I know, as an author, picking a favourite character can be as hard as picking a favourite out of your own children. However, I do have a soft spot for Benji, the ghostly half of the couple in my Halloween story, Touch of a Ghost.
Dying at just nineteen years of age, Benji had his whole life ahead of him when a tragic accident robbed him of his future. Many people would be bitter about this, but Benji is an eternal optimist and a very determined spook.
Benji haunts the block of flats where he had lived with his mother since a child. With only the two of them to watch out for each other Benji knew how hard it would hit his mother when he died. She had already lost his father during the war and for more than a decade it had been the two of them against the rest of the world. Instead of leaving his mother on her own to grieve for him Benji decided to stick around as a ghost rather than moving on.
Flora, Benji’s mother isn’t psychic, and until her own death she wasn’t able to communicate with her son, but I like to think she sensed his presence there with her when she needed him most.
After Flora’s death the two of them continued to haunt the building, watching out for the other tenants, those they knew in life and those who moved in later.
Benji’s love for his mother is just one of the qualities that makes him one of my favourites. The fact that Touch of a Ghost was also my first published story cements his place at the top of my list of favourite characters. Although the story has been re-edited with a few minor revisions for its second incarnation, I am happy to say that as a character Benji has remained the same as he ever was. I hope you enjoy meeting him.
Drew Jessop wants a life without ghosts. He doesn’t want to see, hear, or talk to them.
Ignoring them should be relatively simple. But Drew soon finds that Benji Richards, an eternally gorgeous ghost from the fifties, is not so easy to ignore.
Halloween night is approaching and both Drew and Benji know what it could mean for them. From sunset to sunrise, it is the one night of the year when a mortal can feel the touch of a ghost.
Drew leaned forward and put his empty bottle on the table. The match had finished and the commentators were recapping the highlights, so Drew reached for the remote control.
“Well, thank you for having us.” Flora stood up and stretched, as though her joints were still giving her grief as they had apparently done in life.
Drew turned off the television and picked up the crisp packet together with the nearly empty bowl. He tossed the last few crisps into his mouth as he stood up and walked into the kitchen. He left the beer bottles on the table as he contemplated whether to have another. Remembering he had an early start in the morning, he decided against drinking too much. He had a feeling Flora might have an opinion on alcohol intake too. However, when he turned back toward the living area, Flora had vanished.
Benji, on the other hand, still lingered. He remained on the sofa, his arm stretched along the back and his chin resting on it as he stared at Drew directly.
“You’re very rude, you know?” Benji commented idly. “Not saying a single word to us all evening like that. You could at least have said hello.”
Drew ignored him as he turned off the lights.
“I know you can see us. Your eyes give you away.”
Drew suspected Benji might be guessing, but if he said a single word in response that guess would be confirmed. He had to keep quiet. That way he could still maintain a normal life.
“Not going to admit it, huh?” Benji said. “Well, I’ll stop by again tomorrow. Maybe you’ll be more talkative then. If you are, I might just tell you how I know you’re gay, if you ask nicely.” With that comment, Benji flashed Drew one final killer smile and vanished from the room.
Drew reacted to Benji the same way he would any other handsome man. His mind may tell him Benji was off limits, but his body thought otherwise. Drew wondered whether he could keep up the pretense of not seeing and hearing the ghosts who were as real to him as the rest of the human race. If this evening was anything to go by, it might not be as easy as he thought.
If you’d like to buy Touch of a Ghost, click here.
L.M. Brown lives in England, in a quaint little village time doesn’t seem to have touched. No, wait a minute—that’s the retirement biography. Right now, she is in England in a medium sized town no one has ever heard of, so she won’t bore you with the details. Keeping her company are numerous sexy men. She just wishes they weren’t all inside her head.
L.M. believes there is nothing hotter or sweeter than two men in love with each other… unless it is three.
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