The billboard was for a fashionable boutique. “Spirited Shopping!” it proclaimed, in stylized calligraphy.
“Wait…” I said. “What?”
“I know,” Matt said.
“What kind of advertisement is that?” I said.
“Maybe they sell ghosts,” Matt said.
“Huh,” I said, articulately.
Maybe they do…
The bell above the door jingles. A well-dressed salesman says, “Can I help you find something today?”
“Yes,” I tell him. “I was hoping for a little something for the house.”
“Incorporeal would be preferred.”
“Excellent. Right this way.” He leads me through many fine displays, before stopping at something ragged and loud. “Is this what you had in mind?”
The ghoul before me rattles spectral chains.
“I like the shrieking,” I say, “but I don’t think the chains match the rest of my décor. Do you have something less tormented? More sort of forlorn and mopey?”
“I think I know just what you need.” I follow him toward the smaller spirits at the edge of the showroom floor. “Now this here is your standard banshee. Heavy on the shrieking and angst, but maximum translucence to match any style.”
“Ooh! Nice!” I can just picture it in the living room, by the fireplace.
“Plus,” he says, gesturing to an end table floating in midair nearby, “they come in varying levels of poltergeist activity. I’m sure we can find one that suits your taste.”
“Do you only have redheads available?” I say.
“We import these from Ireland. I don’t believe they make any other color.”
“That’s okay. I think I like it.”
“So, will I be sending one of these home with you today?”
“Let’s talk price!” I say.
“Do I even want to know what you’re giggling about over there?” Matt said.
“Probably not,” I said.