The Ghost of Carole Lombard

By Ed Faunce

I am sitting in a dark alley by the railroad tracks in downtown L.A. and the ghost of Carole Lombard walks up and says “Got a light?”

I was waiting there for my girlfriend to get back from the 7-Eleven down the block with a brown bag and a slurpee. I was a bit high, but not high enough to ignore this elegant phantasm in front of me holding a Lucky Strike in her pale fingers. Those sleepy bedroom eyes peeked out from under the shadows of her long eyelashes. I lit a match. The magnificent spectre guided my hand to the tip of the cigarette. There was a breeze, unusual in the high desert in August. The air smelled of jasmine and roses. My hands felt cold. I wanted Stacy to hurry back so I could share this experience with someone.

She took a drag, then exhaled. Her tousled hair blew ethereally around her glowing cheeks. “Nice ride” said Lombard’s apparition, running her fingers down the side of my Econoline van, smoke rising from within her bodice. “The only one better I have seen was named Gable.” She gave me a side eye. I wasn’t sure if I should bite on the double entendre so I came out with a lame, “I bet”.

She approached me but didn’t float. I have never thought about ghosts having legs but, damn, this one did. Nice ones too. That flimsy ghost skirt showed them off quite well. Ghost heels too.

My fears were being replaced with starting to hope Stacy would take her time coming back. Dangerous waters I now swam in.

I wasn’t sure if she moved closer to me or something floated me closer to her, but there we were, nose to nose.

“I know what you are thinking,” she said breathily, picking some tobacco off her tongue. “How does one get laid when they are existentially challenged, so to speak?”

That is exactly what I was thinking. But I wasn’t sure if I should agree with her just yet. Those dancing eyes and pouty lips glowed like barricade flashers, they warned of trouble ahead, but also were so mesmerizing.

She put her lips close to mine. I felt her jasmine breath on my face then noticed I was getting light headed.
Carole Lombard was taking my breath away. That wasn’t just an expression either. She was sucking the breath out of me.

“Just a little foreplay, Pappy,” I heard her say. I was dizzy, yet for some reason felt a tightness in my groin. Jesus, I was being EA’ed by the ghost of a Hollywood legend! I started to fight but it felt so good. I thought “Yes, let’s do this! I’m Pappy!!!” My head spun wildly, all the while I was dying, but I didn’t have a care in the….

“I couldn’t get the brown bag but here’s the slurpee” announced Stacy, walking into my otherworldly orgy.

I fell hard against the side of the van. I was gasping for breath.

“What the fuck is your problem?” asked Stacy as she stared at me, a Big Gulp cup in her hand.

“Jesus, Stacy, you scared the fuck out of me, “ I wheezed. Carole was gone. My still-lit match burned on the pavement. I felt half alive, half dead. She handed me the plastic cup.

“Stacy, get me my inhaler. It’s on the dashboard next to the bong.” She grunted while opening the door to rummage through my debris.

I leaned back on the rusty van and looked to the sky. Maybe next time, darling. Maybe next time.

Stacy handed me my inhaler, I took a long shot and held it in tight, then exhaled.

“Do you have a boner?” asked my very alive, non-ghost like girlfriend.

“Yeah, I do” I smiled, taking a slurp of the sweet, icy drink.


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