Part 1.. Fairbanks.“You’re not going to make a tourist attraction out of me! Y’hear?” She heard the voice clearly, yet it came from no location in the attic.
Ignoring the taunt, Sally kept right on rummaging through the attic. She picked a tattered Bible from a box on the top shelf of a maple bookcase. But She didn’t open it, just looked out into the dust motes and shook her head.
“Ah ha. I saw that! Y’do hear me! This is my house.”
A burst of derisive laughter made Sally almost jump. “Now you’re talkin’ to me. But I don’t exist. Remember?” The laughing voice said. “You must be going crazy.”
Sally hurled the bible across the room in the direction of the voice.
“Easy, there little girl”
Sally wiped her brow with the sleeve of her pale blue sweatshirt and shuddered from a chill at the same time. “I’m not listening to you. You’re a flashback from a bad trip.”
“How can I go away if I don’t exist? Don’t worry.”
“Go away. I don’t believe in an afterlife. I’m an atheist.”
“That’s okay. I’m an atheist myself…”
Sally smirked and shook her head. “Well, if you’re a ghost, you can’t be an atheist. You must be hear to haunt me or save me..”
“Niehter. I’m not here to save anything. But I do have my reasons. First, though, you need to show me a little respect due your kin.”
“You could be my great grandmother, but then you could be me cracking up. It happened once. I was very depressed, and I was suffering from jet lag. I was hearing voices then too, but I had no idea I had slipped into a an aggravated depressive psychosis. Now I do and I can stop this.”
“No you can’t because I’m real. Do you feel crazy? Are you acting crazy?”
“I’m stressed, exhausted. I’m all hallucinated because the 24-hour summer days up here in Fairbanks have messed with my sleep patterns. You don’t exist! Go away!”
“That’s not crazy. That’s just tired.”
“Okay, then: I’ll bite. If you’re real, give me a sign. What else can happen in my life right now that hasn’t already happened?”
“Look in that steamer trunk over there. You’ll find something I’m gonna tell you about now….”
Instead, Sally pulled a sheet off a high-backed, maple rocking chair and sat down to gather her thoughts. She rocked gently and lay her head back, tears in her eyes. She tilted the chair back and crooked an arm over her brow and face, and without intending it, dropped quicky into a brief restless sleep, swept with incomprehensible dreams.
(to be continued...)