Hovering Body, Part 3

An update about the two ethereal bodies floating in my house, dear strangers.

(Read Part 1 and Part 2)

The first body’s face, looking upward, could be seen through the hole I’d cut in the hallway floor. The second body, looking downward, was mostly hidden directly overhead in the ceiling. Only its ghostly nose protruded.

I Sawzalled a new hole, cutting a wide oval and revealing the second face. It was a woman this time. Like the man below, she was bald and lacked both eyebrows and eyelashes, and even if they hadn’t shared their strange hairlessness, they resembled each other enough to be relatives.

Once the plaster dust settled and my eyes felt clear, I stood on my stepladder, craned back so I could look straight up, and examined the woman’s face.

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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.

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Hovering Body

A disembodied man is hovering in my brownstone’s second-floor hallway.

The hallway is narrow and long, with a grimy plaster ceiling and a hardwood floor covered by a lichenous carpet runner. Two wall sconces provide a modicum of light in the hall, but the man’s form floats in the gap between the sconces and is somewhat difficult to see.

I’m mostly certain he’s a man. He floats face-up against the ceiling, straight as a plank. From below I can see the back of his head, which is bald, but none of his distinguishing characteristics. He is nude, as many ghosts are—an essential, lingering self without ornament or clothes.

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The Girl with the Polkadot Arm

Dennis!

Thanks for forwarding William’s answer to my “fingers sprouting from my arm” situation. I loved his idea of chopping the fingers off and healing the wounds with skinwort, especially b/c I had a Tinder date coming up on Friday night, and a dozen extra pinkies probably doesn’t make the average guy’s fetish list. The chopping fix was nice and quick.

But yeah no. Even with St. Madelia’s spirits to dull the pain, the fingers had roots. Like deep-set bones and tendons and stuff. Pruning shears wouldn’t have worked. I’d have really had to gouge the finger-roots out.

So I grabbed a vial out of a biology starter kit I ordered last week (coincidence or omg fate!?), transmogrified the specimens with a hybrid curse and my own special medley of herbs and spices, and wha-la: I had a Petri dish full of necrotizing amoebas.

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Finger Cure

Dear Amanda,

Good work healing your severed pinky with skinwort. I’m afraid I have no explanation for why the rest of your arm started growing fingers.

There’s one account in LOST CURES, REFOUND AND REIMAGINED (very entertaining book; I’ll loan it to you) of a German man who died in 1911 after drinking skinwort tea. The following spring, a “flesh tree” sprouted from his grave.

I’ll keep researching possible causes of your finger problem so we can all avoid similar trouble in the future.

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Fingers Sprouting from Arm

Hi, Dennis!

I accidentally chopped off my pinky finger. You should have seen the blood. It was like some crazy cartoon the way it spurted.

I thought I was cutting a chunk of grief-root. I know grief-root doesn’t look anything like a pinky finger, but I was making more solstice broth, and you know how the vapors get if you add too much almond after the wishbone, and I spaced out from the fumes and whacked my finger off without feeling it at all. I even smeared a picture on the wall with blood before I came to my senses. It looks like a cave painting, like a bison or something.

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