Story Submitted by Margaret:
Ian, who worked in electronic sales (but was an actor and writer as hobbies) wrote to me online, came across as smart and well-read, and after a week, asked me out. We met at a restaurant and were seated, and then the fun began:
"First thing you should know," he said, "Is that I'm not who you think I am."
I didn't say a word, my mind too busy racing with possibilities.
He went on, "I visited Antietam, a Civil War battlefield, with my parents when I was seven, and the spirit of a union army officer possessed my body."
I said nothing, waiting for the punch line.
"But that's not all," he said, "He was chased into me by the ghost of a confederate officer. Now both officers are trapped within me and are chasing and fighting each other."
He stopped there, waiting for my reaction. I said, "I don't get it."
He replied, "Just letting you know, in case I say or do something strange. That's why." Then, he saluted me and dropped his hand. "Like that," he explained.
"I don't get it," I said again, "So you're a Civil War buff or...?"
He said, "I have two rival soldiers inside of my body. I don't know why they chose me, but when they fight, bad things happen, don't they? Yes, yes they do."
"How often do they fight?"
"Less often in recent years. I've developed techniques to control them with my psychiatrist."
"I see. So, you said that you like to write, is that true?" I moved us off of the prior topic, and he didn't mention it again.
That is to say, not until we were done with dinner and walking outside. We were near a bridge over a river when he ran down the embankment towards the river, rolled on the ground and said, "Man the trenches! To arms! Fifty down the east flank! Thirty down the right flank! Go! Go! Aaagh!" then he fell backward, as if shot.
I walked down towards the river and stood over him. His eyes were closed and he made no movement. I asked him, "Is it Civil War time?"
His eyes shot open and he sat up. He saluted me and said, "We've got to get to Colonel Crocker!"
"Who's Colonel Crocker?" I asked, bemused.
He pointed his hands at me as if he was holding a rifle, then fell backward and shouted, "I got a powerful gun in my hands, Aunt Ida!"
I asked, "Is this for real, Ian?"
He shuddered on the ground and yelled, "No! You won't take over... not... this... time... no!" and then he was still and silent.
I tapped his head and asked him, "Are you okay?"
He said, "Yes. What happened? I'm all weak."
I said, "You yelled some Civil War things. Are you just screwing around with me or what? Do you want to go home?"
He asked, "What did I say? How bad was it?"
I replied, "You had to make it to Colonel Crocker."
"Colonel Crocker!" he yelled, then did this weird movement in which he leaned back, then urged his body forward and landed on his feet. He stood fully erect and looked around, side to side.
"Colonel Crocker's men!" he barked, then ran away from me, into the river (it was shallow - only up to his ankles) and up the bank on the other side. He turned around, said, "Take all gold and women!" and continued on, away from me.
I called him up and left a polite voicemail, informing him that it would be best if the four of us didn't see each other again.
Story Submitted by Margaret: