Hovering Body, Part 2

An update about the hovering body in my hallway, dear strangers.

(Read Part 1)

As I described in my earlier report, the body is nonphysical—I was able to reach my hand through his torso—and is pressed face-first against the ceiling, the way an ordinary body would lie facedown on a floor. Because he’s so close to the ceiling, I was initially unable to see his features.

My solution was to Sawzall a hole in the ceiling, cutting a circle around his head, so I could see him through the floor of the hallway above. This was messier and more challenging than expected, but after I cut a crude hole in the ceiling, I walked upstairs, coated in plaster dust, and finished the hole from the upper hallway.

It was psychologically difficult using a Sawzall in close proximity to what appeared to be a live human head. I was relieved to see that throughout the process, the man’s expression remained unperturbed. The sawdust and plaster drifted through his head to the hallway below, and I was left with a rough but sufficient portal.

The hovering man’s head was then visible eighteen inches below in the hole, separated from me by the joisted gap between the house’s two levels. The gap was dark. A flashlight would have been useless because he was non-corporeal; light would have simply passed through his head. Fortunately, he was faintly self-illuminating, and his pinkish-gray face glowed up at me with excellent clarity.

His eyes were open. They didn’t blink. He was bald and lacked stubble, eyebrows, and eyelashes, which gave his head and face an embryonic smoothness I found both repulsive and fascinatingly generic. I wondered why his hair had vanished in the afterlife.

As I had earlier suspected, he was silently mouthing words, and because he didn’t move his eyes left or right, his mysterious soliloquy seemed directed at me with unsettling intensity.

I have little experience with lip-reading, but by emptying my mind and allowing instinct to guide me, I started to interpret some of what he said. After many minutes of watching, I recognized the pattern of his mouth’s movements and determined that he was speaking a single repeated sentence:

“I never told you what happened that night.”

I sat away from the hole, with my back against the wall, and pondered his words. To whom was he attempting to speak? What had happened on the night in question? Such answers were impossible to guess, but I imagined the man speaking to his lover, or his child, about an incident in darkness—a night of so much meaning in the story of their lives that he’d persisted after death in order to express it.

As I daydreamed various scenarios—a fatal accident, murder, betrayal, maybe a missed opportunity of necessary love—I began to absentmindedly stare upward. My eyes zeroed in on a strange protrusion in the ceiling.

I stood for a closer look and discovered it was a nose and upper lip. They were the same pinkish gray as the man’s spectral form below, and I realized I was looking at parts of a second hovering body, nearly all of which was hidden in the space between the ceiling and the crawl-space attic above…

Look Beyond,
William Rook

(Read Part 1 and Part 3)