Wake up and Smell the Coffee…

It’s depressing, being a ghost with a love of excellent coffee. Especially a ghost whose haunt is Annie’s Coffee Corner.

I mean, walking through walls and making people jump is ok in its own way, but I really would like to taste coffee and chocolate again. It is deeply unfair that your taste buds go ghostly at the same time as the rest of you.

I like to sit in the corner and remember the flavours. Annie has a wonderful huge old espresso machine, all retro pipes, and tubes, and things to pull and it makes a fantastic hissy noise. Sometimes if someone sits on top of me on my chair, I make the hissy noise in their ear. Even people who can’t hear me speak to them can feel the hiss. Usually they leap up as if they have been scalded and make for another table. Then I get my chair back…

But today my sit-upon-er (for want of a special word) is different. She is very light, I can hardly feel her, and she isn’t worried about the mad hissing. Can’t she hear me? Is she oblivious to ghostly hissing?

I try again. She smiles.

“I know you,” she says. “ You can’t shift me with your shifty hissing. Yes, and I know you want to taste the coffee again, don’t you?”

How could she know? Is she psychic? Has she had contact with other coffee-yearning ghosts?

“Did you know there is a way you can get to taste it again? I can help if you like.”

She is pretending to talk into her mobile phone so people won’t think she is mad. Funny how people don’t mind watching you talking into thin air if you have a phone in your hands, even if without one, they would think you were completely loopy, don’t you think?

“I’ve been watching you. I’ve seen the people who sit here, lovingly cradling their lattes and cappuccinos – and then they leap in the air as if they have been stung, leaving their coffee sitting there.” She laughed, a silver trill of giggles. Nobody in the room turned round to see who’d made the noise, but maybe the sound of the espresso machine drowned it out.

“Each time, I expected to see the steam from the coffee take a sideways detour on its way up…” She smiled quizzically. “Didn’t you even think to try? If you can breathe out in a hiss, you just need to inhale a hiss..”

It startled me. Why hadn’t I thought of that?

“Look,” she said, “here comes a happy chappie. Complete with a hot, steamy, triple shot espresso.”

Over he came, Espresso Man, carrying his coffee with great care and attention. He sat down. On top of both of us. I moved round so that I could see my ghostly companion more clearly. She smiled encouragingly, if rather transparently.

“One… two… three.”

We both sniffed in a hissy fashion.

And I smelt the coffee.

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