By way of a hastily cobbled together explanation...
In a certain literature class, a certain teacher has his students give speeches rather than write essays. Occasionally, he will include an option to tell a story in the midst of possible speech topics. As my mind follows odd pathways sometimes (read: always), I opt to take advantage of this opportunities as often as I am allowed. While these stories are generally ludicrous (and probably childish), they seem to bring some measure of joy to the class. For in this harrowing journey through school, life, and the universe, one needs all the laughter one can do.
Thus, without further ado, the Wandering Typewriter presents...
Okay, yeah, so maybe I’m kinda the reason Karl Marx had an “economic breakthrough” and shoved his ludicrous ideals on the world, but hey, I had my reasons. Very, very good reasons.
Alright, fine. I was bored. In fact I’d just been forced into a marathon of Keeping Up with the Kardashians; Kim’s crying face was clouding my judgment--and my will to live. Well, technically I’m not alive to begin with. I’m a ghost. But that doesn’t mean that fake reality TV doesn't bug me, or that I’m unemployed. Take that, starving college students. Well, I suppose shouldn't taunt them too much--my job is to send out other ghosts to haunt people. I don't know where I squeeze in the time to binge Youtube and Netflix, but somehow I do it. But hey, I'm not complaining; someone has to be in charge. Besides, humans need this service of ours--they generally won’t do anything without outside prodding.
I entertained the idea of haunting Thomas Jefferson with the specter of Alexander Hamilton (it’s hilarious how long he’ll argue with a ghost after the inevitable initial screaming), but instead I decided to be “responsible” and opted for something that would stay out of the history books. American history books, at least. Americans tend to ignore world events and zero in on their two hundred year blip of existence.
I glanced at my roster. Two of my crew had just gotten back from their respective hauntings: one from Denmark, one from Africa. I sauntered out of my office and snagged them both before they went home--cashing in on a favor, I said. What favor, they said. You’ll see, I said. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come had been floating through the hallways all evening, ostensibly trying to figure out how to work our semi-corporeal vending machines. I grabbed them too.
Oh, also: when I’m not haunting people, I like to dabble in economics. A few centuries ago you might have called me an expert, but I’ve long surpassed that. What’s after expert? Master? Wizard? All-seeing Sensei Ghost of the Stock Market? Anyway, I felt like annoying some poor unsuspecting student, a business major, perhaps; someone unimportant in the grander scale of human history.
If my choice in TV shows didn’t tip you off, you should know that sometime I have really terrible judgement.
I’m not sure if Karl Marx greeted me in expletives or spluttered a polite invitation to sit down and enjoy some hot tea and biscuits. Hard to tell with German.
“Tonight,” I said, “You will be visited by three spirits. One--well, I don’t want to ruin it for you. Listen well!”
I receded back into the shadows and let my man Hamlet do his thing. He emerged, armor and all. Marx puffed up like an overly optimistic cookie batch.
“Karl,” Hamlet wailed, “ I am thy father's spirit, Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night--”
“Revenge my foul and most unnatural murther. The bourgeois, Karl! They stole my life, like they stole everything else. Bah!”
Marx stroked his beard. “You are sure? They seemed such good, hardworking folk.”
“No! If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not. Avenge meeeeeee….” He howled, and disappeared into the wall behind him, armor and all.
Marx, shaken, returned to his work. If I had an eyebrow, I would raise it. Hmm. Less scared than I’d expected. Well, next in my lineup was none other than Mufasa--that would show him. I’m not sure how the lion managed to create a pseudo-African storm in such a cramped room, but as he spoke, the room boomed with thunder.
“Karl, you have forgotten me,” he rumbled.
“Who are you?”
“You have forgotten who you are, and so you have forgotten me. Remember who you are. You are a champion of the proletariat, and the one true visionary economist.”
The clouds disappeared. Marx stared at them like he was expecting something to pop out of them, then shook his head.
“I do not have time for zis. I’m late--Engels awaits me at ze factory. I must--”
Like a Nazgul descending from the heavens, The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come materialized and screeched in his face. Marx screeched back and dove to the floor, trembling.
“Mercy--please! I vill change--I vill never vork again! I will...share this visdom you have imparted to me. Vill that be enough? I vill protect the proletariat with my life.”
A few assorted Ringwraith noises later, the Ghost disappeared. So did Karl, except he ran, screaming, out of the room instead of vanishing, howling, into the ceiling. I decided to leave too--the Netflix wasn’t going to watch itself. You might wonder how I could exit so calmly after such a screw-up, but listen, this isn’t the worst thing I’ve done in my haunting career. Actually, perpetuating communism is pretty high on the list of my mistakes, but hey. It’s easy to live with yourself when technically you aren’t living at all. And at least Marx learned something: listening to the advice of fictional ghosts is way more important than actually going out and working.