By Paula Bianchi –
Emma pulled the strap of her backpack over one shoulder before she ran down the stairs and dropped it by the front door.
“Morning, Dad.” Emma said, in a cheerful voice, as she entered the kitchen, with a bounce in her step, and kissed her dad on his cheek.
“You seem chipper today.” Michael smiled, handing Emma a bowl and a spoon.
“I am.” Emma walked over to the pantry and grabbed a box of cereal before she stopped at the fridge to get the milk then took a seat at the kitchen island.
Knowing why Emma was so happy, made Lucy smile too.
“What makes today so special?” Michael asked, as he stood on the opposite side of the island waiting for his toast to pop up from the toaster.
“Today’s Monday. It’s Kat’s first day working for us.” Emma told him between bites.
“Yes, it is, and I’m feeling a little guilty about all the laundry we’ve left for her to do.” Michael finished buttering his toast, then took a seat next to his daughter. “Plus, she’s going to do our shopping today, and I left a note asking if she’d mind cooking something for dinner.” He sure didn’t look very guilty as he took a sip of his coffee and grinned.
“Oh good. That means she’ll be here when I get home from school today.” Emma couldn’t hide the excitement from her voice, and Lucy knew why.
It was the same reason Lucy felt excited too. She couldn’t wait to talk to Kat just like her daughter. She had a lot of questions about Carl that she was hoping Kat could answer.
“I never thought you’d get so excited for a housekeeper.” Michael noted, while he tried to hide his own excitement.
Emma glanced sideways at her dad. “You’re excited too!” She exclaimed, as she leaned over and nudged him.
Lucy could feel Michael’s excitement too, but it was for a whole different reason than her own and Emma’s. He was being a typical guy feeling happy because he wouldn’t have to do anymore housework.
“Why are you so excited to see her?” Michael asked.
“I want to tell her about all the stuff that’s been happening to us. The broken light fixtures, the broken figurine, and what happened in my room the other night. Hopefully, she can help us figure out what’s going on in our house.” Emma answered, as she got up to put her bowl and spoon in the dish washer.
“I wouldn’t place too much hope in that, but you never know.” Michael stood up and gathered his mess and carried it over to the sink. “You don’t think it’s your mother, do you?” He added, placing his dirty dishes next to Emma’s in the dish washer.
“No! I know what Mom’s energy feels like. The energy that made the mess in my room was so heavy. Mom feels light and full of love making me feel tingly all over.” Emma assured him.
Lucy felt so happy knowing that Emma could tell the difference between the energy she felt when Lucy was around compared to the energy of the swirling black cloud Carl created.
“Where’s your brother?” Michael asked.
“I heard him leave early this morning.” Emma partly lied by omitting the actual time he left.
“Was he up early for practice?” Michael slipped his black, suit jacket on and straightened his maroon tie before he bent over to pick up his briefcase.
“I guess.” Emma turned her back and rolled her eyes as she grabbed her backpack on the way out the front door. She hated covering for Justin and felt the time had come to tell him so.
“Did you forget anything?” Michael asked, before he closed the door.
“No. I’m good.” Emma called out over her shoulder just as she was getting into her father’s car.
After Michael shut and locked the door behind him, Lucy stood, all alone, in the foyer wondering when Kat would arrive.
“Today’s the day!” Dobson exclaimed, materializing out of nowhere, and he wasn’t alone.
“Geez!” Lucy was startled by their sudden appearance. “You guys scared the heck out of me!” She sputtered, tugging at the bottom of her navy blazer. “A little warning next time would be great.” She smiled.
“What do you want to ask her about first, Lucy?” Ava asked, while standing there in her prim and proper Victorian way.
“I think we should start with Carl.” Lucy began. “He’s the worst of our problems right now.” She pointed out.
“I agree with you there, Miss Lucy.” Ben put in his two cents and grinned.
“What about Lori?” Dobson asked. “Do you think Kat can get her out of Justin?” He wondered.
Suddenly, the sound of a key slipping into the doorknob, interrupted their conversation making them all become befuddled and nervous. Dobson was the first to disappear followed by Ava then Ben.
When Lucy realized she was standing there alone, she lost her courage and quickly faded out of view to join them, but she didn’t leave foyer. None of them did because they all wanted to watch Kat due to the fact that she was an oddity that they’ve never seen before.
Kat opened the door, set her cleaning supplies down, and glanced around the foyer before she entered, closed, and locked the door behind her. Standing in the entryway, she looked towards the second floor and shivered quite visibly. After regaining her composure, she collected her cleaning essentials and headed for the kitchen.
Lucy and her ghostly crew followed Kat closely as if they were stuck to her like glue.
Walking directly to the little desk in a small nook at the end of one of counters, Kat set her stuff down to reach into her purse and pull out a piece of paper that she prepared to keep track of her hours, then she hung it up on the corkboard next to the calendar.
Kat notice the note, hanging next to the calendar, that Michael had left for her, and after reading it, she smiled. She took the money from the envelope and tucked it into the back pocket of her black, denim jeans.
For a moment, Kat glanced around the kitchen, with a little twinkle in her eye, before she headed to the laundry room to retrieve a couple of laundry baskets, so she could collect the dirty clothes from up stairs and off she went.
Lucy and the others followed Kat from room to room starting with Michael’s room first, where he had left his dirty suits on the bed with another note asking if Kat could drop them off at the Dry Cleaners. Grinning again, she gathered up the suits and set them on top of the full basket of clothes and carried them down stairs where she dropped the suits on the dining room table before she walked to the laundry room and started the first load of laundry in the washer.
Back up the stairs Kat went again, to Justin’s room this time where she scooped up his dirty clothes off the floor, then, she headed to Emma’s room with Lucy and her roomies in tow.
Before Kat entered Emma’s room, she stood in the doorway for a while, then, she finally went in. Right away, she was drawn to all the metaphysical and ghost books Emma had in her new bookcase.
To Lucy’s surprise, Kat pulled the pendulum book out and began to thumb through the pages.
“So, how long are you and your friends gonna hide from me, Lucy?” Kat asked, as she closed the book and put it back in the bookcase.
Lucy couldn’t believe Kat had called her out. Without any hesitation, Lucy materialized in front of the new housekeeper.
“It’s so nice to finally meet you, Lucy.” Kat said.
Right away, Lucy could feel that Kat had a different kind of energy than all the other living people she’s encountered so far.
“It’s nice to meet you too.” Lucy responded, tucking her hair behind both ears.
“Where are your friends?” Kat asked. “I can sense that there are three more spirits in here. A woman and a man who are both middle-aged, also a young boy around 9 or 10. Am I right?”
“Yes! You’re quite right.” Ava said, as she slowly appeared in the room with Ben and Dobson popping in right after her.
Lucy was impressed too, but she was more impressed with the excitement of actually being able to speak to a living person.
“How did you know we were here?” Lucy asked.
“Because, I saw you standing with us during my interview with Michael, but I didn’t know you had lived here, until, I saw your picture as I was walking up the stairs.” Kat explained. “Why were you hiding from me?”
“I guess we were all a little nervous about meeting a living person who can see us.” Lucy shared, while her roommates all nodded in agreement.
“Well, you have nothing to be nervous about.” Kat said, as she loaded the dirty clothes from Emma’s hamper into the laundry basket. “So, how did you die, Lucy?”
After Kat asked her question, Ava and Ben acted very strangely, then, without any warning, they both disappeared from view.
“I wonder why they left.” Lucy puzzled. “You know, come to think of it, I still don’t know how Ben and Ava died.” Looking over at Dobson, she noticed that he seemed very quiet. “Do you know how they died, Dobson?” She asked him.
“No. I don’t.” Dobson answered simply, but the sound of his voice gave him away. He definitely knew more than he was saying.
“I died in a car accident.” Lucy shared, changing the subject back to herself, but she really didn’t want to go into the gory details. “On Emma’s birthday.” She added sadly.
“I’m so sorry.” Kat gave her condolences before she stacked the two baskets and picked them up, then, she carried them downstairs to the laundry room with Lucy and Dobson tagging along.
“And how about you?” Kat asked Dobson, as she put the wet clothes from the washer into the dryer.
“I fell in our well.” Dobson answered. “It took ‘em a while to find me. My mom was just beside herself with worry when they were looking for me.” He shared. “I tried my best to let her know I was okay, but she never saw any of my signs, then one day, they just moved away and left me.” He sounded so lost.
“I’m sorry they did that.” Kat said, full of empathy. “What’s your name, and how old are you?” Kat inquired, while turning the washer and dryer on.
“My name’s Dobson, and I’m 9 years old.” He puffed out his chest and stood as tall as he could.
“Well, I thought for sure you were 10 with how tall you are.” Kat happily fluffed his ego.
“How is it that you can see us?” Dobson asked, full of curiosity.
Lucy already knew the answer to this, so she quietly waited for Kat to explain.
“I’m a psychic.” Kat shared. “It runs in our family. Mom says it comes from our Irish side.” She smiled, as she twirled a lock of her beautiful red hair around her finger.
“What do you mean about being a psychic?” Dobson sounded confused.
“Well, it means I can see you, silly.” Kat giggled, as she picked up her purse. “I better go do the shopping and drop off your husband’s suits at the Cleaners. We’ll talk more when I get back.” She slung her purse over her shoulder as she headed for the front door.
Out of nowhere, the energy in the foyer quickly changed making Kat stop in her tracks. “There it is again! Who’s that!?” She asked the both of them. “I don’t remember feeling that dark energy the last time I was here.”
“Because it wasn’t here then, and we’re hoping you could help us get rid of it.” Lucy said, without shielding the sound of desperation in her voice.
Come back next Tuesday for my next installment of, Lucy in the Afterlife, to see if Kat can help get rid of greasy Carl. Thanks for the visit. Bye for now.
If you’d like to read Lucy’s story from the beginning, click on this link: Lucy in the Afterlife: The Beginning. Stay safe and be well.