A simple, somewhat weird and a different story I thought of one day. Tell me how it is. And I have written this story in a new narrative style.
The Ghost Who Wanted A Picture
Mark, a local photographer was living in a busy metropolis. Interested in people, he took pictures of kids and teenagers going to schools, family going on vacations, men and women carrying hurrying around in the city carrying briefcases, old couples holding hands and walking down the streets, enjoying their retired life, during the day. And drunken couples hanging out at the bars, men outside strip clubs, and gang members doing their own business during the night. He was making a living by taking photographs of people for years, but never before had he come across a certain person—a certain spirit perhaps, who wanted his own picture to be taken.
One night, Mark was following people taking photographs of people outside a local Pablo’s Bar. (All You Could Drink was its cheesy punch line) After taking a satisfactory number of pictures, he decided to call it a day. But a peculiar man caught his interest. He was a man who had a strange look on his face, and was carrying a big black plastic bag. Mark, immediately got his hands on his camera, and started following him. He was not ‘stalking’ him, but was only following him, because it was his job to take photographs of people. He followed the strange man across the street and a few blocks. The strange man walked taking long strides around looked around cautiously every time. So Mark had to stop once in a while before following him again. The strange man finally stopped near a dark alley. Perfect shot, Mark thought. But the strange man rushed inside a small shop besides the alley and closed the door shut behind him. Missed, Mark sighed. He looked at the boarding of the shop, but it was not a shop, it was a small company. Wilson’s Baking Company. (We make. We bake. We deliver; was its cheap punch line.) Mark thought what the strange man was carrying. He didn’t have a clue what it was, but it was none of his business anyway.
He looked around the alley. There was an old scooter besides Wilson’s and a cycle besides that. There was a stinking dumpster on one side and an out of business pawn shop (Mark couldn’t make out the name of the shop owning to the darkness) near the end. Apart from that, there was nothing. It was a normal stinking dark alley.
Suddenly, Mark heard a loud noise, which according to him, sounded like ‘CLAM!’ He heard it again, near the dumpster. Then he felt a light cool breeze and when he saw the dumpster again, a white figure was floating above it. Mark tried to scream and run away, but the ghost quieted him down and said it was not here to possess him. The ghost introduced himself as Philip Florence. A poor man who had turned into a small time criminal stealing and tricking people to get some food for his survival. But he ultimately died of hunger. It was his dream to have someone take his picture, but it was never fulfilled. Therefore seeing Mark holding his camera tightly, the ghost asked him to take a picture. Mark found it had to believe because a ghost was actually having a conversation with him. He blinked several times and pinched himself before assuring himself that he was not dreaming. He decided to obey the ghost by taking his picture as he was scared to death and his feet would obey his brain. The ghost posed for the camera and Mark took his picture immediately. But he was right, the ghost didn’t appear in the picture—because simple it was a ghost.
He told the ghost that he couldn’t take his picture properly with great care. He then prepared himself for something worse to happen. But Philip just floated there, with his sad eyes. He said that he had waited years to have his picture taken but now it dream wouldn’t come true. Mark calmed himself down. The ghost was harmless; he thought and tried to reassure him. But the ghost ignored Mark and thought of a new plan. He asked Mark to sketch a picture of him instead. At least, he would be visible in the sketch and he could keep it and see it whenever he wanted to. Mark was speechless. He thought that the ghost had lost his mind and told him that he was a photographer and not an artist. The ghost ignored him again and said in clear words what he wanted. Mark thought about it and came up with his own plan. He had a condition. He told the spirit that he would sketch a picture only if he got something in return—money; and lots of it. The ghost agreed to this condition immediately—because simple it was ghost. He could do anything and in the case steal money without people knowing about it. Damn, I should have demanded for more, Mark thought and cursed himself and told the ghost that he would come tomorrow night.
The next night in the same alley besides the closed pawn shop, Mark came again but not alone. He came along with a professional artist. He had extreme difficulties to convince him to come here at the middle of the night. In the end, he had to pay him double the original amount he demanded. They waited in the dark alley. Hours passed and Mark got frustrated calling the ghost. The artist couldn’t take it anymore and cursed Mark. He called him a psycho, and went away in spite of Mark calling him again and again. At that moment, the ghost appeared. Mark was devastated and asked why he didn’t appear. The ghost replied by saying that he had asked him to sketch a picture for him and not someone else. Mark argued and told that he was not an artist again. But the ignorant ghost asked him to come again the next night with a sketch board and scared him by saying that if he didn’t, he would possess him. Cursing himself for underestimating the ghost, Mark went away.
The next night, Mark saw a man with dark glasses besides Wilson’s talking in his cell silently. The man with the dark glasses totally ignored him and Mark rushed to the end of the alley with his sketch board. Mark wondered who the man was, and why he didn’t ask him anything. Must have been a nut from the bar, he thought. This time the ghost appeared in time. Mark got to work and Philip sat on the dumpster and posed for the sketch. Mark hoped his ninth grade drawing lessons would help him here. It took him 4 hours to finish the sketch according to the ghost’s demands. It was a horrible sketch, according to Mark, but the ghost was pretty much happy with it. But before the ghost could get hold of the sketch board, Mark asked for the money. The ghost thought for a while and saw the man with the glasses at the end of the alley. He was not alone this time and his body was covered in blood. Along with him there was a strange man whose hands were cuffed. Mark shouted at the ghost and followed him. The ghost pulled out the wallet of the man with the dark glasses and threw it to Mark and disappeared. The man with the dark glasses froze for a moment as he felt a cool breeze and went for his pocket. Then he saw Mark, with his wallet. He pulled out his gun and ordered Mark to put his hands up.
Meanwhile, the ghost happy that he got a picture of himself went back besides the pawn shop, took the sketch and floated away in peace leaving Mark who had a hard time convincing the man with the dark glasses that he wasn’t a thief.