DeadGuy

by BRK

Wyatt downloads an app called DeadGuy, which is supposed to be the app responding randomly to your questions in the voice of a fake cartoon ghost. What Wyatt doesn’t know is, the ghost isn’t fake at all.

Added: 20 Feb 2021 3,502 words 2,737 views 5.0 stars (5 votes) This story was commissioned via Patreon.

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Man, this blows. See, there’s this app called DeadGuy where you call up the app and you ask, “Hey, DeadGuy, should I wear the maroon shirt or the aquamarine shirt for my big date with Randy tonight?” or “Hey, DeadGuy, do all dogs really go to heaven?” and the app gives you an answer like “ Wear the maroon shirt” or “Of course they do” in this woo-woo, Male-Siri-from-beyond-the-grave voice. And the marketing joke is it’s supposed to be a dead guy who’s been summoned by the app to be your own personal guardian-angel ghost… only of course everyone knows it’s just a randomizer hooked up to the latest voice-recognition and speech software. Basically a Magic Eight-Ball for the new millennium, right? Even if you’re the most credulous, most superstitious person on the planet, deep down you know it’s basically your phone flipping a coin and then giving you the answer in an extra-spooky voice, right?

Yeah, except the marketing joke is no joke—you’re only supposed to think it’s a joke. Truth is, DeadGuy is a cursed app that these really bored half-demons are foisting on gullible humans for reasons unknown, and everyone who activates the app is actually raising someone from the dead who’s bound to the stupid app and has to answer all of his new master’s inane and embarrassing questions all day. If we don’t, then it’s back to Thanatopolis for us, and for most of us that’s a lot less appealing than having to follow some mouth-breather around topside and tell him whether he should get the seven-piece or go for the bucket.

Me? I’m starting to wonder.

Maybe it’s because I hadn’t been dead that long. I had it good before. I was enjoying the summer after high school, lounging by the pool, a bit of basketball, working out afternoons, and messing around my buddy Jake—he was landscaping that summer and we were on his route, so we had a regular thing and I was starting to get a real fetish for the smell of cut grass. Then one day I fall asleep while I’m sunning myself and this asshole storm rolls in out of nowhere and smacks me with a bolt of lightning and kills me. I was so pissed. And then I’m dead, like, a month and this stupid cursed app summons me just as I’m getting used to the whole afterlife thing, and I get stuck with this web developer dweeb from Des Moines named Wyatt who seriously needs to get his head out of his ass.

I’ll show you what I mean. We’re in the laundromat. We go every Thursday at eight a.m. whether he has an actual load of clothes or not, because there’s this guy he has a crush on—tall, fit-looking Korean guy, always wears those baseball tees with the colored sleeves, firm pecs, tight ass, nice smile, rainbow bracelet—and my guy figured out that Dreamboat Korean Guy does his laundry on Thursday mornings. So Wyatt goes and washes seven pairs of dark blue boxer briefs, seven loose-fitting Craxy geek tees, the pair of jeans he’s not currently wearing, and his big blue bath towel, all while creeping on this cute guy at the other end of the empty laundromat and talking to the DeadGuy app—i.e., me, who he doesn’t realize is standing right next to him—using his mic-enabled Bluetooth earbuds. Pathetic, right? I mean, sure, I mooned over Jake in French class for, like, three months before I finally cornered him after lunch and asked him in French if he wanted to be a couch with me (well, I did say I was a little preoccupied in that class). This guy, though. If I were still alive I’d grow old and die before he got around to asking Dreamboat Korean Guy if he wanted to be any kind of furniture with him.

And I know he’s thinking about it, because he keeps bringing it up. This last time is no different. He’s slowly pulling his meager load of wet clothes out of one of the back washing machines and transferring everything, item by item, into one of the laundromat’s rolling baskets; but his eyes are riveted on DKG, who’s lolling in one of the seats up front by the windows, noodling on his phone and totally oblivious to Wyatt and the cartoon heart-emojis he currently has where his eyes should be.

“Hey, DeadGuy?” Wyatt says, keeping his voice low, though there’s no chance DKG could have heard him over the noise of the roiling and splooshing machines even if he were close by.

Wyatt keeps pulling out clothes, molto adagio. I wait for him to ask me a question. Blue boxer-briefs. Blue boxer-briefs. Charcoal boxer-briefs. “What?” I ask testily.

Wyatt does his little snort laugh. It’s kind of cute. He’s actually not bad-looking in a nerdy kind of way: late twenties, short dirty-blond hair, hazel eyes, pouty lips, trim body, big cock (I’m with him all the time, remember), nice voice. His best feature, though, is the way his smile kind of lights up his face, but only I ever get to see it because apart from Zoom-conferencing with his fellow-dweeb coworkers the only person he ever talks to is me. And I’m just a ghost that he thinks is a random-response app with a default voice set to Scooby-Doo Villain, the ridiculousness of which was the whole reason he got the thing. He still thinks it’s funny a month on, which surprises me. I gotta imagine the novelty wears off pretty fast for 99 percent of the people who download the damn thing. (And what happens to their ghosts then? Do they go back to the underworld, or will I be following Wyatt around wearing nothing but the heather-gray draw-string shorts I died in even after he gets tired of the app and forgets all about me? No idea, bro.)

He’s still watching DKG, totally oblivious to the dead and any existential quandaries they might currently be mulling over. “Nothing,” he says, like he’d meant to ask a question, then backed off.

He’s paused in the transfer of his clothes into the cart, the wet charcoal boxer-briefs still clutched in his right hand. “He’s so tall,” he sighs.

He’s very tall, I agree in a flat voice. At this point I’m used to his mooning comments on the guy’s height, his lush hair, his perfect ass, his hefty-looking junk, how friendly and easy-going he seems, how strong he looks, how great in bed he must be, and everything else. He can’t hear me this time—the way the app’s curse works is, it only relays my responses to him when he’s activating me by name or asking a question. The rest of the time, I could be telling him the meaning of life (if I knew it), and Wyatt wouldn’t hear a word. Of course, I’m not telling him the meaning of life, just agreeing with him about all the ways this guy is the total package. Oh, well. It’s comforting to hear myself talk, anyway, even when he can’t hear me.

DKG is moving his thumbs rapidly over the surface of his phone now. His expression is focused, so he could be playing a game, but I’m pretty sure he’s texting someone. Hopefully not his boyfriend (we’ve been assuming he’s gay based on the bracelet). I want him to be free and not dating someone. After all, Wyatt might get over himself and actually say hello someday.

My lips twist at this unlikely thought. And I could be elected king of the dead, I think sardonically.

DKG notices his washer has stopped and gets up to start unloading it. Wyatt bites his lower lip as he caresses his crush with his gaze. “Do you… do you think he needs a website done?” he muses.

I roll my eyes. “Why don’t you ask him?” I suggest.

Wyatt smiles for real this time. He likes it when I’m sassy. Meanwhile, I’m looking at him with that sweet smile and thinking, man, he really does have a chance with this guy, if only he’d see it.

With him smiling that way it almost looks like he’s actually a little more good-looking than I thought he was. I joke to myself that my good looks are rubbing off on him… though if anything his hair’s getting slightly blonder, less like my loose auburn-brown locks and more toward sunny, silky-thick, and alluring. Just the lighting in here, probably. His cheekbones seem just a hair more prominent, too, and his jawline maybe slightly firmer, again unlike me (I’m more the round-faced, boyish kind of handsome—the kind that gets devastatingly hot in his forties, judging by my dad, not that I’ll ever find out).

He can’t actually be getting better-looking, though. Probably just me getting used to being around him, I think.

He goes back to shifting his clothes, finally looking away from DKG and doing it properly, though he’s still not in any rush. “One of these days, maybe,” he says finally with a self-effacing smile, but I can tell he doesn’t mean it. He’s convinced himself he’s not in this guy’s league, and I worry it’s going to take a better man than his unacknowledged ghost buddy bound to a cursed app to convince him otherwise.

I shake my head. You’re handsome, I tell him for the hundredth time, exasperated. I touch his shoulder. He feels warm and strong through the baggy Surf Arrakis tee shirt he’s wearing. (I can feel him, but he can’t feel me. Is that normal for ghosts? Part of the app? Still no idea.) You are handsome, I say with emphasis, hoping some tendril of my thoughts gets through to him even if he can’t hear me, so he can pull it together and stop being so… ugh. You’re attractive and sweet, and hung, and… hunky—okay, a bit of a fudge there on that last one, though come to mention it he is looking a bit more defined just now than I’d originally clocked him as when we’d first met, at least in the forearms (which was all you could see of him)—and any guy would be lucky to have you.

Which is true. Heck, I’d date him, if I weren’t dead.

Wyatt straightens, and I let my hand fall away. With a last, wistful glance at DKG, he turns, grabs his bag, and starts wheeling his cart back around the end of the central bank of washing machines toward the dryers.

I don’t follow him. Instead, I give my guy’s crush a hard look from across the laundromat. I gotta do something about this.

I steel myself and march over to DKG.

I look him over as he unloads his whites, really getting a close look at him for the first time. He’s actually taller than I am, which surprises me a little. I’d figured we were about the same height and weight—we’re both decently muscular, though my shoulders and pecs are rounder and everything about him is kind of square and very dense-looking, like he’s even stronger than his aesthetically sculpted brawn suggests. But despite our similarities of build he’s a good three or four inches taller than me, like his legs and torso have both been stretched to a new and sexier length. It’s kinda hot, I think, my eyes drifting down his tight torso. And—holy Cerberus, is that all him down there? No wonder he seems so damn confident and content all the time.

Okay, no distractions, I tell myself. You’re here to help your boy. I move around behind DKG as he’s got a damp, extra-long blizzard-white undershirt in his hand, about to drop it in the basket. My intention is to try to use my will power to shove him in Wyatt’s direction, Patrick Swayze-style, thereby finagling a meet-cute that I can only pray Wyatt will take advantage of. But when I go to push on the guy’s back my hands go through him and I fall forward—into DKG. My consciousness swims for a moment, and then… I’m standing in front of DKG’s cart, holding a bright white tee shirt in my hand. My living hand. I let go and the shirt drops onto his load of wet whites. I watch, slightly dazed, as its weight forces the pile into a new configuration.

Hey, what the hell? I hear a voice say. What are you doing with my body?

Ah. Of course. I should have known. I hadn’t Patrick Swayzed him punching-a-shoe style, I’d Patrick Swayzed him jumping-into-Oda-Mae style.

Even better. I turn away from the basket and start walking us around the front end of the washers. Hey! Hey! my host is saying from somewhere inside me. Us. I can feel him in there with me, like our souls are brushing against each other. It’s odd but not unpleasant. Hey, I’m talking to you! What the hell is going on?

It’s okay, relax, I tell him as we walk. There’s just someone I want you to meet. I promise I’ll get out of your… hair… in a minute. Can you deal for one minute?

I… guess, DKG says doubtfully. Man, I should have paid more attention when nana was talking about aggressive spirits.

I steer DKG’s body back across the laundromat to stand near where Wyatt is chucking underwear into his dryer. He pauses, then slowly looks up and stares at me. Us. It’s a bit of a shock to see him looking right at me, actually seeing me—of course, he’s not seeing me, he’s seeing DKG, but I forget that for a moment and sort of temporarily lose my mental footing as we stare into each other’s eyes.

Uh—hello? DKG says, nudging me to keep my word and give him his body back. And he has a point. My meet-cute is arranged, and this is obviously the point where I’m supposed to vacate the premises.

Instead, eager to help my guy, I try to lock in the meet-cute. I look Wyatt right in those clear, hazel eyes and say, “Would you go on a date… with… me…

By the end I’m stumbling, because as I’m speaking I realize that despite the fact that I’m moving DKG’s mouth, nothing is coming out—because my voice is still coming out if the (literally) damned app, still sounding like a comical wooooooooooooo-I’m-coming-to-geeeet-you cartoon apparition via the earbuds in Wyatt’s ears. I cringe.

Wyatt stares wide-eyed at me (us)—I can almost see the wheels turning. Then he says, “DeadGuy?!”

Hahahahaha, my host laughs. You’re so busted!

I—I’m sorry,” I stammer. “I was trying to help—

Wyatt’s eyes are still as big as saucers, but he’s grinning now. “You really are real?” he asks, almost as if he’d somehow suspected it this whole time.

Yes!” I say. “I’m really real! My name’s Trey, and I’m… a ghost, and—” And I like you, I think in sudden epiphany. I barely keep that thought inside my consciousness. I want to blurt it out, but—

Okay, “Trey”, this is really sweet and all, and I understand why you wanted me to meet your shy, hunky friend here, but would you mind getting out of my body now? Please?

I stare at Wyatt. Now that we’re finally seeing each other—or, I guess it’s that I’m finally seeing him, and he finally realizes what I am—I have a sudden, almost irresistible urge to kiss him. Instead, I keep my promise and depossess DKG.

Or try to.

Wyatt must see the distress on my borrowed face, because he says, “Is something wrong? DeadGuy?”

I can’t jump out of him!” I say. “I keep trying, but—!

Seriously?! my host says. He sounds more bemused than angry, like he’s just realized he accidentally threw a red sock in with his whites and they’d all come out an adorable shade of pink.

Wyatt is still grinning—I think he’s amused by my predicament. “You’re stuck?!” he says, sounding both incredulous and delighted to have a front-row seat as I make a fool of myself for him.

Ugh, my host grunts, here—let me—I feel him trying to shove at me, like he’d got his back against the wall of our shared body and is trying to physically propel me out a window with his feet or something.

Ow! Stop pushing!” I say, wincing again as I hear the spooky app voice say the words for me.

Wyatt is openly laughing now. “This is great!” he says, lapping it up. “Um, maybe you can… trade places for a minute? While Trey tries to figure this out?”

My host and I both desist, mentally eyeing each other warily. From my sense of our mutual consciousnesses within DKG’s body I can see that what Wyatt suggests is, in fact, possible. DKG must too, and we trade places cautiously, sidling past each other like two bulky men in a narrow hallway. And then it’s done, and I’m no longer in charge of the body I’m in. From where I’m at now I can still feel DKG’s body—his warmth, his strength, his simmering arousal—but I can’t control anything but my own thoughts.

Fuck, what a mess. I try to figure out my options. It might be possible to contact the demons who created the cursed app, but I was pretty sure they’d just laugh at me. That, or they’d put me in a little cardboard box and FedEx me back to the underworld faster than you can say “Sam Wheat”. Probably both.

My host, meanwhile, is offering Wyatt a hand to shake. “I think your idea worked,” he says, chuckling. “I’m Peter.”

“Nice to meet you,” Wyatt says, taking Peter’s hand. He’s smiling wide, but he’s blushing as well, and it’s really cute. Damn it, I should have kissed him.

“Nice to meet you,” Peter agrees. Their handshake stops, but they don’t let go. I can feel Peter’s hand as if it were my own, holding onto Wyatt’s. I’m not sure if the mounting arousal I’m experiencing is mine or Peter’s.

Wyatt finally disengages. “Is Trey still in there?” he asks.

I’m still here,” I say. To my surprise, even though I’m in the passenger seat, as it were, of Peter’s body, my words come out of the app, as cartoon-creepy as ever.

Peter looks down at himself, as if he could see the “me” he’s feeling inside him, then looks back up at Wyatt with a grin. “I guess I have a co-pilot,” he says. “At least until we figure this out.”

“Do you like it?” Wyatt asks, very curious.

“It feels nice, actually,” Peter says. At the same time, I respond, “It’s okay,” though the truth is Peter’s right—our souls coexisting in Peter’s body does, weirdly, feel kind of good. I calm down a little, and Peter’s soul seems to relax against mine, almost like we’re snuggling inside him.

Wyatt, of course, is very amused, but then he visibly squares his shoulders and looks us straight in the eye. “Would—” He stops, then tries again. “Would you like to go out with me?” he asks in a rush, his cheeks once again reddening in a blush.

“Yes!” Peter and I both say in unison—though mine takes slightly longer because it comes out all spoooky.

Wyatt snorts, then laughs loudly. Peter laughs, too, and then I realize I can’t help but laugh myself. Our mirth subsides quickly, and when it does it’s replaced by a kind of cozy intimacy between the three of us.

“We can… take turns,” Peter says, stepping a little closer, clearly having warmed to the idea of another soul getting an occasional crack at his body. I’m definitely intrigued by the idea myself, if it means we can both be with Wyatt.

Wyatt’s on board, too. “You know,” he says, eyes darkening, “I think we can make that work.”

Then Wyatt leans up and kisses us, slow and sweet. As Peter pulls him close and deepens the kiss, I decide I might just be the luckiest dead guy ever.

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