Serissa and Mac strolled down the peaceful, dimly lit sidewalk in downtown Sidwick. They passed several quaint shops, the occasional pedestrian, and the incongruent nightclub, though that was set back off a side road. A few trees concealed it from the main thoroughfare, but some music filtered through the vegetation.
Those were some pretty stars. She contemplated flying into one. What would she see in there? Probably a hell of a sight.
Her eyes returned to Earth, drawn by a well-sculpted man in exactly the right clothing—casual but carefully selected. His confidence proved sufficiently alluring as he and his dark, immaculate hair strode past them and toward the nightclub.
“So what do you think is wrong with those other ghosts?” Mac asked. “The ‘evil’ ones?”
Serissa looked forward. “Gluttony.”
“But they don’t have…Ghosts don’t eat.”
“They don’t ‘nom nom nom’ eat, no, but they make their own feasts.”
“Um, okay.” Mac touched his tongue and studied the lack of sensation. “I haven’t eaten since—two whole weeks, and I’m not hungry. Do you ever feel hunger?”
“No. I get phantom hunger. It’s special. Just wait. You’ll get it, too.”
“But if I get hungry and I can’t eat anything…That sounds awfully unpleasant.”
“Eh.” Serissa rocked her head back and forth in search of an example. “Take chocolate. I really loved chocolate. It was soooo good. Sometimes, I’ll lose myself fantasizing about that taste. I got my memories, so I taste the memories. And taste and taste and taste…”
“That kind of sounds like gluttony.”
She didn’t hear him. Sensory memories consumed her, and she let them—but only for a moment.
“Ah, chocolate. So yeah. I hunger for things. Whoa, that sounded creepy. Hunger just does not work as a verb. Anyway, I indulge in delicious memories here and there, but I’m careful to restrain myself. Too much fantasy, not good.”
“And the bad ghosts…?”
“No restraint. They give in to every single whim that crosses their whacked-out minds. Like, they see someone hurting and they think, ‘Hey, maybe I can make that worse.’ And they do, as if it’ll somehow relieve their own pain. They can’t get enough of it. Gluttons. All a bunch of psychotic gluttons.”
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