"Mira, honey, there's no need for tears," said the apparition of my dead grandmother.
After staring at the husk all day, insisting that it wasn't Busha, that her soul was no where to be found in the papery corpse that looked like it would crumble to dust if I touched it, her soul sat before me, shimmering in the shadowed livingroom. And trying to comfort me, as always.
Was she here to say good-bye? Because if she was, I didn't want that. I already had to say good-bye when the paramedics took her away after her heart attack. I didn't want to do it again. I couldn't keep losing her. Had I done something so horrible in my life to deserve such a thing?
I knew ghosts were a possibility in my magic-riddled world. Several times a year there'd be a story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about a family member refusing to move on. That's when they'd hire a witch or warlock, to help the ghost move on. People thought whatever magic manifested in a person when they were dying, if they timed it just right, they could keep their soul attached to the world of the living.
I never thought Busha had any magic to do such a thing, nor would I have thought she would have wished that on herself. She had been a big advocate of living life to the fullest and accepting death when it knocked on the door.
And I couldn't hire someone to send her off. It would be like her dying a second time, this time by my own hand.
Busha rose from the couch, floating toward me. She cupped my cheeks with her glimmering hands.
This might have been her soul, but her soft, warm touch was now replaced by a cool tingling. Only a body could make a soul warm.
"Honey, honey." She placed a cold kiss on my forehead, then brushed away my tears. "I'm sorry. I guess I didn't realize how much of a shock it would be to see me. Maybe I shouldn't have waited until after the funeral."
Though her touch was cool, I welcomed it far more than any other human contact I had received today. This was Busha, the only person who could calm my worries, allay my fears. I wanted to fall into her arms and never let her go.
I leaned forward, to do just that, but there was no solid form to hold me, and I slipped right through her. The tingling as I passed through her cascaded through my body, like a gust of wind. I lost my balance and stumbled, falling hard on my ass.
Busha turned to me and knelt in front of me. "I wish I could hold you too."
Excerpt from Downward Spiral, Chapter 2
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