My response to the prompt ‘sidewalk‘.
How did Zoey feel about her ability to see the dead?
On good days, it was the lens that let her see into a whole new world.
On bad days, it was the giant spoon that scooped her out of her life into a bowl filled with other people’s issues.
Today was somewhere in the middle.
On the road, a spirit threw himself at the people who passed by, getting more and more upset with every person who ignored him. To turn around and walk away now would only attract the spirit’s attention, so she steeled herself. She would not react. She would not react.
The spirit rushed at her from her blind spot and she jumped into the air.
Bad body. Bad!
Now she had a very persistent spirit bugging her as she kept walking and pretending her reaction had been a fluke and not because of him.
It didn’t work.
She didn’t mind helping the dead move on, but she wasn’t going to talk to him in the middle of the sidewalk in front of everybody. People would think she was crazy.
The spirit pulled her towards the road. She dug her feet to the ground and grabbed her phone.
“I can help you, but not here,” she pretended to say on the phone, but her eyes were on the spirit.
The spirit tugged her arm.
“There’s a side street around the corner. Let’s go there.”
The spirit frowned, but released her.
On the smaller, quieter street, no one cared about the girl on her phone. There she listened to the spirit’s story, which was pretty bland up to his abrupt death.
That… sounded familiar.
“You sure you’re dead and not just in a coma?”
“I went to my funeral.”
“Oh. Er. How was it?”
“Good. Thanks for asking.”
Once he knew someone was paying attention to him, the spirit turned out to be a pretty pleasant guy. His one worry that kept him around was that people wouldn’t remember him. For that, she had a simple solution.
She created a simple roadside memorial for him. Just some fake flowers in a glass jar with his name at the corner of the sidewalk. But that was enough. With a smile, the spirit faded away.
Another thing her ability to see the dead did. It made her pensive. One day, she would join them. When that happened, what would people remember her for?
She didn’t know what she wanted to be remembered for, but she knew what she didn’t want to be remembered for.
The crazy lady who talked to herself.
To read more about Zoey, check out the stories in Life After Death.