Recap: Last time, Bea and the ghost found the name of the cemetery where the ghost’s husband was buried. Then Bea got attacked by two mysterious men and was rescued when the ghost scared them off.
When Bea parked her van in front of the graveyard, I felt colder than ever. I had no body to produce heat, no clothing to shield me. My soul was naked and exposed to the chill, and I dreaded going any closer.
Bea climbed slowly down from vehicle, wincing from her injuries. She raised her keys to lock the door but paused when she realized I wasn’t following.
“Hey,” she said. “It’s gonna be okay.”
“What if we don’t find him?” I whispered.
“Then we’ll try something else. I’m not giving up anytime soon.”
Recap: Last time, the ghost began to remember more of her past, and she and Bea went to the library to research what happened to the ghost’s husband. Though they were interrupted by a creepy guy who seemed way too interested in Bea’s research, they eventually found an obituary…
I couldn’t turn my gaze from those small words wedged between two other obituaries. We’d found him. The pride of accomplishment should have surged through me, but I felt vaguely sick. Was this all that remained of Nate? He deserved so much more than a snippet of text in an old newspaper.
He’d been merely twenty-eight years old according to this. Grief scraped my soul like gravel against skin, an old and familiar pain. I’d wanted to grow old with him, to raise a family. Our life together had been just beginning. It wasn’t fair. We should’ve had more time.
And had his death truly been an accident? It didn’t seem right, but I couldn’t remember…
Bea’s gaze was gentle and full of concern. I couldn’t bear it.
Recap: Last time, our ghostly protagonist’s monotonous afterlife was interrupted when the old woman she’s haunting calls an exorcist. But instead of moving on, the ghost talks the exorcist into helping her track down the soul of her lost husband.
“Here we go. Nathaniel Breen, 1847 to 1902. Banker from California. Died of tuberculosis.”
Bea was lying in a bunk in the back of her van, staring at a small device with a rectangular face that lit up and showed pictures and text. (I remembered the old woman in my house using something similar.) We’d spent the night at a campground, and the new scenery had both mesmerized and invigorated me. The only one more excited was the cat, who darted among the trees all night in exploration.
“Nate wasn’t a banker,” I said. “And he certainly wasn’t from California.”
“What was he, then?”
“A factory worker. And I don’t think he ever left Ohio.”
“Hm.” She stretched. “Well, I don’t see any other Nathaniel Breens on here.”
“You should try a library.” I sniffed. “There are still libraries around these days, aren’t there?”
There’s an angel and a devil on my shoulders. The angel is telling me to wait until October 1st to start Halloween season like a rational person. The devil wants all the pumpkins, spookiness, and candy NOW.
So I’m starting a little early. Just a smidge. No big deal, right?