Bonjour my 21st century ladies (and men but don't think I'm funny)! Henri is quite liking blogging while he waits for book to be released and today I'd like to wish everyone a Joyeux Halloween as they say in Francoise language. Join me for a Coors Lite and I'll tell you a little story. Put the kiddies to bed and let's light the fire for some atmosphère confortable for I'm about to tell you a little ghostie story.
One night, Boo (my drinking buddy) and I were camping out in Boo's wife's dog house and it was getting late. It was a full moon and I just knew it was going to be a weird night. Boo had ordered pizza and he and I were sitting around throwing pizza crusts at Boo's dog who was scrunched up in between Boo and I. Quite a threesome in a 4x6 foot dog house. Quite frankly, I think the dog was having more fun than we were, but we were okay. The sky was clear with a big of nip in the air and Juicy and Maxine was nowhere in sight. Maxine is Boo's wife if you didn't already know that.
I have known Boo as far as I can remember. After we both died, we lost touch for a few hundred years, then caught up with one another on Halloween night of all nights in the cemetery of Old Man Hessop's place.
Old Man Hessop was a mean cuss and the only reason I was in his cemetery was because I was looking to see if it were true he came out at night and overturned all the headstones like the townsfolk were saying he was doing. I figured it was an old wives' tale because I never saw him.
He died an untimely death in 1864 just as Boo and I had, only it was for an unjust cause. He'd been caught with the sharecropper's daughter at high noon underneath the hickory tree in the same cemetery Boo and I were standing. From what I heard, it was a simple peck on the cheek and Old Man Hessop's wife comes running after the two of them, causing the both of them to get run down by a herd of cows that had gotten loose out of Jed Hiney's cow field.
Or, at least that's what was reported in the Ghostly Times. And Old Man Hessop never showed his ghostly face around these parts again. But the locals say he loved to return on Halloween night, overturning headstones on a quest to find the sharecropper's daughter. This was a fact I'm not sure was true or not.
It was there I was moseying around, trying to see what I could get into when I caught a faint glimpse of something moving by the old hickory tree. I figured it must be Old Man Hessop trying to create a scare in dear ol' Henri; but instead, it was just Boo.
"Is that you, Boo?" I cried. He walked over to me and gave me the biggest hug I'd ever gotten.
But there was something about Boo that troubled me. He was different. Of course, he wasn't a mortal anymore, but it was something else about him that made the hairs on Henri's chest stand straight up. Now when that happens, something's going on and I was bound and determined I was
going to find out what it was.
He wore the same smile - kind of crooked on one side as if he'd run into a brick wall or something - but that smile, it would light up a whole room if you gave it time for the other side to catch up with it.
But all in all, except for this feeling something was very wrong, Boo was the same ol' Boo.
I asked him how he'd been doing and he said fine, but I knew he wasn't fine at all.
Finally, in an effort to get him to talk, I said, "Where's Maxine?"
That's when his face fell and with what little spirit he could muster, he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Maxine's been captured."
I looked at him kind of funny because I wasn't exactly sure what he meant by that and he picked up on my confusion right away. "It wasn't too long after you left that Maxine and I met our own demise at the bottom of the Chauteleau Lake after a storm overturned our boat. Both of us drowned.
"I tried searching for Maxine all night long. I didn't even think about my own death at the time. I just wanted to find my wife."
"You did find her, didn't you?" I asked.
"Oh, I found her all right. Watched her spirit soar into the sky and I don't know where she ended up after that. That's when it hit me. I was dead and I knew they'd come after me too, so I hid behind a rock in a cavernous gully that was cut out of the side of a mountain. They never found me."
I knew who they was - the energies from the other side.
"So what did you do after that?"
"I roamed. Did a few things I could never do as a mortal - you know, ghostie things."
I nodded, remembering my own experience when I found out I was now a ghost.
"But then, everything started getting old and I missed Maxine terribly."
"You mean you haven't seen her after all these years?"
He looked toward the ground, his head bent low and he said, "Nope. Not at all."
"Well damn Boo," I said. "That really stinks."
We sat there, Boo and I, by the old hickory tree in Old Man Hessop's cemetery, watching the clouds pass over the moon when suddenly I heard a commotion in the farmhouse which sat at the edge of the cemetery.
There were stories of how Old Man Hessop's farmhouse never got rented or sold because it was haunted by the old geezer himself, so automatically I figured it was he inside just fixing himself some dinner or doing laundry, much like he did when his wife was still alive.
Curiosity got the best of both Boo and I so we flew closer to have a look see.
When we got to the farmhouse, the commotion had died down except for a coon hound barking in the distance and the sounds of a few hairy bats flapping overhead.
Now Boo and I were never afraid of anything even when we were kids so naturally we just flew through the front door like it was nothing.
Cobwebs were strung through rafters like sticky cotton candy and you had to dodge'em or they'd attach to you like glue, but Boo and I wanted to see what all the racket was about so we kept going.
It was then that we saw Old Man Hessop himself sitting on an old piano bench by the French doors that hung half off the hinges. A picture of his wife still hung above the mantle and it seemed as if she was watching our every move, but our attentions were focused on the lonely, old ghost of a man, sitting alone on a half-broken piano bench.
When Old Man Hessop saw us, he stood up and waved for us to come to him.
Boo looked at me and I looked at him and I knew he was thinking what I was thinking. We were already dead. What did we have to lose?
So Boo and I flew over to Old Man Hessop to see what he wanted.
"I heard you two lads talking in my cemetery," he said as he tinkled lightly on the keys of the piano. "I hear you're looking for a ghost by the name of Maxine."
Well that's about when Boo went all postal and started after Old Man Hessop figuring he'd been having his way with her all these years. I told Boo to get a grip and let's just listen to what the old man had to say.
Old Man Hessop wobbled toward the French doors, pointed outside, and said, "You see that old Hickory tree?"
We both nodded kind of confused-like, as we gazed out the window at the hickory tree from which we just sat a few minutes before.
And there sat Maxine who Boo hadn't seen for over 200 years.
Boo looked at Old Man Hessop and asked, "How did you do that?"
Old Man Hessop smiled a toothless grin and said, "All these years you've wanted to see her, yet she never appeared, right?"
"And all those years have passed and not once did she make her presence known, right?"
Boo kind of stuttered, scratched his head and said, "I'm not understanding."
Old Man Hessop laughed. "You are so much like a mortal. Mr. Boo, I hate to be the one to tell you this but Maxine has been with you all these years and you were so determined to find her that you forgot that the spirit is not of the flesh. What you were looking for was Maxine the mortal, not Maxine the spirit and truth be known, her spirit has been within your spirit, your soul and your heart all these years. You were just too blind to see. Go to her. Her spirit is calling you, man."
I will never forget the look on Boo's face that night. Standing in the middle of Old Man Hessop's cemetery clutching Maxine as if there were no tomorrow.
And now, we're both sitting in a dog house watching Boo's dog lick his balls.
Love is funny. One minute they get on your everlasting nerves and the second minute, it takes a timeout in a dog house to realize you never know a good thing until they're gone.
I leaned over to Boo and said "Look. I think it's time we went home and deal with the consequences like a real ghost."
Besides I was in the mood for a cool Coors Lite.
"Yeah, I guess you're right, Henri," Boo said.
We thanked Boo's dog for letting us hang out with him for awhile and headed home - Boo back inside to Maxine and I back to Ezra's to deal with Juicy in the morning. She wasn't handling my superstardom very well but I guess time will tell.
Wish me luck with that one and you have a Happy Halloween. Stay safe and don't do any ghosts I wouldn't do.