“Eek! A ghost!” The nurse laughed right in Eddie’s face. “You’re a bit late, love. Halloween was last night.”
“You don’t understand!” said Eddie.
The nurse exchanged a glance with her colleague at the reception desk.
“Pathetic,” she said. “You’re not even trying. How about you wave your arms about a bit and go Whooo?”
“And how’s about you listen to me! There has been an accident; I don’t know how to put it more plainly. There’s been an accident. My friends. The car. We –“
He tottered. The nurse hurried to him but he lowered himself onto a plastic chair.
“You have gone pale,” she said. “Must be the shock. We’ll get you a nice hot cup of tea. Now, please,” she took the seat next to him, “tell me what happened. Where did this happen?”
Eddie opened his mouth. He couldn’t think of anything to say. He couldn’t remember why he’d gone into the Accident and Emergency department.
“You take your time, love,” the nurse said, sounding a little more sarcastic than she’d intended. She trotted away to see about the tea.
Eddie found the room fading into fog around him. He was so confused. Must have banged my head… he thought. Must have got a – whatsit – concussion…
The nurse returned with a steaming cup from the vending machine.
The seats were empty.
“Where’s he gone?” she asked the receptionist.
“Where’s who gone?”
“The man. He was here a minute ago. Something about an accident.”
“Oh,” the receptionist gave a knowing smile. “You’ve seen him. You’ve seen Eddie.”
“Comes in every year. Best to take no notice and he disappears again. I’ll have that tea if it’s going spare.”