THE OCCUPIED MAN
A proposal for a
ghostly romance story:
by Albert Robbins
Edit of 9/11/2017
A “Supposal”, in the tradition and concepts of C. S. Lewis, is to “suppose” certain things are true whether they are or not, and that amazing things can and do happen to ordinary people in the actual world. This is essentially the basis for any fantasy story. Those who do not believe in fantasy or for some reason do not approve of its joys are doomed to have only what they do have.
So. Let us suppose these things…
#1 “Suppose” ghosts actually exist, are real.
#2. “Suppose” at least some ghosts are real people, real persons who have not “passed into the light” but for whatever reason have become stuck on the edges of the current mortal world, halfway between here and eternity.
#3 “Suppose” some of these ghosts might be persuaded to actually communicate with and interact with the “right” person, one who is still living but is flexible enough to be able to see outside what is assumed to be the only reality and into what might be.
#4 “Suppose” there could be ways to go around the rules that have been imposed on the poor misplaced soul of the said ghost.
#5 “Suppose” that this “right person”, this person of empathy, this person who cares, might actually be able to find a way to help the ghost.
Player #1 is a youngish man who is a traveler for a modern corporation. He is fearless, curious and has a compassionate heart for those who suffer, who He feels may have been treated unjustly. He is of exceptional character, one who listens and understands, who will do whatever he has to do to help those he finds in need.
Player #2 is the ghost. She is (or was) a young woman of the past who was seduced, impregnated and then abandoned by a nobleman who took advantage of her innocence. In her society and times life was very unjust. She could see no way open for her to live any kind of decent life after that, and in a terrible moment of deep despair hung herself. She has been stuck in a “playback loop” ever since, perhaps 200 years, maybe more, wherein every night She must re-enact the last terrible moments of her broken life and relive the emotional pain that caused her self-imposed end of her time in mortality.
He receives an assignment in Paris, and chooses to stay in an ancient Inn instead of taking a suite in a modern hotel. As is the custom at the Inn, which has been in operation for centuries and is proud of their history, He is warned in a cheerful manner that his rooms are haunted. He doesn’t care, He has business to take care of. So naturally the very first night He sees Her and witnesses Her mortal end played out before his eyes. He feels no fear, but instead is moved to sympathy and becomes deeply intrigued.
On successive nights He carefully follows Her through Her “loop” as she repeatedly wanders the old rooms, then does what she must. He listens carefully to her sad soliloquy, and wonders why she speaks with an Old English tongue in France. He becomes even more deeply interested in her story and researches the history of the Inn and that area of the city.
His conclusion is that He absolutely must do what He can to help Her, find a way to release Her from the strange compulsion that has locked Her into her place and situation. After much effort He finally succeeds in interrupting Her as she goes through yet another loop. To Her surprise, She finds She actually may choose to interact with Him, to recognize Him as being there, and actually converse with Him, talk with another for the first time in many, many years.
After a number of successive nights of long talks He convinces her that His desire to help is real, that he has come to care about Her. She finally agrees it is worth the risk to have a try at the plan He has come up with to bend and stretch the rules under which she has been “existing” for so long.
She uses His living body as a Trojan Horse in reverse. She enters His physical body with Her “ectoplasmic” one so She is fully concealed inside Him. She is not possessing Him, they are simply occupying the same physical space. It works. As long as She is inside her rescuers body, She is no longer compelled to go through the painful and humiliating loop into which She has been locked for so long. It takes time and practice for them to work out the best ways to co-exist in such an unusual way, but in time He is able to leave the Inn with Her riding – and living – inside Him.
They don’t think about it as such, but they are actually going out on “dates” together. She is leaving the close confines of Her haunt for the first time since she was still alive. Learning to move in unison with Him has become not just a challenge, but fun. They soon can move together in perfect unison, dancing together as few partners have ever done. She tastes food – using his senses – and enjoys touring the city, more because she is with her new friend than because it is so good to get out after so long.
When His assignment for His company ends, She chooses to go with Him, riding inside His body all the way to his home in the United States, thoroughly enjoying flying in a jet airliner. Now that She is experiencing it, the modern world turns out to be rather a fun place to be, especially now that She can, in a way, “live” again, especially with her wonderful companion who has also become her preferred and chosen dwelling place.
Once settled, well away from where She had been, She eventually finds that She is able to leave His body, explore, listen to and watch living people who cannot see Her. She is an actual “free spirit”. This later becomes a real business advantage to Him, leading to a remarkable success in His career, since He has an inside reporter that cannot be kept out and who reports to Him what he needs to know. She could wander free, but always – from choice – returns to Him for they have become attached to each other. He misses her when she is gone, for Her constant close companionship inside his body, always with Him, has provided a closeness He has come to crave as much as she does.
Much happens. After a number of years, She accidentally discovers an empty body in a medical facility. A living, healthy young body that is perfectly functional except that it has no soul within it. For some unknown reason the soul that should have been there either never was there or departed early, so it is, and so it has remained for years, an empty vessel. She gets a wonderful idea. She doesn’t tell Him Her plans. She just gives him a “code phrase” saying that when He hears those words spoken, He will know it is Her, trying to come home to Him.
After a while, He gets a phone call from a very puzzled MD who has been given his name and number by an inmate, who after years of nothing has suddenly become not just lucid, but knows things she could not possibly have learned. Wanting to sort things out, the MD has called the number and spoken the phrase as he had been asked to do.
He is delighted, He says, “Doctor, where are you located?” Then, speaking in a voice of command, he says, “I’m leaving immediately and will be there as fast as is possible. Do nothing until I arrive. If you know what’s good for you, you will be very nice to the young lady. Understand?”
He goes to His “ghost in a new shell”, springs Her from Her new physical confinement, then takes Her back to their home with Him. They may now, at last, touch, hold, taste, experience and love each other physically. After years living inside Him, She finds that living with Him is pure joy. He is equally as delighted with His “new”” companion.
Years pass. Their lives together are wonderful and extremely happy. They grow old together and eventually He nears the end of his natural life. She, still constantly with Him, at the last moment, abandons her borrowed body, goes back inside Him and is with Him when His body finally dies. As His soul leaves his His body, She is still with Him, clinging even closer now than ever before, soul cleaving to soul. As He “goes into the light”, She remains with Him and Hand-in-spirit-hand, they both go into the light and into the eternities together.