I had just fallen asleep when I was wakened by a loud gong like sound.
“What the hell,” I uttered and turned my head to see a misty manlike form, shining so brightly I had to avert my eyes.
“Wha, what's going on?” “Who or what are you?” I couldn't comprehend what was happening.
He or it answered in a sepulchral voice, “I am the ghost of the future.”
“Wait a minute, isn't that a Christmas thing?” I asked.
“Nah, that's just our busy season. Besides, how could we make a living if we only worked a couple days a year?” I now assumed from his manner of speech and tone that he was male.
I quailed a bit as he approached me and asked, “Why are you here and why are you scaring me with your presence.”
“Listen, we don't have time to tell everyone their future, so we pick people to do it for us. I'll tell you people's futures and then it's up to you to tell them.” he replied.”
“But why me?” I inquired.
“No special reason, you were just handy.”
“Do I have a choice?” I appealed.
“Nooooo,” he loudly moaned in a chilling tone.
“Okay, okay, you don't have to shout, I'm ready”
“Now, let's see, I've got them somewhere.” He seemed to be searching for something. “Ah, here they are.” I could just ascertain that he was holding papers or a notebook.
“Let's start with this Martini fellow. He becomes quite well known as an author of satirical pieces. Hmm, thats odd, it says that his biggest recognition is for his gaudy book covers. Unfortunately, he chokes to death on an olive pit lodged in his windpipe. Strange way to go, I wonder if he has a fetish for olives?”
“But, I don't even know him and am only aware of him by some of his stories, how can I approach him and convey your message?” I challenged.
“That's not my problem, it's yours. I suggest you try to become his friend, although he may not want to befriend you after you tell him his fate,” he wailed.
“Oh, here's another, do you know someone that goes by the appellation “Hot Stuff”.”
“ Yes, I'm acquainted with the lady. I hope nothing dire happens to her.”
“No, no, she lives to a very advanced age in a very exclusive resort for older people, but she is constantly annoyed by a bunch of lecherous old men because of her charm and beauty.” he divulged.
“I'm relieved to hear that she does well but it's a shame she's harassed, do you have many more?” I asked.
“Yes, hundreds, but I don't know how many we'll get to tonight, so let's press forward. How about the name Isca, do you know her?”
“Yes I do, and I'm very fond of her as a matter of fact. I hope she doesn't come to a bad end” I begged.
He assured me “She does very well, she and her husband start a large famous goat farm and they prosper well into old age.”
He went on, “Here's another, I don't have much on him. He goes by ”gigidygigidy76” Do you know much about him?”
I replied, “I know he's a western story fan and I believe he was into sports at one time, but not much else. He doesn't reveal much about himself. He seems a nice friendly fellow.”
“Okay, we'll go on, there's one fellow that takes on the persona of an ugly actor, he goes by ramrod32784, Is there any significance in his name?”
I answered, “I expect there is, but I wouldn't want to speculate on it. A lot of people hide there persona in different ways. I seem to recall he's a large man and seems very level headed in his correspondence in different forums. Does he prosper?”
“From the information that I have he does very well, but I don't have a lot.” He replied.
“You said you were giving me information to pass on, but you're asking me as many questions as giving me facts. What's going on?” I queried.
He snorted and said,”Where in hell do you think we get our information if we don't ask for it? We're not gods, you know, just ghosts. Now shut up and listen.”
I shrunk back and said, “Okay, okay, I'm sorry.”
“Now where the hell was I? Oh, here's one, a chefkathleen, she ends up a renowned television cook with her own program and does extremely well. Do you know her?”
I said, “ Yes, I've had quite a bit of contact with her. Probably more than she likes as I ask her advice on some matters, but she's always exceedingly polite and helpful. Lovely lady.”
“Here's another, ElChucacasbras, wait, ElChubacaras, oh shit, some South American guy, do you know who I mean?”
“Sure, Milton, he's a good friend of mine. He's going to be okay isn't he?”
The ghost seemed a little hesitant, “Well, yes and no. He's a very inventive fellow. He invented some type of refrigerator and that led him to become a very successful industrialist with over a hundred patents. Unfortunately, at a very advanced age he will be caught with his head under his secretary's skirt by her husband, bingo, no more Milton.”
“Oh, that's terrible.” I lamented “But if I know Milton, as long as he had to go, he probably couldn't have picked a better way.”
The ghost said, “We'd better hurry, I have a lot more. Do you know a fella goes by 1Ball?”
“Just by his posts, mostly, which I agree with most of the time. He end up okay, doesn't he?”
“It seems him and a guy that goes by the name Wellmademale meet face to face and have a confrontation that deteriorates into a duel of some type and they both expire in a flurry of gun shots. You understand, don't you, that these are not certainties but strong probabilities. They can be averted.”
“I don't see what I could do to change anything there, they both have very strong opinions.” I countered.
He said, “Let's continue, here's an interesting name, LadyX.”
“Oh yes, she and I have had discussions. I find her to be a very smart young woman with a strong sense of fairness. We disagree on a variety of subjects but she has always been objective and never petty.”
“She does very well in life for her and her children and once she changes her attitude on some things prospers well into old age.
“Man, here's a strange name, “Sensual Desires 83,” Is this guy some kind of pervert?”
I protested, “No, you don't understand, it's just a avatar name. I've never met him but have corresponded with him quite a bit and he seems quite normal. Well, maybe a little kinky. Does he do okay?”
“Let's see, hmm, the only thing he has to worry about is when he's taking his wife and six kids to see the Grand Canyon he has an auto accident. It seems the kids were driving him nuts wanting to stop all the time. He was distracted by them and totaled his old Trailblazer. Fortunately he was the only one badly hurt with a head injury that left him dyslexic.”
“That's a shame, he's a nice guy. Who's next?”
“Wait a minute, these damn papers, okay, I found it, I have almost nothing on a guy named bat. What can you tell me.”
“Almost nothing as I've just met her myself. She is, most certainly, not a guy. She's an extremely attractive young lady. I think she's a pretty rugged imp that it would not pay to mess with, going by her pictures. I hope to become much more acquainted with her.”
The ghost proclaimed, “Wow, have I got a file on this guy, a certain Billy Broadband, but I can't tell you anything about his future as we can't figure it out. He either doesn't have a future or it's so disorganized that there are too many possibilities. He's had one hell of a past though. I guess we'll have to go on.”
“Alright, here's one, Robin Maxwell something something, he does alright except for the one time he tells someone what he thinks of their statement on some subject or other. The other guy takes physical offense and Robin ends up with a broken nose. The other guy loses big time though, blood and teeth.
I responded to his questioning glance at me. “Gee, all I really know about him is from what I gather from his posts on the forums. I almost always sit and cheer him on though.”
“Fine, you're not being much help, you know.” Ghost grumbled. “ Try this one, Dirty Old Guy. Tell me what you know about him.” He growled.
I flinched and said, “I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed again. He's hardly ever around here anymore. I heard he went somewhere to write poetry, and poetry is not usually my first choice. He has written some damn fine sexy stories though.”
Ghost snarled, “Damnation, I need more information from you, you better start listening up more. Now, try ltc Garth. The situation he's in now doesn't let us give his future out for security reasons. What can you tell me?”
“I've only talked to him once, but of all my friends, he is the one I'm most honored to be friends with, even if he is only Army, and not a Marine. This man is guarding all our futures, and for that, I salute him.”
“Oh, dammit, we'll have to put this off until later, we're about to be interrupted. I'll be back.”
“Wait a minute, what's my future? What do you mean, you'll be back? I don't want you back!”
But he quickly faded away.
Then I was truly awakened by the sound of a key in my door lock. The attendant strode over to me, loosened my restraints somewhat, and said, “ Here's your morning medications.”