Brianne Battye | fiction | Breakfast, Podcasts, and All I Have to Offer

Breakfast, Podcasts, and All I Have to Offer                            
                                                                                                                 [cw: ghosts, death]

When I moved into the apartment, the ghost was already as faint as a ghost can get. A soap-bubble phantom trapped with rental-beige walls, someone else’s furniture, and the latest lease-signer for haunting practice. Can’t say I’m a thrill-a-minute target, but this ghost doesn’t leave shower-fog missives or fling picture frames, so maybe we’re a match on that front.  

I sit at the kitchen table with a bowl of Cheerios. The room stays the same temperature. Morning shadows fall where they should. I could take a picture, but the faint orbs would read as sunlight—if they showed up at all. Still, I know the routine.

“Good morning,” I say. “Thought of anything?”

I keep two pressed leaves on the table: a red maple and a beige apple tree leaf. The apple leaf skitters a half-breath towards me. So, the answer’s no. They haven’t thought of anything. I slide the leaf back in line with the other.

“Podcast?” I ask.

The maple twitches and scrapes slightly forward. Yes. 

I push the leaf back, pull out my phone, and scroll to the latest episode of the fictional mystery series we listen to at breakfast. I turn up the volume and sit the phone on the table between us. The hosts start their run-down of previous events.

I hold my spoon in one hand and stretch my opposite arm across the table, palm facing up. A cool breeze tickles my life line. Or is it the love line? I’m not good at palmistry. On the podcast, the main character reads a letter from an unknown sender.

“It’s from the brother,” I say. “It has to be.”

The maple leaf drifts towards me. Yes.

I set down my spoon and reset the leaf. “You called it.” 

The red leaf skips forward again. 

“Yeah, yeah.” 

I glance at the apple tree leaf. They still haven’t thought of anything. No answer to the mystery of fading vs moving on. If there’s some way I can help—some unfinished business or trick to it all—neither of us know what it is. Maybe this is all there is to it. All there can be. Maybe it’s just all I can do.

We listen to the podcast, and I hold their hand. The final music sting plays and the hosts read the episode’s credits. When they reach the last name, the faint cool touch drifts from my palm. 

“See you tomorrow,” I say.

And both leaves stir.

Beeper Peddle is a writer and healer living on the East Coast. She lives with her partner and their beloved soul puppy. Beeper writes about sorrows, lies, and deep loves. When you read her work, you will dip down into her heart and end up in all manner of body parts. Should you find yourself reflected in these words, it is merely coincidence; however, it does not surprise her you share the same heart. Find her at and @beeperpeddle on Twitter and Instagram

Brianne Battye (she/her) writes fiction, poetry, and video games. She is the author of the chapbook wholehearted (845 Press) and contributed to the short story anthologies Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights (Tor) and Well, This is Tense (Bag of Bones Press). Brianne likes to write in a cozy corner nook. Her cat likes to look for ghosts in the walls.

This piece was originally published by deathcap: