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50 - Seeing Ghosts

Tonight I saw something I know I didn't see. That may sound strange, but I am certain of it. At the Mirepoix Inn, a man stood there, looking at me, tall, trim but built, young, stiff-postured, dark skin, dark hair, dark brown eyes, then turned around. stooped down to the ground, picked up a box, stood back up about halfway and turned toward me . . . a woman, short, old, hunch-backed, both hair and eyes as grey as the metal on a ship's door, pale white skin (not pink, white) as wrinkled as a wet cloth.
I closed my eyes for a moment and looked again, he, she, whatever it was . . . was not.
I asked Salwa, the concierge, and at first his face showed fear, then he pretended to be concerned about me, that perhaps I wasn't in touch with reality. I guess it will be time to move on soon.
I stepped into my room with the latest addition to my growing family of goldfish, and I began to wonder if I should learn more about how to care for them. Dr. Langston, from the sick bay here, told me that it is called a school. I asked her if they needed books or if nanites would work for them, and she laughed, which seemed quite odd for her with her focused, fact-and-figure fixation.
Apparently, I can only put so many into the glass cage I built before there will be too many for the water in there. She also asked about the water, how I keep it full and clean. I showed her the filters, and she seemed interested in something she saw there. She took a sample and said something about bacteria and growth chambers. I told her how I sealed it to keep the water from drying up in the air, and she showed me how to set up a tube to blow air down into the water.
The fish appear to like bubbles. They always eat them. They also seem to like ration crumbs in addition to their food flakes. I need to figure out how to get more of those.
I glanced at my growing collection of Porsches, and I remembered I was going to ask my friend about the documents that came with them as well as the writing on the boxes. They had already left on a shuttle some time ago.
I asked Dr. Langston about the strange person in the lobby, and she looked at me as though she were performing an exam and had found something bad.
"Never mind," I said.
"No, tell me more about this . . . person," she insisted, picking up a slate from her counter.
I described both appearances and the fact that it vanished altogether, literally in the blink of an eye, and she raised an eyebrow as she entered the data.
"You're actually not the first to report this, but in the interest of avoiding a panic, I think it's best if we keep it quiet for now while people are checking it out."
"Right, thanks."
I walked away, sure that nothing good would come of that conversation. She stood, watching me, at the door, until I entered into a crowd of people and 'got lost.' She patted her slate against her hand a few times, like a nervous child, then continued as she turned to go back into the clinic.
Whatever this thing is, people know about it but don't want anyone else to.
I have to wonder about that.