This was a 10-minute writing exercise in which I was tasked with creating a story from the words “ghost, lighthouse, glasses” so it’s a little nuts!

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Giddy was dead, but he still had severe myopia. Since he was too dead to wear glasses (they kept slipping through his head) he’d go drifting through the walls and shattering things every now and then when his ectoplasm gelled together to give him a solid form, so of course he kept on scaring the bejeesus out of the old man. It was just him and Giddy up there in that lighthouse so the old man couldn’t chalk the noises up to loud neighbours or snotty kids.

The old man knew something was going on in that lighthouse with these random noises every now and then and he didn’t much appreciate it at his time of life. It’s not that he was scared per se, he just hated being startled out of a deep sleep or the way his shoulders would jump up and grab his ears when a heavy book just bam and dropped behind him.

Anyway the two of them had been drifting past each other in that lighthouse for years, like two ships in the night (see what I did there?) and each of them was pretty lonely, but they’d both kind of gotten used to it.

Then one day, when it was just that time of day when the sea puts out the top of the sun and you see that green flash they say you’re supposed to see but you never do because it doesn’t exist! Ahem. So at just that time of day, the old man was out at the top of the lighthouse just watching the rest of his life sail by when Giddy came flying through the wall, gelled himself together suddenly and went banging off the railing. (He could never control when he became solid, it just happened randomly sometimes, like a sneeze).

The old man was so startled that he dropped his cup of chamomile tea, which he was pretty pissed about afterwards because it had just cooled down to a drinkable temperature and he’d only taken that one refreshing sip and now it was watering the lighthouse floor and he’d have to go all the way down to the kitchen with his arthritic knees to make another. But at the time he didn’t notice because he was face to ectoplasm with Giddy, who was squinting his eyes trying to make out the form in front of him.

“What the HELL!” shouted the old man (let’s call him Gerry because I can’t keep writing ‘old man’ over and over and I don’t actually know his name). So Gerry was like “what the HELL!”

And that made Giddy jump, which was kind of funny since he’s the ghost, but like I said he was half-blind so he didn’t know there was anyone there. But now that he was focusing, he could make out the form of the old man: middling height, stooped shoulders, with hair that looked like a bale of hay trying to blow off in the breeze but pinned down to the spot. Kind of like a slimmer version of Giddy, actually, when he was alive all those centuries ago.

“You are a ghost,” said Gerry, a matter of factly. “I mean, you just floated through the wall, so…”

“Um,” said Giddy, guiltily.

“Oh. OHHH I see what’s going on. I get it now,” said Gerry, who had begun to laugh with understanding.

“What?” said Giddy.

“Well it’s happened, hasn’t it?” said Gerry, with a shrug. “I’ve spent all these years all alone in the lighthouse and its driven me insane.”

“Oh,” said Giddy. “Well, how do you know you’re insane, exactly?”

“Well I’m talking to you, aren’t I? And we’ve just established you’re a ghost, haven’t we? At least, you didn’t deny it…”

“Well, yes I suppose I am.”

“Well there you go!” said Gerry, slapping his knee. “You’re a ghost + I’m talking to you + ghosts don’t exist = I’ve gone crazy!”

“OH! Oh yes, yes I see that now,” said Giddy, laughing.

“Well then. Nothing to it but to make another cup of tea, isn’t it?”

“Oh I’d love a cuppa, but it goes right through me, tea does,” said Giddy.

“You and me both, my friend,” said Gerry as he shuffled down to the kitchen to put the water to boil, Giddy bumbling cheerfully along behind him.

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