On the front porch, sipping his coffee, Pac-Man remembered a feeling from back when he was a pellet-eater. From back when he died and was brought back to life a thousand times a day. The only moment he ever felt a thing was when he was fading, at the beginning of each death. That slow disappearing, it hurt.
Sometimes back then, fruit would materialize beneath the ghost bullpen. Two cherries, their stems joined at the top. The strawberry. The orange and banana. Pac-Man would feel himself drawn to the fruit, hungry for it, and just when he’d reach it, just when he was about to chomp his Pac-mouth down on it, it would disappear into nothing.
He remembered, too, that thing about the ghosts. Somehow, he’d forgotten: How they would turn from blue and edible back to their original colors; how they would transmute from something he desired into something that, if he let them get too close, could cause that aching fading to begin—the one that would deliver him, if only for a couple of moments, from all of it, from everything he knew of the world.