Ghost in the MachinebyGypsy in MI©
Lindsay Armstrong drove home through the cold drizzling rain, seemingly oblivious to the gay jack-o-lanterns decorating the porches of her typical suburban neighborhood. In a few hours, the streets would be teeming with excited children dressed as pirates and gypsies and the popular superheroes of the day. Later on, when the little ones were safely indoors, their candy bags being inspected by cautious parents, the older kids would be out egging houses and hanging festive toilet paper festoons on the branches of the carefully pruned trees. By morning, smashed pumpkins would be littering the roadways and the t.p. would be hanging wet and limp, another trick or treat come and gone with only sad remnants left behind.
Although she no longer outwardly acknowledged the existence of the holiday, Lindsay was painfully aware of exactly what day it was. As if she could forget! Pulling into her driveway, she decided not to get out and open the garage door.
"I know I should... but I'm just too tired tonight," she mumbled to herself. Juggling her groceries, purse, and keys, the tall slim woman made her way to her kitchen door. Entering the house, she was struck for the thousandth time at how quiet it was, silent as a tomb. Who would have thought that the absence of one person could make such a difference? There was a time when coming home was like crashing a rowdy party. The stereo would be blasting 80's rock music, the appetizing smell of dinner would be wafting from the kitchen, and there was always the clicking of the computer keyboard from the den. It had taken her months to stop calling out, "I'm home, babe!" every evening. It had taken her even longer to realize she'd stopped forgetting that no one was home.
She put away the few food items she'd purchased, put some coffee on, and headed upstairs to change into a comfortable sweatshirt and jeans. Catching sight of herself in the mirror, she quickly averted her eyes. Lindsay was frightened by how tired she always looked, the dark circles under her eyes and hollowed cheeks making her look so much older than her thirty-two years. Digging through the clutter on her dresser for a ponytail holder, her fingertips brushed across a portrait in an antique silver frame. How Jake had hated for her to wear her hair up and how he had delighted in pulling the hair band off, letting the red curls cascade down her back. It had especially pleased him when she was naked, her hair a true crowning glory against the paleness of her skin. He'd never allowed her to shave "down there" because of her coloring; he so enjoyed making jokes about her "fiery bush."
Lindsay allowed herself one moment to gaze upon his picture, tracing the outline of the handsome beloved face with a finger. "I miss you, Jake... you don't know how hard it is for me to just keep on breathing without you."
Embarrassed at talking to herself, her voice echoing through the room, she gathered herself together and headed back down to the kitchen she'd once found cheery and comforting. A quick bowl of soup and some coffee and maybe she'd feel better. She'd gotten chilled outside and felt like she just couldn't get warm enough tonight.
Although her porch light was not turned on, the signal that no candy was to be given out here, she was aware it really didn't matter. All the neighborhood kids knew not to come to the Armstrong house on Halloween. Families who had recently moved in were eagerly informed by Mrs. Johnson, the busybody of Maple Street.
"You know, her husband died on Halloween. Just two years ago!" she'd twitter over a cup of coffee. "Terrible car accident, he was headed to the store to pick up candy for the kids."
The new neighbors would make sympathetic noises and think to themselves how lucky they were that such a tragedy had happened to someone else - that thin, pale woman who was seldom seen outside her home. Like a wraith, she sometimes appeared suddenly, retrieving her mail from the box or taking her trash out, occasionally raising her hand in a weak hello.
Lindsay knew all this. She knew what her neighbors said and thought of her and no longer cared. She moved through the days of her life with nothing inside, living in a shell of a body that was a surface-only imitation of its former owner. She was once a vivacious woman, outspoken with a passionate temper and love of life. Now.. she was just tired and cold, so cold.
There was nothing on television, clicking through a multitude of channels proved fruitless. Aimlessly picking at nonexistent lint on her sleeve, she wondered how she would make it through this night, the anniversary of his death that might as well have been hers too. She remembered another night, years ago, when she had worn this same sweatshirt. Jake had been enthusiastically explaining his new project to her and how well his drawings had been received.
"You're looking at the man who's going to build the new courthouse!" Banging his chest with his fists like King Kong, he had pounced upon her as she lay laughing on the sofa. Pulling her shirt up over her face, he began tickling her unmercifully. The teasing quickly took on a sensual tone, as he had always been immediately turned on by the sight of her body. Not that she was a supermodel or anything like that; it was because it was HER body - her body that housed the heart and soul of the love of his life.
Lindsay's hand moved unconsciously up to her right breast, lost in the memory of how Jake had made love to her that night, right there on the couch. He'd risen to his knees and pulled his own shirt off, his eyes never leaving hers. He had lowered himself slowly back onto her body, her legs automatically coming up to wrap around his. He had kissed her lazily, his hands trailing through the silky strands of her hair.
"I love to feel your skin on mine, baby. You're so soft and smooth and sweet," he'd whispered to her between kisses.
Although they had both still been wearing their jeans, she had been able to feel his erection pressing against her crotch. Her hips had tilted upwards, giving an answering pressure. They ground against each other, dry humping like virgins, the heat rising between their bodies. Simultaneously, they fumbled with zippers, wriggling out of their denims. Unwilling to take the time to remove her panties, Jake simply pulled them to the side and pushed his rock hard cock inside, moaning with pleasure at her extreme heat and wetness. Pulling her legs up around his shoulders, he pounded into her with the intensity he'd felt every single time they joined their bodies.
"God, I love fucking you, fucking that tight pussy of yours." He knew talking that way to her only heightened the experience.
Lindsay was rarely able to speak in explicit terms back to him, but this time she blurted out, "Fuck me harder, Jake. Give me that big cock, babe!"
Hearing her lose her inhibitions just that little bit pushed Jake on to an almost immediate orgasm. His loud groans signaled his imminent climax and Lindsay was swept along with him. It might not have been their longest love making session ever, but it was memorable all the same.
"Oh, Jake, will I ever feel heat like that again?"
The lonely woman buried her face in her arms and cried familiar gut-wrenching sobs. Long minutes later, finally cried out, she decided to make an effort to distract herself and made her way to Jake's computer in his old office. Booting it up, she thought maybe surfing the web could kill a few hours. She checked her email and found one from an old friend chiding her for missing a planned girls' night out, a loving note from her sister who lived across the country and many offers for everything from Viagra to home equity loans to ways to stop snoring. She didn't have the heart to fake an excuse to her friend or a cheerful reply to her sister, and she prepared to log out of her email program when a new post suddenly appeared. The sender's name was displayed as "you know who" and the subject line was "turn your icq on, baby."
She sat and stared at it for a few minutes. Was it a scam? Somebody playing a joke on her? Maybe it was a virus, but no, there didn't appear to be any attachments.
"What the hell do I care if it's a virus anyway?' she muttered and opened the message. There was no text, just the subject line.
"Might as well go for broke!"
She clicked an icon and the messaging program fired up. At one time, there would have been many blinking icons indicating messages waiting for her, but now her contact list was as silent as her house. Shrugging, she was ready to shut the whole damn thing down and just crawl into bed for another mostly sleepless night, when the quiet was shattered by her computer squawking "UH OH," the sound that signaled an incoming message. The icon flashing steadily was next to Jake's name on her list. He had used the program in the past to keep in touch with her when away from home on business trips, and she had never been able to bring herself to delete him.
"This isn't real, this is a joke," she whispered to herself as she clicked to open the message with trembling fingers.
"I've been watching you, baby. I'm sorry I left you so alone." read the text.
She clicked reply, "Who the hell is this? What kind of twisted fuck are you?"
Again, a message came back almost immediately. "It IS me, Lindsay. I was given a chance to talk to you, just this once. You have to believe me, firepuss."
Unable to move, her mind also seemed to stop dead. Only she and Jake knew the silly nickname he had given her. At least she thought he'd never shared it with anyone. Maybe this was just a dream, maybe she was hallucinating, or maybe she had finally just lost her mind.
Another message was waiting, "You know it's me. You're wearing the same sweatshirt you wore the last time we had sex on the couch."
This she could not ignore. She typed furiously, "You can SEE me??????"
"Yes. I don't know how or why I was given this opportunity, but there was no way I could turn it down. I miss you too and it hurts to see you in such pain, pain that I caused."
"God," she thought, "that is just like Jake. Always shouldering the responsibility." Stunned by her own thoughts, she realized that she was starting to believe this conversation was truly being held with her dead husband.
"Are you actually sitting at a computer?"
"No. All I have to do is think the words and I can see the messages appearing on your screen. I can see you, but my God, Lindsay, I would give anything to be able to touch you again."
She shook her head, this was madness. "I still can't believe this is really you. I want to believe it, but it makes no sense. If this is a hoax, it's the cruelest one anyone could ever devise."
"I can prove it. Don't sign off, baby, please! Start a chat window and make this easier."
Sighing, she did as he asked. Looking at the computer clock, she decided she'd give him five minutes.
"Ok, sweetheart, I've got to make this fast. I don't know how much time I have. Ready?"
"Yeah, shoot," she typed her reply.
"First – I'm the only one who ever mentioned that little freckle on your pussy lips to you, because nobody else ever looked through that beautiful red bush as thoroughly as I did. Second – you always told me I was the only man to make you cum with my tongue."
"That's true. But Jake might have mentioned those things to somebody else. Somebody that could be sitting at a computer right now, just playing with me for some perverse pleasure and getting his rocks off!"
"Now, baby, you know I can't cum at the computer. It never works when I'm sitting up!"
This post stopped her cold. It was true; no matter what positions they'd tried or how hard she plied her oral skills, Jake had never been able to orgasm while in a seated position. Another line of type began appearing on the screen.
"Remember that time we even tried 'back door' while I was sitting in the armchair? You had me all lubed up and God, you were tight as hell and even hotter! Even THAT time, you had to get down on all fours on the floor before I could seal the deal!"
She laughed for the first time in years. Jake had discussed and dissected that encounter with her for months afterward. He'd felt like he'd failed her somehow, although she had always reassured him that "doggie style" was indeed her absolute favorite position and the time she'd spent sliding up and down his cock while he was in the chair was just a delicious warm-up.
"I told you a hundred times that I loved it on the floor!" she typed without thinking.
"Aha! So now you DO believe it's me! I knew if I reminded you about that time and how sloppy wet your pussy gets every time you take it up the ass, you'd HAVE to believe!"
It was true. As her anus stretched and she became accustomed to the feeling of fullness, the discomfort would fade to be replaced by a growing pleasure. She'd start pushing back to meet his thrusts until they were pounding into each other. If Jake reached underneath to finger her cunt, he'd always tell her how amazingly wet she was. Rubbing her protruding clit, he'd bring her off while spurting inside her. They had been adventurous with each other sexually and always told each other they'd try anything once, as long as they both wanted it. Anal sex was just one of the delights they'd repeated time after time. It was also something they had kept to themselves; it was just too private to share with even their closest friends.
Lindsay typed slowly and thoughtfully, "yes, babe, I do believe it's you. I don't know how and I don't know why, but I'm grateful to whatever power allows you to communicate with me."
"I love you, Lindsay Elaine. I wish I could be with you again, to make love to you and see your face shine with the afterglow, or just to hold your hand. Even that simple act always meant so much to me. Even here, I think about those things."
"Jake... what's it like where you are?"
"It's hard to describe, babe. It's peaceful and there are no worries. There are others here, people we knew that have passed on and even family, but it isn't anything like life on earth. Most of the souls I've interacted with have told me it's unusual for one of 'us' to feel as much for one left behind as I do. They tell me it happens only once in a thousand lifetimes. They tell me that I haven't 'moved up' but I'm not sure what that means. Like I said, it's hard to explain something when there is no earthly comparison."
"I don't know what to say, Jake. I will always want you to be as happy as you can be but I guess there is no way for me to help you now. I think I have an idea of how you feel though; I haven't been able to move forward either. I feel stuck in this life, just putting in time."
"There is something you can do for me though, sweetie. I can see you, remember? Let me really SEE you."
Lindsay laughed again, and this time it came more easily. She knew what Jake was talking about. One of the things he used to beg her for on a regular basis was to masturbate for him. He'd asked many times to photograph her or sketch her in the act, but she'd always refused out of some still remaining shyness. She pulled her sweatshirt over her head and dropped it to the floor. Fondling her exposed breasts, she watched the screen, anxious for his reaction.
"Ah, babe, you are so beautiful. Pinch your nipples for me."
She did as asked, tweaking and pinching until her pink nipples stood at attention. Rising to her feet, she unzipped her jeans and slid them, along with her panties, to the floor and off.
"Lean back in the chair and spread for me. You haven't shaved, have you?"
Taking the requested position, she fluffed up the bush of hair for him. She did trim it now and then, but knew she'd never be able to shave it off.
"Good girl! Your pussy looks just as delicious as I remember."
She ran her fingertips lightly up and down the lips of her cunt, feeling her juices begin to flow freely again. Watching the screen, she waited for instructions.
"Fingerfuck yourself, let me see how wet you are inside."
With one finger, then two, she began working her pussy. She used the fingers of her other hand to rub her clit up and down lightly. Throwing one leg over the arm of the chair, she opened herself up widely. It had been so long since she'd felt this aroused, this alive! Only with Jake had she been able to expose herself this way, body and soul.
"Do it, Lindsay, do it for me. I want to see you; I need to see you cum for me once more!"
She began stroking and plunging her fingers in and out of her slippery pussy furiously. Her breath was coming in gasps and as she strained in climax, she felt the wetness gush from deep inside as her body shook in orgasmic spasms. She scanned the screen for his next post.
"Thank you, my love. I hope to see your face again, I can't w..."
The line of type stopped abruptly.
"NOooooooo!" she screamed. She typed frantically, "Jake, Jake?"
Nothing. She waited for over an hour but the screen remained blank. It was over.
The next morning, the tattered remains of the holiday decorated the neighborhood as they did every year. Mrs. Johnson, peering from between the slats of her window blinds, duly noted that Lindsay Armstrong's car was still in the driveway long after she should have left for work. The vehicle never moved that day, or the next. The mailman noticed when her mailbox became full of the usual monthly bills, offers for credit cards, and assorted junk mail, and asked the nosy old bat in an annoyed tone if she knew where Mrs. Armstrong was. They called her phone, but received only the electronic voicemail greeting. When Friday came and Lindsay's trash can was still sitting at the curb, Mrs. Johnson convinced the mailman that they should call the "proper authorities."
After knocking at the door and peering in what windows they could, the grizzled veteran of the two cops forced the front door and entered, fearing the worst. He found it in the master bedroom.
The note read, "I can't wait either, Jake."