The smallest purpose

She was a ghost. This surprised her, given her overall skeptical personality. Ghosts could not be measured, tested or experimented upon, and thus she did not believe in them. But yet, there she was, an unliving testimony to the reality of ghosts, and possibly other afterlife-related phenomena.

Her immediate thought was to get to the lab to see if measuring and/or testing could be performed with regard to her current state. She started to walk, then remembered that ghosts were not necessarily bound by the corporeal limitations of mortals. She blinked, and the lab greeted her with its familiar paraphernalia.

Immediately, she noticed that she had forgotten to reset one of the more delicate pieces of equipment before leaving. She also noticed having thought about this on her way home, as a constant murmur underneath the threshold of awareness. Remembering it now, the irritation she had felt that day became understandable. The thought itched.

A young man, some doctoral student or other, entered the lab. He immediately set to work, with a relaxed demeanor that suggested repetition of routine. He frowned, glared at the untidy state of the equipment, then shrugged. When the young man went through the final motions of resetting the machinery, she blinked out of existence.

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