Tim McDaniel’s story “Koehl’s Quality Impressions” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 27 April 2018.
Ghosts are a fascinating topic. I can’t say I believe in them, and yet there is a smudge of doubt; some of the stories are not easy to dismiss. But if ghosts really do exist, what could they be? The idea that they are conscious entities seems nightmarish and unfair to me – can you imagine wandering around an old house for a hundred years, no one to talk to, nothing to read? So the idea came to me that ghosts could be a phenomenon, an imprint of some kind on the structures they inhabit, that science just hasn’t unearthed yet. And if that were true, maybe a technology could be developed to make them more easily seen.
Ghost stories are dark stories, generally, so I thought it might be fun to tell a sort-of ghost story using a dark template – that of noir fiction. Instead of a private eye played by Bogart, I would have a guy who uses technology to raise ghosts (but also played by Bogart, if he’s available). And then the other elements – a lead character down on his luck, and beautiful woman he has trouble connecting to, a dark past, unsavory acquaintances. And an ending that is not quite completely happy.
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