Charlotte and I hit a major snag in our mutual quest to figure out how to bring our brother William back to life.
“I’ve researched every place I can think of to discover more about Life Fruit,” Charlotte said for like the thousandth time. She’d used most of her contacts in the scientific community to discover if anyone could locate the elusive fruit and give us a seedling or a plant.
“We wouldn’t be able to grow it now anyway,” William said, shrugging. “It’s winter, and everything you’ve discovered said that this plant only grows in the ground during its season and cannot be grown in a hot house situation.”
“I really thought we’d have found something by now,” I sighed. I was extremely disappointed in our lack of progress.
“Well at least we have quite a few specimens of Death Fish,” Charlotte acknowledged. We had met at the cemetery to get samples of the water to see if we could discover anything else about why the Death Fish could only be found in grave yards.
The three of us had started to meet regularly to discuss our progress, no matter how minimal. I couldn’t help but wish we’d talked about William’s predicament sooner. I figure we’d be farther along.
Last spring I was fishing in the cemetery when I was approached by a strange ghost.
“Hey bub,” he whispered, and when I didn’t respond right away, “Hey, mister!” he said, louder.
“Are you talking to me?”
“Who else is dumb enough to come to the cemetery after dark? You got balls, bub.”
“I like it here. It’s good fishing,” I shrugged. “What do you want?”
The ghost was a teen, dressed as some sort of gangster out of the 1930s. He was skinny and his aura was tinged pink telling me that he had died of starvation. I’d learned some things since I started talking to the ghosts instead of trapping them. Their auras, for example, resonated with the colors of their death. That is why William’s was blue. Though he had died of illness, his illness was caused by nearly drowning. Blue meant a water-related death.
For all I know about death, the only certainty I really have is that I don’t know how to deal with it. My dad died and once again a gaping hole opened in my life.
I was never going to go out and enjoy another game of catch with my dad. I was never going to sit down for a meal and talk fishing or sports or even girls with him. I’d never help him in the garden.
What’s worse, I knew that he wasn’t going to come back. I had never seen another sentient ghost like my brother. Germane and Julie were both right that William was different.
“Welcome to Twinbrook!” I said to Timothy and Tiffany when they finally arrived at our home. They hadn’t come directly home with me. Both wanted to see their own parents in Riverview first.
“Let me take you upstairs,” I said. “We can drop your bags off. Tim, you’re going to stay in my old bedroom. Homer said he was going to stay with his girlfriend while you’re here, so Tiff and I will have his room.”
I took them both upstairs and showed them their respective sleeping arrangements. Tiffany cocked an eyebrow at me when she realized that Homer’s room only had one bed. This trip was supposed to be my big move with her. I figured Homer’s huge bed would give her a hint of my intensions. Either it’d be like a sleepover with a friend…or it would be something else.
“You can put your stuff in the closet,” I said. “Homer has a balcony, too,” I pointed. “There’s a telescope out there that’s perfect for star-gazing.”
I’m annoying my whole family. I just can’t seem to hold in the terrible grief I feel since my mother died.
“Homer,” my dad said to me, “you have to get dressed today. People are coming over for the memorial service.”
“I don’t want to go to the service, Dad,” I said, and sniffed. I wiped at the tears that I just couldn’t stop.
“It will help, Homer,” Dad said. “You need closure.”