Short Fiction Friday: Ghost Champagne

Ghost Champagne by Charlie Jane Anders, Uncanny Magazine #5  

[no synopsis provided] 

When Looking for a story to feature in my SFF I once again ended up with Uncanny Magazine and this time around I found the story of Charlie Jane Anders called Ghost Champagne. What caught my attention was actually the first sentence."1. Comedy. You know what I wish? I wish I could just reach into someone’s chest and pull out their beating heart and show it to them, like a movie villain". I read some similar stories with such a layout, from dairies entries with retelling events etcetera. Plus the sort of graphic image I got with pulling out a persons heart... well. Ghost Champagne is quite a story. A bit different but when you think about it...

As I already mentioned the story picks up with quite the teaser at hand "You know what I wish? I wish I could just reach into someone’s chest and pull out their beating heart and show it to them, like a movie villain" and that with the mention of comedy. It soon becomes clear that this mentioning is part of a stand up comedy show, where it is also mentioned that why is texting during a meeting ok, but playing candy crush? It's essentially the same isn't it? Just after some smart and clever jokes, Gloria, out protagonist, finds her ghost in the audience, a ghost she has been seeing for a very long time already and which is basically at the stage of haunting her. From this point onwards the story went for me into a different direction. From the light hearted first comedy scenes to somewhat more darker with Gloria´s ghost acting up because her ghost is not a figment of her imagination. It is acting and haunting people, breaking stuff and even that one time at her therapist it acted all poltergeistery. What becomes very evident is that Gloria's life is being led by this ghost, everywhere Gloria is, her ghost is and it is making her life difficult. When her mother decides to marry a younger women, everything gets out of control at the wedding party. Gloria just can't stand her ghost no longer and something happens. The roles are switched... 

It is hard to tell more without saying to much of what happens in the end, you can think lightly on this story or think more deeper and see a much more complex story. What if Gloria just would have ignored her ghost from the start? It has been haunting her, it is truly a real ghost or is it really just a figment of her imagination and is she thinking too hard? Her life is being led by her ghost again you can think in the lines of it being an obsession and not being able to let go. If you look at the part that happens in the end it only contributed to it being an obsession and sometimes you need to just have that wake up call. Charlie Jane Anders has created a multilayerd story that will put you to thinking. .

Read the full story here


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