Ghosts

In an imagined world, the friends of the Saratoga parties gather in the sunlight on the steps of the main cabin. Those who have departed walk among them once more.

“Wait,” Abner says. “Leon isn’t here yet.”

They don’t see him as he steps out of the cabin. They are turned away, looking at the camera set up before them.

“I believe I heard my name.”

Faces turn, then do double-takes. He is as he was the night he tasted glory, the night he found love. Shining gold and violet, sparkling in the sun. Walking high on the shoes that brought tears to so many, wearing the medallion that has become both Sorrento’s touchstone and his albatross.

He grins at them. “Make way for the fucking king.”

And he takes his place among them, where he belongs. Where he has always belonged.

The camera snaps.

Later, after the film is bathed in water and phenidone and acetic acid and ammonium thiosulfate, hung to dry and projected onto paper coated with silver halide… the ghosts of the past are gone.

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