Short fiction: “Buried Girl Transmission №1”

James Deagle
2 min readAug 25, 2020
Academic Nude, Reclining on a Sofa, c. 1855. Auguste Belloc (French, 1801-c. 1868). Licensed under the terms of CC0 1.0 Universal.

When you were still with us, you lived to capture ghosts, ghosts that were always trying to disappear.

One tried to disappear into a wall, even resorting to becoming one with the wallpaper, but the wall wouldn’t take them.

Another tried to disappear into a mirror on the floor, but mirrors never accept things at face value — they’ll only ever hand it right back without thinking twice, and so there was never a chance in hell the mirror on the floor would ever take them.

And yet another tried to disappear into the kitchen cupboard, but the kitchen cupboard said, “Don’t be ridiculous. Maybe you can hide in here for a spell, but sooner or later someone is bound to go looking for that can of soup on the second shelf, and then the jig will be up.” Needless to say, the kitchen cupboard wouldn’t take them, either.

These ghosts were only ever refractions of you, as you were their author and curator. If that much is true, then it can be said much more simply, and thus much more truthfully, that these ghosts were always you and only you. It was you who was trying to disappear, and your pursuit of ghosts was only ever a sort of ideation.

One day you finally took flight and tried to disappear into thin air, but thin air wasn’t having it. The sidewalk, however, was much more obliging.

You’re thinking of someone else, and are imposing their story on mine. I didn’t kill myself, nor did I ever want to. Even if I did, no building within a 200-kilometer radius of River of Tears is tall enough to accommodate suicide by jumping. My ending was indeed tragic, but up until that very moment I was never in that kind of despair. I had my whole life ahead of me, and had been looking forward to being a middle-aged woman by now.

You’re not alone, though. It seems nobody can recall exactly what happened, so instead, I am a blank canvas on which people paint their own replacement memories. I’m not anyone’s ghost — if you were to catch me gazing into a mirror on the floor, you would only be witnessing the most tragic thing your particular psyche can withstand. But while it’s understandable that you would mistake me for a tragic artist, I am not her, she is not me, and ultimately you are not being fair to either one of us.

James Deagle

I like to write about life and make music.