School taught me all kinds of useless things, but a class on how to be a haunt would have offered value beyond measure. Evaporating from humanity is paralyzing, like the feeling you get upon losing your wallet; panicked, stuck…still you, but no way to prove it.

An oyster escorted me into the hereafter. The slippery little bivalve stuck in my windpipe five minutes before I planned to ask Abagail to marry me; five unsuspecting minutes of nervous anticipation followed by choking panic and then…everything seemed a bit hazy and my body felt buoyant. I thought it was the champagne.

The adjustment period has been a challenge. Seasoned residents of the afterlife avoid newcomers, as if our recently silenced hearts still carry the contagion of mortality. The scent of resistance and fear clings to our soul as we struggle to accept that old customs of existence mean nothing on this shadowy side of the veil.

Talking, touching and all the human modes of contact are ineffectual when trying to fraternize with those who have their feet firmly planted in the mortal realm.

I’ve got to find another way to let Abagail know the depth of my love. After all, she never saw the ring. It slipped from my pocket while a sweaty paramedic thrust his meaty arms beneath my ribs in a failed attempt to dislodge the offending mollusk. The diamond and I both found our resting place on the thick carpet pile of Anderson’s Seafood Restaurant.

The ache of watching Abagail cry is enough to rupture my soul.

This evening, in my desire to reach out, a passionate resolve overtook me, seeming to manifest in a tangible, swelling wake. For a moment, her sobs paused and I felt a curious, cosmic interlacing. Is she aware of the ethereal curtain between us, so thin and gossamer it’s nearly just the essence of a boundary?

Afterlife is teaching me to be as expansive and elastic as the universe. The metaphysical door must have a key! My programming will need a bit of reconstruction. I’m still here. I just have to prove it.

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
1 year ago

Heather, this is really a great story! It is especially enjoyable now, a few weeks before Halloween. You had me hooked from the first paragraph, and I loved the comparison of being dead to losing your wallet: “still you, but no way to prove it” The combination of humor and literally undying love is so appealing! Good writing. Oh yes, and I simply loved the image!

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
1 year ago

I love the title of this imaginative piece and the gossamer curtain’s mention later in the story is well balanced by the inclusion of the shadowy veil.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

If there is one thing that most of us dread, it must be going before our time is up, leaving an unfinished life. You chose leaving a loved one behind. I liked the way you expressed the pain still felt, when most of us would think, when you’re gone, well that’s it. I really enjoyed the way that you told this story.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Beautifully written story. Very sad for both the one who has passed and the one who is is left behind. But it makes you think, if the one who has passed tries to cling too tightly to the living, do they just cause them more pain? Very thought provoking.

Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi(@katy-bizi)
1 year ago

Reading this, I had a lot of mixed feelings. I was sad, yet, at the end truly happy with how it turned out. And that is really amazing!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

I agree with Carrie, I also feel sad for both of them, the one who has passed and the one who is left behind. It is a very dreadful feeling if you leave this world with unfinished things to do, it is very hard to go and rest in peace if that is the case. But I love the ending and the image that it brings to my mind.

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