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Mindy haunts him with her teeth, biting his fingers to make him yelp and drop glasses, chewing aluminum while he tries to sleep. Ethan’s developed a tic from her habit of sticking her ectoplasmic tongue in his ear.

It has to be Mindy. He never traded hickeys or promises with anyone else who’s gone. People stick around for unfinished business, his culture tells him, but is it his or hers?

His thumb hovers over the button to dial the exorcist until Ethan puts his phone away. Cold ghost breath on his cheek, uneven, and the kiss or whisper that never comes.


In November Mindy ceases to be real, which is great. She haunts him. She becomes each girl he drives by; she slips her name between words. She sets herself to music.

She’s looking forward to going off alone, too, until she begins to understand that time is passing between these moments. Sometimes minutes. Sometimes months.

Mindy tries to look away, to watch how the world is changing. She can’t get very far. Things accelerate like those videos of flowers growing; her glimpses get shorter: a minute, ten seconds, a second.

Sometimes she’s just a name, blinks of hearing, scattered over years.