He is absconding, leaving the office for the last time and his departure couldn’t have been more dramatic. I had intended to follow, to learn more, but despite wanting to, I find myself rooted to the spot, unable to move. I don’t want to be pulled into it, to become a part of the drama. I suppose it is because that, unlike him, I have to come back.
The others are gathering in front of his desk. The desk he has turned inside out. I join them and together we gaze down at the debris; at all he has left behind and most of the items are work related. Folders, files, biros, a stapler, a phone and a couple of chargers. And there are lots of letters scattered here, there and everywhere. I notice that most of the envelopes are still sealed, that he hasn’t bothered to open them. And there is a picture frame, the glass is cracked and the photograph behind it has faded. I wonder for how long it had languished in one of the drawers, untouched until today.
I push my way forward, needing to get a proper look at it and I notice the ledger. It is big and cumbersome and I vaguely remember these books. But the information in them, all the facts and figures had been downloaded onto the computer system more than a decade ago. I reach for it. The cover is scuffed and its spine cracked.
Clearing a space I slide the ledger into the centre of the desk.
‘It’s been a while since I saw one of those,’ someone says behind me.
I open the book. It is empty. All of its pages are blank and, as I leaf through it, the others begin to talk.


Number 2--4 Illustration by Christine Renney



  1. chrisnelson61

    There is an economy in your sentences that suggests so much yet retains a real sense of mystery. I really like the intrigue in this series that speaks as much of an inner journey as it does a mystery story. Great writing, Mark!

  2. clinock

    Very evocative Mark. In my absence I assume I missed Ghost Prologue 1 and 2 but may search for them because this one blew me away and the title is so perfect, as are the illustrations. What you so successfully accomplish in this writing I try to do in my art. A structure / story / image is shared and yet it remains open ended enough that the reader / viewer can fill in the spaces with their own story.

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