Zombie Romance Pt. 4




I’m wrapped in a plushy robe on the hotel bed watching TV, finally warm, when the call comes again.
But I don’t want to go back out into the cold. I’ve been sitting in it for days, weeks, waiting to see what the spirits want from me. I have the feeling it has to do with the worker who slips me a few dollars every day, the only one who really sees me, but I’m not sure.
And I don’t want to go out into a blizzard to find out.
But the call is persistent, tenacious. It’s pulling me somewhere. And as the last priestess, I go where I’m called, because there is no one else.
With a sigh, I sit up and dig my wallet out of my trash bag of belongings and dial the taxi company. I would have paid for my own taxi, and my own room, but it was clear that the man wouldn’t have gone home without seeing me out of the cold. And if I’d pulled out my wallet stuffed with cash and cards, that would have have prompted an inquiry into why I was posing as a homeless woman outside of a construction site. And I didn’t have an answer for that, except that’s where the spirits wanted me. To most people, that wouldn’t be an acceptable answer.
And a hotel room, even a cheap one, was better than an institution.
When the taxi dispatch tells me my ride will be here in ten minutes, I sigh again and look around. I’m getting too old for this. My bones ache, and it physically hurts to get up off the bed and change into my clothes. My nicer ones. I will follow the spirit’s will tonight, but I will do it warm. Out of the bag, I pull out a long, layered skirt, tall lined boots, a patterned tunic, and my nice coat with the fur trim.
Maybe I’ll get to go home soon. There was a tension in the air, pressure, that said this might all be over tonight. I would be thankful for that.
I finish dressing and look in the mirror as I place a fur hat on my head. There might be a few more wrinkles than there were a few years ago, but my eyes are still bright, my cheekbones sharp, and my lips dark red.
“You’re still a handsome woman, Josephine.” I smile at my reflection. If only my Claude was here to see me. But perhaps he could see me from where he was. Perhaps he was one of the spirits guiding her tonight.
That made me feel a bit better about going in to the weather.
Before leaving the room, I grabbed the big handbag that contained her tools, things I might need for tonight’s spiritual work.
The taxi driver wasn’t the same as before. I gave him the address to the construction site, and sat back in the seat, bag on my lap. It was late, the streets barren from the hour and the snowstorm. Only three vehicles passed , all going slowly and bunched together on the road.
When they got to the site, the driver put the car in gear. “This is the place?”
“Yes,” I repy, voice clipped. No one was there, but something awaited her in the dark.
“Are you sure, lady?”
“I’m sure,” I say, and open the door. “Thank you.”
“Want me to wait?”
“No, thank you,” I say, and get out.
When I was ready to leave, I would call a different taxi company, use a different name. Pay cash. I didn’t know what the nature of my work tonight would be, but I didn’t want any suspicion falling on me.
He drove away slowly, and I wait on the sidewalk until his taillights disappear, and then walked through the gap in the fence.
It was pitch black out here, with only a few sparse lights visible through the trees. Heavy clouds hid the moon and stars, but I walk with sure steps. I wouldn’t have been called here just to break an ankle in the dark. The spirits guided my footsteps just as they guided my actions.
The inky blackness made it easy to see, finally, why I had been called here.
“Oh, no,” I whisper, kneeling in a thin layer of snow over soft, disturbed soil.
A few pale fingers curled up out of the snow. I wouldn’t have been able to see them, except the identical fingers of his glowing soul wavered above them, a bright blue-white. I laid my hand over his, heart hurting.
I knew who it was, and it was obvious what had been done to him. Obvious, too, that his soul would not let go. Could not let go.
The pressure in this place meant he was my work.
I helped people who were at the bottom of their spiritual well, those in dire physical or emotional straights. That could take different forms. Sometimes it was unrequited love, or divorce. Financial troubles causing ruin. Injustices done. Any number of things that could cause a soul to cry out in pain.
Sometimes, rarely, it was a soul with unfinished business.
In all my life, there had only been one other. Selfishly, when my husband Claude died, I’d hoped his would be one of them, if only to give them a little more time together. But I’d been surprised, and a little bit hurt, when I saw nor felt his presence after he died. His soul had flown this earth, happy and free, in an instant. Ah, well. It meant they’d had a great life together. No regrets, no unfinished business.
Unlike this fellow here.
Grady worked hard for his money, and yet he’d been generous with it. With his time, his conversation, expecting nothing in return. He had a good soul. I would do this for him with a glad heart.
I open my big handbag and take out the supplies she would need. A candle, a lighter, a small knife. Some herbs and oil, my beads, and the Bible. Despite what people might think, mine was White Magic. I needed His divine guidance for everything that I did.
I lit the candle and put the beads on over my head while singing softly. Black and red to clear the way, remove obstacles and barriers, open doors. White, for peace and justice in all things. Wine colored, for wisdom, changes, and to help fight battles. And last, amber, for love and passion. Because the way he’d smiled when he talked about his wife meant some of his unfinished business likely had to do with her.
May their love be strong enough for this. Because not everyone’s was, and without a strong anchor for his soul, even the spirit’s work could easily go awry.
I would give him the gift of a little more time, to settle his business, whatever it was. And some additional magic, to make sure nothing would hold him down, that nothing could seal him away.
Breath puffing and candle flame wavering in the cold air, I used my tools and did my work. I sang the old songs, feeling the magic flow through me. The chants were ancient, and meant to be sung by many voices. But alone in this country, in this town, the only voices accompanying her were those of the spirits.
Finally, I need just one more thing to finish; blood. Some things were too big to accomplish without it, and it held the magic that would revive his body while I worked on his soul.
And while the ground beneath her wept with the amount of blood in it… not a drop of it had been willing. I needed willing blood. With a quick swipe, I slice open my palm with the little knife, letting the blood drip into the candle flame while I whispered a prayer, adding my voice to those of the spirits who wanted this work done.
The flame rose and turned bright red, signaling that their voices would be heard. At some point. But it didn’t guarantee the answer they wanted.
The soul still wavered there, a centimeter or so above the unmoving fingers, where it would remain until there was an answer.
“God be with you until we see you again,” I whisper.
I blow out the candle and pack up the items in the dark. All the pressure was gone, the spirits quiet, the night peaceful. It was done. I could go home.