The Theory of the Ghostly Gumballs
by Martin Mundt
Some ghost-hunters have put forth a theory, which proposes that sometimes the afterlife, for some unknown reason, simply accumulates too many ghosts (or technically, according to the theory, ‘proto-ghosts’), and accumulates them too quickly in order to be able to accommodate them all in the afterlife all at the same time.
This theory, it will be noted by the astute reader, runs counter to any other theory of the afterlife which incorporates the concept of ‘infinity’. But only a very few ghost-hunters espouse this theory, notably the theory’s originator himself: Marcus Schrann-Kooms, dean of the Swiss ghost-hunting community, and his followers.
He calls his theory the Ghostly Confection Theory. More on the name later.
He theorizes that when the afterlife accumulates too many of his ‘proto-ghosts’, defined by Mr. Schrann-Kooms as ghosts who have not yet fully become ghosts because of their inability to properly ‘ghostify’, then a sort of ‘spillway’ opens up which deposits the not-quite ‘ghostified’ ‘proto-ghosts’ back onto Earth for a time to await a more propitious return to the afterlife for complete ‘ghostification.’.
(For technical definitions of the terms ‘ghostification’, ‘ghostify’, ‘proto-ghost’, and ‘spillway’, according to Mr. Schrann-Kooms’ theory, this author refers the interested reader to the complete writings of Mr. Schrann-Kooms himself, best read in the original Swiss. The warned reader, however, will understand that these terms are not defined to every ghost-hunter’s satisfaction even in the totality of Mr. Schrann-Kooms’ extensive writings, which number between 250 and 280 books, at last count, depending on which aliases and pseudonyms are accepted as canon.)
The theoretical method by which the ‘non-ghostified’ souls are temporarily re-located to Earth is called by Mr. Schrann-Kooms the ‘Ghost Spillway’, by way of analogy to water-overflow devices used at hydroelectric dams. Mr. Schrann-Kooms has, by way of scientific verification, proposed a test for his theory: specifically, that an immediate worldwide watch be mounted for any ‘proto-ghost’ cascades that he theorizes might pour into the world at random times and places. He suggests these cascades will appear as ectoplasmic waterfalls, larger or smaller, Niagaras or trickles, depending on the prevailing conditions in the afterlife.
He believes they will be blue, or, less likely, purple.
Mr. Schrann-Kooms claims to have experienced just such a supernatural cataract in the dark heart of the Black Forest one moonless, cloudless night in the summer of 1965. He also disavows any ability to predict times or locations for future events. One must, he writes, simply trust to luck.
This author has long held to an agnostic position on both the Ghostly Confection Theory, as well as the predictive abilities of luck. In other words, this author never expected to verify the existence of Mr. Schrann-Kooms’ Spillways; until just such an event occurred in the air over the old, abandoned Brach’s Candy Factory above this author’s very head on the moonless, cloudless night of May 22, 2006.
A pale, purplish-bluish flash in the sky preceded the event, a flash that seemed, for just a moment, to pull the smell out of everything within a hundred yard radius. This statement may perhaps seem unbelievable, perhaps even flat-out unverifiable, yet this author can state categorically that it is without a doubt, somehow, true. And even more unbelievable, unverifiable, categorical, and true is the fact that everything within a hundred yards also, for just a moment, also lost its taste.
But this all happened quickly, almost subliminally, and then the souls, the ‘proto-ghosts’, came rolling, tumbling, rushing, crashing out of the sky, hundreds, thousands of them, all mixed together with one another, one soul wound around another ‘proto-ghost’, the both of them interwoven with two other souls, all of these ‘proto-ghosts’ insinuated into the very fabric of five others, until all tens of thousands of them were joined in a single mass that flowed as one like a massive supernatural taffy pull.
This author stood at the bottom of that viscous flow as it struck, and felt all the emotions of the recently deceased passing through his own soul: confusion in profusion until the emotion set up a horrible contrast of vibrations that threatened to tear this author’s own soul to pieces; stupid confusion and terrified confusion and sinful confusion and angry confusion and ignorant confusion and simple, straightforward confused confusion; and my soul shivered with revenge as well, and joy, but specifically joy in gleeful anticipation at seeing revenge finally meted out upon non-believers in the afterlife, and then some more confusion, and some more anger, etc, etc, etc. In other words, the typical emotions to be expected from the recently unhappily deceased, and therefore from ‘proto-ghosts’, and therefore from ghosts, as traditionally understood.
All those emotions jumbled themselves together in an unpleasant hash in what this author recognized as a classic Spillover Event as described by Mr. Schrann-Kooms, as overwhelming in its raw power as its hydroelectric namesake. The rushing, crushing cataract of furious, astonished, uncomprehending ‘proto-ghosts’ hammered this author to his knees on the sidewalk; no resistance was possible.
And then, as suddenly as they had appeared from the sky, they disappeared through the concrete fabric of the sidewalk and were gone.
This author wobbled to his feet on weakened legs. The world seemed exactly as it had seemed before; except for an odd, uncanny feeling of stickiness in the air, like a cloud of atomized gumballs that coated my nostrils and mouth and throat for days afterwards with a cloying layer of all-encompassing sweetness.
This author emailed Mr. Schrann-Kooms, now nearing 90 years of age, after this Event, both for verification purposes and clarification of certain details. Here is the unedited text of the email Mr. Schrann-Kooms sent in return. This author thinks that it speaks for itself.
So, you understand now the ghostification process is true, yes? AND THEY ALL SAID THAT I WAS MAD! BUT I AM NOT MAD! You have experienced the proto-ghosts and the Spillover Event and you have even tasted the newest portion of my Theory – the nature of the afterlife. You have tasted the soul just starting to become sweet in the afterlife, yes. It is the reason so many ghosts here in this world are so unpleasant, you understand. Because they are left behind and they do not sweeten completely in the afterlife. They do not ghostify. The afterlife is like one gigantic candy factory producing marzipan, caramel, chocolate, cherries, sugar, and all the good things the children in us love. Is that not a wonderful afterlife? And we all are made into candy there. AND THEY ALL SAY I AM MAD! I ASK YOU, IS A CANDY AFTERLIFE MAD? You, Author, smelled gumballs during your experience. Even tasted them. DO NOT DENY IT! What a fortunate man you are! This means without a doubt you will fully ghostify and become a gumball in the afterlife, though of course I cannot say what flavor! I am not omniscient. Some knowledge is hidden from men! But what a vision you have been given! I myself welcome DEATH, for I know that I will become CHOCOLATE -- deep, rich, creamy, milk CHOCOLATE!
Sincerely, Marcus Schrann-Kooms
PS I AM NOT MAD; THOUGH I KNOW YOU HAVE SPOKEN TO HANS!
Is Marcus Schrann-Kooms mad?
Is a candy afterlife mad?
On the face of it, yes, of course, a candy afterlife is nothing but the barking mad delusion of a strait-jacketed madman.
And perhaps the ‘Spillway Event’ this author experienced was nothing more than a simple hallucination or a waking dream brought on by too much work or too much obsessive focus on the theories of Marcus Schrann-Kooms. After all, this author had recently finished reading all 280 of his works in twenty-eight days in the original Swiss, and Swiss is a notoriously obscure and intractable language.
Yes, but … this author reminds himself that the taste of ghostly gumballs still lingers in the memory.
And this author also reminds himself that he has heard madder beliefs than a candy afterlife.
- The End -