The monotone of the privacy manager picked up, meaning that Sarah was out for the night or home with a guy over and didn’t want to be disturbed. On occasion, she’d turn it on when she made calls to places she didn’t want caller ID identifying her. Joey left a brief message, doing his best not to sound disappointed.
It was a dark and stormy night. Lightning flashed, outlining the skyline of the city. Save for a few lights, the buildings were dark and lonely. Down below a solitary cab sloshed its way through the deserted streets. The city had long since gone to sleep and Poppi Medvedenko didn’t expect to find a fare. He cast a weary glance at his dashboard clock.
The encroaching mist was suffocating. The old man couldn’t see more than twenty feet in any direction except up, which was a steel gray sheet of clouds. Still, the birds came. Somehow they knew that he would be sitting here on this park bench, doling out breadcrumbs onto the damp, slick asphalt. A small timeworn analog radio leaned against the old man’s leg and a man was commentating on a baseball game. Somewhere sunny, the last game of the World Series was playing itself out. The reigning champions were winning.
There were no intruders tonight, leaving the ghost to its night stroll undisturbed. The cemetery was poorly lit, but well maintained on a technical level, yet not on a sentimental one. During the day, people would come and visit their loved ones, bringing cards and flowers and other knick-knacks of affection. At night, the ghost would look these things over and try to piece together the relationship the individual dead had to the living. In the morning the groundskeepers would come and simply drive their lawnmowers right over these items, scattering their torn shreds to the breeze. It was usually pretty breezy during the day, considering the cemetery was separated from a busy freeway only by a narrow frontage street. Religious figures often had to compete with the din of honking cars during traffic when delivering prayers or eulogies. At night, it was often quiet enough to hear the crickets.