Thursday, May 12, 2005

Ghostopia, Chapter 20: Time Passes

"You're not disappointed, are you?" Kat laughed.
"Nah," Darren quickly tried to sound as normal as he could. "Well...guess I'll be seeing you around."
"Stop it, you're cracking me up with the dramatics," she sniggered. "If you've got nothing going on, come meet me up at The Haunt. I'm there most nights."
"Sure, sure."
A bell went off with a resounding dong, startling Darren. Another dong, followed by another, then more. He was sure of counting fourteen chimes at least.
"Would you just look at the time!" Kat cried. "Fourteen hours of the day left, and I'm here still loafing around with you!"
"Oh," Darren thought to himself, understanding now. He mentally calculated the time to be 10 o' clock.
"Well," Kat extended her hand to shake his. "Goodbye!"
Seeing her walk off, he had a feeling she would turn around and smile or wave back at him. But she did nothing of that sort.

The rest of the day passed very uneventfully for a second day of afterlife. Darren followed Nelson to the marketplace which appeared every bit the same as it did yesterday. Most times he was polishing silverware, or smiling forcefully at stuck-up customers. The two didn't talk much, apart from a twenty minute lunch break. And even that was spent mostly on trivial stuff about Nelson's stall.
"Thank you; do come again, madam," Nelson said for the umpteenth time today at another customer who wasn't interested in "cheap metals".
"Cheap metals? Look who's talking." Darren whispered to Nelson, annoyed.
"Heh, just grin and bear with it, pal."
Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong!
"It', six o' clock?"
"Yup, that's what they called it when we were alive. Time to pack up - market's closed!"
Wiping his hands dry, Darren stuffed some brass teapots into a crate. He couldn't help yawning a little.
"That tiring, huh?" Nelson grinned and put an arm round his shoulder.
He almost shot back, "More like boring", but held his tongue just in time. "Nah, I'm okay."
"Care to dine out again tonight? My treat."
"Sure. What do you have in mind?"

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