You are a Gentleman and a Scholar

Prompt: Tell this story-“As a scholar of arcane symbols and ancient mythology, it is my professional opinion that…”


I was acting as a professor of mythology at the time. I became known for my knowledge of the paranormal, although I told the rest of the faculty that it was mostly to get the kids interested. I spend much of my time in my classroom, regardless of whether there is a class or not. I don’t need to worry about disturbing the class if I ever need to leave after all.

One day, a kid who had heard of my knowledge was looking to learn about ghosts came in. There wasn’t a class going on, which was just as well, nor was Samuel busy with anyone. The student first told me of what he thought ghosts were, but I soon set him straight.

“As a scholar of arcane histories and ancient mythology,” I started, “It is my professional opinion that ghosts, as you have described them, do not exist.”

“Then what would they be like?” asked the student.

“Well, let’s address your misconceptions first,” I replied. “First, your idea that ghosts ‘haunt’ either their home or their place of death.”

Samuel had arrived. The student looked a bit confused. I suppose the fact that Samuel had neither been in the room nor had he come through the door was bothering him. Samuel said, “Yes, it’s a bit limiting, don’t you think?”

While the student was looking at Samuel, I existed at the windows and pulled the blinds down as I said, “Real ghosts have no desire to remain where they are, especially after a so many years.”

The student looked back, surprised at my sudden change in location.

“They leave fairly soon after death,” added Samuel. He had gone and existed at our desk while the student was distracted. “They go wherever they please then.”

I existed at the next window, not caring if the student saw me do it. I think he must have, for he gave a quick start and remained firmly in his chair, gripping it with white knuckles. I continued to close the blinds and explain, “And why should they go floating about so slowly? Wouldn’t it be easier to just decide to be somewhere, and be there?”

His face was white then.

Samuel chimed in from the back of the class room, “And on the matter of ghosts killing people: why would they?”

“Yes, a very good point,” I said as I closed the last blind. “The only reason I can think of would be for entertainment. After all, it can get rather boring after so long.”

That did the trick. The student bolted for the door. Unfortunately for his nerves, upon opening the door he found only a brick wall.

“It’s a bit cliché, I know,” Samuel said, “But it works well.”

“You really shouldn’t go asking about ghosts all alone. Don’t you know the rules? Travel in pairs, yes?”

He went for the windows next. I think he may have been surprised to see that the campus was an extra few miles below us.

“I’m a bit more creative than my colleague,” I said. “Brick walls are so last year. Great heights, on the other hand…”

He was pretty frantic. He backed himself into the corner and curled up into a ball. Samuel left, so I got to deal with him. I got rid of the brick wall and great height, but the student didn’t notice. I was pretty tired with the college, so I left him there until the next class. When the students started filing in and asked about him, I simply shrugged and said he must’ve seen a ghost.


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