Friday, October 23, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: The Great Ghost’s True Identity

Listen to this story streaming or download the MP3 here.

You will receive four stipends, one every fiscal quarter, each for a sum of $50,000. Each will be deposited in a new and different foreign bank account. Their access information will be mailed to you on seemingly random days within the first three weeks of the corresponding fiscal quarter. There will be no return address.

In addition, you will have a substantial life insurance policy to benefit your family, and the best health insurance in the world, both of which will be paid for by a dummy corporation. Attempting to trace the corporation will be seen as termination of this contract.

In return for this, you will live in a particular tenement of Penny Quarter. It sees the highest occurrences of armed robbery, vehicle theft and murder in the city. It is not pleasant.

You may have a job if you like, but it must end every night by 5:00 PM, at which point you are to return home. You must be home every night from dusk until dawn, and the curtains must be drawn until the end of that period. No one is to have any contact with you in the evenings; you may not answer e-mail or phone calls. You may have no company.

On rare occasions you will be sent orders to make public appearances. You may be asked to make these appearances in the evenings, at which point you may disregard the above instructions. These orders will come exclusively from a cell phone hidden under the floorboards of the bedroom closet in your apartment. Do not mind it until it rings. You will hear it if it rings no matter where you are in the apartment.

You have been selected because you lost your parents to gang violence in early childhood, because of your time in the marines, and because of your physical resemblance to the Great Ghost. Even your jaw line is vaguely reminiscent of his. You are never to suggest you are him. If inquiries are made, deny them. With your personal history and your residence being within a thirty-mile radius of 85% of his anti-criminal appearances, you will become a prime suspect.

Eventually a dummy costume and some of his utilities may be hidden in your apartment. You will not necessarily be notified of the placement of these items. If you come across them, do not touch them. They are highly dangerous and the Great Ghost will collect them shortly.

His enemies will eventually track you down, intending to kill their predator. The Great Ghost is watchful and will not allow harm to come to you or your loved ones. You are first and foremost a tool to draw out the unsavory but persistent elements, so that they can be captured.

Please do not think of yourself a decoy allowing the Great Ghost to lead some luxurious existence, unmolested by his enemies. I suspect he doesn’t have an alter ego life at all, spending all his energy on vigilantism. I don’t know that for certain, though. I’ve never met him directly.


  1. Great stuff ,

    working terms don't seem to bad either, I wonder how one goes about applying for being a decoy for the great ghost?

  2. Ha Ha, Let me know when the position opens up. I'd like to do some haunting myself.

  3. So, this is what you have to do to get affordable health insurance these days, eh? :-) I really like the tone and mystery here. Is the Great Ghost just a well connected person then? Or something supernatural?

  4. Thank you, you three! I would also apply for this position, though my parents are still alive. As far as whether the Great Ghost is a man or a specter, I don't think our speaker knows for certain.

  5. Interesting job position. There seems to be a line forming for it. :)

  6. You read so well. I can't say the same for myself. I loved the mp3. It completed this piece. Winner.

  7. Thanks, Carrie! It took years of practice just to get to my current serviceable level of talent. I was miserable at it for the longest time. I still trip over myself and do multiple takes, but it's entirely worth it, not merely for the experience and potential improvement, but to entertain some people on Fridays.

  8. All the good jobs are taken. Just as well though. I'd have no hope of being the Great Ghost. I couldn't even be the Great Pumpkin.

    This was an excellent piece of work, John. I enjoyed listening as I read along. I like your voice. It reminds me of those news guys you hear in old movies making announcements about the war effort.

  9. Maybe that's what I should write for next Friday, Laurita. The Great Pumpkin's True Identity.

    (It's Peppermint Patty)

    And thank you for the compliment on my voice. This was a voice I tried to affect - it's certainly not how I normally sound!

  10. Sounds like a pretty good job. Wish I could get signed up for something like that! Good story!

  11. The working terms are indeed okay, but no chance of going to the pub of an evening? I'm out!

    This was good fun, and I like the tone too

  12. I'll leave the job to the others. I don't like confinement. Really interesting story. You drew me in. I haven't listened yet but I'm going to. Just learning to put the voice file on...teach me, please?

  13. Hey Susan. The easiest way to listen to the story is if you can see the little grey triangle on the first line. You ought to be able to click on it and the file will play automatically for you, since Max Cantor embedded a player.

    If that doesn't work, bring your mouse over the work "here." It's blue because there is a link in the word. Click on it and you should either have it load up automatically in whatever audio program you have or it will give you the prompt to save the MP3 wherever you like on your computer.

    Let me know if it works out!


Counter est. March 2, 2008