From Phenomena of Materialisation
by Baron von Schrenck-Notzing
Marthe Béraud, all I have left of you now is a thin, brittle braid of ectoplasm. A dandy-man with wire glasses flows out of your naked chest like honey. I smell it long after I've switched off the flashlight; a lingering sensation of phenomenae and pheromone, mixed with a dainty bit of gunpowder--your secret weapon for dispelling angels.
you should be lucky you're not. She never gave a reason why. Talk is frivolity, she explained, excess speech does nothing to fill the void, only enhance the sinking feeling of nonpresence.
Eventually, I tried my hand at purging this cool, milky ectoplasm--but it wouldn't come out naturally. Sure, it did come out when I was in a deep trance a couple times at Rupert's Seance Night. But instead of beautiful faces appearing in the murky mist, it was always Oscar's fingers cloaked by an anonymous woman's hair. Or an ashtray I dabbed my cigarette in. Once, I managed to conjure a scene from Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights, but was horrified at the disregard for detail my ectoplasmic bath procured.
Then it happened: my tantric emissions produced an image of Oscar, only this time he was in a dusty photograph from the past. On this image, jagged, triangular lines cut a path between us. Something sinister was at work. I devised a theory: my mother was posing as a member of the Bavarian illuminati: I was the channel from which she developed her ghastly phenomenae.
I went home and immediately warned Oscar. Upon hearing my strange tale of espionage and "other hidden forces", he took me to bed at once. It was in that love making that I noticed, for the first time, his black socks, hung up by thin, black garters. Suddenly it was clear:
the lines that separated us were all too evident.
Oscar's dipping salts are no longer fastened tightly around my neck. After a while, the ectoplasm disappears like washed sex and sperm from his belly button.
When I was young he used to tell me: "Lolita, I'll make a woman of you someday."
But all I kept thinking about was my mother's Victorian corset, and the frail ghost-like trinkets
she held close to her skin.