“Stay, Illusion…” by Elena Jacob – Flash Fiction Ghost Story

by E.V. Jacob on January 1, 2013

Written by…uh…me.  I’d link you to my website, but you’re already on it.  Follow me on Twitter!

“What are you writing?”

“None of your business,” Sam snapped.

I was a little surprised by his tone—he was usually nicer.

“Sorry,” I said sarcastically, turning away.

He sighed.  “I’m sorry, Lynn…it’s just…personal.  I didn’t mean to be rude…just…stressed…”

I was about to tell him that stress is no excuse, but when I turned to him, I saw his face drawn, bags under his eyes.  He looked so tired.

Sam had been in a weird mood for the past few days.  I figured it was because of the ghosts that had suddenly taken up residence in our apartment, but he swore it was something else.  He claimed not to have seen the ghosts, that they weren’t bugging him, but Sam has been my best friend since kindergarten—I knew when he was lying.

He could say they weren’t real, but I’d seen them.  Or at least, I’d seen their work.  I came home the other day to find my picture frames all empty, and my book collection rearranged.  My DVDs were stacked in little towers on the floor by my bed.  Also, all my shoes, except for my sneakers, had vanished.

I even found one of my blouses in Sam’s room.  I would have accused him of taking it and being a creepy stalker, but just that morning I’d been woken by somber voices whispering just outside my door.

It was weird.

Now, as I made my way into the kitchen, I stopped in my tracks.


“What?” Sam asked.  He’d gone into his bedroom, but I’m loud.

“The ghosts are at it again!”

He opened his door and peeked out.  “What did they do?”

“They—uh…why are you wearing a suit?”

“Job interview,” he answered, fumbling with his tie.

I snickered and went over to him, tying it neatly.

“You’re usually so good at this.  Nervous?”

He looked at me with that weird, distant look he’d worn all week.


I vaguely remembered him saying he had an appointment today, but honestly I was probably investigating ghosts at the time.  I still found it odd that I didn’t know about this—wouldn’t he have told me about something big enough to scare him?

“What did they do?” he asked.


“The ghosts, what did they do now?”

“Oh, they took all my mugs out of the cupboard.  And a couple of yours.”

He nodded and looked down at his suit, tugging it into place.

“I have to go, I’m gonna be late.”

“Alright, well, good luck.”


As he gathered up his coat, he turned to me, hesitating.

“Will you be here when I get back?”

I laughed. “Yeah, where else would I be?”

He nodded. “Okay, yeah, alright.  See you in a bit.”


He left and I decided to hop in the shower.  I didn’t have much to do, so I took my time.  Then I went to watch some TV.  Sam had been gone for a while and I was bored.

I was contemplating movie options when I heard a door creak somewhere in the apartment.

I froze.  “Sam?”

Nothing, save for the soft shuffling coming from the hallway.

I crept quietly toward the sound.  Peeking around the wall to the kitchen, I spotted a man with his back to me.

He turned then and started walking my way.  I backed up, but he rounded the corner and crashed into me before I could get away.

Only he didn’t crash into me.  He went through me.

I screamed.  He screamed.  As he scrambled around on the floor, I realized I recognized him—he was Sam’s cousin, I’d met him a few times over the years.

“Danny?” I asked, breathless and still shaken.

He didn’t answer.  He’d gone pale, and was staring up at me in horror.

“No!  No…you can’t—that’s not—”

“What are you doing here?” I demanded.

He didn’t answer, he just screamed.  His eyes were bugging out of his face.

Just then, the front door opened and Sam walked in.  From the looks of it, he’d bombed the interview.

Danny scrambled to his feet and ran over to Sam, babbling incoherently.

“She’s—there’s—a ghost—”

Sam cut him off. “I know, Dan.  I know.  Look, just go home, I’ll call you later, alright?”

He nodded and backed out of the apartment, turning and running down the hall as Sam shut the door.

“What the hell was that?” I demanded.

Sam rubbed the bridge of his nose and sighed heavily.

“Sam.  What was that?  Why was Danny here?  Why was he so freaked out to see me?  Why did he…what was that?”

He looked up at me, and I could see the redness that rimmed his eyes.  Had he been crying?

“I’m sorry Danny was here.  He…I told him to stop by but I didn’t think he’d pick today.”

“Why?  What was he here for?  And—and how did he get in?”

“I gave him a key.”

“What?  Why?  Why didn’t you warn me?”

Sam shook his head.  He looked like he was about to cry.

“I’m sorry.  I forgot.”

I stood there, speechless.  I’d never seen Sam act this way in all my life.  Something was wrong, and I was starting to get very, very scared.

“Sam…” I whispered.

He wouldn’t look at me.  I noticed a little piece of paper crumpled in his hand.

“Sam, what is going on?” I shrieked, startling myself.  I could feel a kind of cold panic setting in as I looked at his black tie, and his red eyes, and remembered what Danny had said before he left.

“Why was he here, Sam?”

“I…he’s…” Sam sagged, looking defeated. “ He’s going to move in.”

“Why would he do that?”

“Because…I’m going to need a new roommate, now that…”

“Now that what?”

He looked up at me, and I caught a glimpse of the paper in his hands.  “Darby & Sons Mortuary.”

“Now that what?” I whispered.

“Now that you’re dead,” he said softly.


Read Part II here!

  • http://clraven.wordpress.com/ C L Raven

    love it! That was a great story. We really liked the characters and their close friendship is obvious with the way they interact with each other. The part where Lynn & Danny freak each other out is funny. Good job!

    • http://www.ravenhartpress.com/ Elena Jacob

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked it :D And LOL I loved writing that part, so I’m glad it was enjoyable for you, too!

  • Chris Shawbell

    You ninja’d me. I don’t get ninjitsu’d often at. At one point I was thinking, “She’s very casual about the ghosts frolicking about their place.” Really good set up. Even Danny going “through her” (he’s the ghost) isn’t a give away. Well done.


    • http://www.ravenhartpress.com/ Elena Jacob

      :D :D :D Awesome! I’m very proud of that–I was hoping I could pull it off, but you never know until you put it out there!

      Thanks for reading!! :)

Previous post:

Next post: