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.