The Little Ghost and Friend

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                Dedicated to the actors, dying on stage and screen...

The Little Ghost was sitting on the edge of the farthest shelf in the darkest corner of the pantry, its chin propped on its little fists. It was so hot It felt just a little bit better in the night, but the night was the working time! And it was simply unbearable at midday. People, of course, think that ghosts are indifferent to weather, but in fact heat gets to them, too. So the Little Ghost hid itself in the pantry to be sad. The Ghost could be sad masterfully; it specialized in sadness and sighs. And so it was sitting and emitting the most exemplary, heavy and heartfelt sighs because its best Friend had not been there to see it for a long while. He used to come quite often and be a little different each time as if it was some sort of guessing game they were playing. But the Little Ghost recognized him no matter what he looked like they were friends, after all. When he showed up for the first time the Friend was wearing a military uniform. He looked around the pantry, let out a sigh that could rival the Ghosts and sat down on a potato box.

Hello, said the Little Ghost. Neat sigh. Come to stay?
I hope not, replied the soldier gloomily.
Are you going to be transferred somewhere? The Ghost was upset. It was very lonely.
The soldier nodded.
Yeah. Back there.
The Ghost nearly fell off the shelf.
What do you mean back there? Its not possible.
It is, for us, said the soldier sadly and sighed again.
Whos us?

The soldier got up and began to walk along the shelves looking at the multi-colored jars.
Actors. We get killed time and time again, he explained.
The Ghost waved its hand. Ah, but its not for real.
Everybody thinks that. You have no idea how it hurts!
The Ghost tossed its long hair away from its face and looked at the tall, pensive man anew, carefully and sympathetically.
So how long are you going to stay?
The man shrugged. It depends. I dont know, its the first time for me.

They became friends very soon, even though the soldier wasnt very talkative: the Little Ghost needed a good listener most of all, and Friend was very good at listening. But one day he went away and did not come back. The Ghost was sad for almost a week, but then things got on track again there was so much work to do. Next time Friend showed up as a knight wearing a black jacket and shoulder-length locks. He looked around the familiar pantry and nodded to the Ghost as if to an old acquaintance. The Ghost was very glad to see him.
Again?
Yeah, said Friend. How are you doing?

They talked a lot, like they did before, and the Little Ghost showed Friend around its haunt. The house was surrounded by an old and overgrown garden with an ancient, crumbling well in its far corner. Friend liked the garden very much. He said his mothers garden was much the same.
Is there a ghost there?
Friend shook his head and smiled.
No, there isnt. And its a pity.
And then he disappeared again. This time, the Ghost did not keep on sighing for long, it simply began to wait for a new meeting.

They talked a lot, like they did before, and the Little Ghost showed Friend around its haunt. The house was surrounded by an old and overgrown garden with an ancient, crumbling well in its far corner. Friend liked the garden very much. He said his mothers garden was much the same.
Is there a ghost there?
Friend shook his head and smiled.
No, there isnt. And its a pity.
And then he disappeared again. This time, the Ghost did not keep on sighing for long, it simply began to wait for a new meeting.

It happened very soon. The locks were gone (the Ghost regretted this a little) and the clothes were quite modern. Sitting in his usual place next to the pickled cucumbers jars, Friend was angrily telling how stupidly he was killed this time. The Little Ghost felt for him with all its being because it knew thats how it usually happens.
Are you here for long this time? it inquired, as if casually.
Friend shook his head.
No, he said. Im sorry, Ill have to go back soon. Have you been missing me?
A bit, said the Ghost and twitched a shoulder. It didnt want to admit that it had been flying around its territory every single day hoping that today, of all days, he would come back, or own up to emitting especially gorgeous sighs when it finally became clear that he wouldnt.
Lets go sit in the garden for a while, Friend suggested with a smile. The Little Ghost took off its shelf joyfully and led the way out of the window.

The next time he stopped by only for a little while, just to say hello. He had a stupid fringe and an excellent mood. It turned out he played a very bad man and was glad that he was killed. People are definitely strange
Then again came a camouflage-wearing soldier. The Little Ghost liked him more than anyone else, maybe because he looked almost the same as when they first met. They had a chat about this and that in the pantry, and in the evening they went out into the garden and sat down by the stone well. Somewhere among the stones a cricket was chirping. The scent of mint was in the air.
Are you bored? asked the Ghost. Somewhere deep inside its substance it hoped that Friend was tired of make-believe deaths and that he would stay here forever. But Friend just smiled, sadly and knowingly.
Not yet, he said and changed the topic. What are you doing when Im not here? Working?
Being sad, the Ghost answered honestly and sighed emphatically. Friend seemed to be embarrassed and kept silent for a long time.

They stayed seated on top of the well until the moon came up. In its silvery light the Ghost looked mysterious and half-transparent, like a cloud of fog clinging to the stone. This was its time. It tried not to think about work as it was looking at its Friend with large sad eyes. At last it dared to speak.
What do you think of staying here? Well work together and sit and talk in the garden on weekends. Or we could stay in the pantry, or fly to the old mill. Have you been to the old mill?
No, I havent, said Friend.
Should we fly there now?
They left the garden and flew to the river along the old road. In the meantime, the Little Ghost was explaining to his Friend that it couldnt be away from the house and the garden for long but the old mill was such a ghostly place that it was alright to go there sometimes.
Is it like a ghost club? asked Friend.
Something like that. But I dont think anyone will be around, except us. They are very shy and have no love of company.
What about you?

The Ghost said nothing, but its slender face and clear gray eyes showed a whole range of conflicting emotions. It was still a very young ghost, only about 200 years old, and it could not hide its feelings especially well.
Do you love company? repeated Friend.
I love you, the Ghost confessed. Company not so much.
Friend stopped. The old mill was very close by, and the noise that the water was making could be heard very clearly.
Listen, the Friend was obviously having difficulty finding words. Its hard to say it but we are so different. And Im going to have to leave soon. Very soon. Right now.
For a long time?
Im not quite sure yet, but probably about three years.
Oh its just a trifle! The Ghost exclaimed enthusiastically. And then?
The Friend smiled.
And then I will come back, I promise. But you might not recognize me Im going to change quite a lot.
Its okay, the Ghost nodded. Ill recognize you no matter what. You just come back.
I will, the Friend promised. See you later, then?
See you, said the Ghost and sighed just a little so as not to upset his Friend his only Friend in this (and other) world



Translation into English - Onyx (Irina) - thank you very much!