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Unlikely. Ghosts are impressions of memory, like watermarks. They can only fit into the footprints they left in life. Like figures in a Swiss clock, moving on a track and exposing themselves at predestined moments. Whatever the truth of a person — a soul, a superego, the anima — it shatters after death. Any reconstruction would be little more than imitation. The cracks would always show, the value irreversibly diminished.

Instant coffee.

It comes in different flavors now. Hazelnut, mocha, French vanilla, cinnamon, the works. I only really use it when I’m on the road and can’t justify getting Starbucks. That’s a huge, multinational coffee shop chain. They do things to espresso that would make your head explode. I don’t really mean that as a compliment, but I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t have a weakness for java chip Frappuccinos.

What about fairies?

What the hell is a java chip Frappuccino?

Wait your fucking turn and tell me if fairies are real.

When I was small I liked to think I saw them in the garden sometimes. Now and then I left out a bowl of milk with rose petals on the full moon. I’m sure the cat enjoyed that, but I don’t know if any fairies did.

There are plenty of strange phenomena that may inhabit the periphery of things, though doubtless science has found explanations for much of what I would have thought fantastical. There may indeed be truth to sightings of fey little creatures, but I have no special knowledge of such things, and humans are very, very good at making up stories.

Tell me about the Face Book.

I feel like I should explain the Internet first.

From context clues, I infer that advancing technology has enabled some sort of mass communication network that requires minimal maintenance and has a low cost barrier to entry, making it accessible to the working class.

You have the right idea. “Low cost” is a little optimistic, though. Facebook is part of the Internet, and it's kind of like an interactive address book? Most people use it for remembering birthdays. It has an instant messaging system, which is a lot like what we’re doing now, except with less necromancy.

“Facebook” is just what it’s called. It’s the branding. It’s not actually a book made out of faces.

I did not think it was a book made out of faces.

Are you sure? Because it kind of sounds like you did.

What are the white trees on the grounds about?

They are bones, Farrow.

Bones? Seriously? Hang on a minute. I’m going to go check something.

They aren’t bones. They have bark, branches, knots. This piece has fibers all the way through it. It’s just white wood, like what I’ve been coughing up.


Guessing I shouldn’t have done that?


It’s gone! It’s gone. I threw it outside already.

So they’re different from Hazel’s tree in the basement, then? Because that’s growing inside the house. Tell me the truth, Castile. What’s going on with the trees? I swear I see them leaning toward the house at night. I’ve been watching through the window. Were they all people once, like Hazel?

Castile, answer me!


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