behind his eyes. And he saw the answering control in her movements. Wondered if words felt stoppered in her throat as she sifted through to the ones company would find acceptable instead of the simple expletives they used toward one another in the privacy of their own minds.

He knew far far too much about her. He kept his distance from her physically, accepting another’s offer to dance. His black haired nemesis did not dance and so he was given time and space to compose himself. He’d spent too much time ghosting around her. Sending his mind and senses to snoop around in her home, her study, and accidentally, mostly accidentally, snatching glimpses of her secret lives. With her family. Alone with her thoughts, with her birds. Writing, preparing to leave, and coming home. He hoped he’d begun to haunt her. To crack that controlled exterior and make the person within it rage.

He finished his dance and got a glimpse of himself in the large mirror on the ballroom wall. She was reflected in the glass, her back to it, to him and it struck him why seeing her in person was such a sharp pain. She paid little attention to him at all. For all that he could tell when she noticed him. See the physical reactions he had, mirrored in her posture. She had the luxury of position and power and dismissed him as one would an unappetizing meal. And he had no way to stop her.

Eyes gone blind with the realization, he staggered to a balcony and fresh air, hoping it would still the tears threatening in his eyes. It seemed no matter what he did, he was destined to be a ghost. He looked down at his hands, wavering through unshed tears. Still flesh and bone. He flexed his long fingers. He had little efficacy on the real world when he was incorporeal. Better to stay a tangible ghost. He blinked away a few escaping tears and turned to look back into the ballroom. He would be missed by others soon. A small dangerous smile curled the corner of his mouth. There were many types of ghost. Perhaps it was time to be a more violent one.


Another first line stolen from Bek. See who else found the physical realm unsettling here.

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