The black ghost left me awhile after the quitting of my employee. It did not possess anyone else, and I was starting to believe it was gone for good. I kept telling myself it was all part of my imagination, and I was no longer worried about it returning. But peace was short lived, because something else came up.
It was a hot afternoon when my lawyer came to see me. He had on a plain suit and he carried his typical brown suitcase. When he sat across my table, I knew something was up.
“What’s the problem now?” I asked.
“You’re being sued,” he said.
“Nothing you can’t handle, right?”
“Well, it’s not the typical lawsuit. You’re being charged for plagiarism and work place hostility.”
“Plagiarism? Hostility? What nonsense is this? I run an honest newspaper! Who is pressing these charges?!”
“A group of journalists who previously worked for you,” he replied.
“Those little scums!” I spat.
“Those little scums have a lot against you. They’re hoping to take you down.”
“Well then stop them! You’ve done it before, do it again. I don’t pay you for nothing.”
“I am, but-”
“What do you need? Hurry up and stop wasting my time!” I shot at him. The news set me on edge and I could not believe I was being challenged by a group of amateur journalists.
“I need to talk to some of your employees,” he calmly said.
“Then go do it! Why do you have to act so incompetent? Don’t make me hire someone else,” I threatened.
My lawyer nodded, and as he got up from his seat my worst nightmare returned. It floated up from the floor and trailed behind him as he walked to the door. When my lawyer reached for the handle, the black ghost entered his body.
I was literally glued to my seat as I watched it happen. There was a long moment of silence as I was expecting something bad. Indeed, my expectations were met. My lawyer pulled his hand back and turned to face me.
In a calm and composed manner, he said, “I have worked for you for five years. I have won many of your cases and saved you a lot of money. But after all these years, you still have no respect for me.”
He paused and waited for me to speak. When I said nothing, afraid that the black ghost might attack me through him, he continued, “Mr Trots, I sincerely hope you lose this case. Then, when you have nothing left but yourself, you would know what a horrid person you are. I’m done working for you. Goodbye and have a nice day.”
With that, my lawyer strode out of my office and never came back. The black ghost stayed though and this time I demanded an explanation.
“Why are you doing this?! What do you have against me?! Tell me!” I yelled.
The black ghost did not even turn to face me as it vanished into thin air.
The days following my lawyer’s resignation were the worst. I managed to find a new lawyer, but he was not as good. Though he put up with my demands, he just lacked something my previous lawyer had.
On the day I sat on the stand, I glared, scoffed, and did everything I could to wiggle my way out of it. I actually thought I did a good job, until the final day in court. The lawyers gave their final statements and when the jury got ready to decide on the verdict, I saw the black ghost again. It followed after them as they left the courtroom.
The guards had to hold me down when I attempted to chase after the black ghost. I was yelling and pointing at something nobody could see. And at that point, I knew I was done for.
True enough, the return of the jury was the hour of my destruction. I lost a lot of money and my publication was forced to shut down. I made the headlines of other newspapers and became both a laughing stock and a disappointment. I was no longer rich, powerful and famous, and I had no one.
As I sat in my office for the last time, I yearned for the sound of my machines. But the lack of clangs and thumps made reality sink right in. All I could do was stare at my typewriter. I did that for so long that when I finally looked up, night had arrived. But night was not alone.
Floating on the chair across my table was the black ghost. When I saw it, I stood up and asked, “Are you happy now?”
It stood up with me as I pointed my finger at its smoky face.
“You destroyed me! You are the reason I’ve lost everything! You will pay for this!” I accused as I stared it straight in the eyes.
That was when I noticed something strange. As our eyes locked, the black smoke began to solidify. Its face began to smooth out into skin and a suit materialized on its body. The exact same suit I was wearing.
It took me a few seconds but I soon realized I was pointing at myself. The exact replica of me was standing before me.
My hand began to shake as this clone repeated my words so perfectly, “You destroyed me! You are the reason I’ve lost everything! You will pay for this!”
Only then it all made sense.
I destroyed myself.
The main theme of this two part story is pride. I’m sure some of you might have guessed it already. This story simply portrays how our pride has the power to destroy us, and if we don’t humble ourselves it will eventually be our downfall.
It is very easy to feel high and mighty through our success and talents, but its harder to practice humility. I am not afraid to admit that pride has a way of sneaking up in my life, but in those moments I remind myself that pride won’t do me any good. Hence, I always try to stay humble even though it can be a challenge sometimes.
So if you ever come face to face with pride one day, my advice is to show it the door and usher in humility
I hope you guys enjoyed this two part story and as always, let me know what you think!
© 2013 Jeyna Grace
(For more short stories, click HERE)