Abstract Magazine International | The Ghost in You by Jefferson Navicky
Abstract seeks fine art in all forms that engages with both the crises and joys of our shared human condition. We seek art that engages the edge of now; we seek to explore a future forward zeitgeist with a respect for the gifts of the past. We are looking for both established and emerging artists across a broad range of genres. Our criterion is quality.


The Ghost in You by Jefferson Navicky

27 Apr 2017, Posted by admin in Fiction

Art Credit: Andre Gonçalves


lives happy. For the most part. When you update. When you take picture. When you post. When you upload. When you feed, the ghost is happy enough. She likes to eat and toast and get a little tipsy on your Instagram feed. She’s that thing that you smooth and show people. Smile and say tamed, if only with your eyes. Success is the great domesticator. You keep her fat. Just fat enough, but not too.

Sometimes you wake in the middle of the night because of the sound of breaking glass. Somewhere. You heard it. It woke you. Your car window? A glass in the kitchen? Bottles? Your favorite antique pitcher? But you go back to sleep, saying, what’s broken will stay broken, will clean up mess in morning. But when you wake and walk around, looking for the glass carnage, there is none, no shards, everything ordered as can be.

Once your ghost got out. It was bad. She scratched your face. What happened, never really knew. She just flipped out. Bad. Like one of those killer whales who try to drag their trainer to the bottom of the pool. Or something like that. Maybe not exactly like that. No, not really like that at all. Why would you say that? Don’t know, no, don’t. But…traumatic, like that. Still is. Your ghost got you good where it counts.

But not no more. Had her trained. Used to think so much of your ghost. Used to think her an architect, an artist, a waterfall, the wind. Now know better. Now know nothing.

Tomorrow you’ve got a big thing. Public persona steps up all over, be on television, talk to this person and that, chat, at ease, good hair, new dress, all a breeze, or will be. Could be. But these never easy any more. Used to be before ghost got out. Broke something. Shattered some small hinge. Worst would be if she left you, disappeared and never came back. Then you’d be alone in this strange, slick skin.


About the author:

Jefferson Navicky earned degrees from Denison University (BA in English) and Naropa University (MFA in Writing & Poetics). His fiction and poetry have been published in Smokelong Quarterly, Hobart, Birkensnake, Quickfiction, Cafe Irreal and many others. His plays have been produced in The Boston Theater Marathon and multiple times in The Maine Playwrights Festival.

Artist: Andre Gonçalves, Madeira Island @andre_goncalves_arts

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