• Shivangi Sarangi

Exorcism in Aisle 5

Updated: Mar 1

“Hey there! You look new.”


She seemed friendly, standing next to the dairy aisle, she waved and beckoned Amina over.

As she went closer, Amina noted the knife sticking out of the other’s back.


“So, how long have you been dead?”, the other grinned.

“Just a couple of days.”

“I knew it! You had the new, lost look about you. How did it happen?”

“Heart attack. What about you?”

“Oh, I was murdered. Someone just left this in my back and ran. Couldn’t even take it out

and now I’m stuck with this look forever”, the woman rolled her eyes, gesturing at the knife.

Amina stared awkwardly at the other ghost, unsure of how to respond.

“I’m Eva, by the way, I haunt this store with my best bud. I’ve only been dead for two years

so I’m only strong enough to push around cans. B has been here for centuries. Don’t ask

him about it though, he’ll go on for hours. He’s strong enough to show himself and talk to

the living, it’s really fun to watch them scream and run!”, Eva chattered excitedly, she

grabbed Amina’s arm and dragged her through the walls. “Look! There he is right now.”

Eva pointed at a burly looking ghost. He was tall and floating a couple of feet off the

ground- he was dressed in a deep red, tattered waistcoat that stretched across his broad

shoulders.


The most notable feature though, was the long sword embedded in his stomach and

protruding from his back. The ghost certainly looked grisly.


He currently was floating above a couple and Amina watched, fascinated, as he made

himself visible and raised his arms- sending cans falling to the floor in a rush of power.

“Fear me, ye of Target, I am your doom.”, the ghost bellowed in a deep voice. The couple let out a high pitched scream and tore down the aisle in a run, “Haha, yes! Run, puny mortals, run from Balthazar the Cruel! I will show no mer-”

“Barney?! Did you just scare away customers? Again?”

A young man approached the ghost with a frown on his brow. “Oh shoot, it’s Dave, B is in

for it now.”, Eva whispered to Amina. The young man wore a uniform with a badge proudly

declaring Manager in bold letters crossed his arms as he stared down Balthazar.


“Bart. What have I said about dropping cans?”

“How dare you speak to me in this casual tone?”, Balthazar loomed above Dave. The other,

to Amina’s surprise, was unfazed.

“I will speak however I like Bart.”

“Hush, foolish human, you are speaking to the Great Captain Balth-”

“I’m sorry ‘great captain’, do you have a badge? As far as you’re concerned, I’m the captain of this store and I say you are not allowed to scare customers away.”

“I will scare whoever I like, you don’t control me.”, the burly ghost crossed his arms

defiantly. Dave rubbed at his temples, “Bart, if you don’t pick up these cans right now, I will

call the nearest priest and have this aisle immediately blessed.”

With a great “humph!” Balthazar disappeared out of sight and in the blink of an eye, all the

cans were restocked in neat rows.

“Thank you!”, Dave called out as he walked back to his office. The hulking ghost reappeared

next to Amina and Eve, “ I do not like this Dave. He does not fear me as he should.”

“Ooh shiver me timbers B, you did well this time!”, Eva nudged her friend good-naturedly.


Amina watched as the pirate broke out in a grin, comforted. “And who might you be?”

“A-Amina”, the new ghost squeaked.

“I am the Great Captain Balthazar, I used to sail all seven seas and chase down pi-”

“Oh boy, here we go”, Eva sighed. As B prattled on about his history, Amina wondered about Dave.


******************


The next time she saw the manager, he was brandishing a spray bottle menacingly at

Balthazar.

“Barry, no.”

Across him, the old ghost was floating the new mannequins that Dave had ordered for the

store.

“I will not be controlled by some simpering fool.”, B growled, floating the mannequins

higher.

“Do you see your place now, foo-”

Spritz.

“Ack, ouch! What is that?!”

“Holy water.”

“How dare you do this to the great...”

Spritz.

“Ow, ouch, it burns! I will”

“You know the drill, Barry. Mannequins. Down.”

“I won’t be controlled by an idiot!”

Another spray of blessed water.

“Ow, agh, fine, fine! You win this one mortal.”

B spent the rest of the day sulking over the frozen goods section.


******************


“I have a plan.”


Balthazar was rubbing his palms together, looking quite like a cartoon villain. He’d spotted

Eva and Amina floating around the toys section, trying to make one move, and had come

bounding over.


“It is simple, I will go and threaten Dave there and he’ll leave me be!”, Balthazar exclaimed,

He beamed at the other two, happy with his idea. Eva was quick to agree, always ready for

mischief.

And so, the ghosts trailed after the manager that night.


Dave whistled a cheerful tune while locking up as ol’ Balthazar hadn’t caused a commotion

that day. He unknowingly led the three ghosts right to his apartment, Amina almost pitied

him. Almost.


Balthazar immediately set to work. He began flickering the lights and turning the taps on

and off. Amina watched as confusion briefly flit over the man’s face before it settles into

one of utter exhaustion.


Dave didn’t utter a word at the activity. He silently went over to his cupboard and pulled

out a wet mop. Without a word he began swinging it around blindly and it managed to

catch Balthazar on the side.

“Ow, ouch! What is that?!”, Balthazar exclaimed, accidentally materializing into the room.

“I knew you’d follow me home one day so I prepared.”, Dave shrugged.


Amina watched as he spent the next hour chasing Balthazar around with the Blessed Mop.

Being a ghost surely wasn’t boring.



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