The Experiment

He was excited to see 150 new emails in his inbox. The dates on the emails dated back ten years to five years. He clapped his hands and laughed a most gleeful laugh.

He picked up his phone and called Layla. A weary voice answered, “Rob, do you have any idea what the time is?”

“She’s done it!” Rob cried, ignoring her drowsiness.

“Who’s done what?”

“The experiment, Layla! The experiment was a success!”

She gasped. “She emailed you? How many times?…. wait! Don’t tell me. I’m coming over.”

Rob paced around his laptop resisting the urge to open all of the unread messages. When he created this account fifteen years ago, he had only just begun his research. It had gone unused and unopened all this time.

Layla arrived ten minutes later. Her jaw dropped as he showed her the number of emails.

“Imagine the implications!” he said. “Man could never travel to the past. But a ghost, the spirit of man, can. This…  is truly amazing!”

“What are you waiting for? Open the emails!”

He clicked the oldest email first.

“Happy?” it read.

He continued to open the early emails, but they were all similarly short. Rob glanced over at Layla. He saw a flicker in her eyes.

“I cannot hold the subject for more than a few minutes at a time. I will continue to try and gain more control,” the next message read.

“Of course. That explains it,” he muttered. He moved the mouse down an email two years later.

“The subject has begun to accept me as herself. I can spend days in her before she takes back control, but it hardly seems to bother her anymore.”

Rob swallowed back a lump in his throat. Layla grabbed his hand as he moved the mouse and dragged it across the screen to the last message.

“Thank you, dear Rob. Your efforts will not be forgotten. We can live a life eternal in our new bodies. Sincerely yours, Layla.”

He gasped and tried to pull his hand from Layla’s grasp. A chill crept from the touch and up his arm.

“How many did you send through the portal?” he asked.

“Hundreds,” Layla said, her grin seemed otherworldly.

He jerked back, but her grip was too tight.

“But why? You could have used it for good!”

“Ghosts aren’t good or bad, silly. All we want is to live. And now, we can.”

He shivered, goosebumps covered his skin. His heart raced, and his breath became labored.

“Thanks for life eternal,” he heard in his mind. His vision darkened, and he watched, as if in a chair in a theater, as another consciousness took over his body.

“I’m home, my love,” his voice said. He leaned in and kissed Layla.


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