Life After Death 2/4
This is the second chapter of a multichapter story. To read the first chapter, go here.
The next day, a translucent man with blue hair with a hole in his neck appeared outside Silas’ window. While she silently freaked out in one corner, Silas didn’t bat an eye at his visitor.
“Hi there. How can I help you?” Silas said.
And so, another day as the local ghost whisperer began.
With amazing patience, Silas listened as the man spilled his life story and gushed about the love of his life, which only made him feel even worse that he’d died and left his love alone. Zoey watched the spirit from her corner of the ceiling. As annoying as he was being, was that the kind of reaction she should have to dying?
Her mind helpfully reminded her of Silas’sister, who had, by the looks of it, been dead for around a decade but had no problems hanging around to be her brother’s new eyes.
Huh. Maybe she was haunting the wrong family.
Unlike her, Silas was a pro, so despite the fact that the blue-haired spirit was terrible at providing information, Silas eventually cobble together enough pieces to figure out that he lived twenty minutes away, and the reason he couldn’t move on had something to do with the love of his life. That wasn’t the whole story, but it was good enough. They hopped into Silas’ car and drove over to the house the spirit’s love stayed in.
Only to find out the love was completely one-sided.
And that was the story of how Silas the ghost whisperer became Silas the ghost counsellor… for the next two hours. Even if Silas were to lose his ability to talk with the dead, he had a very bright future in community care. She would recommend him to her friends, if she was still alive. Better stop that thought there before things got depressing.
After more talking and more prodding, they found a better candidate for the reason the spirit couldn’t move on – his sister. Not sure exactly how, since the spirit wasn’t very coherent, but digging up the full story could take another day. Silas was patient, but not that patient. Anyway, the other spirits had noticed Silas, and they had already started a line to wait for their turn.
Following the spirit’s instructions, they dug out a box from the corner of someone’s house. Fortunately, one of the spirits lining up had a message she wanted to deliver to the occupant, so they helped her with her unfinished business and got permission at the same time. Now armed with the battered box, they headed for the sister’s house.
Unlike her scatterbrained brother, the sister was more down to earth and cautious. She didn’t just accept the box without question. Instead, she grilled Silas with all kinds of questions aimed to figure out if Silas was trying to scam her. So the siblings weren’t that different after all, they just took up people’s time in different ways. Finally, the sister accepted the box, and the blue-haired spirit sighed his thanks as he faded into the afterlife.
But they weren’t done yet.
Silas presented the sister with his card, containing his contact details and a list of jobs he could do for her. He wouldn’t charge her on behalf of her dead brother, who had approached him for help, but he would appreciate it if she remembered him if she needed any odd jobs done.
The sister’s eyes narrowed, but she accepted the card without asking another twenty questions. Which was good, because once they left the compound, Silas had another dozen or so ‘jobs’ to deal with. Silas did what he could, but he drew the line at staying overnight to help people with their unfinished business. For these unfortunate spirits, he would return next time.
“How long have you been doing this?” Zoey asked as Silas drove back home.
“‘This’ as in talking to spirits or helping them move on?”
Silas tapped his fingers against the steering wheel. “I started seeing them around the time I started secondary school, but I only really started helping them in uni.”
“Because of the ‘accident’?”
Silas sent a side glance at her. “Curiosity killed the cat.”
“I’m already dead.”
“I can guess why.”
“You’re not going to distract me so easily.”
“Do you think you got killed by the mafia because you got nosy?”
“Don’t be silly. They don’t exist.”
Silas choked back a sound.
“Just kidding,” Zoey said, “Now, back to the accident.”
“Well, it’s not much of a secret. From what I heard, pretty much half the country knew about it when it happened. My family was on the way to Genting, and you know how you need to drive up these really long, windy roads to go up to the top where the amusement park is?”
“We were on the way up when a speeding driver lost control and crashed into our car and knocked it off the road. Going clockwise from how we were sitting that day, my mum in the front seat got a pretty bad concussion and a fractured arm. My dad fractured his left leg and almost broke his neck. My sister did break her neck and died. My brother went blind. And I was in a coma for a year. Even now, I can’t move my left hand very well, and I can’t move my little finger at all.” Silas lifted his left hand and wiggled his fingers.
“Yeah. We all started seeing spirits after that. Except my parents. They can only hear spirits. Which is fair. They weren’t as badly injured as us.”
“What happened to the other driver?”
“He survived the crash, but he died around the time I started uni because he smashed his car into the road divider.”
“Oh. I might have heard about that one. Jonah?”
“Johan. Close enough. So, that’s my story. What’s yours?”
“I can’t remember how I died.”
“That’s fine. You can talk about when you were alive.”
“There’s nothing much to talk about.” She folded her arms and tried not to phase through the car seat as she leaned back. “My life’s pretty normal. In fact, dying is probably the most unusual thing that’s happened to me since forever.”
“Sure you can’t remember your ‘unexpected death’?”
“What about your unfinished business? Anything you want to give to someone? Maybe you borrowed something and you didn’t get to return it?”
If Silas was disappointed, his face didn’t show it.
“Just keep trying. We’ll figure it out eventually.”