Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IM’s, etc) (11/04/10)
TITLE: Look Ma', No Ghosts!
By Troy Manning
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The readers of this story are very scared. I should know as I have made them that way. You may be thinking you are not very scared and must not be one of the readers in my story. That may originally have been true but now it is too late. If you persist in being unafraid, you may in fact spoil my story, demonstrating it has forfeited any credulity to which it may once have pretended. It may be the case that you are not and have never been afraid during this story, and perhaps you were even initially somewhat perturbed. You may have questioned the propriety of introducing a ghost into a story intended for a Christian readership. Your sensibilities may have been slightly less offended, however, when you realized the ghost in the story wasn’t real.
The ghost in the story—again let me stress its unreality—is named Casper. Now you may even feel a bit insulted that the story is referencing a child’s cartoon. But before you hasten to conclusions as to the identity of the Casper in my story, it may be worth my pointing out that, in my story, he consists of pieces of paper and is inhabited by the Riggins. Surely that is quite unlike the friendly ghost of cartoon-lore. While I’m not saying this Casper isn’t friendly, you must admit it possesses some peculiar characteristics. You might even note inasmuch as the Riggins inhabit Casper, it is they who are the more ghostly. Before I again risk making my story theologically problematic, however, I refer you to my earlier remark that “Riggins” is but a word—and hardly a frightening one at that.
By now you may have stopped reading, though obviously you haven’t. Perhaps you are even beginning to wish you were really reading a ghost story as opposed to this mish-mash. But if you’re anything like me, and in my story you are (down to the flesh and bones), you have received the advice, “Finish what you start”—now clearly impossible to deny—and are resigned to see this thing through. You may even be becoming a little too literal—figuratively speaking of course--and are thinking that Casper isn’t technically even made of sheets of paper but simply letters produced with my word processor that have traveled through cyberspace and put in an appearance on your screen. If such is your insistence, you have my permission—as though it were mine to give--to rework my character Casper the Friendly Papers into one about Casper the Friendly Apparition. I even invite you to do so in my name—though we know what that would make you. Now that I mention in it, in the sequel I may actually make you do that.
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