Flash Fiction Fridays: A Spirited Discussion


By Cleveland W. Gibson

The meanest, most arrogant, stubborn person: I meant Kazanski, him with the twisted lip, the mad grin inherited in a knife fight.

I always knew better than to believe in him as a leader, especially the time when we nearly died in the snow. As young Russian soldiers we'd lost our horses, got cut off from the rest of the Red Army. Now we heard he wolves howling close by.

Luckily we stumbled on a deserted cottage and sheltered from the worst of the Siberian blizzard. Upstairs we found a room and tried to keep warm. We lit a fire in a bucket, shared our food and vodka too. But NEVER our women.

Kazanski said, “Keep the door shut. Keep the ghost out.”

I lost my temper on the ghost issue but he insisted an old man visited him in the night when we shared the bed to stay warm. Ghost? Old man? Wrong Kazanski! I knew the ways of the world. The ghost who visited me, on my side, drove me mad with her warm body, not an old man, like Kazanski said, who visited him in bed. I’m red-blooded Cossack. I love women. I know women.

I argued with him. Really argued. Finally we agreed to swap places. In the middle of the night a ghost slid into bed on my side, and then I wondered about Kazanski, for a little while.

My ghost felt female, young even, I knew that much. I’d resolved to find out in the morning who entered Kazanski's side of the bed. I wondered about his ghost.

For the record I knew a female body, albeit a ghost, when I touched one.

But would Kazanski insist his ghost was an old man or a young woman this time?

That remained the "rub."

Cleveland W. Gibson has published many short stories, poetry, flash fiction, and anthologies. He has an exciting work in progress, a middle-grade novel called House of the Skull Drum.


John Wiswell said…
I enjoyed their feuding superstitions and experiences of the ghosts. Could have had a little more of Kazanski's experience, and why he differed so?

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