Chapter 18: Touched By A Ghost
I was surprised to find Summer still waiting in the car. As I slid into the driver’s seat next to her, she looked at me and smiled. “I’m glad to see you. I thought you had ditched me.”
“Nah, just had to go talk to some folks.”
“Yeah, maybe a little. Did you see anybody go in or come out while I was in there?”
“Uh-huh. The sheriff came up to the car and looked in, but he didn’t see me.” She giggled. “He was right in my face. I could have kissed him on the nose.”
“I’m glad you didn’t,” I laughed.
“You been crying, Cole? Your eyes are red.”
I looked away from her and out the driver’s side window. “Yeah. A little.”
She put her hand on my knee. I knew it was just a compassionate gesture but it had a different kind of effect. Her hand passed through my leg and I felt the jolt of electricity that comes with direct contact with a ghost you are connected to. I had gotten used to Lacey and the pleasant visions her touch brought, but this was different.
My head went into a swim. The world turned topsy-turvy and I was no longer in the car sitting there next to a spirit. I was that spirit. I was standing on a bridge. I knew this place. It was where she had jumped. And there she stood looking down into those murky depths. She turned to me and I could see her eyes were crying. From somewhere I heard a voice whisper ‘don’t jump. I need your body.’ Then she disappeared over the side. She never said a word the whole way down. I heard the splash but felt nothing, only a tumultuous anger at the world.
I jumped away from her and her touch left me. I was back in the car and trying to get out of it fast. I opened up the door and rolled out, shaking all over. She was alarmed and screaming.
“What did you do to me!?” she cried out.
I was on all fours on the ground, trying to shake the images from my mind of her falling, and the anger spreading out from the bridge in search of something to latch on to. But it wasn’t Summer’s anger. It was something else.
“Please don’t do that again,” I gasped, trying to get to my feet. “Please don’t touch me.”
“What was that all about? I felt like you assaulted me or something.”
It took a moment to catch my breath. I got back in the car, but I kept my distance. “When someone, a spirit, connects with me and they touch me, I can see what they see, feel what they feel. It’s like I lose myself to become that spirit. I saw you on the bridge. You jumped. My god, you jumped.”
“I jumped from a bridge? That’s how I died?”
“Yes Summer, I’m sorry.”
“But what about Carla?”
“I guess she hung herself, distraught over your death.”
“No, I can’t have killed myself. It’s impossible. Then I’d go to hell. Mother always said that suicides go straight to…”
“You’re not exactly in heaven here,” I interrupted.
“But why would I jump? That makes no sense.”
“I think someone was after you. They knew you were thinking of jumping. They told you not to do it. They said they needed your body. But I guess it made you jump even quicker.”
“Need my body? What for? Sex?”
I thought for a minute. “No, not sex. They wanted it for something else.”
Then it hit me. The Ouija board conversation again. HE WANTS TO LIVE IN IT. Summer’s body had been stolen from her grave. And what was it Darnell had said standing over his brother’s grave? ‘She’s waiting for me at home. I think I might get in her skin tonight.’
I started the car. “Damn, it’s Darnell.”
Curious and confused, Summer looked at me.
“He’s picking up where his brother left off. He’s the ‘colored’ man.”
“Huh? He’s not colored.”
I put the car in drive and pulled away from the curb.
“Not colored as in race. That’s what I thought at first, too. No, colored as in, well, color. Kaleidoscope. He’s trying to resurrect his brother..”
“Cole, that’s crazy. You can’t resurrect dead people like that, can you?”
“Not that I’m aware of. But maybe he thinks if he puts his spirit in a different body than his own, it might work.”
“So, Darnell is trying to put his brother’s spirit in my old body? That’s nuts!”
“So is talking to ghosts, but I do it all the time.”
“Cole, listen to yourself. You can’t go in there guns blazing because you think he’s raising the dead.”
We ran through a red light. I heard the screeching of tires as another car avoided me in the intersection.
“And why can’t I?” I asked her angrily.
“Because you don’t know for certain that’s what he’s doing. And anyway you’re not a cop anymore!”
“And so what, you’re my voice of reason now?”
“You can’t just gun him down like you did his damn brother!”, she shouted. “Please don’t do this.”
I pulled into Darnell Dean’s driveway. “It’s too late. We’re already here.”
“Please I beg you. Let the cops handle this. Call them. Call Sheriff Deacon, tell him you think Darnell stole my body from the cemetery. But please don’t kill him.”
I opened my car door. “I’m not going to kill him, Summer. I’m just going to talk to him.”
“Then leave your gun here,” she pleaded.
I reached in my jacket and pulled the pistol from its holster. I laid it on the driver’s seat. “Satisfied?”
I didn’t hear any other protest she may have made because I was already going up the walk towards the Dean household…
“Advocate For The Dead ” 2017 Paul D Aronson. All Rights Reserved.