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Venom

Memory Thief 3. The Ghost of Tara Gray


Peter Gray had lost track of how long he had spent in the cemetery on the hillside. He gazed at the grave and studied the markings. Both there and not, he stood, caught between one second and another.

Checking his phone, he found the time. At seven minutes after nine in the evening it was getting late. He thought he should get back to the restaurant. No call had beckoned him, though. They could manage without him for a few minutes longer.

The grave consisted of a block of stone among a crowded grid of stones. All that remained of his sister was dust in a box buried beneath grey stone marked, Tara Gray.

Hit by a car three decades ago, according to reports, but her memory followed him still.

Weekly visits at the restaurant, wine deliveries, her presence found and never missed. His big sister had watched over him, had argued with him, and had teased him before going on her way. And she always returned, each week at the restaurant, to this very day.

Tara hadn’t followed him here, naturally. Her ghost standing over her grave would shatter this reality. Another Tara Gray, she would say. He’d listen, and dream his life away.

And for good reason. The stone beside hers marked the grave of her sibling, Peter Gray.

Not other Grays, Peter decided. Ghosts were lingering memories, and he held onto the ghost of Tara Gray. He wondered to whom his memory belonged if not to the dead resting on the side of the hill.