The short story “Ghost Girl” by Richard Larson was published for the first time in 2014.
After reading another article about the ghost girl who lived in a dump outside Bujumbura, Iguo decides to investigate to understand whether it’s only an urban legend or there’s something real behind it. What he finds is a consequence of the war fought in the previous years.
This short story is set in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi. It’s very short with a very simple plot that, however, hides a remarkable amount of details about this future that follows a war that was also a cyberwar with a number of consequences.
The basic idea is wnat might seem an urban legend about the presence of a ghost girl. The policeman Iguo investigates and finds much more than he would have expected, a way for Richard Larson to provide a lot of information about that future.
The simplicity of the story is only superficial because it includes a truly remarkable amount of references to the war and its consequences. Robots, drones, cyborgs, viruses, artificial intelligences and more were used as weapons and after the end of the war ghosts of various kinds still remained. References to problems related to the society and politics of Burundi are also included and are easy to understand even for people who are not familiar with that country.
“Ghost Girl” is a very short story and reading it one might think that Richard Larson weighed every word to concentrate as much details in it as possible. The result is that most of the phrases contain food for thought that could be developed considerably.
In the end “Ghost Girl” is a stimulating story that’s like a flash because you can read it in a moment but then you can think about it for a long time. It’s the case in which a reader might want a longer work that develops the various concepts: if he wanted, Richard Larson could even develop it into a novel! You can find this short story for example in the anthology published by Future Fiction in English and Italian.