(Although... no,no,... he is not a zombie.)
There was an incident and it makes no sense.
Pretty sure everyone who attended was left feeling the same way. It makes no sense.
My husband is dead. I was there. Okay not when he actually died, because that was on an operating table at Inova Fairfax and they wouldn't let me in to observe. But he is dead.
In fact, I had him cremated. (Yep, there I go flouting tradition... pissing his family off and adhering to the terms of his will all at the same time.)
There is a headstone in a cemetery, and buried beneath it are his ashes.
It's pretty final.
Not many people survive death and then cremation.
So, the incident.
We all know Mac didn't go quietly - right? He talks to me -always has. Messenger windows were his thing for along time, then text messages from beyond, then I'd see him places. Once Carla did too... that was weird. Having Kurt hear a male voice come from the bathroom when it was me talking to a dead guy... that was weird.
But this... this is fucked up.
This was - ah, crap... this was this:
He started to stand up, as he did, my hand wrapped around the grip of my Glock. I lifted my arm. His face registered surprise.
“Ellie, don’t,” he said. I fired twice. My bullets tore through his forehead. Blood sprayed across the back of the couch. The gun fell from my hand, dropping into the coffee table and sliding across the surface to tumble off the edge onto the silent carpet. I watched Mac fall in slow motion. He crumpled onto the floor, just missing the coffee table.
A voice from the front door called out.
“Living room,” I replied and sat back in the chair. I could see Mac’s blood all over the couch. I could see the bullet hole in the wall. I fired twice but could see only one hole. Hot damn, now that’s impressive shooting.
Booted feet ran up the hallway from both directions.
I saw the gun before I saw the man holding it. Sean stepped into the lit room, dressed head to toe in black.
“You all right?”
He wasn’t looking at the couch or the floor or me. His steel grey eyes were on the right side of the room. Another man had come in behind him and he had the left. There were more feet out in the hall, going room by room.
“Clear,” they both said together.
Clear? Dead body. Hello. Blood all over the room.
“Did you do that?” Sean asked tilting his head toward the couch.
I nodded. “I shot him.”
“Who?” He attracted the attention of the man with him. “Could be a wounded man somewhere.”
“I killed Mac. Double tap to the head.” The words made no sense to me and I was the one saying them.
“Where is he?”
Oh, come on. Open your eyes.
“Right there,” I said pointing to Mac’s body between the table and the couch. I didn’t want to get any closer than I already was, just in case it wasn’t Mac but Whoopi Goldberg. My head was jumping about flashing between the present, my past, and the movie Ghost. I didn’t want to have shot Whoopi. She was one of my favorite actors.
Sean turned to the other man and said, “Stand down.”
I leaned back in the chair until my head touched the leather.
The smell of blood made me feel sick. Its cloying stench permeated the room. I don’t like the smell of blood.
“Can I get a drink of water?” I asked the armed man in black.
He pointed to the glass on the table.
I shook my head. “I don’t think that’s water.”
Sean picked my gun up off the floor and shoved it in his waistband.
“What now?” I asked Sean.
“Now, we make this go away.”
I killed Mac. That doesn’t just go away. Or does it. The bloodstains on the couch started to shrink. “What the hell?”
“Everything is going to be fine,” Sean said. I recognized his tone. I used it on Carla often enough, when she was upset or panicked over something. “Just breathe.”
“I’m okay.” Okay. Yep, I felt okay. I just put two bullets in my dead husband’s head and I felt okay. There were so many things wrong with that I couldn’t begin to comprehend them all.
The blood vanished. The smell evaporated. I stood up and peered over the coffee table. He was gone. The only thing left was the hole in my wall. “I’m okay.” Uh huh. Never better.
“Shall we listen to the audio?” Sean offered.
My head nodded without my bidding. Audio. Sound bites. I just hoped I was going to hear two voices and not just mine. The doubt was there and building.
He dialed into his office and then pressed a bunch of numbers. His phone was on speaker. We sat down and listened. Me talking to someone. Crackling, hissing, and a voice reply. Me talking again. The same crackling and hissing then another reply. Definitely a male voice replying. We listened to the whole thing. My yelling, his barely audible replies. What to believe?
“Can you hear it?” I asked Sean.
“Not just me?”
“No, I can hear a male voice responding to you.”
The voice stopped with the gunshot.
“He was here,” I said. “I shot Mac.”
Sean nodded. “I heard him.”
“I don’t know how to process what happened here tonight.” Honesty tumbled from my lips. “I don’t know how to make sense of this.”
“Sit tight. I don’t know either, but I’m going to figure it out.”
A chicken walked across the coffee table. My first thought was one of finality. My brain was over cooked and I was done. The very familiar chicken stopped, turned, and looked at me with beady black eyes. Her rusty brown feathers shone in the light. Her name rolled around my mind, stirring up memories of her before she was nailed upside down to the door of my home in Mauryville. Abigail pecked at the pale table surface, pausing at the glass. She stuck her beak in and tasted the liquid. It didn’t agree with her. She shook her head violently and disappeared.
Great, first, I shoot my dead husband and now my pet chicken, who I incidentally also shot, comes back from the grave.
I curled my legs up underneath me. I needed a drink and I didn’t want water. I wanted to know what was in the glass on the table. Something chickens don’t like.
“What’s in that glass?” I asked.
Sean leaned over and sniffed it. “Tequila. You weren’t drinking?”
“No, Mac was.” And then Abigail tasted it and was highly unimpressed. Probably best to leave that out.
He turned to the other man and said, “Don’t touch this glass.”
Do you see my dilemma?
Can you imagine how Kurt is going to react to this?
This ghost thing has gotten out of hand.