Monday 22 January 2024

An Unexpected Alliance by Allison Symes, raspberry tea

Shelley moved into No. 38 Shore Street, ignoring all those who warned her the place was unlucky, deserved to be demolished, oh and incidentally had a ghost. Even the estate agent hurried away from the place after giving her the keys.

Shelley didn’t care. She didn’t believe in bad luck. The detached house was small but would easily meet her needs. She was less sure about ghosts but thought if there was one hanging about, the “unlucky” bit had to apply to the spectre rather than her. After all, surely the poor spirit would rather be resting in peace. She knew she would.

Moving in went well though Shelley noted the removals people also couldn’t wait to get out. Still that suited her. It was time to relax and just be. She’d been through enough. Now she could begin a new life. Given what she’d left, ghosts were the least of her concern.

Shelley had just finished her second cup of tea and her fourth chocolate digestive when the spectre appeared in front of her. Shelley gave the ghost a cheery wave. ‘Am not scared of you.’

‘You wouldn’t be. I don’t know what you are but you’re not human. Why are you here?’

‘I got fed up with the power abuses on my home planet.’

‘And you came here?’

Shelley smiled. ‘Would you want to face a world which habitually misuses magic to oppress people? The same world which has caused obliteration on other worlds?’

The ghost grimaced. ‘So you left and…’

‘Officially I am a disappearance. They all think Earth is backwards because of humanity’s tendency to wage wars. They have no sense of irony given the wars they’ve been responsible for. They will assume I wouldn’t want anything to do with a backwards species. That suits me fine.’

The ghost studied Shelley. ‘You will suit me fine too.’

‘How so?’

‘Every so often this house is threatened with demolition because I live here. Maybe now I will get to reside in peace here. Yes, I think we could help each other, but is there any chance of your people, for want of a better word, coming here after you?’

Shelley shrugged. ‘I don’t think so. Nobody is supposed to leave our world, see? We’re all supposed to be a happy lot, content to live on such a wonderful world. I do have a sense of irony! So my vanishing is embarrassing. I suspect the cover up has already begun back at home. They are better off pretending my disappearance hasn’t happened and it will be forgotten I ever existed.’

‘You can’t know that for sure.’

‘True, but it’s a logical assessment. I know when there was even a hint of a scandal before, a fairy godmother defected to another magical world, her name was made mud and then erased. I suspect that will happen with me. I understand from what I’ve studied of humanity ghosts like you hang around where there is unfinished business?’

The ghost nodded. ‘Yes. I too was a disappearance. The man I thought loved me killed me and left my body under the floorboards here. He ran off with another woman. They died in a car crash about a fortnight later. Witnesses thought the driver was spooked, car veered off, and went into a barrier at speed.’

‘Was the car spooked?’


‘By you?’

‘Yes. I wanted justice, see. Oh if he didn’t want me any more I could’ve lived with that. Literally. He didn’t have to kill me.’

‘Does his ghost turn up?’

‘Only the once. He came here. Took one look at me and fled. I don’t know what afterlife he’s gone to but let’s just say I hope it’s nice and hot for him.’

Shelley smiled. ‘We understand each other. To our future then.’

And she raised her empty cup in salute.


About the author


Allison Symes, who loves quirky fiction, is published by Chapeltown Books, CafeLit, and Bridge House Publishing. She writes for Chandler’s Ford Today and Writers’ Narrative. 




Her flash fiction collections are From Light to Dark and Back Again and Tripping The Flash Fantastic. Did you enjoy the story? Would you like to shout us a coffee? Half of what you pay goes to the writers and half towards supporting the project (web site maintenance, preparing the next Best of book etc.)

No comments:

Post a Comment