Feelin' Spooky ~ Casper's Tale
I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Casper. They belong to Joss Whedon and Famous Studios respectively. I also don't own the 59th Street Bridge Song. That belongs to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. I also don't own Harry Potter, the Incredible Hulk, the Muppets or Green Lantern. They belong to Joanne K. Rowling, Marvel Comics, Jim Henson and DC Comics respectively.
Back again, I see. Well, let's see. I've told you about a couple of humans, a greater demon and even a sentient animal from another reality. But don't worry, I've still got plenty more stories to tell.
Let's see now. Oh yes. This happened even before Draco's little debut. It was getting close to midnight and I had a rare treat. Bruce Banner was in my bar, pouring his heart into a particularly despondent version of It's Not Easy Being Green. You may wonder why I would find this a treat. Firstly, Brucie has one heck of a voice. And secondly, it's nice to know someone else has an idea of how tough it is to be green. So far it's just Bruce, Kermit and me. Hal Jordan's got it easy, he does…
Anyway, Bruce comes up to me and asks me to tell him what I see. Poor Brucie just didn't want to hear what I had to say… Anger management. Luckily for Caritas, dear Mr. Banner was more depressed than angry and so he just left me with my tip and left the building. I felt bad for him, I really did, but what could I do? The truth is what it is. The only way to control the Hulk was to control his temper.
It was while I was cleaning up the glasses used in Banner's latest binge to try and put the Hulk from his mind that I noticed a ghost gliding through my door. The little lad looked about twelve and looked to be a sad type of ghost, rather then the violent, angry spectres that were so prevalent in the spiritual world.
"Hey marshmallow, what can I get for you?"
The ghost just looked at me like I was crazy. Heck, I know that anything a ghost consumes goes right through them, but I've noticed that the act of eating or drinking tends to allow them to recapture some semblance of their humanity.
The kid finally seemed to decide I was serious and nodded. "A coke, please. It's been a long time."
I smiled gently at the lad and opened him a new bottle. "Here you go, sweetie. First one's on the house. What's your name?"
The kid smiled shyly, poor fella didn't have many people who were friendly to him, and spoke in that soft voice of his. "Casper… Casper McFadden."
I nodded solemnly. "Nice to meet you, hon. Care to give us a song?" Casper looked at me in confusion and I grinned right back. "I might be able to set you on a new path if you can sing for me, kiddo. I can tell a lot about a person when they do that…"
The kid was skeptical, but had apparently decided that to try was better then nothing.
"One night, my life is ended.
I caught a bug that couldn't be mended.
So now I'm here, a friendly ghost.
Looking for pals and feelin' spooky.
Ba da, Ba da, Ba da, Ba da...Feelin' spooky.
You goodly witch
You got some friends so you are rich.
Have you got some time for me?
'Cause I still am,
I've got unfinished business,
Before I make the cross.
But ask me what it is and I'm at a loss.
So it seems I'm stuck here with all of the dross.
Unlife, I hate you,
All is spooky…"
It always pains me to see someone so young that seems so lost. Well, young was perhaps the wrong term for him. Casper had been a ghost for a fair few decades, after all. Still, Casper had the personality and emotions of the twelve-year-old child that so longed for friendship.
He had tried so hard. Chris Carson and Wendy were examples of the various kids that Casper had befriended over his time as a ghost, but inevitably they would all move on with their lives and out of his. Casper had even shared a brief romance with Kat Harvey, which had ended rather painfully since Kat was human and preferred boys that were corporeal. Not to mention the fact that she aged while he didn't.
And so I offered the lad an encouraging smile and patted his back as best I could, trying to be encouraging. "I don't have any easy answers for you, Casper. Friends are always going to be fleeting for you, because humanity is so very fickle. Still, if you keep coming to the aid of young humans who need friends like you have been, you might yet find one that will stick by you."
Casper frowned at me. I wasn't really telling him anything he hadn't already concluded for himself. "Anyone in particular you think would need a friend right now?"
I smiled at the lad. Casper was such a giving soul it was enough to break my heart and give me a real pain in the butt. Ah well. I'm just glad that I had a name for him to work with. "There's a kid named Harry Potter. He lives in Surrey, England. He's ten and he could really use a friend right now. You stick by his side and he might even introduce you to a girl ghost someday."
It was at that moment that I learned a ghost can blush. "Thank you, sir."
"It's Lorne, dumpling. The address is Number Four, Privet Drive. Don't forget it now."
"I won't, Lorne. Thanks a bunch."
Ah, two birds with one stone. That Potter kid was another who had really needed a friend. Casper did a lot for Harry over the years, helped him gain the confidence to do a lot of things he needed to do to gain victory over Voldemort and also gave him more tenacity and decisiveness in his friendships and relationships over the years.
Harry eventually outgrew his friendship with Casper, but he stuck around long enough to introduce the kid to Moaning Myrtle. I hear that she and Casper have really hit it off. Casper even uses Hogwarts as a source of new friendships. I like to think that he'll be happy for decades to come there. I certainly wish him well.
And here comes another one.