Present Ghost

Telling stories



The Conclusion of The Alleyway Parable

The Shoulder

The boy forgot the story after a week passed, but the man didn’t. While he was sleeping, Isaac (the elder) dreamed of scenes with details of the exact color of dust that swept about the corners of the man’s house, and the temperature of the beloved woman’s pale, almost-blue skin on her shoulders. It was not sexual: it was sensual, so he didn’t feel bad when he decided to continue sharing with the boy when he might see him next. He wasn’t some pervert on the streets, after all.

Continue reading “The Conclusion of The Alleyway Parable”

The Alleyway Parable, Installment III


For the next two weeks, the old man named Isaac continued to walk the same route alone. It was already mid-November when he heard the young Isaac’s voice addressing him from a few meters away.  Although he was glad to see the boy again, he relished the brief time he still had to walk alone. It was only a second or two, but in that time, he noticed the weight of his cloak against his skin, the fabric hanging in long, black folds from his shoulders and swinging like dark heavy curtains. The garments he wore scratched against his thin, chalky skin so that when he sweat on his extensive walks, the water soaked right into the cloth, leaving him almost uncomfortably dry. He had never thought about his habit before, and he didn’t have long to think about it before his acquaintance caught up to him.

Continue reading “The Alleyway Parable, Installment III”

The Alleyway Parable, Installment II


The old man stopped walking, and held out his hand for the boy to take, and they shook hands.

“Weird. Isaac’s my name, too.”

“Small world. You know what that means?”

“What, Isaac?”

“Yes. Everyone has a name, and people used to be given names with meanings, sometimes as prognostications—you should learn that word, boy. It’s a good one—and sometimes, it was a reminder of their inheritance or beginning. Isaac just so happens to be—”

“I know. It means ‘laughter’. My mom got me this little plaque when I was a little kid and put it above the light switch in my room. She said it makes sense because I’ve always been a jokester.”

The man paused and pushed his long beard aside so he could rest his hands on his stomach.

“I see.” Continue reading “The Alleyway Parable, Installment II”

The Alleyway Parable, Installment I


He would barrel down the side streets, racing home from Middleton Junior High School on his hand-me-down ten-speed, pumping his legs so hard, imagining he was being chased by his classmates. When he tired of imagining outsmarting bad guys and evading cops, he embraced an actual goal: He would race city school bus 9. He remembered its route from when his mother had forced him to ride it right when they moved into the district. That was before he had gotten his bike. Continue reading “The Alleyway Parable, Installment I”

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