Back to me

The funeral home attendants laid dead or close to it

They should die for what they had done to Sylvia

David winced as he saw she had been cut

They almost took her heart

David ran his hand across the wound

He unravelled a ragged tensor bandage slowly and methodically

As he lifted her to tie the bandage he brought her ear to his mouth

He whispered pretty, insipid words

Sylvia was not moved

David zipped her into her favorite maternity dress

It had poppies on it and went with her red heels

The heels waited for her at home

The baby was in the ground.

 

David lifted up Sylvia tenderly

As if she could still hurt

She was heavier than the time he mockingly carried her over the threshold

He would never mock her again

He draped her over the back seat and belted her in

 

When David got home everything was as he left it the psychic was still bound and watching CNN.

Her eyes got wide as she saw David lay Sylvia down on the couch.

The psychic started shaking and trying to move her chair closer to Sylvia.

David moved to help her and the Psychic pitched her chair forward

But David held it fast

The chair balanced on one leg

The cool air rushing past the psychic’s face

David winced but pretended to take no notice

The psychic held on to the arms of the chair

The bonds suddenly loosen.

 

She took off the duct tape

And shook her head

There was nothing to be done

Nothing she could do all she did was talk to the dead

Sometimes the dead listened

Ever rarer did the dead talk back

They never rose

Everyone knew the dead never became the living

Even when they rose they still rotted

Bones became planters and weeds grew from within chest cavities

 

David pulled the shaky chair away

The psychic fell to her knees

To David it looked like she was praying

But all she was doing was fighting the vertigo and the tinnitus.

David dragged her to the couch

The psychic fought a groan the ringing in her ears got louder.

David leaned over her

The psychic looked up and attempted to clear her vision

David gestured to Sylvia who still was unmoved

The psychic doesn’t know what he expected her to do

It isn’t like she did this everyday

David handed her a pail of water

She raised her eyebrow but took the pail in her hand

She doused Sylvia as thunder crashes outside

They both glance at Sylvia’s still chest

The Psychic shouted what could have been a spell or a line from a fortune cookie

They glance at Sylvia’s stone fingers

 

David’s eyes sharpen and edge toward the Psychic.

The psychic winces and turns toward Sylvia.

She puts her hand over Sylvia’s wounds

And whispers and lightning flashes

And they wait in anticipation for the thunder

But it never comes

David panics and pulls out a knife

The psychic stills as she watches David cut his palm

He demands that they make a circle of blood around the couch.

The psychic goes to her knees and closes her eyes as if in a trance.

David soaks his blood into the carpet fibers

It feels right, he feels lighter and finds his way to the toppled over chair

He doesn’t fix it he just sits between the legs

 

Lightning forks in two behind them

They both look at Sylvia toes; they do no wriggle away the stiffness

The Thunder quickly snaps and a tree traps burning.

David watches the tree and starts weeping

There is no saving the tree

Fire can be blown away but what is burnt can’t always be repaired

Skin peeled away

Burning as eyes won’t look away

David’s eyes burn and he fold in half

The psychic tentatively crawls towards him

David drags his bloody wrist across the carpet fibers and takes the knife.

The Psychic falls over and moves backwards

Her eyes widening and expanding in the light of the fire

 

David looks at the burning birch and says, “ They will come and take her. Don’t let them take her from me.”

He crudely gauges into the other wrist

The psychic snaps and ringing becomes louder

She slaps him in the face and tears the knife out.

She weeps and pulls off her shirt and pants and balls them up over his wrists.

But his skin is already getting clammy

She doesn’t even notice the thunder has silenced.

The ringing is too damned loud.

David mutters “Sylvia…”

They both glance again at Sylvia but once again Sylvia is unmoved.

 

No one heard the police knock down the door.

Because one was dead, one was dying and the other in shook

The psychic awoke in a sterile hospital room,

Afraid of death, emptiness and infamy.

But infamy never came.

No one remembered the psychic’s name because the living have no significance.

They called her the medium, the new age girl

The one who could not bridge the living and the dead.

All the while she watched Sylvia pace the halls, looking for her husband and her son.

No one would discharge her.

The End

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