Before GHOST OF A CHANCE ...
there was a
Ghost in the night.
It was that moment between waking and dream. I was sitting on my apartment terrace.
The night spoke to me in its velvet silence.
Owl happily was not speaking my name.
He perched on the cypress branch opposite me, studying me as I was admiring him.
Brother raccoon scurried in the bushes below, carrying some prize in his front right paw.
My ghost cat, Gypsy, twitched her tail on the window sill,
the mysteries of the ages whispering in her half-closed, green eyes.
My own eyes were heavy. Too many miles driven. Too few hours slept.
I put the period to the last sentence of my blog post about Marlene Dietrich with the troops in the front lines during WWII:
One afternoon after VE Day, she was walking through a little French village.
All around her was rubble, and she couldn't understand why --
all the buildings along the street were still standing with curtains blowing frilly and snapping clean-crisp in their windows.
Then, she looked through one of the windows to see that there was nothing behind it.
The fronts of the buildings were still standing, but everything behind them had been destroyed.
There wasn't a single living person past the false fronts of those caricature buildings.
Only one lone doll lay forlorn in the rubbled middle of nothing.
With her face cupped in trembling hands, she stood in front of that window, weeping silently, refusing to be comforted ...
"... for there is no comfort for the dead," she whispered.
Beside me a husky voice intoned, "Keine Komfort für die Toten."
I went cold and still, sliding my eyes as far to the right as they could go without moving my head.
My mouth became salt.
In a frilly black night wrap and not much else.
She was perched over the top of a wavering, insubstantial leather chair like a cougar ready to strike.
"You write so beautifully of me. Why?"
"Y-You were brave, selfless -- entertaining the troops on the front lines with a death sentence from Hitler on your head."
I cleared my fear-thick throat. "People have forgotten that."
She reached out and stroked my cheek with chill fingers of mist.
"It is not important for the world to remember me -- only that I did not forget myself when I was needed."
"And words like that are why I write of you."
Marlene fluffed my hair with ghost fingers. It tickled.
"Do you know what they call you in the ShadowLands, liebling?"
"Sänger von Träumen -- DreamSinger."
"I - I don't understand."
Her ice blue eyes hollowed. "One day you will."
In ghost whispers, she murmured, "Death and love."
"I thought I knew them, liebchen. I was so sure. I died. Then, I saw life with new eyes."
She leaned forward, her eyes suddenly sparkling. "See you in your dreams, liebling."
And like a cloud robbing me of sunlight, Marlene was gone. I was alone. Well, not quite.
Gypsy was in my lap, yawning. It takes a lot to shake up a ghost cat.
Take a $6.99 cent chance on GHOST OF A CHANCE for Marlene, will you?