Short Story Review: Lost Girl by Catherine Lundoff

Now I am just here… waiting. Watching you steam off the dreadful living room wallpaper through my transparent body. Feeling you shiver when I run my fingers down your arm. Longing to caress your flesh when you undress and sink rapidly into lukewarm water in the claw foot tub in the bathroom. Wanting you to hear the words that I whisper into your sleeping ears.

-Catherine Lundoff, Fireside Fiction, October 2019

I never knew how much I needed a lesbian Gothic ghost love story in my life, but Catherine Lundoff’s “Lost Girl” is a gorgeous flash fiction tapping into exactly that niche. It feels – it’s hard to pin down, somewhere between “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Rebecca, imbued with longing and ambiguity, narrated by a ghost who isn’t sure of much except how much she loves and pines after the woman living in the house she haunts.

I’m always forgetting the names of literary devices, but I love poetic prose that’s almost epistolary – a call for attention, a plea for recognition. (This is the nerd in me but it always reminds me of the vocative case in Ancient Greek and Latin – ‘O Muse’, ‘O Zeus’). It’s especially effective here, with the haunting sense that, well, maybe it’s your house. Maybe the lost girl is watching you.

 

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