Emily hated food courts -
Ok, true, but that was missing the point. Emily didn't like malls in general, but that was no fault of the mall itself or inherent in any way to the mall concept as a modern retail institution. Malls are shiny and have lots of stuff inside, which tends to attract people in large numbers who are looking for stuff. And people were the real problem.
It's not that Emily didn't like people, per se, just that -
Emily wasn't a bad person by any means, she just had a bad... just a habit of not -
You know, whatever. There were malls and people that both sucked and did not suck, but Emily's real problem was telekinesis and her corresponding inability to control it. She was unable to feel anything to an extreme without something around her moving or breaking, or falling down a flight stairs.
People did not generally exhibit their best behavior in large groups, usually resorting to dumb and panicky. Emily did not suffer fools easily, and as such often found herself resisting the impulse to hurtle things at them. It wasn't that she wanted to - I mean, part of her maybe did, because who wouldn't? - but she couldn't afford to daydream about it.
She was concentrating on finding a Zen center within herself to get through the rest of her Christmas shopping, and so didn't notice the cute guy at the table near the Steak ‘n Shake looking over until his third glance. Had Emily not become accustomed to the humiliation she felt when flare ups happened in public, she might have allowed herself to be hopeful. Instead, memories of childhood taunting and isolation resurfaced and raised her blood pressure. The empty chair across the table from her moved backward several inches, echoing loudly in the cavernous space.
He likes you, said a voice.
Emily sighed out loud. In addition to moving things, she also had the random ability to communicate with the recent dead. It wasn't compatible with making a food tray shoot across a room, but she could do it. Talking with the dead was often burdensome, and the frustration it caused added to the difficulty in controlling flying objects. Talking with them in private was one thing, but public places created more of a scene. And God forbid a person not answer them.
"How do you know?" Emily muttered, searching her purse for her cell phone to cover the conversation.
The whole not using compete sentences thing had always bugged Emily, but not nearly as much as being pimped to a stranger by the ghost of his dead wife.
She found her phone and mocked the pressing of the 'answer' button. "Isn’t this a little odd?" she hissed. "How long have you been gone?"
Three months. Must avenge.
Emily started to put it together. "You're dead and it's his fault? He bumped you off for another girl? Guy, girl? Whatever. Am I close?"
There was no response, but the ambient temperature within a ten-foot radius of Emily's chair dropped by a few degrees. It was a reaction the dead had when they became agitated, and for that she always felt a weird sympathy.
"A seduce-and-manipulate job. Freakin’ awesome."
It was Christmas, and her schedule was already hectic. As she began to go over the plan of action in her head, her blood pressure once again began to rise. On the tray next to her plate, an unopened ketchup pack imploded.