Rest in peace? Hmmph. Not likely. I growl, a low rumble in the back of my throat. It’s a good thing I can’t be heard. Incorporeal growling tends to unsettle people.
Then again, some people deserve to be unsettled.
I’m not sure how long I’ve been dead. A few weeks. Maybe months. Time passes differently, in-between. I figure that’s to my advantage. I have all the time I want to get back at my charming, cheating wife; her and that so-called clerk she hired to run my shop.
I watch as she spends her time mooning over that boy behind the counter. By the Gods, woman. He might be young enough to be our son. He does know his herbals, though. Doing a damn fine job running my business when he isn’t busy being fondled by my wife.
He has brought in some unorthodox compounds. Goldbud for stomach ailments and lost appetite. Dragon flower for skin problems. Bat bones for weak eyesight.
The Goldbud isn’t likely to work. Maybe the bat bones though.
In my irritation, I flail my invisible arms through my workspace. His workspace.
To my surprise, the bones are strewn across the countertop.
I watch as he jumps back. His shoulders crawl up to his ears. A visible shiver passes through him. His dark eyes scan the table, the wall, the room. Does his gaze linger on my invisible form a moment too long? Certainly not. He is simply staring in the direction of the scattered bones.
I stare at the bones too. They moved. I moved them. I reach in again, more deliberately this time, and discover I can easily slide the thin white sticks across the table.
My replacement watches for a moment longer, then squares his shoulders and reaches. He picks up the bone, and his movements tug at my hand. For a brief moment, my hand moves with his, then his with mine.
We separate but the sensation still tingles where I have no right to feel anything.
He rubs his offended hand and his gaze lingers on the space I occupy. “I know you’re there,” he says. “I’m not the one who killed you. It was her. She told me there were rats. I told her how to kill them.” He paused then said, “I didn’t know she meant you. I’m sorry.”
I consider his words as he proceeds to pulverize the bones to a fine powder.
I wonder if it’s unusual for the dead to not know they were murdered. It makes sense to me now. Afterwards, the infidelity was obvious. My death and its cause are not things I can see, but the evidence is there.
He fills a glazed pot with the bone powder and speaks again, interrupting my reverie. “I know how to bring you back.” A dark smile plays across his face.
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